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Warlock and the Infinity Watch #36: Review

Jan 1995
Evan Skolnick, Lee Sullivan

Story Name:

The dark of truth

Review & Comments

4 stars

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #36 Review by (June 1, 2024)
This standalone issue is guest-written by Evan Skolnick who is editor of the current Dr Strange, Sorcerer Supreme issues. An editorial comment says it takes place before #70 of that series.

Dr Strange was apparently killed in DSSS#61 and the being Strange appeared. DSSS Annual #4 revealed that he had actually retreated to a pocket dimension to rebuild his power, and there he created magical constructs Strange and Vincent Stevens to do his work in the real universe. DrS sent Strange to acquire magical artefacts for him. After a while the constructs started to decay and rebelled against DrS to find ways of saving themselves. It is to this end that Strange is here seeking the ultimate power of the Infinity Gems.

Of course Strange would only have been able to gather 5 of the Gems on Monster Island. But he probably hoped that those 5 would enable him to wrest the Reality Gem from the grasp of Thanos. However that's when the Living Tribunal's prohibition against any 1 being possessing all 6 Gems would have kicked in.

After this issue Strange has a side team-up in Midnight Sons Unlimited #8 before heading back to DSSS for the finale of this Dr Strange story in #70-75 (except for an epilogue in #78 and #83).


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #36 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A figure looking vaguely like Dr Strange in his full-mask 'superhero' costume (from his series continuing from the end of Strange Tales) flies towards Monster Island and the castle where Pip the Troll is playing himself at pool and cheating. The invader blasts him then steals the Space Gem from between his smelly toes and pushes it into his malleable body. That Gem reveals that the other Infinity Gem bearers are in the castle, and that Gamora is even now approaching to see what the noise is about. Pip notices that the foe's garb has hints of Dr Strange and asks if that's who he is and where he's been since he disappeared (in DrS, Sorcerer Supreme #61). The stranger denies it and says his name is Strange.

Strange demands the other Gems and Pip pretends to go to fetch the rest of the Infinity Watch so they can hand them over. But when he gets to the door Gamora kicks it in and walks over it and him. She tells Pip to teleport and alert the others. She then attacks Strange with a kick but he teleports away. Pip has to admit that the bad guy stole his Space Gem and *runs* to get the others. He finds Moondragon meditating 1st and she mentally lets Adam Warlock, Drax the Destroyer and Maxam know what's going on. Then she leads Pip back to the fight.

Meanwhile Gamora attacks again with a fist which sinks into the foe's chest which burns her. She still fights him off as he tries to get her Time Gem but he ports behind her and retrieves it from wherever she keeps it. Then Moondragon arrives and strikes the enemy with a telekinetic blast which seems to have some effect. Gamora and Pip watch as she closes with Strange but again touching him burns her hand. Strange takes a moment to put the Time Gem away and then plucks the Mind Gem from Heather Douglas' brow and transfers it to his own. He uses it to mind-blast its owner. Gamora and Pip strike him with foot and pool cue but he casually blasts them too.

Maxam joins the fight and sneaks up behind the baddie, but Strange just mentally blasts *him* from the back of his head. Drax isn't far behind and when he sees all his friends lying unconscious even he can work out that the stranger still standing must be the bad guy he was warned about. So he leaps at him. But Strange ports slightly out of the way and extracts the Power Gem from Drax' belt as he passes to go smashing through floors and walls to the outside. Now Strange has all but the Soul Gem. Moondragon revives enough to try to stop him but only gets the attention of his mental blast.

However Warlock now enters the room to draw that attention away. He asks the stranger who he is and what he wants. Strange tells him his name and asks for his help because he needs the Infinity Gems to survive. He again denies being Dr Strange but Adam suspects that's not quite true. He tries a karmic blast from the Soul Gem on his forehead and is surprised when it doesn't work. And Strange grabs his karmic staff and smashes him into a wall. Maxam and Moondragon try to attack from behind but Strange mind-blasts them both without turning his head.

Warlock now uses his Gem to emit the light of truth to discover who or what Strange really is - a magickal construct created by DrS with a little bit of Stephen Strange's soul inside him. But as such Strange has access to Stephen's memories and Adam now causes him to remember (at the end of the Infinity War event) that the Living Tribunal decreed that the Infinity Gems can never again be all combined by 1 being.

Faced with this immutable ruling Strange expels the 4 Gems from his body and leaves.

Lee Sullivan
Lee Sullivan
Ian Laughlin
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Janice Chiang.
Editor: Craig Anderson. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Drax the Destroyer)

Plus: Infinity Watch, Maxam, strange.

> Warlock and the Infinity Watch: Book info and issue index

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