Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dr Strange Part II

Dr Strange returned in Strange Tales #111. This story introduces his arch-rival, Baron Mordo. Mordo is another former student of the Master, the Tibetan monk who taught Dr Strange the Mystic Arts. His ecoplasmic form compels the Master's servant to poison him, and hectors the Master to give him all his secrets if he wishes to remain alive. Fortunately Dr Strange arrives and saves the day. This is a very short story (only five pages), and the last Dr Strange for a few issues.

Dr Strange returns in Strange Tales #115, in "The Origin of Dr Strange". Stephen Strange (the first we learn his given name) was a skilled but arrogant and money-hungry surgeon. A car accident leaves the nerves in his hands damaged and he becomes a drifter. When he hears of a man who can supposedly cure anyone, he seeks out the Master in Tibet. However, the Master is not willing to help him because his motives are selfish, but he does offer to tutor Strange in the magic arts.

Strange is introduced to the Master's other pupil, Baron Mordo. Mordo is trying to kill the Master. Mordo casts a spell preventing Strange from warning the Master of his danger. Strange realizes that in order to defeat Mordo, he must learn black magic himself.

The next appearance is in Strange Tales #116. Dr Strange faces the villain from the first story, Nightmare, who has worked out a way to bring sleeping humans into the dark world he inhabits.

Ditko's artwork is again perfect for the moody, mystical story:

Dr Strange manages to rescue the sleeping men from the clutches of Nightmare, but not without considerable risk to himself.

This was also the last issue of Strange Tales not to feature at least a mention of the Dr Strange story on the cover.

For the previous Dr Strange post, click here.

No comments: