Doctor Strange #171-173 (1968)

What starts in issue #171 as a serviceable tale about the search for Clea ends up being a showcase for Gene Colan’s artwork in #s 172 and 173.  I mean, look at how beautiful that splash page is compared to Tom Palmer’s workmanlike art in #171…

I’m not saying Palmer isn’t a good artist. I’m saying Colan is a GREAT one.

Anyway, the Doc learns that Clea is still alive and goes on a quest to find her. He asks Victoria Bentley for help.

I don’t know why he needs a female companion, and I can’t blame her for feeling like he’s leading her on.

She ends up getting taken by a mystical force. Finally, Strange tracks Bentley and Clea down–both were taken by Dormammu, who apparently can’t get girls on his own. 

Dormammu teams up with his sister Umar, but Strange is still able to overcome them, and free the ladies, bringing them back to his home.

This is the first time Clea comes to Earth.

And as soon as she gets here, it’s clear she and Strange have the hots for each other. This makes Victoria sad.

Overall, these issues are much better than most of the Doc Strange issues before them.  Let’s hope we’re looking at an upward arc.  Because a lot of the time reading these books has been pure torture.

Tom Palmer (pencils #171), Gene Colan (pencils #172-173). Above average books, made even better by Gene Colan’s artwork.

Leave a Comment