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Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36: Review

Dec 1991
Roy Thomas, Dan Lawlis

Story Name:

Footnote to Infinity

Review & Comments

4 stars

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36 Review by (May 22, 2021)
This issue is bannered as an Infinity Gauntlet epilogue.

Roy and Dann Thomas continue to be the writing partners.

Mystically-powered Topaz was introduced in Werewolf By Night #13 and initially hung around in that series. Then Tomb Of Dracula #62-64 saw her trapped in Hell. But she escaped into Dr Strange (1974) #75 and stayed there until the end of the series, and continuing (sporadically) in the Strange Tales (1987) series. And from there into many issues of this series up to #30.
She'll exit this series here and next appear with some other supernatural chars in Spider-Man Unlimited #20 before returning for DrS's 1999 Flight Of Bones miniseries.

Sara Wolfe was a pretty regular inhabitant of the 1974 series from #38. And also sashayed through Strange Tales and a lot of this series up to #22. She was Doc's secretary and had a romantic attachment to Wong until his destined love Imei turned up. Strangely the 2 women became friends.

Imei Chang and Wong were betrothed as children. She arrived on the scene in ST(1987)#17 and continued into this series. Last actually seen in #20 but she was reported disappeared by Thanos in #31.

Morgana Blessing was an author researching a book on Stephen Strange but became his girlfriend during the latter half of the 1974 series. When he was thought dead (in the ST series which she didn't appear in) she published the book revealing many of his secrets. Now in this series she tries to convince people she made it up, and has become Victor Strange's girlfriend.

Stephen's younger brother Victor Strange was invented in this current series. #11 told us how he died before Stephen became Dr Strange but his body was cryogenically frozen. But then in #10 he awoke as a vampire and later took on the guise of Baron Blood, which he wears here.

I recognise all but 1 of the artefacts deployed here. The 1 that defeats me is only described as the 'gems which are 2-in-1' and seems to match a wand with the gems at each end. I'm tempted to believe that the artist mistakenly drew such an item and the scribes had to come up with something to call it.

The Marvel Chronology Project fits the Subterranean Wars crossover (in 1991's Avengers-related Annuals) in between IG and this issue. Since Scarlet Witch is with the West Coast Avengers in their Annual she must have rejoined them and then returned here especially for this party. Pip does suggest that it's been some time since the end of IG.
Therefore she goes back west again after this for the Infamous Monsters Of Hollywood story arc in WCA#76-79.

Dr Druid is next involved in a werewolf story Man And Wolf in Captain America #402-407, and then #408 which leads them into the Infinity Wars event.

The end of this issue is a lead-in to #1 of Jim Starlin's next series Warlock & The Infinity Watch where Eternity will indeed bring Warlock to trial. Pip and Gamora will join the series in #2.

This series' next issue will feature FrankenSurfer, a Silver Surfer duplicate who is a actually a forgotten minor char from an issue of SS's 1st series.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #36 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
The Infinity Gauntlet event is over and Dr Strange and friends are holding a celebratory party in his Greenwich Village house. His regular (Clea, Rintrah and Wong) and semi-regular (Imei Chang, Morgana Blessing, Sara Wolfe, Topaz and brother Victor Strange) cast are there, and Dr Druid and Scarlet Witch have hung around after IG. Though Stephen Strange wonders why they're celebrating since most of them don't remember it.

Victor is a vampire and he and his love Morgana plan to slip away for a bit of consensual blood-feeding (and presumably sex). Wanda Maximoff will be heading back to the West Coast Avengers in LA after the party, and Anthony Druid will be off to Wales. Rintrah accidentally refers to Imei, Sara and Wong as safely back (from being among the half of the population of the universe that Thanos deleted with the power of the Infinity Gems) forgetting that they don't remember anything about it. Imei and Wong announce that they're getting married in 6 months in Tibet. But then, as one would expect, the party gets interrupted.

