In the Marvel Universe magic and the supernatural aren't just an Earth based phenomenon. So when Doctor Strange, Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, found his magical abilities waning on Earth he headed out into cosmos to investigate new and alien sources of mystical power. In doing so, though, he inadvertently put himself on the frontline of a cosmic war for control of a set of all-powerful artifacts that he's all too familiar with, the Infinity Stones.
Strange's entry into this cosmic conflagration came in issue #3 of his new self titled series where writer Mark Waid and artist Jesus Saiz kicked off a new arc that ties into Marvel's upcoming Infinity Wars event.
CBR spoke with Waid about Strange's opponent in the arc, Kl'rt the Super-Skull who wields the Time Stone, how Strange's experiences with the Infinity Gems as a member of the Illuminati will inform the choices he makes in the arc, and the inspiration for his protagonist's cosmic traveling companion, Kanna.
CBR: In Doctor Strange #3 your protagonist's journey into space really heats up as he encounters the wielder of an Infinity Stone and you kick off a tie-in to Infinity Wars. How connected is the story you're telling to what Gerry Duggan is doing over in his miniseries? And is issue #3 a good jumping on point for curious Marvel Cosmic fans who have yet to pick up Doctor Strange?
Mark Waid: It's very much a good, easy-access jumping-on issue, yes! We're very much tied into what Gerry's doing, but my lips are sealed other than to say what happens here is an important development, redefining just exactly what the Time Stone does.
The Stone wielder Stephen runs afoul is Kl'rt, the Super Skrull. What's your sense of Kl'rt? And what can you tell us about his agenda?
What's any Skrull's agenda? Conquest. And with the Time Stone, Kl'rt knows full well that he can lead his race to cosmic dominance... if a certain Sorcerer Former-Supreme will just get out of his way.
Doctor Strange has some history with the Infinity Stones,stretching back to when they were Gems and he was part of the secretive Illuminati of Marvel heroes. What's it like writing Stephen around the Infinity Stones, now? How does he feel about his history with them?
He now knows what good can be done with the stones -- and what evil. Frankly, the moment he sees it's in play, he's tempted to back off. He doesn't want it in his hands; it's too dangerous to be in any mortal's hands. But better his than the Super-Skrull's.