Tag Archives: Doctor Strange

Days of Thunder – January 1975 Marvel Two-in-One Presents The Thing and Valkyrie #7

“Name that Doom!”

Steve Gerber, writer/ Sal Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ Joe Rosen, letterer/ Bill Mantlo, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

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The Enchantress, magically disguised as Valkyrie, steals a magic cosmic harmonica named “Celestia” from Doctor Strange. Strange, who happens to be in the company of the ever-loving, blue-eyed Thing, asks the Thing to help him retrieve it.

Thing tracks down the woman he believes to be Valkyrie. Eventually, through a combination of the noble machinations of Dr. Strange and the evil machinations of the Enchantress, The Enchantress and the Executioner converge with not only the Thing, but the actual Valkyrie. Completing the encounter is Alvin Denton, the drunkard father of Barbara, the insane human host of Valkyrie.

Tricked into believing that the Harmonica could make Barbara a sane human once more, Alvin blows the cosmic harmonica, which unleashes a force that destroys the entire world, save for the four souls who hear Alvin’s cosmic toot.  They find themselves suspended in Un-Space, however Alvin’s heart stops from the shock of the event.

Valkyrie discovers that she cannot strike women, due to a mental block provided by the Enchantress, so she beats the crap out of the Executioner instead, leaving the Enchantress for the Thing to lay out. The Thing then gets his big orange mitts on the harmonic and manages to blow a note that reverses the end of the world.

 

Days of Thunder – December 1973 The Avengers #118

“To the Death!”
Steve Englehart, Writer/ Bob Brown, Penciler/ Frank Giacoia, and Mike Esposito  Inkers/ Roy Thomas Editor

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The Avengers and the Defenders have discovered that they have been manipulated and are now teamed up. However, Dormammu has seized the completed Evil Eye and has begun to suck the Earth’s dimension into his own.

The combined teams attack Dormammu. During the battle, Dormammu defeats the heroes one-by-one. He transforms Thor into Donald Blake, revealing his identity to his comrades, and leaving him unable to revert to Thor. He does similar to Iron Man, stripping him of his armor, outing  him as Tony Stark.

Eventually, all that remain standing against Dormammu are the Scarlet Witch and Loki. Together, they wrench the Evil Eye from Dormammu. The Evil Eye discharges a terrible blast of energy into Loki’s face. This blast restores Loki’s sight, but also seems to drive him mad, leaving him with the mind of a child.

In the aftermath, Blake reverts to Thor. Without waiting to see how anyone felt about the matter, Doctor Strange uses magic to make all present forget Blake and Stark’s identities. It is unclear if this spell undid the knowledge  for those who already knew one or more of the other’s identities.

Loki is left in the care of Tom Fagan.

 

 

Days of Thunder – November 1973 Defenders #10

Steve Engleart, Author * Sal Buscema, Artist * Frank Bolle, Inker * Tom Orzechowski , Letterer/ P. Goldberg, Colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor
Breakthrough! The Incredible Hulk Vs. The Mighty Thor!
Chapter 9″

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Over the past few issues of The Avengers and The Defenders, various members of the teams have been squaring off in battle. Now at last it is time for the main event: Thor vs. The Hulk. This has been long time coming, after their previous fight back in issue #112 proved inconclusive.

This battle also proves inconclusive.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 Avengers #116

Ten Years ago this month, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created… The Mighty Avengers! Today, Steve Englehard and Bob Brown continue the standard of excellence that has always marked Marvel’s mightiest, most exciting group–/Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Johnny Romita, art director/ Roy Thomas, editor
“Chapter 2: Betrayal!”

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Dormammu and Loki have tricked the Defenders (currently consisting of Doctor Strange, Namor, the Hulk, Valkyrie, the Silver Surfer, and Hawkeye) into believing that the Evil Eye is the key to releasing the Black Knight from the stone prison that the Enchantress left him in. Now they search for the six scattered parts, guided by Strange’s magic.

