Marvel Super Heroes #14 (Dr. Strange)
Issue(s): Marvel Super Heroes #14 (Dr. Strange story only)
In the previous story, Dr. Strange helped Augustyne Phyffe, son of the deceased Lord Julian Phyffe, deal with an orphium addiction. Augustyne has subsequently decided to forgo mystical training and has been trying to become a "trendy artist" instead.
Unfortunately, his mystical powers seem to be activating anyway, and Augustyne (seemingly) has accidentally killed some of his friends.
It's always kind of bittersweet when you kill your friends by summoning creatures that make the bad ghosts in Casper The Friendly Ghost look scary. Like, sorry i killed you guys, but you have to admit that was hilarious!
Anyway, Augustyne agrees to train under Strange to get his powers under control. And he's surprisingly adept at it. He has raw power. But Strange is worried about his attitude.
By the way, this is probably a coincidence, but it's said that Augustyne's grandfather defeated the Cult of the Crimson Dawn.
Crimson Dawn happens to be the name of a pocket dimension that Psylocke (and other X-characters) gets mixed up in.
Anyway, a spell that Strange has Augustyne practicing with seems to go wrong, and a demon named Dyskor gets summoned. Dyskor says he used to work for Augustyne's father.
Augustyne hesitates to send it away, so Dr. Strange does. The demon comes back to solicit Augustyne again later.
It turns out that Dyskor is lying. Augustyne's father declined to work with him. And it's Dyskor, not Augustyne, who summoned the wraiths that killed Augustyne's friends. So Dr. Strange battles Dyskor, telling Augustyne to flee. And he does. Later, Augustyne tells Strange that he wants him to cast the Spell of Annulment on him, to remove his powers. Strange reluctantly agrees. And that's the end of that.
Roy Thomas manages to sneak in one last "they also serve... who only stand and wait" on his way out (see here for some more examples).
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This follows the story from Marvel Super Heroes #12, which is said to have happened "recently". But enough time should have passed for Augustyne to try his hand at becoming a "trendy artist".
Continuity Insert? Y (inventory story)
My Reprint: N/A
According to the Marvel Appendix, the Augustyne Phyffe stories were reworked inventory stories from the early 1980s. They were two completely separate stories- there was no Augustyne Phyffe. And the editors had Thomas and Lofficer script them and Lofficer came up with the idea to link the stories by making them both about Augustyne Phyffe:
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2017 8:21 PM
Nice LaRocque pencils. Vince Colletta's inks are very recognizable in places - reminds me of Superman Family's art. But I am bit surprised to see him work for Marvel at this late date.
Actually, checking Wikipedia, he died in 1991. This story must have been one of his last few works.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 3, 2017 8:23 PM
The fact that inventory stories like this look and read better than the average 90s fare speaks volumes as to why 80s readers left comics in droves around this era.
Posted by: Clutch | April 4, 2017 6:56 AM
Thanks Michael. Interesting story behind the story.
I wonder how many other of these inventory stories had an uncredited plotter.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 4, 2017 9:22 AM
"By the way, this is probably a coincidence, but it's said that Augustyne's grandfather defeated the Cult of the Crimson Dawn."
Oooh, good catch, fnord. I expect that if Mark Gruenwald was still alive, or if Kurt Busiek was still at Marvel, sooner or later one of them would have written a story exploring this throw-away line, and linking it to the characters from the Crimson Dawn stories that ran in the various X-Men titles.
Posted by: Ben Herman | April 4, 2017 12:30 PM
Comments are now closed.
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