In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Recently, Doctor Strange has lost a good deal of his magical artifacts during the attack by the Empirikul in Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s “Doctor Strange” series, so I thought it would be fun to look back at another time he supposedly lost all of his magical artifacts…only he didn’t.
In the final story arc of the second “Doctor Strange” series, writer Peter B. Gillis and artists Chria Warner and Randy Emberlin introduce Urthona, an alien sorcerer who came to Earth and captured Doctor Strange’s friends as well as almost all of his most powerful magical artifacts with the intent of using them to turn our dimension into a Dark Dimension…
In the final issue, “Doctor Strange” #81, here he is with the artifacts, which include the Darkhold!
Doctor Strange had been attacked in a pre-emptive attempt by Urthona to keep him out of the way, so he was physically out of it, forced to take over the body of a friendly alien named Rintrah (Strange still had his most famous artifacts, the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitaiton, since he always carried them on his person). Strange-in-Rintrah’s-body traveled to Urthona’s planet and defeated Urthona by sacrificing all of his other artifacts by destroying them…
The problem, of course, is that Strange was now without his most powerful artifacts and destroying them unleashed a bunch of evil energy out there, so he had even more problems to deal with while he was at his weakest, which Gillis, Warner and Emberlin explored in the follow-up “Doctor Strange” feature in the “Strange Tales” anthology series (which Doctor Strange split with Cloak and Dagger). Here is Strange explaining the problem in “Strange Tales” #4…
So Strange now had to turn to the darkest magics in the world to combat evil, which meant tarnishing his very soul.
Anyhow, “Strange Tales” led to a new “Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme” ongoing series by Gillis, now working with Richard Case and Randy Emberlin. After a few issues, though, a new creative team took over, with Roy and Dann Thomas, Jackson Guice and Jose Marzan Jr. now being the book’s creative team.
And Thomas quickly abandoned the whole “dark magic and no magical artifacts” plotline (click here to see how he also abandoned a plotline involving Doctor Strange losing one of his eyes during Gillis’ “Strange Tales” stint).
Strange visits the world of the All-Seeing Agamotto, who explained that he had actually saved all of the artifacts, so he gave them back to Strange…
The Thomases did a fine job returning things to normal.
If anyone has a suggestion for a storyline started by one writer dropped by another one, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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