Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #74

Writer – Peter B. Gillis
Artist – Mark Badger
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Joe Rosen

The Dark Dimension is revelling in their newfound freedom, all of it thanks to their new leader Clea and her former consort, Doctor Strange. Though Clea would like nothing more than Stephen to stay on and rule beside her, he must get back to Earth, not only because he senses trouble, but because she does not need him anymore – at least not as they used to be. Peter B. Gillis would introduce a threat that would not be the usual kind of foe that the title would normally see, but one that would be felt in nearly every Marvel book of the time – that of the Beyonder and Secret Wars II. Before making it very far into the story, the reader wonders just what it is that the Beyonder could want from Doctor Strange, after all, the Beyonder is all-powerful and all-knowing. Like his previous appearance in the Marvel Universe and like his appearances in other books, the god-like being that is the Beyonder is looking for a little piece of humanity – something he is completely unfamiliar with. How Doctor Strange is supposed to help him is unclear, but help he will try to do, if only to send him on his way before he causes any lasting damage. For the most part, Gillis does a good job of blending in Marvel’s big crossover into the book and does it well enough that it does not feel as if it is one. While it is interesting enough and makes for an enjoyable story, seeing more of Clea would have been a little more preferable than something that was forced into the story. Joining Gillis on art duties would be Mark Badger who would give the book a bit of a darker style than what had been normally seen in the title. What was good to see though was a happy ending, not for the Beyonder, but for Clea and the Dark Dimension. With Umar and Orini banished to the farthest reaches of existence, it now leaves the people of the realm in a far better place than they have known for many long years and Clea with a fresh start in life.

3 out of 5

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