Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #62

Writer – Roger Stern
Artist – Steve Leialoha
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Jim Novak

While Doctor Strange and his team, consisting of Blade, Hannibal King, Frank Drake and Wong prepare the defenses of Castle Mordo against Dracula’s eventual arrival, it is already too late for the Lord of the Undead is at the gates. Not only that, he has brought his followers along with him and they far outnumber the few who reside inside. Once Dracula has fought his way inside, it is not long before he makes his way past those who have set themselves in front of him and on his way to the Darkhold, the book that will give him the power he craves. Strange has other plans though, plans that involve using the book to cast a spell and undo what was done long before and rid the Earth of the vampire menace once and for all. Roger Stern and Steve Leialoha pack the book full of action as Dracula’s long-time enemies face off against him. They are nothing but chaff before the scythe though, for the man has more important things on his mind. The battle between Dracula and Doctor Strange is different than those that preceded it, taking place on a mystical plane of Strange’s devising and it is here that he keeps the monster occupied while the companions cast the spell that he discovered. Dracula fights for all he is worth and he is a formidable foe, but when it comes to magic, the Lord of Vampires is nothing before it. What is most interesting about this issue is the fact that in 1983 when this issue was published, Marvel seemed to be okay with ridding its shared universe of vampires big and small. Even more so, is that they did it within the pages of Doctor Strange, though to be fair, there were no line-wide crossovers to showcase such a story and what better book than this one. Stern makes the book feel important and the story has an almost-cinematic feel about it. Leialoha brings his A-game to the table and it looks great, a cross between Gene Colan and Steve Ditko at times. Also good to see is Stern immediately addressing the case of Hannibal King, the man who is half-vampire and just how it is that he survives the vampire purge. Overall, this was a very exciting issue that closes the book on one big chapter in the Marvel Universe and sets the stage for a world without vampirism.

4 out of 5

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