Thursday, March 5, 2009

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen...
Observe, as I put this rabbit back INTO my hat!

This entry falls under the heading of "tying up loose ends"... both for ME as well as for Dr. Strange and Clea.

Readers of this blog may remember that back in December of last year (02008) I posted a piece that addressed the peculiar case of the Giant Rabbit that was seen in;
"Marvels: Eye of the Camera" # 02,
and how Kurt Busiek had added a "throw-away" bit that originated in a classic scene from;
Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 01...
(if you haven't yet, read that entry - HERE before you continue with this post)...

Everyone back?

OK. Well... a month or so ago, while doing research for another post, I re-read a few of the early issues from the Master of the Mystic Arts series and came across THIS forgotten scene:

*click pics to giant-rabbit-size*

Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 06
Steve Englehart (Script), Gene Colan (Pencils), Klaus Janson (Inks)
Petra Goldberg (Colors), Tom Orzechowski (Letters).

Here, we see that Steve Englehart hadn't left the poor "little" rabbit to an unknown fate.
Well, needless to say, all I could think was "Curse me for a novice!"... I was embarrassed that I had forgotten that scene completely, when I wrote the earlier post. Since I've unearthed this tidbit, I've been looking for a spare moment to post it, but it kept getting bumped.

So, before I get involved in the many upcoming posts that I have up my sleeve, I just wanted to get this rabbit back into the hat.


Tony said...

I have a little theory about Clea's "depowerment" back then (beyond the fact that Roy Thomas seemed to routinely de-power any women who were anything but useless in a fight). Maybe you could shoot some holes in it. Or maybe it's nothing new. Anyway, as I recall (off the cuff, without checking any sources), Clea had some pretty good mojo right after she moved to Earth's dimension, but then her powers dwindled away to pretty much nothing. She studied under Doctor Strange for a while, and eventually became a powerful sorceress again.

So, basically, in a nutshell, I'm thinking that, when she grew up in the Dark Dimension, she learned Dark Dimension magic, i.e., channeling the mystic forces of powerful entities who inhabit the Dark Dimension. When she came to the Earth Dimension, her Dark Dimension magic worked for a little while, but the longer she stayed here, the weaker her old magic became. This happened because she was cut off from the Dark Dimension's magical entities. So, living in the Earth Dimension, she had to learn Earth Dimension magic, basically starting from scratch.

The same thing would have happened, then, to Stephen Strange if he moved permanently to the Dark Dimension (or any other dimension). His magic would work for a while, then dwindle, until it was all gone. Then he would have to start from scratch and learn the native magic.

A sorcerer can call on entities native to another dimension (Doc Strange even invokes Dormammu from time to time, f'r cryin' out loud), but the magic is never as powerful as invocations of native entities. Maybe those oft-mentioned "dimensional boundaries" interfere with the transmission of mystical forces.

Now, another name for "mystical entity" would be "deity" or "god," and in the Marvel Universe, gods seem to spring from, and be tied to, particular planets. The Elder Gods of Earth (Chthon, Set, etc.) arose from the Demiurge, which itself arose from the Earth's biomass. Thus, Chthon remained tied to Earth even after he fled to his own little pocket dimension, and the Earth would remain the center of his magical "sphere of influence." This is why I think Urthona would actually have been pretty disappointed with the Darkhold when he got it back to Gevaltu. On a far distant planet, far from Chthon's "sphere of influence," the Darkhold would be much less powerful. Taken to another dimension, the Darkhold would be much further diminished, to the point where many of its spells probably wouldn't work at all.

The Earth has its own gods/deities/mystical entities, and so do other planets like the homeworlds of the Kree, the Skrulls, and the Shi'ar. It stands to reason that other dimensions would also have their own deities to empower the sorcerers of their worlds / inhabited zones / what have you. And I would think there is a greater degree of separation between dimensions (some kind of quantum separation) than between planets (a separation of space / distance only). So a Kree sorcerer (or, let's say, a Dire Wraith) could work his or her magic on Earth with only a little diminishment, whereas a sorcerer from the Dark Dimension (or Tunnelworld, maybe) would be enfeebled and eventually lose his or her mojo.

This gives Doctor Strange plenty of time to complete missions in other dimensions, but means he must always make his way home. When he leaves the Earth Dimension, the clock is running.

How much do we really know about the origins of entities like Oshtur or Agamotto? Even if they reside in another dimension now, like Chthon and Set, it doesn't mean they are native to that place. Most of the entities Doc Strange invokes may have some earthly heritage.

Incidentally, I always wanted to see some truly pan-cosmic entity like the Living Tribunal say to somebody like Mephisto, "Be silent, earthling!" And somebody present, like Spider-Man maybe, think "Earthling? Wha-Huh?!?"

So, anyway, that's why I think Clea lost her groove after shacking up with Stephen Strange.

~P~ said...

Over a year since this comment was first made, and I just now discovered it (I have no idea why I hadn't seen it before).

Anyway, ALL very excellent theories, and I wholeheartedly endorse them.

I'm sure SOME level of tweaking might be needed, but as far as I can see, this "their power is tied to their specific 'houses' " type of thing helps to give limitations to magic users.
That's a good thing.

Nice work, Tony!
So sorry for the full year of silence.

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