Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #14

doctor-strange-vol-2-14Writer – Steve Englehart
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Tom Palmer
Colours – Tom Palmer
Letters – John Costanza

Continued from a story begun in Tomb of Dracula #44, Doctor Strange finds himself defeated at the hands of Dracula and in fact, quite dead. Wong has already passed beyond the veil and luckily for Strange, he was able to free his astral projection before he too passed on. Steve Englehart takes one of the scariest characters in not only Marvel’s stable, but in all of literature and has him face off against the Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. For all the good that it did, Strange was defeated with his fate now tied intrinsically to the Lord of Vampires, for in three days’ time his body will rise up as one of the undead and totally subservient to Dracula. Steve Englehart and Gene Colan spin a masterful tale of horror, one unlike any seen in this title previously and one grounded upon the Earth so to speak Where the former stories were amazing and fantastical in realms unknown to the general populace, Dracula is a being tied to the physical plane and thus, so now is Strange. Essentially Strange has become a ghost with this issue and he realizes that he cannot enter his body due to the ties that bind it to the Lord of the Undead. While he almost gives in to rage and despair, he soon comes to understand that there is still something he can do to Dracula and it is what ghosts tend to do best. What is really great to see is a villain in this book that is more than a match for Doctor Strange and it just so happens to be one that uses no magic at all except for those powers his physiology already grants him. True, if Strange wanted to, he could just cast spells from afar and the threat of Dracula would be over and done with and part of you wonders why he did not do that in the first place. Thankfully he did not, for it makes a far more interesting story to see the two in hand-to-hand combat as it were, with Dracula a raging monster and Strange doing what he can to hold him off. Colan, long known for his tenure on Tomb of Dracula and for having drawn the good Doctor as well, brings these two characters together in a perfect blend of sorcery and horror and it is truly one of the most beautiful issues of the series thus far. While this would be the first time the two titans would clash, it would not be the last.

5 out of 5

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