Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1: Review

Dec 2018
Gerry Duggan, Greg Smallwood

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1 Review by (August 12, 2019)

Review: Dr. Strange's episode in the miniseries is quite enigmatic as it takes place on a desolate Earth, apparently in the far future. But we've seen the far future a few times, even the Hulk had The End. And King Thor was there when it all went bad. To be honest, I had a bit of trouble following the plot and it was only after I had finished the series that it began to make sense, the whole complicated plot coming together. With that understood, the tale took on a new sheen, even with the desolate gray of the comic, shining brightly as the epic of the last Sorcerer on Earth, defending the Earth for the last time, at least in this continuity, by making sure it doesn't happen in good old 616. Nice, haunting images of the dying Strange, the arrival of Dormammu, the revelation of the Hulk's head, are all well done, leading me at least to want to complete this tale. And so I did. As you well know.

Comments: Issue is dedicated to Steve Ditko, Dr Strange's co-creator, who passed away about this time.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Story continued from NAMOR: THE BEST DEFENSE.

In the far future, an elderly Doctor Strange walks a desolate Earth as the last man alive, knowing he must die soon. He plucks out his left eye and places it in the Eye of Agamotto, allowing him to see again and follow its path. Use of the Eye alerts the misshapen monsters known as Dormammu's Spawn and they come for him. They arrive, as he is warned by a mystery voice from within his bag and he battles them with his staff. Strange summons the Winds of Watoomb and his foes are swept away; Strange rises and challenges Dormammu to face him himself. The voice from the bag knows Strange is dying and wishes him some ironic good luck. After a journey Strange finds what he is looking for: a crater in the Earth with a jagged length of metal embedded in it. He goes to sleep to await Dormammu....

Strange has a dream of when he informed Clea that his work as Sorcerer Supreme outweighed her needs and their marriage so he lost her forever....

Strange finds himself in the realm of Nightmare, who mocks him for his arrogance and apparently kills him....

Interlude: The  killer wearing a ghost costume slays yet another alien in the massive machine....

Dr. Strange awakens to find Dormammu and a handful of his minions watching him, mocking how his power has diminished over the centuries. Strange reveals that he spent his magic keeping a friend alive.  The villain breaks Strange's hands and prepares to deliver a killing blast—but Strange removes the head of the Hulk, the friend kept alive, from his bag, and the Hulk swallows the magic blast. Strange informs Dormammu that he magically altered Hulk so that he no longer consumed gamma rays to strengthen him but magic. And with the jagged piece of metal, last remnant of the Silver Surfer's board, he has the power to ride a giant wave if he had the energy and that is what the villain is going to provide.... Hulk explodes in a massive mushroom cloud: Dormammu dissolves: Strange is hurled through space and time, guided by the board: his mission is to prevent the Train from being destroyed because that's where it all went wrong: his body dies and decays: his astral form continues: the body falls away, landing in a barn in New Mexico: and Doctor Strange comes home with one last chance for his friends to defend Earth....


Greg Smallwood
Greg Smallwood
Greg Smallwood
Ron Garney (Cover Penciler)
Ron Garney (Cover Inker)
Richard Isanove (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)

(Bruce Banner)

> Doctor Strange: The Best Defense: Book info and issue index

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