Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dr. Strange - Master Of The Mystic Bossy Pants

Look out, it's the earth shattering combo of the Avengers and Defenders against Dormammu and Loki, in The Avengers #118, Dec 1973.

If you look closely at the logo, you will see the name "Y.A.GORDON" stamped on it. He was a curious young lad. He loved comics, but hated the ads. Hated them so much infact, that whenever he was confronted with a double page spread of adverts, which was basically every four pages, he would yell "Ads, begone!", and proceed to glue the offending pages together

He was also mighty proud of that stamp bearing his name, and would use it often, bravely saying "no!" to the collector market. He had few friends.

The issue opens with our combined heroes defiantly challenging Dormammu's plans. The Lord of the Dark Dimension had obtained the mighty Evil Eye (immortalised in song 10 years later by a young Yngwie Malmsteen). Earth was merging with said Dark Dimension, turning normal people into monsters. If Dormammu held the Eye for another hour, the change would be permanent! Being the smart guy that he is, Dormammu buggered off back to his dimension to hide, leaving the heroes to face what humanity had become.

Dr Strange sees that the best way to approach this is to follow Dormammu and defeat him, but Captain America disagrees. But Strange is determined

Thankfully, the heroes get some timely help from SHIELD, and an argument is avoided

Yes, SHIELD-- The International Law-Enforcment Agency!
Also note the bottom of the page, where we see the precursor to the Fox Sports Ticker, promotional blurbs on every even numbered page. Things sound bad for the Man-Thing.

Meanwhile, in one of previously hidden pages of ads, we find:

Ah, the goofy 70's, where women were expected to look like women, unlike the stick figures everyone aspires to today. Try running an ad campaign like that now, and watch yourself go out of business quick smart.

Off to Dormammu's Dark Dimension we go!
Thor comes up with a plan, but again Dr Strange steps in to say "Nay!"

Whew, that was a close one.

As they head off on the path, The Watcher pays Dormammu a visit, and a disturbing conversation ensues

Well, that's a relief. Probably wouldn't have passed the Comics Code if he had...

Now it's Hulk's turn to have an idea, as the Heroes are assaulted by the Mindless Ones

So, Dr Strange, what do you think about that approach?


So everyone that can fire energy blasts gets together and blows the Mindless Ones back to where they came from. Time is running out though, as Mantis, doing her human stopwatch impersonation, announces there is only 20 minutes left to save earth.

Lets have a quick check on how some of earths other heroes are doing back home.

Fredric Wertham would've had a field day with those two panels.

Dormammu is in sight, but now it's time for the Silver Surfer to get a telling off from Dr Strange
Oh Time, why do you always taunt us so?

Meanwhile, in the mysterious hidden ad pages...

A blow up Raquel Welch doll. Ok...

Never one to let an opportunity go by, Iron Man sees a chance to hit on the Scarlet Witch
Things don't go well for the good guys though, Wanda being the only one left standing. Dormammu stops her by covering her in sticky, uh, "rain". Yeah, maybe it's just me, but there's many things in this comic that just seem wrong. Hey, did you remember I mentioned at the beginning that Loki was in this story? Well, seems Dormammu forgot:

Loki was after the Evil Eye for himself, and with Wanda's intervention, gets it...


Triumphant, Dr Strange takes everyone home

It's amazing anyone still talks to him.

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