Hey Everyone, Welcome back to Marvel Monday for my breakdown of Doctor Strange Volume 1: Across the Universe. We are officially five weeks in which is exciting for me and I hope that you have taken the time to read my other breakdowns. I will make sure to link to those at the end of this post.
In this volume we are with Stephen Strange as he discovers that he has lost his connection to magic. The why to this issue isn’t explained in this volume but we go with Strange across the universe to rediscover magic and his connection to it. The story is narrated by a third party and that is uncommon for a comic unless it is being told by another person which also happens to be the case in this story as well. More on that at the end.
At the start of this Volume Strange is fighting the Elder God X’axal. Strange uses his magic to open a rift and then close it behind X’axal. There is then a time jump to seven years later to Strange loses the ability to see the magical world around him. Obviously with story telling like this we must think that X’axal is involved but that isn’t the point here. The issue is that at sorcerer supreme he is like the firewall that defends Earth from attack. So, this is kind of a big deal.
Another month passes and Strange has begun to live life like an ordinary man but can hear echoes of the magical world around him and he fears about what could happen if he does not regain his abilities. Worried that what is happening to him could affect another sorcerer he sees Tony Stark for help. Stephen explains that when magic has run low before he would simple cross a dimension snag a relic and it would temporarily be restored. However, in his current condition that just isn’t possible. Tony suggests then that he look within his own dimension for help, there must be other sorcerers that could help him. He lends Strange a ship and plots a course for him to Shi’ar.
The Shi’ar are a race of humanoid aliens that are typically peacekeepers that Tony has had the chance to meet. None of that matters though because the ship gets knocked off course by a comet and lands on Grynda. Now Grynda is a technologically advanced planet with absolutely no understanding of magic. They ferociously experiment on Strange for 73 days with Strange losing hope. That is until he gets company.
We later learn that this other prisoner is Kenna. She is an Arcanologist and travels across the universe looking for magical objects. She explains to Strange that she was captured in a cave outside the city looking for objects. She did find one object and after explaining what it looked like to Strange, he realizes that this is the Eye of Basphorus. A stone that can grant the magician one wish.
They plan and execute an escape by tricking the guard, but their luck doesn’t hold out when the alarm blares. They easily find Kenna’s ship but Strange also sees that the Gryndians are building a battleship. He realizes that after studying Strange they have decided that they are going to head to Earth to steal technology from them.
Kenna runs off leaving Strange alone for a moment, long enough to steal back the stone. Strange attempts to use it but has no luck. It gets even worse when they are spotted and make a break for it. They make it to the ship but Strange wants to make sure that they can’t get to Earth. So, he jumps out of Kenna’s ship as it reaches the atmosphere. This time the stone works and luckily Kenna maneuvers her ship to save Strange.
After that escape they continue to travel together hunting artifacts. They use some and trade some but ultimately Strange regains some of his abilities. Kenna then lines up a teacher for Strange only later to find out that this teacher is a Skrull. Skrulls = Bad, if you are unfamiliar. On their refugee planet, Tarnax II, they discover that Lord Ki’rt has found a piece of the time stone that was destroyed in the fight with Thanos. Worried about the Skrulls having this kind of power Strange surprise attacks and gets the piece.
Now, he finds himself in a fight with Lord Ki’rt who on Earth is dubbed the Super-Skrull because he harnesses all the powers of the Final Four. Using the shred of time stone, Strange can defeat Super-Skrull. Back on the ship a Kenna becomes upset because Stephen promised her that if they went for the stone that he would give it to her. Now he looks for a way to destroy it. He ends up using the forgetful hand to wipe her memory of the stone.
After this Skrulls, Kenna and Strange get an alert that one of the Dwarfs of Nidavellir has been taken by the Majesdanians. They head there to help free this dwarf Eoffren who was taken to build some type of machine for Roxnor, the leader of the Majesdanians. They get him away pretty easy but are chased by Roxnor and his men. Stephen then jumps off the cliff with Kenna and Eoffren only to be saved by his cape. The last test he had to regain have regained his powers.
However, instead of escaping the Majesdane Empire he returns to fight with a rage inside of him. Kenna uses a relic to create a portal and gets Stephen and Eoffren out of there, but she is then taken prisoner and forced to build the machine that Roxner tells her will be uses on Earth as revenge.
Eoffren at first wants to leave Stephen claiming that with his rage he is just as bad as Roxner. That is anger and is arrogance is what is driving him and not his desire to help others. Strange admits that he may be right, and so Eoffren takes in Strange to be his mentor. He then takes him to The Forge where he learns to take all this magic he has learned and use it to make his own relics instead of stealing the magic from others.
After some time, Kenna sends a message to Strange to tell him about the weapon. This prompts Stephen to make a new weapon, the Sword of Strange. This allows for him to teleport to the Majesdanian ship, but he doesn’t make it in time to stop the launch of the weapon that will destroy earth. He though, is powerful enough now to easily handle Roxnor, get Kenna, and then steal a ship to get to the warhead. Even though they are followed he uses the sword to stop the warhead. Roxnor admits defeats and wants to be put to death. Instead Strange sends him home in shame and dishonor.
That for the most part ends this volume. However, there were a few pages slid in that add more to the story. There is the Elseworld briefing about Strange using the Eye of Basphorus which may lead to something.
The there is the teller of this story. We see that it is told to the ghost of bats by Doctor Strange! But not the Doctor Strange from this story, there are two of them and this is something that leads into the next volume as Stephen Strange that we have been following returns home.
Overall, I found that I really enjoyed this volume. I was never a big Doctor Strange fan until he was introduced to the MCU. When looking more into him though, I have found him to be one of my favorites both on screen and in the comics. I hope you guys take the time to check out this series.
Next week we are going to take a look at Thor Vol. 1: God of Thunder Reborn.
Where to buy?
Doctor Strange Vol. 1: Across the Universe: https://amzn.to/2ZllScz
Thor Vol. 1: God of Thunder Reborn: https://amzn.to/33aHOcJ
Avengers Vol. 1: The Final Host: http://bit.ly/2GLIFHi
The Mighty Thor #1: At the Gates of Valhalla: http://bit.ly/2YILqze
Quicksilver Vol. 1: No Surrender: http://bit.ly/2T8EZEH
The Immortal Hulk: Or is he Both?: http://bit.ly/33bybdU