The second tale that I reviewed today from Strange Tales #116 is Dr. Strange’s tale, titled “Return To The Nightmare World” and in this mystic story we have a feature length thriller that is reminiscent of the first appearance of Dr. Strange back in Strange Tales #110.
In this tale, we have nightmare trapping people in their sleep into the nightmare dimension so that they never wake up. Thus it is left to Dr. Strange, to do what only he can, stop nightmare and rescue the sleeping victims so that they can awaken.
Sometimes everything comes together right to make for a great and well written story, and this is one of those times. it offered depth to the characters and there words, as well as a strong background to the story. It at no point felt too short, or to long, seeming that it was given just the right number of pates to tell the tale.
With this issue, I could not help but feel that Steve Ditko has found just the right look for the Doctor Strange stories, being both dark and mystical, yet colorful in a good comic book way. It also offered a great look for both the Physical world and the nightmare dimension. Included here is a panel from each.
First we have Dr. Strange reading the paper as he gets some visitors. I feel the use of shadows and darkness adds everything to Dr. Strange and his mortal residence and you can see good example of that in this panel and in the rest of the issue. We also here have great detail in the art, and I don’t just mean the news paper cover, but the whole room.
Then we have the dream dimension, where part of the detail is in the lack of detail. Emptiness that can be quickly filled at the whims of Nightmare adds a great level of detail to this world, and then having it filled with random objects and parts from nightmares just makes it all the greater.
I feel that while up until now they where finding their way, and getting closer , now we have defined what Dr. Strange stories should look like for years to come.
Characters & Development
What I know and What I have
In this issue, Dr Strange shows us , that it’s not just what he knows, but also what he has that makes a differences, and his artifacts are at least as important as him. Here we see him using a book, one that is given a name and a history of its own as he uses it as well. giving both Dr. Strange depth but also the world around him.
But it is never lost on us, that while what he has is helpful and even needed, it is his skills and knowledge that lets him use these tools effectively.
Originality & Continuity
This peace ties in more with the first issue than any other, although it does reference the ancient one. This tale fits in nicely with what we are building around our Strange Doctor. giving me great hope for what is to come.