Strange Tales #146 (Dr. Strange)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #146 (Dr. Strange story only)
Strange is weakened and thinks that while his strength cannot match Dormammu's, perhaps his wits can. Suddenly Eternity escapes, and based on that last thought balloon, you would think it's an illusion of Dr. Strange's, but apparently that is not the case.
Strange's wits have nothing to do with it, it's just a deus ex machina.
Cool art, though. The Ancient One rescues Strange from the aftermath of the epic battle between the two cosmic entities, and with Dormammu apparently dead, Strange frees those that were banished by the dark one, including Baron Mordo and Clea.
How come every time someone on the streets of New York sees something weird, they assume it's an advertising gimmick? What kind of weird ads did they have back in the 60s?
This is the last issue drawn by Steve Ditko. It's the same publication month as his last Amazing Spider-Man issue (#38), and that will be the last we see of this founding father until 1979, when he returns to draw the likes of the Micronauts and Machine Man.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Having seen a number of mid-60s Playboys, I can confirm that a number of prominent ads were rather weird.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 3, 2011 5:02 PM
Per Alter Ego #123: Denny O'Neil was the one who finally named Clea, taking the name from a Lawrence Durrell novel.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 8, 2014 5:57 PM
The whole thing about "wits" is what I presume Strange would have done if Eternity hadn't freed himself.
Do you think you should add a note to the HSR that this is the end of Ditko's Strange work?
Posted by: Thanos6 | April 27, 2015 10:17 PM
I usually don't add historical points for ends of creative team runs, but i have put in a note.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 28, 2015 7:55 AM
This works somewhat as a bookend to Strange's origin story, much as the ending to the last Dormammu meg-arc did:
Strange, the proud man who has long since accepted humility, survives; Dormammu, despite having power that should make it simple to annihilate Strange, is destroyed by his equally vast arrogance. Compare the way Strange interacted with Eternity to the way Dormammu does, and see who lives and who is destroyed.
Nowadays writers behave as if arrogance is Strange's flaw *as a superhero*, rather than the flaw he overcame in order to *become* a superhero. (Ditko's Strange has his own flaws, of course, but they're more in the direction of his tendency to get so lost in his world of mysticism that he forgets about stuff like food, sleep, and the fact that someone might plant a plain old bomb or pull a plain old gun out to win.)
Posted by: Omar Karindu | February 7, 2016 4:24 PM
I love the scene where Dormammu in his mad arrogance hurls himself at Eternity.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 7, 2016 10:36 PM
Gonna miss ditkos art tough
Posted by: Roy Mattson | July 9, 2017 7:16 PM
I have always been somewhat more fond of Steve Ditko's work on Doctor Strange than on Spider-Man. Just a personal preference. As I get older, I do become somewhat more fond of the Spider-Man stories by Ditko, as well. In any case, the last 20 or so issues of Ditko's run on Strange Tales are an epic tale featuring Doctor Strange's world and dimension spanning struggle against Dormammu, Baron Mordo, and their minions. This issue really is a stunning conclusion, with the maddened Dormammu pitting himself against the majestic, awesome form of Eternity.
Steve Ditko really was one of a kind. He will definitely be missed.
Posted by: Ben Herman | July 7, 2018 11:00 AM
Although Ditko disappeared from Marvel between 1966 and 1979, he was still quite visible to those of us who followed him wherever his artwork might lead us. He had already put Charlton Comics back on the spinner racks in '65, when Charlton started reprinting his and Joe Gill's Captain Atom stories from '61. So in '66 Ditko returned to Charlton and Captain Atom, even though I believe he was paid less there than at Marvel. There he revised Charlton's Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett) with a new version (Ted Cord), and created Nightshade, both in Captain Atom's backup feature stories. Blue Beetle was soon given his own title to carry, with another new Ditko character, the Question, as his own backup feature. Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, Nightshade, and the Question would later be acquired by DC Comics, and still later, be revised by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons as Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and Rorschach, for the Watchmen series.
In '67 Ditko designed a Question-like character called Mr. A for Wally Wood's Witzend magazine. He went to DC in '68, where he created or co-created the Creeper, Hawk & Dove, and Shade the Changing Man. I'm sure there were more which I don't remember. But this is just to clarify that he wasn't exactly idle or pining away his time before returning to Marvel in '79, by which time he had become even further disillusioned about the comics industry after all his adventures with DC.
Ditko's work and name will live on, long after I am dead and forgotten.
Posted by: Holt | July 8, 2018 2:49 AM
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