All good things must come to an end…and so did the reign of a certain creator on this title! In this awesome story, we see Dormammu battling not only his nemesis Dr. Strange and then none other than Eternity! Dormammu laid a trap for Eternity and the Doc, but things fall apart rather quickly in this issue for the fiery-headed fiend! Before that though, we do see just how powerful Dormammu is, when he confronts Eternity, and manages to hold his own for a while!
The glorious artwork by “Sturdy” Steve Ditko in this, his last issue of Strange Tales, is absolutely marvelous. There are three full splash pages that are nothing short of brilliant, and Spider-Man aside, show his best work in a superhero book. Most know of Ditko’s abrupt departure from Marvel Comics, and how he’s the biggest recluse in comic book history (to my knowledge). I’d love for him to do just one interview to set some things straight, and not listen to all the pundits speculate about certain matters. Either way, he’s one of the best creators of the industry has ever seen, and should be lauded as such. The story is scripted by “Dandy” Denny O’Neil, colors by Stan Goldberg, and letters by Artie Simek!
The other story in the book (“When the Unliving Strike!”) features Nick Fury. The story by Stan Lee, and layouts by Jack “King” Kirby, pencils by “Dashing” Don Heck, inks by “Mirthful” Mick Demeo, and letters by Sam Rosen.
To close out 2014, and my month-long look at Dr. Strange, I thought it would be cool to throw another more recent read out there. As I’ve said before, I’ll try anything Dr. Strange, just because he’s my favorite character, and he’s a good one. So, when I heard Marvel was coming out with all new material that they were going to release as graphic novels, I had to grab a couple of them! I own the Avengers: Endless Wartime book, but I was really impressed by the Doctor Strange: Season One hardcover that came out in 2012. It’s basically a retelling of the Doc’s origin, but a few slight twists. All the big guns are here; Baron Mordo, Dormammu, The Ancient One, and more!
The story is written by none other than Greg Pak, and if you want to read anything of his definitely check this out, plus “The Incredible Hercules” ongoing from 2008-2010, and a title from Aspen Comics called “Dead Man’s Run.” I’m not sure if the latter was finished (it took quite a while between issues to come out), but it was super cool! Not to be outdone, is an artist that I think it going to be huge sooner than later, (she’s already awesome in my book), Emma Rios (Pretty Deadly)! I first saw her work on a Doctor Strange mini-series from 2010. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I became a fan instantly. Another creator that must be mentioned is Jordie Bellaire. To say that she is one of the top colorists in comics is an understatement, for sure. Just look t the colors in this story, and you will be amazed! Happy New Year!
After just a few issues, the Englehart/Brunner team lost one of its members. The rigors of monthly comics just didn’t suit the style of Frank Brunner, so he stepped aside from that chore (still doing awesome covers like this one). It just so happened that someone else with incredible artistic talents was ready and willing to take up the job! Gene “The Dean” Colan returned to the character that he had worked on before back in the late Silver Age, along with Roy Thomas, Tom Palmer, and others. Colan has done a lot of magnificent work in his lifetime, but other than Tomb of Dracula, I think Dr. Strange was his best work. The character just seemed to fit his style perfectly, and Colan really added a more macabre feeling to the book.
In this issue, the Sorcerer Supreme and Clea are beset by the unyielding powers of Umar and of course, the Dread Dormammu! This fantastic issue was written by Steve Englehart, pencils by ‘Gentleman’ Gene Colan, inks by Mr. Klaus Janson, letters by Sir Tom Orzechowski, colors by the indomitable Petra Goldberg, and edited by ‘Lively’ Len Wein! Enjoy!