Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts #61 - 63

The Ghost seriously apologizes for the lack of postings lately. My haunting abilities have been seriously hampered by the world of the living. Way back in September I made an interesting find at my local shop's $1 boxes. Three issues of Doctor Strange back when Marvel was not bound by the corporate restraints of the Trade or lack of continuity. I promised a treat of a post and here it is. These issues are the final three parts to a story that was the end of Dracula in the Marvel Universe. If you don't know that at one point Dracula was a staple in the MU and he was ultimately defeated, then boo hoo if you feel I spoiled something you never would have read.

I confess that I have very few Doctor Strange comics in my collection. Any issues I have purchased on purpose have been less than one buck or included in a 3 for 1 deal and I wanted something else that was part of the combo. Here I was drawn to issue #60 when looking through the box by the lovely form of Scarlet Witch. Before I could really read, I confess to having two little boy crushes. One was Jamie Somers, the Bionic
Woman and the other was the Scarlet Witch. I had these Marvel matching game cards and she was on there. I had never even read or seen a comic with her in it, by I was in love. Ever since I have had a fondness for Wanda. So I was made to pause and see what this issue was all about.

Seems the enigmatic book known as the Darkhold was once again loose in the Marvel Universe. This is a magic book that goes all the way back to the lost City of Atlantis. It is pure EVIL and cannot be destroyed. It can corrupt the soul of any who use it, so good people are in danger when around it. It also can aid Dracula to become the complete ruler of Earth. The cult that follows and worships the Darkhold are aiding the Lord of Vampires and of course Dr.Strange is standing in their way. The Darkhold is soon to be held secure the Avenger's Mansion with Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel helping protect it. Captain Marvel being Monica and not the one who died of Cancer only to recently be brought back in a horrible attempt to be "cool" and edgy.

My decision to buy the book came with the two that followed. The next two issues and the end of the story. It was like divine destiny that I should buy these books. When being a cheap and avid hunter of back issues at low prices the best
thing that can happen is to have the issue that resolves a story. Here I had it and loads of Marvel guest appearances included as well. The following issues contained the Doctor's man servant Wong and he actually does more than answer the door in the tale. Hannibal King is present along with Blade. It is a battle that highlights all characters and shows some magical might as the Doctor battles Dracula on the Astral landscape inside the Darkhold. Really awesome conflict and a sacrifice of an infected Vampire.

Doctor Strange has one last trick up his sleeve and the character sees the sunrise
for the first time in years. This is what Marvel used to excel at in storytelling. We had tension and conflict that is made of stern material. Yet, we end on the high and happy note of good squashing evil and all pausing to relish a moment of a big victory in the never ending battle.

So I am at last keeping my promise of telling a tale of my excellent find in the back issue box. A story of mystical forces and horrific beings. It also had Scarlet Witch goodness. If you read this far, then I hope you enjoy this rambling.

CBG

5 comments:

Chris said...

Glad to see you back! This is a pretty good find.

SONICMAN2 said...

Hey CBG,

I had those in my origional collection years ago before I had to sell it.

It some of the best work on Doc Strange that I had read. Adn being a big horror monster(old guys..drac, mummy, frankenstein, etc) this was excellent.

Great write up my friend.

Hey, email me sometime. I'd love to chat with ya bro. Been awhile.

Take care,
Jon

SONICMAN2 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ghost In The Shadows said...

Hey SonicMan, wanted you to know I deleted the email after writing it down. Figured you might not want every yahoo messing with it.

Robert McKinney said...

Hey! We have something in common! Like you, I had a boyhood crush on the Scarlet Witch! She's still my favorite super-hero after all these years.

I remember those issues of Dr. Strange. That was when I started collecting his title. Great issues in a great run!