Characters Appearing: Aged Genghis, Clea, Dormammu, Dr. Strange, Gaea, Orini, Rama Kaliph, Umar, Wong
Doctor Strange #6-7
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #6, Doctor Strange #7
This is a somewhat more straightforward story after the Brunner issues, with Umar helping to revive her brother Dormammu.
Dormammu has been diminished since the Scarlet Witch caused him to get sucked into the Evil Eye during the Avengers/Defenders War, but Doctor Strange says that Dormammu's power would slowly be restored as long as occultists invoke his name. Strange notes that even he used to call on Dormammu before he knew his true nature (see Strange Tales #116 and Strange Tales #119).
It's a multi-layered plan, with Umar luring Dr. Strange off to the Dark Dimension. Clea won't go with him, for reasons she won't explain. But while Strange is away, she receives a cry for help from Mother Nature, the Earth Spirit (and, as eventually revealed, Thor's mom).
Clea responds to the call...
...only to find out that Gaea is like "Pfffft, i didn't want you. I wanted your boyfriend."
The problem is that Gaea has been captured by Dormammu.
As far as Dormammu is concerned, his pledge to never attack Earth directly is null and void now that he's had to be reborn after his defeat by the Scarlet Witch. Gaea causes an explosion that allows Clea to flee.
Meanwhile, Strange is attacked by Umar, but he finds his ability to fight back is diminished thanks to the presence of another sorcerer, Orini.
He's in deathly danger, so the Ankh appears on his brow again.
Strange is defeated and brought to the G'uranthic Guardian so that his knowledge and will can be drained.
Strange manages to escape thanks to the Eye of Agamotto, but not before his knowledge of magic is drained.
Back on Earth, Clea tries to summon help, contacting Rama Kaliph, a sorcerer that Dr. Strange once tried to get help from when he was first looking for Eternity. He suggests reaching out to the Aged Genghis, but he is too senile to help.
With no other options, Clea goes to the Dark Dimension herself, and we learn the reason she's been avoiding going back is because Orini is her father.
We pause here (see the Considerations section) but i have to say that i enjoy the more straightforward plot and the return of Colan.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Dormammu and Gaea next appear in Giant-Size Avengers #4. Because that is part of the Celestial Madonna storyline, i've got these issues pushed back a bit. From Dr. Strange and Clea's perspective, this story continues directly next issue, but i've broken it up for the Dormammu scene in GSA since it is referenced in issue #8.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
That one panel of Strange in profile, with the text to the right almost seems added on in retrospect, and that may be a Romita head. (or maybe it's just from the issue he inked)
Posted by: Wis | January 22, 2018 10:35 AM
While more accustomed to Tom Palmer inking Gene Colan, Janson's brushwork over Colan's pencils are a fine match, giving the Sorcerer Supreme and company an appropriate darkness.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | March 18, 2018 11:18 PM
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