Monday, April 4, 2016

Doctor Strange/Ghost Rider Special # 1

Cover Artist: Michael Golden
Published: Feb. 1991
Original Price: $1.75

Title: "Strange Tales", Part 2
Writers: Roy & Dann Thomas
Artist: Chris Marrinan
Inker: Mark McKenna
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Colorist: George Roussos
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor-In-Chief: Tom DeFalco

In order to complete a spell designed to help his companion Topaz, Dr. Strange attempts a spell that will allow him to collect a sample of hellfire from the Ghost Rider. When Strange calls the Rider a "demon", however, the spell backfires and causes the Rider pain. They surmise that Ghost Rider must not be a true demon, which the Rider had already told them before. When Topaz attempts to heal Ghost Rider's pain, the demon that's possessing her – a demon named Ullikummis – appears above her and threatens the heroes before disappearing. Strange commands Topaz and his apprentice Rintrah to take the children rescued from Zodiak's coven to the police while he and Ghost Rider search for the villain. Strange's Eye of Agamotto reveals a slime-trail ascending into a hole in the sky. The two follow the trail and are transported away, unaware that Zodiak is following Rintrah and Topaz from the rooftops above.

Strange and Ghost Rider appear in another dimension, one that's home to a race of demons called the Dykkors. The demons attack and eventually overwhelm the two heroes, holding them captive. When Ghost Rider mentions them serving Zodiak the demons laugh and explain that Zodiak works for them. Back on Earth, Zodiak watches as the children are taken inside a police station. The villain is spotted by a cop, whom he kills with his lions claws. In the Dykkors dimension, the demons suddenly multiply like amoebas, explaining that they double in number with every person Zodiak murders. Ghost Rider and Strange take this opportunity to break free.

On Earth, Zodiak watches Rintrah and Topaz – each disguised by a cloaking spell – exit the police station. When they turn down an alley they drop the cloaking spell and go their separate ways, allowing Zodiak to follow and attack the defenseless Topaz. When he hits her with his Scorpio sting, however, she bellows like an animal. Her appearance changes to Rintrah, the two having switched their appearances to fool anyone following them. Topaz approaches to check on Rintrah, but runs when she sees Zodiak, who chases her with his horns of Taurus. Before he can kill her, Strange and Ghost Rider appear through a gateway from the Dykkors' dimension. While Strange sees to the gravely injured Rintrah, Ghost Rider viciously attacks Zodiak, pummeling him with the assumption that he is yet another robotic duplicate of the villain. Strange realizes that they're facing the real Zodiak, just as the villain uses his Libra bolo to escape them. Strange and the Rider search the area, but find no traces of Zodiak. Ghost Rider departs with Strange telling him that if Rintrah dies he will find Zodiak himself. Strange then shows Topaz a flame of hellfire he had captured from one of the Dykkors, and the three make their way back toward Strange's Sanctum.

Because the regular Doctor Strange series was sold exclusively through comic specialty shops, Marvel released this one-shot reprint of Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme # 28 on newsstands so Ghost Rider readers could pick up the second half of the crossover.