Strange Tales #5-7 (1987): Return of Defenders

Dr. Strange’s half of this book meets up with Cloak and Dagger.  Nightmare has been haunting Cloak, trying to lure out the demon inside his dark dimension.  Meanwhile, Dr. Strange has been in Tibet trying to evict a demon squatting in the Ancient One’s old house.

In the course of doing so, he meets up with his old Defenders pal Valkyrie who then raises several fallen D-list Defenders characters (who were killed by the same writer, Peter Gillis, in the final issues of the series) to help.

Then, it all comes together in a big battle against Nightmare.

None of this is bad, it’s just not great.  These are very hard characters to write well, and Bill Mantlo doesn’t write well.  Fortunately, he’s gone after this story–issue #8 is written by Terry Austin. Sadly, he’s not really better.

Peter Gillis is fine as a writer, but I sense he’s struggling with the half-a-book format.  It’s tough to get anything going in 12 pages.


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