Pip The Troll teleports in with Gamora (who DrS has never met). They're not here for the party. Instead they want Doc to help them find their pal Adam Warlock, and if necessary kill him. The 3 retire to Strange's inner Sanctum and the duo confirm what Stephen had been expecting - the godlike power of the Infinity Gems has driven him insane. The Sorcerer Supreme takes a moment to prepare, and then when Clea and Rintrah enter to see what's going on they find the room empty.

Strange tracks Warlock's powerful psychic emissions and they soon find him in space nearby - juggling with the planets of the Solar System! DrS can't figure out if Adam has shrunk the planets, or he and they are now millions of miles tall. Pip tells him that Adam has been practising with the Reality Gem so the planets are simultaneously here small enough to be played with and also full size in their normal orbits. Warlock now lets normal reality resume and deigns to talk to them.

He tells them that he knew all about their mission but saw no reason to stop them. But he also points out that he's done nothing to warrant their fears. Pip points out that he retroactively created the Great Annihilator near the centre of the Galaxy (presumably the supermassive black hole), and Adam says it was to give astrophysicists something interesting to think about. Gamora cites the gigantic dinosaur bones he's buried in Wyoming. Adam says these are just pranks, and Stephen has to agree with him.

So DrS says they'll be going, but Warlock asks them to stay. Strange finds he can't magic them away, and Adam points out that now he's a god what he wants happens. He wants them here to witness his ultimate miracle - he'll make everyone in the universe good by draining them of competitiveness and selfish ambition. Stephen objects that without these darker sides of their personalities sentient beings will become apathetic and wither away. Plus the standard argument that you can't be good without the ability to choose not to be evil.

Adam dismisses all objections as trivial and prepares to work his magic. But now the Sorcerer Supreme reveals what he did in his moment to prepare. He releases the Eye Of Agamotto from it's Amulet round his neck, plus many other artefacts he had hidden in there. Warlock uses the Time Gem to take them to the distant future of the dying Earth, but Strange opens the Book Of The Vishanti and casts a spell that reverses the effect. The Space Gem expels them from the Galaxy, but the Scroll Of Watoomb summons the Winds Of Watoomb to take them back. The expanded Orb Of Agamotto protects them from distortions caused by the Reality Gem. The Mind Gem shows Stephen the good he could have done if he'd remained a surgeon rather than taking up the mystic arts, but the Eye Of Agamotto reminds him how often he's saved the world. Then Warlock resorts to the Power Gem, but DrS uses all his talismans in concert to counter the attack. (As well as those already mention there are the Wand Of Watoomb, the Book Of Eibon, the Darkhold, the Purple Gem and 2 other gems at opposite ends of a stick.)

As his defence starts to fail Dr Strange remembers that Warlock hasn't used the Soul Gem against him yet, the 1 that he had from very early in his career. Strange uses it as a gateway to Adam's own soul and lets him see his intended future:- Triumphing over DrS and killing him and imposing goodness. But then seeing a universe of dispirited beings. And the god changes his mind.

He apologises to the trio and tells them he will consider things more carefully in future. He thanks his 2 friends for what they did for his own good, and asks them to continue being his moral compass.

Stephen Strange takes his leave of them with his talismans in tow. But he wonders if he should turn back and help to keep an eye on Adam. However Eternity pops up and tells him not to bother. He didn't interfere previously because Strange vs Warlock was already enough strain on the cosmos. But now he *will* take a hand and take the Gems into his own possession for safe-keeping. DrS worries that *that* tussle will *really* threaten the universe. But Eternity says he's going to bring Adam to trial, and fades away.

So the good Doctor and his talismans just go home to the party.

Dan Lawlis
Andrew Pepoy
George Roussos
Dan Lawlis (Cover Penciler)
Andrew Pepoy (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rick Parker.
Editor: Mike Rockwitz. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Druid
Doctor Druid

(Doctor Droom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Eternity, Imei Chang, Morgana Blessing, Rintrah, Sara Wolfe, Topaz, Victor Strange.

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

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