Strange Days, Part 2: Doctor Strange #35

In continuing with Doctor Strange month I picked up some reading material.  Let’s start with Doctor Strange issue 35.

Doctor Strange #35

On of the things I have always enjoyed about comic books is getting to know a new title.  Chances are, if it is something that is years old or ongoing for sometime you are not going to walk into your local comic book store and buy issues number 1 for a reasonable price.  So if something interests you, you may have to start in the middle of a story and not know what the heck is going on.  I actually find this fun.  Years ago, comic books were written with the idea in mind that this could be the first comic book the reader has ever read.  Today, with digital back issues and trade paperback collection of stories that doesn’t hold as true.  But since this issue was written in 1979, is has the older writing style.

This seems like a good place to say WARNING!  SPOILER ALERT!! (just in case you ever read Doctor Strange Vol. 1 No. 36)

“Of Knights and Pawns” begins with the good Doctor paying a visit to his friends the Avengers.  It seems a statue of fellow Avenger, The Black Knight came to life and went on a rampage before it broke into several pieces.  (Note: apparently it is not just a statue of The Black Knight, but a physical representation of him in the present while his actual self is back in the twelfth century.)  Doctor Strange uses his magic to put the statue back together only to find that it now has a sword where it didn’t before.  Finding this odd, Doctor Strange and his assistant Clea take the sword with them back to his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village.

Meanwhile, deep within the domain of The Dweller in Darkness, The Dweller hatches a plot to attack the unsuspecting Doctor.  The Dweller possesses and transforms an average man on the street into a giant monster.  Doctor Strange and Clea take up the fight and protect the public at large from the attack.

“Ludi” from my favorite panel from Doctor Strange #35

The Dweller meantime is scouring a thousand dimensions to find a demon worthy of defeating Doctor Strange.  Only an demon named Ludi steps forward.  Ludi seeks revenge on humankind for no longer believing in him.

Back in our dimension, Doctor Strange and Clea defeat the giant monster only to find Ludi taking its place!  Ludi is a lot more for the two of them to handle and quickly gains the upper hand.  But, Clea remembers the sword for the Black Knight’s statue and she and Doctor Strange use it to banish Ludi back to the dimension from which he came.  The man who was turned into the giant monster now sits in Ludi’s place, bewildered by what has transpired.  Here ends our story.

I liked this issue and it reminded me how fun it is to pick up a random issue and ‘test drive’ it.  I also feel that these older issues have more to read- more text, dialogue and exposition.  This has made me excited to read more Doctor Strange.

What I learned about Doctor Strange: 

  • He has a lover named Clea
  • He has many trans-dimensional enemies
  • He’s got a pretty nice place in Greenwich Village

Next up: Doctor Strange – Marvel Masterworks!

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