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Why Did Doctor Strange Used to Wear a Full Face Mask?

Wrap it Up is a lot like my Provide Some Answers feature, which is about long-running comic book plots finally being resolved. This, though, is a more specific comic book occurrence where the plotlines of a canceled comic book are wrapped up in the pages of another comic book series. This would happen most frequently in Marvel Comics, but other companies did it, as well.

It all started in "Doctor Strange" #177 (by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan and Tom Palmer), when Doctor Strange and Clea were out of this dimension and suddenly they were trapped there. Then this bad guy showed up and he took on Doctor Strange's identity...

The only way that Strange could get out this scenario was a rather odd way out...

So really? Just a mask? That's it?

At the end of the issue, the bad guy dies...

But then Strange decides to keep up with the mask, because he doesn't think anyone should know his secret identity, even though HIS NAME IS HIS ACTUAL NAME!

(Obviously, the REAL reason is that the sales of the book weren't awesome, so they tried to make him look like more of a superhero to help sales)

Thomas actually got around to addressing the whole "his name is still Stephen Strange" issue in "Doctor Strange" #182, by having Eternity create a new identity for him, Stephen Sanders...

Anyhow, in "Doctor Strange" #183, the book ends on a cliffhanger...

The book was canceled at this point.

So, that was it until "Incredible Hulk" #126 (by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe) when Hulk just, out of nowhere, comes across a trapped Doctor Strange...

And that was it until the Defenders formed in "Marvel Feature" #1, which had a back-up story in that issue where Strange reclaimed his identity when he visited his old home and found a stranger claiming to be Doctor Strange (it turned out to be Baron Mordo)...

And thus, Doctor Strange was back to normal, as he was seen in the first story of that issue...

There ya go!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a good example of a canceled series being wrapped up in another series, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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