Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #68

Writer – Roger Stern
Artist – Paul Smith
Inker – Terry Austin
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Jim Novak

Doctor Strange has been summoned back to Garrett Castle by his old friend Victoria Bentley because Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, has been acting strangely ever since he returned to life in the present. The man is having mood swings and calling them as such is putting it lightly. There are moments when Dane comes close to the edge of violence and if it keeps up, he may soon cross that threshold. Bringing back the Black Knight into the pages of the book is a good move by series writer Roger Stern as Strange has been lacking in the magical foe/ally department of late. The Dracula storyline was a good one, but it was over before the reader even realized, thus making this nice to see. When Whitman was last seen, he was living in the past through one of his forbears, not being able to live in the now. That has seemingly changed, but with it comes a curse as Strange has determined and now all that remains is to rid the Black Knight of it before something truly bad happens. One thing that remains a constant with Doctor Strange is that the man is always willing to help, whether it be a friend or a stranger and Stern makes that plainly evident this issue. Even though there is the possibility of great danger, the Ebony Blade being quite the formidable force all on its own, and more so in the hands of its user, Strange is calm and collected as he goes about on figuring what to do for his friend. Victoria is also worried and for a moment, it seems like she has something to do with the problem at hand, but when all is said and done, nothing comes from said suspicion, though it begs the question if Stern will address it in a future issue. Also making an appearance in this story is Umar who spies upon the Sorcerer Supreme and blames him for her recent troubles, specifically the uprising in the Dark Dimension. While the astute reader will remember that it is Clea who is in charge of the rebellion, Umar thinks it is Strange and interferes in his dealings with the Black Knight, almost to his detriment. Overall, Stern with some able-bodied help from Paul Smith, craft a fine issue with some good action and a promise of more to come.

3.5 out of 5

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