This is Past Was Close Behind, a feature that spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books or events.
Today's suggestion comes courtesy of longtime reader Bill K.
One of the all-time greatest "done in one" issues of "Doctor Strange" was 1982's "Doctor Strange" #55 by Roger Stern, Michael Golden and Terry Austin. If you're not familiar with Michael Golden's work, he was a golden god at Marvel in the early 1980s. Sadly, he was never the world's fastest artist, but great googly moogly, he was amazing.
So anyhow, the set-up for "Doctor Strange" #55 was that Clea had just broken up with Doctor Strange because she discovered that another woman, Morgana Blessing, was destined (in her mind) to be Strange's true love and she felt it was wrong to block a chance for Strange to feel true love. So Strange is all mopey. He is then visited by a mysterious wizard named "Dakimh"...
Dakimh shows Strange an alternate reality where Strange died in his car accident. Essentially a reverse "It's a Wonderful Life."
As it turns out, Doctor Strange is a fictional character in this reality, including, you guessed it, starring in his own MOVIE!
There's an awesome bit where Strange then meets who does the "Doctor Strange" comic strip in this reality (two familiar-looking comic creators):
Dakimh then tries to convince Doc that his whole life is an illusion. I mention this only because I wanted to show you all Michael Golden's amazing Defenders drawing...
This alternate reality turns out just to be an illusion by the evil D'Spayre, who is trying to get Doc to kill himself. He comes close, but Doc pulls it out.
Anyhow, that's a very funny bit how Doctor Strange being in his own movie was obviously an odd idea back in 1982, and yet...
Thanks for the suggestion, Bill! If anyone else has a suggestion for some hilarious in hindsight stuff, let me know by dropping me a line at email@example.com!