WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange #6 by Mark Waid, Javier Pina, Brian Reber and Cory Petit, in stores now.
For the past five issues of Doctor Strange, Stephen Strange has been off Earth discovering new magics. The Master of the Mystic Arts made some new friends and picked up some incredible new skills as he traversed the cosmos. Now, not only is the Doctor at full power once more, he also has brand-new magical artifacts in his arsenal thanks to his new ability to forge Asgardian weapons of magic. With an upgraded superhero suit and a new bag of tricks, this cosmically-infused Doctor Strange was now ready to return to Earth.
However, there was just one small problem. Issue #5 of the series ended with a surprising twist: There was already a Doctor Strange at the Sanctum Sanctorum. There was enough missing here to have fans wonder which Doctor Strange was the real one and who the mysterious double could possibility be. Well, all answers are revealed in Doctor Strange #6. The Doctor Strange we have followed for the past five issues, the Stephen we accompanied through his cosmic adventures, is the real one. As for the double... it turns out she is only someone posing as Strange -- someone who used to be a friend and who has now become a dangerous foe: Casey Kinmont.
Casey Kinmont debuted as a friend and ally to Stephen Strange in 2009's Strange: The Doctor is Out by Mark Waid and Emma Rios. After going on a few adventures together, Casey sacrificed herself to save Doctor Strange, leaving her trapped in another dimension. She wasn't dead, only trapped far away, and Strange made it his mission to bring her back to Earth. Now, here we are nine years later. Mark Waid is once again writing a Doctor Strange series and he has picked up right where he left off.
In Doctor Strange #6, we discover that Casey is now back. We don't find out how she managed to free herself from the dimension she was trapped in, but she now has it out for Doctor Strange, who she claims abandoned her for years. However, it's not exactly Stephen's fault. He tried to save her until he removed the memory of Casey to fight off a dangerous creature. Now, the memories are back, but it may already be too late. Casey is angry and she has immense power at her disposal. Posing as Doctor Strange, she even manages to fool and defeat Daimon Hellstrom to steal a weapon known as the Stygias, the Death of Magic.
Clearly, Casey isn't playing. She has a clear mission, and now she has become even more dangerous. Doctor Strange is not one known to keep many friends in his magical circle. Now, one of his old acquaintances has just returned -- with his face, no less -- as perhaps one of his more lethal foes. Hopefully, his new cosmic magic tricks will be enough to stop Casey and bring her back to the side of good.