Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This Is Why Doctor Strange Needs An Axe!

Some folks are kinda miffed at Marvel's promo image for the forthcoming Doctor Strange series...

...why would the Sorcerer Supreme need an axe, they say? He gestures and does spells, why would he need a weapon? [They conveniently ignore that the Eye Of Agamotto is a weapon...SHHH!]

Well, what these people fail to realize, is that's it's a tough life being the Sorcerer Supreme. Take, for example, the time that young Ian McNee came for an uninvited visit:

 Yup, Ian is here to challenge the best!!

 And so, it is on!!

 I'll leave out most of the fight...just people gesturing with different colored bolts coming from their hands...until:

 Game over!!

Or is it...


 Short answer:

 Ahh, but...

So it was all an illusion, to teach young Ian a lesson.

But the point is, there's always someone after you when you're the Sorcerer Supreme. Always.

So, yeah, sometimes you need a (mystical) axe.

From Marvel Fanfare #6 (1983), trippiness care of Roger Stern and Charles Vess.


Dan said...

Always been a fan of dr. strange. Ever since I read his entire run a few years ago. Reading this now, I remember this story and remember thinking what good storytelling it was. Cool post. Thanks.

Woodrobin said...

"But the point is, there's always someone after you when you're the Sorcerer Supreme. Always."

That is a point, certainly. I thought the main point was explaining to Ian McNee that the Sorcerer Supreme is chosen by the Vishanti (as it turns out later, through the agency of bestowing the Amulet of Agamotto). If it was a title that could be achieved by conquest, then the post would be what Strange showed McNee -- little more than a constant stream of challenges and pointless death. I suppose a Sorcerer Supreme could defend her or his realm by serving as a mystic bull's eye/punching bag, but it doesn't seem like a very pleasant nor efficient way to go about it.

Even Urthona, later, was deluded on that point. He could assault Strange and wound or kill him, but that path would never lead to Urthona becoming Sorcerer Supreme. Agamotto was the first Sorcerer Supreme, and it has been within the scope of the Vishanti's authority to determine that line of succession ever since.

Fortunately, young Ian gains quite a bit of subtlety and wisdom by the time the Mystic Arcana miniseries occurs.