With only one minor appearance of Doctor Strange this week, this promises to be a whole lot less controversial installment of Strange Occasions. It seems like we always get this lull right after an issue of New Avengers, and I assume the trend will continue after we make the transition to The Avengers. Everybody loves Doctor Strange, that is a scientific fact. It does seem like the writers at Marvel are trying to avoid him at the moment though. Having Strange as a likable and competent character earns you no Bendis points. Still, it is Halloween and a time for magic. That means there are going to be some Strange sightings, come hell or high water.
Tomb of Terror #1 –The first story in this Marvel horror compilation, written by Paul Hornschemeier and drawn by Mark Texeira, is called “Descent of the Beast” and it features Man-Thing. Even more important that Man-Thing, if there is such a thing, is the brief inclusion of Doctor Strange, who is reprising his role from the 1978 made for TV movie where Stephen Strange is a caring psychiatrist at a public hospital prior to accepting his mystical duties. In this story Strange provides a bit of psychological relief for the man lost deep inside the Man-Thing
Official Handbook of the Marvel Univers A-Z Update #4 (Wong) – Wong is just awesome and needs a 4 issue mini series dedicated just to him. He has got to be up to something interesting right now since the New Avengers have fled the Sanctum and Stephen is busy hanging out at the Avengers Mansion and fighting of the patriarchs of earthly magic. Wong has seen this all before, and he has always been there to help Doctor Strange back to his feet whenever he decided to retake the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. Wong’s entry in the handbook actually covers a couple of pages, and briefly mentions many such occasions. My favorite bit though, without a doubt, is the picture of him as a child.
I have to wonder though, will Doctor Strange be picking that mantle back up any time soon? I think the people in charge over at Marvel might be done with the idea of a Sorcerer Supreme for now. Maybe that is one of the many things they will do in their depowering of the Doctor, remove his office all together. After all, passing on the role of Sorcerer Supreme does little to eliminate the deus ex machina problem they claim exists, it just transfers it to another character. Only time, or perhaps Joe Quesada, will tell…
Chaos War #2 (Eternity, Doctor Voodoo) – There is still neither hide nor hair of Doctor Strange in this title, although I guess the cast of characters here is limited to those of Hercules’ choosing and he did choose the current Sorcerer Supreme to help in his war. It is a shame that Voodoo will, apparently, spend the whole event twitching on the floor. It is his job to protect reality from just this sort of trouble. Hercules does go for the big guns in this issue though and attempts to recruit Eternity himself to the cause. Eternity, for his part, politely declines the invitation after giving the protagonists a basic lesson in metaphysics.
If you saw the Sorcerer Supreme Monochrome Magician in any other titles this week please post it in the comments and I will add it to the list.