DOCTOR STRANGE #84-89 (1995-1996): Baron Mordo

After a bunch of issues that have kind of been all over the place, and an excellent arc where Doctor Strange split into three different beings, Stephen goes back to basics, returning to Tibet to reattach to his roots.  He finds that Baron Mordo is there, and dying of cancer.  Seeking a deathbed atonement, Mordo confesses that he planted a mystical construct into Stephen’s mind many, many years ago and that it has been responsible for much of Stephen’s erratic behavior. 

There’s also a B-story where Mordo’s daughter (who we have never seen before and never will see again) mystically moves the cancer from her father to Stephen, but Mordo reverses the spell and kills his own daughter before he dies.

Stephen forgives Mordo, who dies in #87.  Issues #88-89 are wrap-ups, where Strange—softened by his adventure with Mordo—returns to his Sanctum, which is destroyed by a demon, and makes up with Wong.

They’re bulldozing the Sanctum?!?  No!!!!

Overall, this is a dark tale.  But we do learn that Doc isn’t gay.

It’s good characterwork and a nice send-off for one of Doctor Strange’s foundational foes.  This is the kind of thing J.M. DeMatteis excels at.

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