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These Unbreakable Crimson Bands of Cyttorak Sure Do Break A Lot

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
These Unbreakable Crimson Bands of Cyttorak Sure Do Break A Lot

In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).

Today, we look at how often Doctor Strange’s unbreakable Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are, well, broken.

One of Doctor Strange’s strongest pieces of magic is the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak (I had it pretty high up on my recent list of Doctor Strange’s greatest powers and abilities). They are magical bands that can trap people. The key to them is that they are unbreakable. Here, Doctor Strange says as much in “Defenders” #1 (by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema and Frank Giacoia)…


But come on, we all know comics. Once you say something is unbreakable, all other writers want to do is then break them.

The first time happened in the second volume of “Man-Thing” in issue #4 by Chris Claremont, Don Perlin and Bob Wiacek. This one, though, is a bit tricky since Strange clearly states that he hadn’t finished the spell yet…


So let’s give them a mulligan on that one.

Claremont was back at it a few years later in “Uncanny X-Men” #191 (art by John Romita Jr. and Dan Green) where we see Magik’s Soulsword cut through the bands…


In “Thor Annual” #14 (by Roy Thomas, Al Milgrom and Don Heck), Set is too much for the bands…


In “Incredible Hulk” #371 (by Peter David, Dale Keown and Bob McLeod), an alternate reality Hulk breaks it, but he does at least note that maybe he’s from a different dimension so the bands don’t work the same on him…



In “Marvel Team-Up” #8 (by Tom Peyer, Glenn Herdling, Josh Hood and Rich Perotta – this was when they tried to somehow keep “Marvel Team-Up” going as a Namor team-up book!), Namor breaks free of the bands, which seems like the biggest stretch so far…


In “Incredible Hulk” #450 (by Peter David and Mike Deodato), Doctor Strange ended up on the Heroes Reborn Earth and meets the Fantastic Four, who are fighting a Hulk…



One of the strangest ones happened just recently in “Civil War II” #5 (by Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez and Justin Ponsor), where Storm broke out of it with just some lightning.


Unbreakable…except for when it gets hit by lightning? Odd.

That’s enough examples, I think! If anyone else has a good idea for something like this that happens all the time in comics, drop me a line at I might feature it in a future column!

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