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Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #44: Review

Aug 1992
Roy Thomas, Geof Isherwood

Story Name:

The colour crimson

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #44 Review by (September 25, 2021)
This issue is an official Infinity War tie-in.

It is also the 1st actual appearance of Cyttorak, but he'll be back with many other invokables in #49. However he's been invoked by Dr Strange since Strange Tales #124, and Cain Marko was transformed into Juggernaut by the Crimson Gem he found in the Temple Of Cyttorak as described in X-Men #12.

Once transformed Marko didn't need the Ruby to keep him Juggernaut. In fact once he realised that someone else could use the Gem to take his powers away he tried to prevent that by throwing it away into space. Although his powers are mystical in origin they don't imbue him with any magical abilities beyond extreme strength, invulnerability, etc. I don't know what he means here when he says he no longer has his mystical powers.

Juggernaut has recently returned from space to team up with Black Tom Cassidy in X-Force #2-5. Next he'll work for the Red Skull in Hulk #402-404.

The 4 main chars will continue in IW#3.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #44 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Dr Strange is surrounded and menaced by sharp crystals. (They're supposed to be blood-red but they're not depicted that way.) We get a flashback as he remembers how he got in this position.

He was in Galactus' spherical spaceship travelling down an interdimesional corridor making good time towards their target the 'relay' dimension which was the origin of the mystical energy that had rendered Eternity comatose. (Their good progress was due to the map of the corridor they'd got by incorporating the villain Khoon into the navigation system (Silver Surfer #68-69).)

But the 4 travellers, including Silver Surfer and Galactus' Herald Nova (Frankie Raye), are thrown about when something stops the ship dead in its tracks. Stephen Strange recognises the Crimson Bands Of Cyttorak and he exits the ship to deal with them. It doesn't go well and Nova flies out to help him  Her non-magic fire-blasts do better than his magic and the Bands let the ship go, but they grab the pair and pull them through the wall of the 'tunnel' and into Cyttorak's dimension. But then DrS loses sight of Nova and the sharp crystals spring up around him. Which brings us to the opening scene.

The Sorcerer Supreme discovers that spells invoking other entities like the Vishanti don't work here, and obviously calling on Cyttorak himself wouldn't be any good.

Back in the tunnel single-minded Galactus intends to continue his journey. With the power of the Eye Of Agamotto (and Khoon's map) he no longer needs Dr Strange. Surfer persuades him to wait for the others' return. Big G condescends to wait an hour. But if Nova returns before then without the mage he'll leave immediately.

Nova herself has been guided to Cyttorak himself, but is only met by a blast of power.

Strange has sent a mystic summons to the 1 person he thinks *can* help him in this dimension. And Juggernaut smashes him free of the crystals, but is confused as to what either of them are doing here. In another flashback we learn that he'd been out getting drunk when something compelled him to return home and don his costume. And then he'd been sucked into this place. He recognises the Crimson Cosmos (since the X-Men sent him there in their #33) and he's not happy that DrS has brought him back here. But Strange now says their only hope of escape is to work together and find Nova and Cyttorak. Cain Marko reminds him that the Ruby Of Cyttorak these days only gives him super-strength not mystic powers.

Meanwhile Galactus has grown impatient and decided to re-start his journey anyway. But SS persuades him that they have a better chance of finding what they're looking for with DrS. Big G grudgingly agrees to wait for the original hour.

DrS and Juggie head towards Cyttorak's voice as he's talking to Nova telling her she will be his High Priestess. (The rest of his realm is populated by little 'elves' he's created to worship him.) And later he'll catch the mage and make him the High Priest. Nova turns down the 'offer'. Strange interrupts and asks him to let Nova go because they are on a mission to save Eternity, but Cyttorak cares for nothing outside his Crimson Cosmos. So Stephen tries flattery and claims (truthfully) to have been spreading his fame in the physical universe by invoking his mighty power. And he will continue to do so if Cyttorak lets him and Nova go free.

Cyttorak has agreed to it all when Juggernaut leaps on him and rips a large Ruby from his forehead. DrS tries to stop him battering the local god but Cain Marko says if he kills him then no-one will will ever be able to take his power away again. And he's willing to fight the powerless Sorcerer Supreme here too. Empowered by the Ruby he easily beats up Stephen.

Galactus has located the target dimension and the hour is up. Norrin Radd begs for a few more minutes and exasperated G says this will be the last extension.

Stephen Strange has only been playing for time for Frankie Raye to build up enough Power Cosmic to break free of the Crimson Bands which restrain her. And now she does and blasts the Ruby out of Marko's hand. DrS manages to summon up some magic to make the Ruby bounce away from Juggernaut and back onto unconscious Cyttorak's brow.

Galactus warms up the engine of his spacecraft.

Cyttorak wakes up and imprisons Marko in the Bands.

Surfer blasts the hyperspatial throttle so Big G can't start his motor.

Cyttorak claims that when Juggernaut 'defeated' him it actually stopped the flow of power from him to Marko, so he was actually defeating himself. But he'll let Juggernaut remain empowered in the real universe because even his acts will spread the name of Cyttorak. And he sends the 3 of them back from whence they each came.

Frankie and Stephen return to Galactus' ship to find G threatening to remove the Power Cosmic from Surfer. But now he's content that they all get back on the road again.



Geof Isherwood
Geof Isherwood
George Roussos
Geof Isherwood (Cover Penciler)
Geof Isherwood (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Pat Brosseau.
Editor: Mike Rockwitz. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)

Plus: Cyttorak, Nova (Frankie Raye).

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

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