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Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment (Marvel Comics, 1989 OGN)

So, you’ve read The Oath and want more Doctor Strange.  Good news!  I have a solution for you:  the time Stephen Strange teamed up with Victor von Doom to help save Doom’s mother from hell.

As far as almost 30-year-old comics go, Triumph & Torment has aged pretty well.  The dialogue is a bit stilted, but it helps that Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom, and Mephisto still have a capacity for flowery language.  But Stern’s story does a good job of making use of the characters’ histories to find a valid reason for them to team up.  And shades of the professional respect they share for each other—and Doom’s quiet, inner conflicts—inform recent stories:  Secret Wars relies upon it.  And I suspect Infamous Iron Man* will also follow in its footsteps as well.

Triumph & Torment has a lot going for itself with Mignola and Badger’s art.  It is pulpy and brooding; and it sets the book’s tone by shifting from foreboding in its first act, to anguished in the middle, to searing and nightmarish as it moves into hell.  

It can be hard to find Doctor Strange stories that have aged well, but Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment holds up better than most.  Its art is stunning, and while its script shows some age (and sags a little in the middle under the weight of exposition), it is character-driven and interesting.  Admittedly, more of that trades on Doctor Doom’s history and complexities, but good Doom almost always overshadows other characters on the page.

*Since writing this, I have read Infamous Iron Man #5, and yes, it draws heavily from Triumph & Torment.

Collected in

  • Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph & Torment (OGN)


Writer: Roger Stern | Penciller: Mike Mignola | Inker/Colorist: Mark Badger | Letterer: Jim Novak | Assistant Editor: Marc Siry | Editor: Ralph Macchio

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