Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #39

doctor-strange-vol-2-39Writer – Chris Claremont
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Dan Green
Colours – Ben Sean
Letters – Tom Orzechowski

The events of the previous issue by Gene Colan and Chris Claremont left our heroes slightly reeling and with this one, things do not get any better. To start the events off, Stephen receives an old friend into his home, a Cardinal he knew from long ago and he bears bad tidings. It looks as if Baron Mordo is up to mischief once again, this time breaking into the Vatican where tomes of great magical knowledge are stored. Of course, Strange has to look into it just in case Mordo has something diabolical planned. One item that makes a return in this book is that metaphysical insanity that finds our hero enter once he is knocked out cold, stuff readers have not seen in quite some time and it sees Strange having to make his way through parts of his past. It is not an easy trip for he is tormented all along the way and must defend himself against various threats. Eventually it all comes to a point where he will have to make a decision and the wrong one could mean the difference between life and death. Claremont does a great job at setting things up and at this point, splits the book up to focus on Clea who is looking for Wong.  The secondary storyline is a mystery that was introduced in the previous issue and Claremont picks up the reins here with Clea hot on the trail. Something is off about it all though and when Clea recognizes the servants of Dormammu following her in addition to the actual men who did the crime, she cannot be sure if it is just coincidence or if the two are somehow connected. As it is, by story’s end, neither Stephen nor Clea are any closer to accomplishing their respective goals. So with a good dose of horror, exemplified perfectly by Gene Colan, a captivating mystery by Claremont and the presence of both Baron Mordo and Dormammu, it looks like the story is just heating up.  Whether either of our two heroes is successful remains to be seen, but the odds are not in their favour.

4 out of 5

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