Monday, January 12, 2015

The Deadly Debut of the Master of Evil!

You'll need the Eye of Agamotto to reveal the truth in this

Marvel Trivia Question

Who preceded this man as the very first

Two months before Steve Ditko presented Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, there was a deadly villain who laid claim to that name, if not the vocation:

Yes, Dr. Strange, the self-styled "Master of Evil"--making his first and only appearance in 1963 in the pages of Tales of Suspense. It was only Iron Man's third solo story, and Strange would succeed in bringing him under his total control. Apparently that armor needed a little more testing before being used in the field.

We first meet Dr. Strange behind bars, thank goodness--but he won't be there for long, thanks to the unintentional assistance of Iron Man. How is a man in prison able to arrange for the Golden Avenger to help him escape? To find out, we'll first need to take care of his shocking introduction.

Strange has been on the wrong side of the law before now, of course--but as to how he plans to take on Iron Man, there's a bit of unconventionality added to his origin:

Thanks to the television announcement of Iron Man's appearance at a nearby children's hospital, Strange has only to wait for the right opportunity to strike. Combining his inventive genius with his mind-control ability, it's then only a matter of "broadcasting" his attack:

Iron Man, now completely under Strange's control, uses his might to make a daring raid on the prison facility and free Strange. And as Iron Man transports Strange to his island stronghold, we learn that, while Strange is very much a criminal at heart, he also commits his crimes with someone else in mind:

Talk about having your cake and eating it, too. "I love having a life of crime, and I've no intention of giving it up--but it's all good, because I'm also thinking of my daughter!" Wotta guy.

But before you start singing Strange's praises, have a look at the level of extortion he's sinking to. How about blowing up the Earth with S-bombs?

(We never find out what the "S" in "S-bomb" stands for, but I just have to believe it stands for "smithereens.")

However, Iron Man is gunning for a little payback, and manages to reach Strange's island and foil his dastardly plan, but at a price:

It looks like curtains for Iron Man; but, thanks to Strange's daughter, Carla, we find out that a couple of flashlight batteries carry enough juice to charge Iron Man's armor back to fighting strength--and Strange gets while the getting is good.

Yes, I know exactly what you're thinking--it seems to have slipped Strange's mind that he can simply reassert his mental control over Iron Man and snatch victory from defeat. This guy will never make it in the big leagues. But he may have a real future in identity theft.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the 'S' in S-bomb stands for 'Strange'...?

Anonymous said...

I wonder which Dr. Strange counts as the first one - this one appeared two months before the Ditko version but Ditko's Strange had been Master of the Mystic Arts for a while when he first appeared so he must have been around before evil Dr. Strange....and the other day I was moaning about how we never see any snow here only rain but now it's snowing heavily, woo hoo !!

Comicsfan said...

Ha ha, I think you're splitting hairs, Colin! I'd have to say that the evil Dr. Strange came on the scene first, regardless of Stephen Strange being holed up in his sanctum poring over texts. But it's certainly fodder for debate!

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