Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #34

doctor-strange-vol-2-34Writer – Ralph Macchio
Artist – Tom Sutton
Inker – P. Craig Russell
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – John Costanza

Just like the saying about not succeeding and continually trying, so does Nightmare keep his vendetta against Doctor Strange alive by thinking up new schemes on how to kill the Sorcerer Supreme. This latest attempt comes in the form of a pawn by the name of Cyrus Black. Though the opening salvo was thrown by Nightmare himself, Black takes up the cause with a certain amount of glee which tells you there is history between the two. Writer Ralph Macchio digs into the past from issues of both Strange’s past title as well as the Defenders to bring this villain forth and he is in some respects, a poor man’s Baron Mordo. In fact, the resemblance between Mordo and Black is quite striking in its various similarities and you have to wonder why the author did not simply use Mordo instead. Suffice it to say, Strange gets transported to Nightmare’s dimension once against to do battle with Cyrus Black or perish at his hands. More fascinating than anything else that takes place is the moment where Macchio flashes back to Black’s past and it is there that we find he has a shared history with Stephen, again, not so unlike Baron Mordo. In this particular instance, the reader is treated to a little history on the Wand of Watoomb as well and how it was Strange who came out on top as to who would inherit its might. There is a part in the story where Macchio makes you feel a little sorry for Black and he is quite pitiable for a few moments. Who can say they have never felt jealousy or angry at themselves for failing at something they wanted to achieve? The fact of it all is that Cyrus decided to become a villain and whether you felt sympathetic towards the man or not, he decided his fate when he turned down the path of evil. Tom Sutton’s pencils are extraordinary once more and joining him is P. Craig Russell who adds just a little extra flair to what you knew was going to be an already gorgeous looking book. As it is, this was an exciting issue to be sure and like Nightmare tells Strange, he is akin to Eternity himself and Stephen can never fully defeat him.

4 out of 5

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