Writer – Bill Kunkel, David Michelinie, Roger Stern
Artist – Kerry Gammill, Michael Golden
Inker – Al Milgrom, P. Craig Russell
Colours – Diana Albers, Michael Golden
Letters – Bob Sharen, Joe Rosen
In this latest tale by David Michelinie and Kerry Gammill, Doctor Strange has agreed to go on vacation with Clea to Rome and much like their previous getaways, this one is interrupted by a new crisis. Unlike many of those former stories, Doctor Strange and Clea are made aware of the situation before the trouble even starts, which is a good thing and thus gives Clea a little time to learn about the mysterious woman and her acolytes who have just entered their lives. Michelinie turns the tables in this issue, making Clea the one who is needed to save the world instead of her master, the Sorcerer Supreme. While he may not be the saviour of all for this tale, Doctor Strange is still given something to do, namely protect Clea, Sybil and Thaleia from harm until they can defeat the Black Oracle. For a done-in-one adventure such as this, there is a lot of backstory given, making that which the reader is perusing of much greater interest and as such, it also becomes much more exciting. Gammill’s artwork is solid and with a little help from Al Milgrom and Diana Albers, they transform the magical excursion into a thing of beauty. After everything that Clea has been through in this series as a whole, it is nice to see the woman being utilized as more of an equal than ever before. Additionally there is a backup feature also starring Doctor Strange and Clea and it finds Clea in a role nearly opposite to the story previous. Written by Roger Stern and illustrated by Michael Golden, it sees the Doctor as stressed and fairly uptight. Jealous of Clea by his own words, Strange is like a completely different person here and it does not make for a good reading experience whatsoever. Where the first story was quite good, the second was far from that and leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth. It is definitely a strange way to tend the book and does it no favours in the process.
3 out of 5