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Savage Avengers #23: Review

Aug 2021
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

Chapter 23: House call

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #23 Review by (August 6, 2021)
It was a big deal in #5 when Kulan Gath told the heroes he'd infected them with something that would eventually make them his slaves. But now Dr Strange just wishes it away.

The series-long fight against Gath will continue into at least #24-25.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue ended with Conan coming to see Dr Strange and finding him with Shuma-Gorath as a 'patient'. Now we have to backtrack to see how DrS got into that situation.

The Sorcerer Supreme is continuing the fight against the Hyborian wizard Kulan Gath. Back in #5 Gath infected his assembled enemies with a 'poison' that will eventually make them his servants. Now Stephen Strange has figured out a way to expel that poison, and he sends the Light Of Agamotto to cure Conan, Elektra (now Daredevil), Doctor Voodoo (teaching at the Strange Academy), Venom (probably bonded to Eddie Brock before his son Dylan takes over the role), Wolverine and Punisher.

He asks the Orb Of Agamotto to show him where Kulan Gath is, but as usual it can't. Next he retrieves from his fridge the head of 1 of Shuma-Gorath's avatars (KG has been using these avatars while siphoning off SG's power) and cooks it in his microwave while sending a message to Gath. After ordering a new microwave online he mystically teleports to the Florida swamps where he trades a cupcake to Man-Thing in exchange for access to the Nexus Of All Realities. He wants to travel bodily to his destination for fear that Gath would attack his body if he travelled astrally.

He finds the Ditkoesque target dimension rotting away. Tracking the rot to its source he locates the suffering Shuma-Gorath. Strange tries to heal him but can't. SG explains that KG has taken nearly all his power but still keeps him alive. DrS considers killing him with a conjured blade but decides he's part of the natural order. The demon says Gath can't be stopped. He has accumulated so much power that he could easily transcend his mortal state but instead chooses to remain a man.

At this point Conan comes knocking and the Sorcerer arranges for his door to bring the Cimmerian here. The Barbarian gives Stephen a real knife and urges him to slay the beast. The beast also begs to die. So Strange slashes him with the knife and Shuma-Gorath's single eye rolls up into his head. DrS seals the green blood on the knife with the Crimson Bands Of Cyttorak and sheaths it for later use. Then he burns Gorath's corpse with the Flames Of The Faltine.

A spell brings Strange and Conan back to the Greenwich Village Sanctum. But the house has been invaded by the walking corpse of the Priest Of Sickles (killed in #15, resurrected by Gath in #20). And outside there are people possessed by Gath. Gath speaks through them to ask the 2 heroes to submit and save the people from suffering. And overhead hovers a  large chunk of ground bearing the City Of Sickles (from the Savage Land in our earliest issues).

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Java Tartaglia
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Penciler)
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort. Editor-in-chief: C. B. Cebulski.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

(Frank Castle)

(James Howlett)

Plus: Kulan Gath, Shuma-Gorath, Sickle Priest.

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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