Loki is having second thoughts about this plan. He has realized that if Dormammu would succeed in conqueroring Earth’s dimension, he would have the power and the vantage to launch an attack on Asgard. While Loki has no respect for his father’s rule, he does not wish to see his home conquered by an outsider and so he leaves the Dark Dimension in order to warn Thor of the threat to Earth. This is the very first time a Marvel comic has depicted Loki thinking or doing anything that was not entirely selfish and craven.

However, Loki cannot bring himself to be honest and admit culpability for this threat. Instead, he paints the Defenders as villains, seeking the Evil Eye for their own nefarious ends. Given that five of the six Defenders have track records as villains, this is plausible enough. And so the Avengers split up to fight the Defenders and keep them from re-assembling the Evil Eye.

This issue makes it clear that Earth and Asgard are in separate dimensions. The nature of what exactly a dimension is, remains shaky.

Clearly, this entire Avengers/Defenders crossover takes place either before or after Thor’s recent trip into space.

 

Days of Thunder – February 1973 The Defenders #4

“The New Defender!”
A Steve Englehart, author * Sal Buscema, artist bonanza! Frank McLaughlin, inker/ A. Simek, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

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It seems the Enchantress had little difficulty in freeing herself from Zeus’s custody after the events of Avengers #100. After leaving Olympus, she returned to Earth, and used her powers of enchantment to bend the sometime Avenger Black Knight to her will. The two of them returned to the plane of existence where the Executioner had deserted the Enchantress. She, along with the Black Knight, fought the forces of the Executioner’s new girlfriend, Casiolena, but were overwhelmed and captured.

Over the course of several adventures across several titles, Namor, the king of Atlantis, Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, and Hulk, the strongest one there is, have formed an uneasy friendship. The trio have found themselves repeatedly going on adventures together under the name “Defenders”, although they all deny that they are a team. After their most recent adventure, they find themselves before a magic castle, in the company of a young occultist named Barbara, whom they have accidentally driven insane. They wander into the castle, and somehow find themselves teleported to the plane where Casiolena rules.

The three friends, along with Barbara, soon find themselves captured, joining Enchantress and Black Knight in the dungeons. The Enchantress uses her magic to turn Barbara into the Enchantress’s old persona, the Valkyrie. The six superpowered beings combine their might and escape from the dungeon.

Again they fight the forces of Casiolena, and this time it culminates with the Enchantress killing her rival for the Executioner’s affection. With his lover dead, Executioner returns to the Enchantress’ side. The couple teleport away, but not before the Enchantress turns the Black Knight into stone.

Doctor Strange returns his comrades to Earth. The Black Knight remains a living statue, while Barbara remains the Valkyrie, a fusion persona, equal parts madwoman, warrior, ultra-feminist, and villain. First, she breaks Aragorn, the artificially created pegasus of the Black Knight. and then she asks to join the Defenders, only to be told that not only is the Defenders not a team, but that she would not be powerful enough to join if it were.

 

Days of Thunder –September 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #108

The Mighty Thor! “At The Mercy of Loki, Prince of Evil”
Written by Stan Lee, The Idol of Millions! Illustrated by Jack Kirby, The Toast of the Town! Inked by Chic Stone, The Man of the Hour! Lettered by Art Simek, The Peoples Choice!

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Oh man, so much happens in this issue! It starts with Thor hitting the New York sidewalk with his hammer so hard and so precisely that a truck about to hit a child flies into the air, sailing safely over the child. Of course, this stunt does tons of property damage, but Thor tells a nearby cop that he will reimburse the city, not with his own money but with Tony Stark-provided Avengers money.  Then he flies off, assuming everything is cool.

Later, Thor finds Doctor Strange badly injured after barely winning a fight with some enemy of his named Mordo. Thor calls the hospital and fifteen minutes later, operates on Strange  as Doctor Blake, musing that it is only Thor’s unearthly knowledge that gives Blake the ability to save Doctor Strange through surgery.

It is at this crucial moment that Odin summons Thor to help him battle some unspecified enemy. Blake ignores the Allfather and completes the life-saving operation. Afterward, Strange makes it clear to Blake that his magic services are at the lame doctor’s disposal, should he ever need them.

