How do you create a generic Dr. Strange story? You pick a bunch of weird names that mostly involve the vowel “U,” create a bunch of oaths (“By the Vishanti!” “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!”), you have a long, drawn out saga that doesn’t have much story to it, and you make all roads lead to the Ancient One in the end.
The only good parts of this book are the character moments, above, where Strange proves he’s not a total asshole (and really, more Marvel heroes should crack under pressure like this sometimes), and the fact that there’s a ton of great artists who work on it.
And the fact that Ancient One dies. That’s kind of important. But overall this story feels silly. I mean, Dr. Strange fights a wall.
Let’s get back to Ancient One dying. You know the joke: What did Buddha say to the Hot Dog Vendor? “Make me one with everything.”
Writing is by Archie Goodwin (#4 only), Gardner F. Fox (#5-8), Steve Englehart (#9); art is different for nearly every issue: Barry Smith, Irv Wesley, Frank Brunner, P Craig Russell, Jim Starlin, Frank Brunner for #9 and 10.
Grade is C-. Below average, elevated above a D by the art.