Monday, May 6, 2013

Truth and Consequences


Name This Marvel Villain??

Be careful of the humble souls who seek you out and wish to learn what you have to teach--because one of them could turn out to be Silver Dagger, and he'll have a rather deadly parting gift for you when he leaves your abode. A formal cardinal in the church who was passed over for the papacy because he was deemed something of a fanatic by his peers, Dagger took it upon himself to travel the world and find those who could teach him to master the dark arts. Little did they know that Dagger was on a one-man mission to purge the world of its dark religions, believing himself to be God's personal weapon in the war against Satan.

Eventually, Dagger's path led to the Ancient One, but by that time Dr. Strange had succeeded him as the new Sorcerer Supreme. And since Strange had already taken a disciple (his lover, Clea), Dagger decided to take the direct approach with his next target.

Mortally wounding Strange with his enchanted blade, Dagger then made off with Strange's amulet containing the Eye of Agamotto--as well as Clea, in order to indoctrinate her and "save" her from Strange's teachings. Unknown to him, Strange was hanging onto life by a thread, and attempted to make use of the Orb of Agamotto in order to sustain his life. Instead, the Orb ensnared him and spirited him to its world of unreality.

Where he meets a hookah smoking caterpillar, who explains the situation to Strange when he attempts to leave.

The caterpillar also tells Strange that he must travel to the center of the Orb in order to escape its realm of unreality. But Strange is between a rock and a hard place. If he escapes, death will claim him; yet, even though he's restored to life in this realm, he cannot stop Dagger and help Clea if he stays. And so he decides to leave, managing to breach the exit at the center. Once he escapes, Death is waiting for him--and despite his best efforts, he knows that his death is inevitable. Seeing it as the only recourse, he makes the decision to surrender to it.

But to his surprise, the Ancient One appears and informs him that he's simply transcended to another level, as part of a series of trials he must undergo in his new role as Sorcerer Supreme:

And finally (four issues later--including a reprint!), Strange re-enters his own world and joins his incorporeal form to Clea in order to free her from Dagger's clutches and seek out his real body, lying in state back at his sanctum where death now no longer threatens it. Hot on their heels is Dagger, who is astonished at Strange's survival but nevertheless takes another, er, stab at killing him. Failing with his blade, Dagger turns the Eye of Agamotto on Strange and Clea--yet Strange takes control of it and makes clear the difference between Dagger and himself, in their final confrontation:

Appropriately, Dagger is swept into the unreality realm--where a certain caterpillar no doubt has a hookah pipe with his name on it.

1 comment:

Doc Savage said...

And he came back in Marvel Team-Up if I remember right. Spidey and Ms. Marvel had to help Doc Strange out.

What an awful mustache and hairstyle. That plus the no-sleeves look tells me he will never be taken seriously in the pandimensional mystical community. Now Dormammu, that guy has STYLE!