Doctor Strange: Best Comic Issues of the 1990s | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

From a total makeover to fighting Thanos, Doctor Strange has had his fair share of magical adventures in Marvel comics in the 90s.
Doctor Strange continued his psychedelic and magical adventures in the 1990s, mainly as a part of the series Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme. A major development in this period was also the introduction of Doctor Strange’s good and bad personalities, referred to as Strange and Vincent Stevens respectively.
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In his solo stories, his adversaries proved to be familiar characters like Dormammu and Baron Mordo. But his rivalry with Thanos also increased during this time as Strange played a defining role in The Infinity Gauntlet and its universe-altering events.
In the continuity of this storyline, Doctor Strange splits his personality into good and bad halves. When the latter (calling himself Vincent Stevens) uses Techno-Magik to control the Incredible Hulk, chaos ensues.
As is suggestive from its title itself, A Hulk Possessed is as much a Hulk comic as Doctor Strange’s. The comic perfectly touches upon the naivety of the green beast. Even though Bruce Banner can turn into one of the most destructive creatures of the Marvel Universe, he loses the ability of rational thought in the guise of Hulk. Hence, any powerful version of the Hulk is easy prey for dark forces like Vincent Stevens to possess.
The Dark Wars includes an ambitious alliance that finds Doctor Strange joining hands with even villains like Baron Mordo and Dormammu’s twin sister Umar. As Dormammu continues the conquest of New York with his Mindless Ones, Strange loses his power and seeks the help of Clea, Mordo, and Umar.
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The climactic showdown reveals that Dormammu’s colossal powers while humanizing the character of Strange. Despite serving as the Sorcerer Supreme, even he can have his worst days. Rather than taking the lead, Strange plays more of a strategic role in this comic. His magical skills might be limited but his brain still proves to be an effective weapon.
The hugely popular The Infinity Gauntlet is a Marvel comic that makes for essential reading. The comic finds Thanos gathering all the Infinity Stones for his cosmic Gauntlet and decimating half of the universe’s population. Aided with Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock, Doctor Strange attempts to unite the last of Earth’s surviving heroes to put up a final fight against Thanos. However, when his granddaughter Nebula takes control over the Gauntlet, Strange and his allies must join forces with Thanos for events that build into The Infinity War.
Strange shows his magical powers as well as his leadership skills as he builds an agreement between Thanos and other leaders of the Avengers. Given how he also plays a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe adaptation of the comic, this is a must-read for diehard Doctor Strange fans.
Vampires, zombies, and even werewolves collide in this horror saga within the Doctor Strange Universe. The sorcerer had once wiped evil vampires from the face of the earth. But as they seem to make a return, Strange has no option but to orchestrate a battle against them with an army of zombies. To add to Strange’s troubles, Dormammu also plans to invade New York City with hordes of creatures called the Mindless Ones.
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Right from the start, Doctor Strange stories have never shied away from their Lovecraftian horror roots. A few arcs can also include conventional creature horror thrills and The Vampiric Verses is a fine example of this. Even though it was published in the 90s, the general aesthetic might also remind viewers of cult vampire horror films from the 70s and the 80s.
When Doctor Doom takes control over a magical weapon known as the Oculus Oroboros, Doctor Strange must channel his spells in protecting the artifact and fighting him off. Meanwhile, Morbius The Living Vampire is in pursuit of Strange for his own mysterious reasons.
The comic is notable for giving audiences the first glimpse of Vincent Stevens, Strange’s evil persona who would go on to appear in a few major titles in the 90s. With some of the scenes set in Romania and Latveria, Doctor Doom Supreme makes for an interesting detour for Doctor Strange. Both characters shared an unlikely team-up in a comic issue from the 1980s called Triumph and Torment, but that friendship has clearly collapsed as they engage in a clash of magic and science.
Ever since Salome usurped Doctor Strange’s power and became the Sorceress Supreme, the hero had been working tirelessly to reclaim his title. However, when even beings like Agamotto are convinced that Salome deserves her status, Strange decides to resort to other measures. There comes a point when he even splits his personality into different halves to devise different strategies from each new perspective.
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The most unique aspect of Last Rites might be the makeover that Strange gets. He ditches the iconic goatee and the grey streaks for longer hair and a pair of binocular lenses. Other major characters include his romantic interest and fellow sorceress Clea, whom he encounters in the Dark Dimension. Readers can expect a lot of the usual dimension-hopping before the third act builds up to a majestic clash with Salome.
The Birth of Chthon marked the end of Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme’s first volume after a series of 90 issues. The primary antagonist of the issue is the titular Chthon, an Elder God who is capable of manifesting immense powers of Chaos Magic and Black Magic. As he finds a human host to give birth to itself on Earth, Strange must combat the creature in its own home dimension.
The fight proves to be a particularly arduous one, as Strange’s magical limits are tested. Chthon’s powers are of an unexplainable nature that even Strange doesn’t have full knowledge of. It’s for this reason that the being known as ‘The Great Shadow’ becomes one of his most powerful comic book enemies.
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Shaurya Thapa is an Indian freelance journalist who mostly dabbles in writings on cinema, music, and human interest features. When it comes to Screen Rant, he writes lists on a wide array of subjects ranging from international films to mainstream Netflix series and comic book trivia. He also hosts a podcast called ‘BhindiWire’, an Indian parody of IndieWire.


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