Upon returning to his office, Blake meets an older man with a walking stick, complaining of leg pain. The man falls to the floor, knocking Blake’s stick out of his hand. Obviously this is a bit of sleight of hand, but well executed. After returning the wrong stick to Blake, the stranger stands up straight and tosses Blake’s cane out the window without even looking. It’s a total badass move.

The stranger is a disguised Loki, who had escaped Asgard while Odin was out fighting whoever it was he tried to get Thor to help him fight. Loki knocks out Jane with some “slumber mist”, punches Blake in the face, and runs away with the sleeping nurse in his arms.

Blake runs down the stairs to find his cane but it is slow painful going because running is not something Blake can actually do. By the time he reaches street level, the cane has vanished. In desperation, Blake telepathically reaches out to Odin but apparently Odin can only be reached by mental link while he is within the halls of Asgard and thus he does not hear Blake’s plea.

When Odin fails to bail out Blake, he immediately visits Doctor Strange to cash in that favor he is owed. Blake asks the sorcerer to help him find his walking stick and Strange uses his magic to do just that.

A vagrant has found the walking stick and is using it as a fishing pole. In a scene that surpasses the Peanut Gambit to become the all-time greatest Thor moment, Doctor Blake starts a fight with a hobo, trying to steal his fishing pole.

He would have lost that fight too, because he is a disabled weakling. but Doctor Strange pretends to be a ghost and scares away the pack of vagrants that Doctor Blake attacked. Once more in possession of his walking stick, Doctor Blake becomes Thor once again.

It is around this time that Odin returns to Asgard victorious. He puts on his Robe of Conquest and mentally contacts Thor. His success has lifted his spirits and he decides to cut that knucklehead son of his a break. However, Thor is pissed off that Odin failed to respond earlier, and he gives his all-powerful, wrathful father the kiss-off. Then the Avengers cameo and he tells them to take a hike also.

Thor is looking for Loki by himself.  All the gods of Asgard emit an aura of free-flowing electrons from their person, which can be detected by another immortal.   Oddly, In this case, it isn’t Thor himself that can detect Loki’s aura, it is his hammer that does the detecting.

It is an odd detail. Combine it with Loki’s special bond with the hammer and with the sixty second rule, and it seems like the real divinity lies not within the person of Thor, but in the hammer. There are interesting connotations at work here, poorly fleshed out and conjecture-heavy as they may be.

At any rate, Loki tries to block the electron-based detection, but Thor eventually finds him. They fight. Thor wins. Loki releases Jane from Limbo, where she had been held. Loki gets ready to fight some more, when an unnamed Asgardian appears through magic mist, grabbing Loki with an arm enchanted by Odin, dragging him back to Asgard. Thor and Odin make up, but even as they do, Thor is tending to Jane’s well-being to the frustration of his father.

First Appearance: slumber mist, The Uru Hammer’s ability to detect the aura of free-flowing electrons emitted by Asgardians

Days of Thunder – August 1964: Strange Tales #123

Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts “The Challenge of Loki!”
Written by Stan (Miracle Man) Lee/ Illustrated by Steve (Marvel Man) Ditko/ Inked by George (Mystical Man) Bell/ Lettered by Art (Magical Man) Simek

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Strange Tales is a double feature book.  One of the stories  in this issue stars Doctor Strange.  He is the most powerful magician in the world,  a force for good living in Greenwich Village, New York.

From his Asgardian prison, Loki projects an image of himself to Doctor Strange. Loki tells Strange that his brother Thor is evil and that he plans to conquer mankind. Doctor Strange doesn’t fully trust Loki but given what we know about Thor, this story that Loki spins seems plausible.

Thor is miles away, but Strange uses his powerful sorcery to snatch Thor’s hammer away from him, in mid-flight no less. However, shortly after grabbing the hammer, Strange figures out that Loki is evil and they have a magic fight.

Strange attempts to trap Loki in the Purple Dimension, but Loki’s powers are far greater than those of Strange, and he laughs off Strange’s attacks. Strange plays defense long enough to return the hammer to Thor. Thor uses the mighty Uru metal in his hammer to trace back the enchantment, but Loki runs away before Thor shows up.