Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #55

Writer – Roger Stern
Artist – Michael Golden
Inker – Terry Austin
Colours – Glynis Wein
Letters – Jim Novak

Continuing to paint Doctor Strange as a sad and broken man, Roger Stern does not simply let Stephen sulk around waiting for his heart to mend or for Clea to come back. Instead, the author of this tale takes Strange on a trip courtesy of Dakimh the Mystic, a story reminiscent of those tales which seemed like madness from earlier on in the run. It is here that Strange finds himself seeing ghosts and waking up in an insane asylum. It is shocking to Stephen, to find himself locked up as such and to discover that things are not as they are supposed to be. He knows that he is not crazy and yet, his surroundings suggest otherwise. It is not long after that Strange starts to strike out at his surroundings and his captors, soon realizing that things are not as they seem to be. It finally gets to the point of being desperate when Strange is at his lowest, that he discovers that Dakimh is not who he says he is and is revealed as the villain D’Spayre, last seen in the company of The Dweller in Darkness. Stern and Michael Golden then give the reader a fast and furious battle between the two, with the good doctor eventually winning out. Golden’s pencils are terrific, perfectly capturing the madness that takes place and the action that follows. Stern for his part has crafted an excellent tale, one that transitions Stephen from his time with Clea to a new point where she no longer happens to be. Grief is a horrible thing and while time heals all wounds, it took a battle with a mystical foe and Strange having to face some things about himself to get through it all. Where the good Doctor goes from here remains to be seen, but with the man finally coming to terms with what has happened, at least he is able to move on.

3.5 out of 5

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