Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #59

Writer – Roger Stern
Artist – Dan Green
Inker – Terry Austin
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Jim Novak

Doctor Strange and his assistant Sara Wolfe, having just met Hannibal King last issue, now learn from the man that Dracula might be alive and well, or at least as alive as he can be, and up to his usual tricks. It is now made known that even though Strange bested the Count previously, it was not for good, nor did the sacrifice of Abraham Van Helsing to destroy the monster for all time last either. It is here that Roger Stern and Dan Green relate King’s travails over the last while, picking up clues here and there and hearing take of Dracula’s return. The story that King tells is a fascinating one and it paints Dracula as an unkillable monster and while the Lord of the Undead being a monster is indeed true, it is looking more and more like nothing can keep the creature down. King soon gets to a point where he describes these ‘Children’ of the Darkhold that he had a run-in with, when they show up to attack the companions. It is a fearsome battle and not wanting to hurt innocents, Strange takes them all into a separate reality so that whatever the outcome, none pay the price for it. Not only is the return of Dracula troubling, if indeed he is back and Strange has no reason to doubt it, but with the addition of these Darkholders, it makes things far more complicated. The action is intense and Green with the help of Terry Austin help to make it come alive upon the page and there are moments when it seems like these Children will emerge victorious, but with Strange now being as confidant as he is and Hannibal King giving in to his dark side, they do not stand a chance. Readers have to wonder and it must be weighing upon Stephen’s mind as well, is just how will the sorcerer handle Dracula if they should meet again? Strange has come into contact with Dracula a couple of times now, once even with the Defenders and each time his efforts have proved fruitless. Perhaps the third time will be the charm, but as it stands, there is nothing to believe that it will end up any differently than before which is troubling indeed.

3.5 out of 5

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