Doctor Strange's Death Could Be His Final Victory
Doctor Strange's death may seem like a tragedy, but he might be able to turn it into his ultimate triumph.
Warning: contains spoilers for Strange #9!
While Doctor Strange's recent death appears to be his ultimate defeat, the Sorcerer Supreme is ready to turn it into a colossal victory. In Doctor Strange #9, the current Sorcerer Supreme, Clea, is on the trail of a powerful new faction in the wizarding world, the Blasphemy Cartel, and Doctor Strange's death may have given Clea the edge The advantages they need.
In last year's Death of Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme appears to have died, ceding the title to his longtime lover Clea. Since taking over the role, Clea has had to contend with the Profanity Cartel, which is establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with in the magical corner of the Marvel Universe. A cartel of former Agents of Wands attempts to consolidate its power - only for Klee to stand in their way. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure claiming to be the Reaper has been threatening Klee. It was later revealed that the Reaper was Doctor Strange, and now she works for Reaper herself. Clea vows to find a way to get Strange out of his debt to Death, all the while trying to bring down the blasphemy cartel. Now, Marvel reveals that Strange's death could be The key to defeating them.
In Jed MacCkay's Stragne #9, Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Java Tartaglia, Cory Petit, Clea, and Dr. Strange launch an attack on the Cartel's floating headquarters, the Emerald City. The leader of the cartel, Director No Director, is watching these two heroes fight their way through the cartel's legions. He admits he didn't expect Reaper - but should have. He refers to Clea and Strange as the Harvestman "x-factor" and "unknown variable". Director None throws a tantrum because he can't control them; he admits that Strange's death is the worst thing that could happen to the Cartel, since they already have contingency plans in place for how to deal with Strange. They watched Doctor Strange and prepared for him. Clea, on the other hand, is a true wild card -- the cartel has no plans.
Doctor Strange is About to Turn the Tables
When Doctor Strange dies, Earth is suddenly the prey of an evil magic far more powerful than ever; so it might seem odd to view his death as a victory - but it turns out to be crucial to defeating the blasphemy cartel is indispensable. As the None director himself said, Clea (and Strange returning as Harvestman) threw a serious wrench Cartel's work. At its core, a cartel is a military organization with precise plans and procedures for dealing with threats. The Cartels had Doctor Strange in mind, not Klee, when they crafted their elaborate plan. Clea is an unknown in their plans, and holes will undoubtedly pop up when they modify their strategy essentially on the fly - making Clea and Strange "members" of them. Doctor Strange's death cleared the way for Keri to enter the picture, dealing a huge blow to the blasphemy cartel's conquest plans.
Next year, just in time for his 60th anniversary, Doctor Strange will return to Earth - and presumably in the role of the Sorcerer Supreme. By this point, perhaps the blasphemy cartel has been defeated, which would make Strange's return even sweeter. On the other hand, Doctor Strange's death offers him the opportunity to defeat the Cartel, turning this tragedy into a victory.
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