Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts # 5
written by Steve Englehart, art by Frank Brunner
Not since 1415 with the resignation of Pope Gregory XII has a living Pope stepped down from the Papacy. Such a calling is one that is answered and followed ‘til death. When the seat of St. Peter does eventually fall vacant, the process to place a new Pontiff thereupon begins.
Still, even though Pope Benedict XVI, who replaced the beloved Pope John-Paul II upon the wizened Holy Father’s passing, had only been bestowed of Triregnum And Pastoral Staff in 2005, he has, a scant 8 years later, decided that he is too old and infirm to continue his duties as leader of the Holy See.
Thus it turns to the College of Cardinals from around the world to form a conclave to decide who is to become the new leader of the Catholic Church. *
As nearly everyone across the world has learned, a new Pope has been chosen:
Pope Francis I (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio – of Argentina).
And while we celebrate the choosing of a new Vicar of Christ, so now, we turn our gaze to one who had nearly obtained that sacred post, and who for better or worse… was passed over.
ISAIAH CURWEN… the SILVER DAGGER.
ISAIAH , who had risen to the position of Cardinal had ahead of him one last challenge…the Papacy. He had been an excellent cleric and had thus garnered the respect of his colleagues as well as the reverence of the laity whom he served.
However, even though he was the favored choice of successor of his Pope, he would ultimately be passed over – ostensibly due to his youth – and most importantly, due to his fevered fundamentalist fanaticism. It is said that there is no worse sinner than a fallen believer, and thus when the fall is from as high as nearly becoming Pope, the sins later committed would be grievous indeed.
It was then that he found himself at the doors of the Vatican’s Library – the repository of the world’s most complete collection of books on the dark arts, that he “divined” his true purpose. Deluding himself that his being passed over for the Papacy was so that he might become God’s Personal Weapon in the war against Satan, Curwen read every volume of magic in the vast archives. This he did for six days and nights, and did neither eat nor sleep, so that upon the seventh day… he was to wrest forth the secret workings of magic!
Thus was born… SILVER DAGGER; naming himself after his weapon, the traditional destroyer of demons.
From then he renounced his position in the Church – but not his unwavering and fanatical faith – and set across the globe to study under adepts of all the dark religions, mastering them all and then slaying his instructors – meting out his own brand of the Lord’s Vengeance.
Then, at last he found his next intended target to be the ANCIENT ONE, but he was too late; the Aged Master had become One Will All and in his stead Doctor Strange stood as Sorcerer Supreme.
It was Dr. Strange whose death Curwen believed God decreed. It was to Dr. Strange that he turned his attentions. It was to Dr. Strange that Silver Dagger dealt Death!
For while other foes may have come close, SILVER DAGGER has been the only foe to not only subsequently take possession of the EYE of AGAMOTTO as well as kidnap CLEA, but to successfully bring about...
...the DEATH of DOCTOR STRANGE! **
* It is also prophesied by St. Malachy as well as Nostrodamus that this next Pope is to be the LAST POPE and is purported to being the one at the seat during the END OF THE WORLD! (So… we have THAT to look forward to. One more shot at Armageddon.)
** And yes, while Doc was able to “accept” his death and thus become reborn as an “immortal”, that doesn’t negate the fact that Silver Dagger stabbed him in the back (quite literally) and brought about the death of Dr. Strange. MORE about that DEATH and RESURRECTION can be found in this old post [HERE].
Silver Dagger has also slain or severely wounded several other of Strange’s associates over the years; Clea, Rama Kaliph, Jack Russel (Werewolf by Night), James Mandarin, Devil Slayer and more.
In the comments section, a poster brought up the fact that the Rabbit had been seen after this event.
Indeed. In fact, that was something which I blogged about several years ago.
But, for the sake of convenience (and completion) I will link to those here.
- The Rabbit escapes and is seen on the TV News - [HERE]
- Doc & Clea put the rabbit BACK into the hat - [HERE]
- End Update -
As this post is but the first in the long-intended series of “Favorite Foes”, I am taking this time, and the historical religious events of the day, to showcase one of my all-time Faves…
Created by Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner.
1st appearance: Doctor Strange v2 # 1,2,4,5
DR. STRANGE v2 1
DR. STRANGE v2 2
DR. STRANGE v2 4
DR. STRANGE v2 5
Marvel Team-Up 76
Marvel Team-Up 77
DR. STRANGE v3 7
DR. STRANGE v3 32-FB
Marvel Comics Presents 54/2
Marvel Comics Presents 55/2
Marvel Comics Presents 56/2-FB
Marvel Comics Presents 56/2
Marvel Comics Presents 57/2
Marvel Comics Presents 58/2
Marvel Comics Presents 59/2
DR. STRANGE v3 32-FB
DR. STRANGE v3 32
Over The Edge 2
STRANGE v2 4
(chronology thanks in part to the "Chronology Project")
All images from DOCTOR STRANGE: SPECIAL EDITION # 1 (a reprinting of that classic storyline)
but YOU can buy the entire thing in the fabulous TPB: from Amazon (and I'd appreciate it if you ordered it from my widget here)