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Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #34: Review

Oct 1991
Roy Thomas, Dan Lawlis

Story Name:

Is there a Doctor not in the house?

Review & Comments

4 stars

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #34 Review by (May 8, 2021)
Roy and Dann Thomas continue the scripting.
Jim Sanders and Chris Ivy take over inking.

Dr Druid apologises here for the time he let Nebula seduce him into leading the Avengers into aiding her nefarious scheme. Dr Strange reminds him that in the end he saved the world from Nebula's time-manipulation. Druid mentions that as a side-effect he's now a much younger version of himself. Nobody mentions that Nebula is now with Thanos, possibly because neither of them know that at the moment. But even if they did I don't think they know that Druid's Nebula was actually Kang The Conqueror' love Ravonna in disguise, mainly because Mark Gruenwald hasn't revealed/decided that yet (in the Avengers: Terminatrix Objective mini-series).

Dr Druid calls on 3 Celtic/Druidic war goddesses Badb, Macha and Morrigan, while Dr Strange refers to them as a triple goddess - 1 goddess with 3 aspects. The source is Irish mythology, confusing as usual. The 3rd of the trio might also be Nemain or Anand (which may itself be another name for Morrigan). The Morrigan may also be applied to the trio as a whole, which might mean they are a triple goddess.

Just to add the mess, before I checked I thought the trio was Morrigan, Macha and Nemain. That may be because Conan invoked that trio in Conan The Barbarian #5. They are mentioned as the triple war goddess in All-New Official Handbook To The Marvel Universe A-Z #3 under the Celtic section of the Council Of Godheads, and Badb is listed there as a separate war goddess.

Near the beginning of Infinity Gauntlet #5 Adam Warlock asked Dr Strange to find as many of the fallen heroes who yet live and build a force for later use. In this issue he gets Scarlet Witch and Dr Doom. Next issue he'll find more, and they'll go into battle again near the end of IG#5.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #34 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
New York's suffering a blizzard in August (because Thanos' temper tantrum in Infinity Gauntlet #2 changed Earth's orbit and started an Ice Age). Dr Strange's disciple Rintrah brings home to the Sanctum Sanctorum a 6-pack of beer (that Pip The Troll sent him out for before last issue) to discover DrS, Clea and Dr Druid chanting a spell which brings Scarlet Witch into their midst. She remembers Thanos killing her (amongst many other heroes in IG#4) but Stephen Strange tells her he whisked her out of the way in time (so he must have got back from last issue's enforced time-trip to the Ancient Egypt and Cleopatra in time to do that). However he's only just managed to bring her here, and now he needs her help.

He explains that Adam Warlock and Silver Surfer have asked him (early in IG#5) to locate as many of the heroes that Thanos defeated as he can, those that aren't actually dead. He has the shards of glass that used to be Thor, and Dr Doom who just stands like a statue. Strange has deduced that Doom's condition is due to Thanos' blast reacting with something unique to Doom's nature, and he and Druid will take Doom back to the place of his 'origin' to seek a cure. Meanwhile he wants Wanda Maximoff and Clea to see if they can reconstitute the Thunder God. Rintrah as usual asks what he can do, and as usual his master ignores his offer to help.

DrS takes Doom and Druid through the air towards their destination. Anthony Druid asks Stephen why he didn't bring his love Clea along, especially after their recent argument of Strange also side-lining *her* (which I'm not sure how this DrD knows about). The Sorcerer Supreme answers that the 3 Doctors have something in common - a Tibetan origin. We now get another explanation of how the Ancient One empowered Dr Druid as a test run for Dr Strange (as revealed in Avengers Spotlight #37), and Druid asks if Doom's origin is tied up with theirs. But Strange says no, it just also happened in Tibet.

They fly past the Ancient One's lamasery and land in front of a cave where live the monks who turned Victor Von Doom into the armoured Dr Doom. The monks come out to greet their former master. Strange reminds Druid (and us) that Doom's face was scarred in a science experiment. Turning his back on science Victor turned instead to his mother's sorcerous heritage. He sought out these monks and learned all their secret knowledge, and the pupil became the master. He got them to forge his armour and the mask which hides his scars. And then he left them as Dr Doom. (Strange repeats that Doom wasn't another test run for himself, but Druid asks if he's sure that they weren't both test runs for Doom.)

The monks take Doom's body inside and allow Strange to levitate it into a furnace of mystic fire wherein his armour was forged. Stephen believes that only by being bathed in the flames of his 'birth' can Thanos' magic be reversed. But then they hear shots outside and the 2 Dr's rush out to see Chinese soldiers shooting at some monks who were greeting them. Apparently they have been sent to force the monks to use their well-known magic to save China from the Ice Age. DrS uses the Shield Of The Seraphim to protect the monks from further harm, and then the Rings Of Raggadorr to trap the troops.

But when they return to the cave they discover another problem. Black tendrils have snaked out from the furnace and coalesced into an ebony version of Dr Doom. Strange realises this is Victor's shadow-self housing all that he has previously repressed. This Doom is good, and he's determined not to let his evil self be reborn. Stephen  argues that they need the whole Doom to help save the universe, but shadow-Doom is determined to destroy his body.

As Strange uses the Shield Of The Seraphim again Dr Druid draws a Druidic circle around himself and calls on the 3 Celtic war goddesses Badb, Macha and Morrigan. DrS uses the Winds Of Watoomb to try to disperse the substance of shadow-Doom, but his hatred for his other half is too strong. Stephen staggers into Anthony's circle, which holds off their foe for a while. But that protection is about to shatter ...

... when the real Doom strides from the furnace, and the 3 Doctors hurl their mystic might (including that of the triple-goddess) at the shadow until it is vanquished by the light. Stephen says that it has returned to Doom where it belongs. It's actions proved that it was not the unalloyed good it claimed, just as Victor is not all evil. Dr Doom may have tried to take the Soul Gems from Thanos (IG#4) for his own selfish reasons, but he may *also* have been trying to save the universe. Doom says he is ready to rejoin the fight against Thanos. But Strange asks him to stay here until he's needed. (And maybe it's significant that Victor agrees to it.)

Dan Lawlis
Jim Sanders III
George Roussos
Dan Lawlis (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Pat Brosseau.
Editor: Mike Rockwitz. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Rintrah.

> Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme: Book info and issue index

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