Doctor Strange Makes a Heartbreaking Choice

Doctor Strange, Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme, broke the universe. In order to fix it, he had to sacrifice that which he loves most. SPOILERS for Doctor Strange #17 by Mark Waid, Jesus Saiz, Scott Koblish, and Brian Reber follow.

The current Doctor Strange series took the Sorcerer Supreme away from his comfort zone. He’s been dealing with space travel and cosmic threats. That includes the world-eater, Galactus. It began when Galactus threatened to consume the homeworld of the sorcerer Zoloz. Desperate to save his planet, Zoloz fought Doctor Strange and magic items from the Sanctum Sanctorum. Zoloz used the power of the items to transport Galactus into the mystic realms.

Rather than save his planet, Zoloz’s act put the entire universe in danger. Strange sensed this danger and followed Galactus into the mystic dimensions, but was too late to stop Galactus from feeding.

Galactus feasted on one of the realms’ unusual worlds. The mystic properties of the planet altered Galactus, infusing him with arcane energy. The act also turned the dread Dormammu, Strange’s archenemy, into Galactus’s new herald.

Mephisto has been manipulating all of this from behind the scenes. Mephisto told Dormammu he could control Galactus. Dormammu attempted to do so, but Galactus instead consumed Dormammu, absorbing all of his arcane power.

With Galactus standing at the nexus of realities and imbued with this new power, the entire universe began to change. Science and magic began merging in new and dangerous ways, threatening to consume all reality.

Doctor Strange pleaded his case to Eternity and the Living Tribunal, but they declined to intervene. The threat of magic merging with science requires an answer both arcane and cosmic. Doctor Strange and Clea, Strange's love and former pupil, rally what mystical forces remain. The sorcerers of Earth and those mystical monarchs still standing heeded their call. Representatives of Asgard and the empires of the Skrull, Kree, and Shi’ar all soon joined them.

Strange sacrificed them all. He fed the heroes mystic and cosmic to Galactus to destroy the world-eater, but he destroyed the universe in the process. Then he went to hell and made a deal with the devil. Mephisto offered Doctor Strange the opportunity to perform surgery, of a sort, on the universe. Strange accepted, returning the universe to its original form, reinstating its entire history -- good and bad -- with the exception that he trapped Zoloz in the Sanctum Sanctorum before their battle could properly begin. He then convinced Zoloz to save his planet by becoming Galactus's herald, the same bargain that Norrin Radd struck years ago to become the Silver Surfer.

But Mephisto always claims his due. In this case, the cost was the person Doctor Strange cares about most. To save the universe, he had to eras Clea's memories of him.

Doctor Strange Clea
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Clea now has no idea who Doctor Strange. but the universe is safe. What do you think of this tragic turn for Doctor Strange? Let us know in the comments. Doctor Strange #17 is on sale now.

Doctor Strange #17
MAY190853

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(W) Mark Waid, Barry Kitson (A) Barry Kitson, Scott Koblish (CA) Jesus Saiz
The stakes have never been higher for Stephen Strange as "Herald Supreme" reaches its climax! Not only is the Multiverse in jeopardy but so is the love of Stephen's life! Can Strange save both existence and Clea?!

Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 14, 2019
SRP: $3.99