Spider-Man Learns What's On the Other Side of Dr. Strange's Door

This is "Provide Some Answers," which is a feature where long unresolved plot points are eventually resolved.

Reader Corey L. recently wrote in with basically a question about Doctor Strange: The Other Side of Darkness, a miniseries by J. Michael Straczynski that never actually came out. While it never came out, Straczynski DID find a way to sort of kind of come out with it.

Anyhow, it all begins with Amazing Spider-Man #42 (by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna), where Spider-Man comes to Doctor Strange for help and Doctor Strange mentions that he is busy, and the reason that he is busy is something that will be revealed in Doctor Strange: The Other Side of Darkness.


Anyhow, Strange then leaves Spider-Man and closes his door ominously...

So, again, that miniseries never came out. Two years later, Straczynski instead wrote a revamped Doctor Strange origin miniseries called Strange that inspired a goodly chunk of the recent Doctor Strange film...

So now fast-forward to the end of 2007, more than FIVE YEARS after Amazing Spider-Man #42 came out and Straczynski is on the way out as the writer of Amazing Spider-Man after a long and acclaimed run. But he couldn't just leave that Doctor Strange plothole hanging there, right?

So, in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24, the second part of "One More Day" (which is about Spider-Man trying to find a way to save Aunt May's life after she was fatally shot by a bullet meant for Spider-Man), the story is titled...wait for it..."The Other Side of Darkness"...


Peter comes to Doctor Strange for help in saving Aunt May, but Strange can't help him. He then gives Peter a spell which allows Peter to ask pretty much everyone in the world for help at once, to no avail...

So Peter, desperate, decides to try to cast a spell himself. It does not go well for him and he is all messed up but Doctor Strange rescues him and finds a way to magically cure him. But to do so, Strange needs to take Peter back in time to a time when Strange knows that he was not present at his Sanctum Sanctorum. Yes, he did, indeed, end up back at Amazing Spider-Man #42! So the Doctor Strange who spoke to Peter back in Amazing Spider-Man #42 was actually a time-traveling Doctor Strange from years in the future (or, knowing comic book time, I guess a couple of months into the future). So the appointment Strange had with death behind those doors? That was Peter!


Pretty sweet, right? But no, no Doctor Strange: Other Side of Darkness miniseries has ever come out and I would imagine that it never WILL come out.

Thanks to Corey for the suggestion!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a plot that was resolved after a number of years, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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