Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spider-Man Meets Dr. Strange

Spider-Man is a friendly, neighborhood hero....and Dr. Strange is the sorcerer supreme, safeguarding all of Earth from inter-dimensional threats.  These two seem like unlikely heroes to team up, but it happened a few times over the course of Spidey's team-up book, Marvel Team-Up.

Let's take a look at the events that brought two of New York's heroes together....

Reflections Of An Old Meeting

First up, Spidey and Dr. Strange meet up in Marvel Team-Up #21 (May, 1974) with "The Spider And The Sorcerer!" by writer Len Wein, penciller Sal Buscema and inkers Frank Giacoia and Dave Hunt and cover by Gil Kane and Frank Giacoia.

This issue is a follow up to Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 (October, 1965), which featured the first appearance of the villain, Xandu.  Here, Xandu has hypnotized Spider-Man to break into the Doctor's home to steal the Crystal of Kadavarus, so that Xandu can re-energize his Wand of Watoomb (that Strange drained in the Annual).  Through Xandu's magic, Dr. Strange appears hostile to Spider-Man, and the two fight when Stephen tries to stop him, but Spidey does find the gem to take to Xandu.  Xandu wants his full mystic might back to sale the woman he loved, Melinda, whom he had put into a coma while learning magic.  Spidey and Doc face Xandu in his home dimension, with Strange casting a spell to switch their powers (which aren't quite working right), to enable the heroes to defeat Xandu, casting his Wand into another dimension.  Dr. Strange lives up to his profession, examining Melinda, to find she is not in a deathlike coma, but a coma-like death, which she cannot be returned from.

Doctor Says I Need More Iron

With Marvel Team-Up #50 (October, 1976), Peter and Stephen face "The Mystery of The Wraith" by writer Bill Mantlo, penciller Sal Buscema and inkers Mike Esposito and Dave Hunt and cover by Gil Kane and Dave Adkins.

This story is part of a multi-issue arc, with Iron Man being Spider-Man's partner for issues #48, #49 and #51 (though Doc makes appearances in the last two...).  In this issue, Spidey is recruiting Doctor Strange for help with the Wraith, whom he believes may be a supernatural menace.  The Iron Man team-ups and most of this issue are covered here, but this tale is worth a mention for Spidey's visit to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum...and that Doc trusts Spidey enough that his house wouldn't react to him as a threat.

Deal Me In

Now, the story of "If Not For Love" by writer Chris Claremont, penciller Howard Chaykin and inkers Jeff Aclin and Juan Ortiz and cover by John Byrne and Terry Austin, Marvel Team-Up #76 (December, 1978)  starts with Spidey swinging past Dr. Strange's mansion, with Stephen noticing the web-slinger, but he goes back to a gift of tarot cards, and does a reading for himself.  Dr. Strange seems preoccupied with the cards, much to the frustration of his girl friend, Clea.  Meanwhile, Carol Danvers (secretly, Ms. Marvel) bumps into Wong, Dr. Strange's manservant, while shopping, dumping his goods to the ground.  While helping him pick them up, Wong receives a telepathic distress call from the Doctor, and heads to his aid (with Peter Parker witnessing this at the end, and changing to his Spider-Man clothes and going along).  At Strange's home, the Orb of Agamatto (a mystic possession of the Doctor's) has begun an attack at Strange and Clea, with Clea injured and the magical defenses of the Doctor's home down, both Spider-Man and the newly re-costumed Ms. Marvel show up, offering help.  Dr. Strange, along with Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, head to New Orleans to get help for Clea, from Marie LaVeau, the Witch-Queen of New Orleans.  They decide that Clea was under attack from the Silver Dagger, an old foe of Stephen's, and Dr. Strange must go into the Orb to save Clea, and sends his astral form, leaving his body behind, under the protection of Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel.  Silver Dagger attacks in the real world, as Strange had been the target all along, and Silver Dagger looks to take his revenge while Stephen searches for his love.

This leads into Marvel Team-Up #77 (January, 1979), where Dr. Strange realizes "If I'm To Live...My Love Must Die!" by writer Chris Claremont, penciller Howard Chaykin and inker Jeff Aclin, under a John Romita Jr. and Al Milgrom cover.  Spidey and Ms. Marvel continue their battle against the Silver Dagger, while Stephen tries to free Clea from the world of the Orb with Marie's help.  Spidey gets knocked into the Orb by accident, and while his world temporarily resets the reality inside the Orb, distracting Clea, Strange is able to knock her out, and get her out of the Orb, and takes the cast back to his Sanctum Sanctorum, surprising Wong.  Dr. Strange casts a spell on Clea, causing her to forget her time in the Orb (where she mystically attacked Dr. Strange, due to her being Umar the Unspeakable's daughter, and niece to Dormammu, ruler of a dark dimension).  Marie also revealed it was her that sent Stephen the tarot cards, secretly sending him the message to stop Silver Dagger, to save her own life, and prevent Silver Dagger from destroying the world.  She also tells Stephen that the prophecy is not done, and teleports back to New Orleans, with Strange realizing that in saving Clea, he may have doomed himself.

Meetings Get A Little Hairy

Dr. Strange's tangled web with Spider-Man gets more complex with Marvel Team-Up #80 (April, 1979) as he faces "A Sorcerer Possessed" by writer Chris Claremont, penciler Mike Vosberg and inker Gene Day, under a Rich Buckler cover.  While on a date, Peter Parker fends off a werewolf (and fights to keep his identity unrevealed).  After sending the creature off and getting his panicked girlfriend to the hospital, Peter finds Stephen Strange's Eye of Agamatto where he was attacked, and changes to Spider-Man to take the item home to its owner.  There, Spidey finds Clea, who doesn't want to answer questions.  Remembering their recent adventure, Peter goes to get a tarot reading, which only confirms to him that there is trouble afoot.  Spidey goes back to the Sanctum Sanctorum, and finds Stephen attacking Clea, and transforming into a werewolf!  Clea uses the Eye to find that Stephen can get aid at a Tibetan monastery, and Wong and Spidey take the Doctor to the airport, though the Doctor changes before the plane can even take off, crashing, with the changed Dr. Strange leaving the wreckage, as Satana arrives at Strange's home, offering aid to Clea....

This leads us into Marvel Team-Up #81 (May, 1979), with "Last Rites" by writer Chris Claremont, penciler Mike Vosburg and inker Steve Leialoha (under a cover by Al Milgrom and Steve Leiahola), and Spider-Man working with Satana, as she transport Wong and Spidey to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum.  Satana explains that Stephen has been cursed, and Spidey goes to track the werewolf down, finding him at the hospital where Cissy Ironwood (Peter's date) was.  With Strange home, Satana and Spidey go to battle the Basilisk (a foe of Satana's since Marvel Preview #7 of 1976, not related to the other Basilisk foe of Spider-Man's).  While there, Spidey learns of Satana's heritage (being the daughter of the devil, thus also relating her to the Son of Satan), and the two break the hold on Dr. Strange, but Satana becomes mortally wounded, dying to save Dr. Strange (and being the bad end prophesied at the end of Spider-Man and Dr. Strange's last team-up).

Doctor Strange also worked with the Human Torch, in Marvel Team-Up #35 (July, 1975) and with Spidey, Quasar, the Scarlet Witch and more in Marvel Team-Up Annual #5 (1982), which have been covered before, as well as working with the Scarlet Witch alone in Marvel Team-Up #125 (January, 1983), and as a part of the Defenders in Marvel Team-Up #111 and #112 (November and December, 1981).  That's the nice thing about Dr. Strange, he always has patience for dealing with other heroes!

No comments:

Post a Comment