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Savage Avengers #9: Review

Jan 2020
Gerry Duggan, Patrick Zircher

Story Name:

Chapter 9: Blood in the sand

Review & Comments

4 stars

Savage Avengers #9 Review by (February 1, 2020)
January seems to have been the month for armouring people up. Black Widow in War Machine armour as War Widow in current Avengers issues, and now Dr Strange in Dr Doom armour as the Iron Mage. Maybe they'll both get to fight robots this way in the Iron Man 2020 event? (I don't think.)


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Savage Avengers #9 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Conan the Barbarian has been stuck in the present day since Avengers: No Road Home and he and various other heroes have been fighting his sorcerous old foe Kulan Gath. Conan stole the 3rd Eye Of Agamotto off Gath, and Dr Doom abducted him to get it. Dr Strange arrived to warn them how dangerous it was. Last issue they all went to Egypt to find Gath. Doom grabbed the amulet and put it round his neck. But it cut his head off, and Kulan Gath popped up to gloat.

Of course Dr Doom isn't dead, it was only a Doombot (who'd a thunk it!). The real bad Doctor appears to join Conan and the good Doctor. Led by Conan and the black sword DrD gave him last issue they all attack the wizard. Strange wants to know what Gath has done with Dr Voodoo but Doom just wants to kill him. KG crushes 1 of Doom's armoured wrists until Conan cuts *his* hand off. But the hand just grabs the Cimmerian by the throat. Dr Strange's magic fails to affect it so he takes up Conan's dropped sword and impales the throttling hand with surgical precision. Meanwhile Doom uses a magic-assisted punch to send the evil sorcerer through a wall.

Stephen Strange calls on the spirit of Dr Voodoo. Jericho Drumm says Gath has killed him and tries to give Strange a warning. (Actually in #7 Gath gave Drumm poison to voluntarily drink so they could see the future where the wizard helps Shuma Gorath invade Earth. Of course KG plans to double cross the demon.) Stephen now leaves his body so his astral form can seek out Jericho.

Doom and Conan now find themselves facing an army of Ancient Egyptian zombies. Victor Von Doom commands Conan to protect Strange's body. The Cimmerian of course says he doesn't take orders and doesn't protect wizards. But then of course he declares to the zombies that they'll have to go through *him* to get to said body. Doom just batters them with the Shield Of The Seraphim (looking basically like Invisible Woman's force field weapon).

Jericho's astral form tells Stephen that Gath has dumped his body in a sarcophagus, condemning him to wander aimlessly. Strange zips off astrally to find that, and the next thing we know he returns to his body to say he's succeeded. He adds his spells to Conan and Doom's efforts, and all the zombies crumble to dust and bones.

But it wasn't Strange that did it. Kulan Gath emerges out of the pile of skeletons to attack the Sorcerer Supreme directly. A magic snake slithers out of his robes and bites DrS with poisoned fangs. Conan drives Gath away with a flung sword as Doom contacts a satellite to release a missile. Stephen is dying but he summons the will to invoke the Flames Of The Faltine which envelop the foe in fire. Victor adds an acid blast to the mix, and Conan pierces KG's skull with the dark sword.

But Gath isn't dead. He rises and even with a large sword rammed up through his jaw he continues to speak. A stone 'hand' forms from a wall to grab Conan. KG withdraws the presumably now magic-enhanced sword to smite Doom and then prepares to kill Strange. But the missile has arrowed towards the pyramid beneath which they battle, and now it slams through stone at high speed to hit the wizard squarely.

But it doesn't explode. Instead it opens to let out a metal 'robot' which picks up the almost-dead Strange and enfolds him as armour. It injects him with antivenom and restarts his heart. Stephen revives and refuses to be taken to hospital. He also refuses pain relief in order to keep his mind sharp. He orders the armour to concentrate on life-support and defence while he handles offence with magic rather than weaponry. As Gath starts to emerge from the rubble Strange calls his Cloak Of Levitation to him and prepares to fight as what the editor calls the Iron Mage.

Patrick Zircher
Patrick Zircher
Java Tartaglia
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Penciler)
Valerio Giangiordano (Cover Inker)
Romulo Fajardo (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Travis Lanham.
Editor: Tom Brevoort.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Doctor Doom
Doctor Doom

(Victor Von Doom)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Doctor Voodoo
Doctor Voodoo

(Jericho Drumm)

Plus: Kulan Gath.

> Savage Avengers: Book info and issue index

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