Synopsis for “Dawn of Death!”
Continued from last issue…
Dr. Strange confronts his old colleague, Julian Phyffe over his allegiance with Baron Mordo, asking his old friend how he could aid Mordo in opening the Seven Gates of Chaos and bring about the destruction of the universe. Phyffe explains that Mordo had offered him a new home in the new universe that Mordo intends to create once he succeeds. When Strange tries to explain to Phyffe that Mordo will likely betray him, Lord Phyffe stuns Strange with a mystic bolt and makes his escape in a sports car. However, Phyffe’s reckless driving causes him to crash into the River Seine.
When Strange dives down after him and breaks into the sinking car, the Sorcerer Supreme arrives to find that it’s too late to save Phyffe, who’s neck had snapped in the crash. Strange himself almost meets his end when he almost drowns in the powerful currents of the Seine, but he manages to make it to shore and is pulled back to dry land by Madeleine St. Germaine. After Stephen brings her up to speed, the two decide to leave. As their car speeds off, they are too late to notice the reanimated corpse of Lord Phyffe rising from the water, resurrected by Baron Mordo to finish his appointed task in destroying Dr. Strange. In order to facilitate this goal, Baron Mordo transforms Phyffe into a new form which he christened Asreal and sends him after Strange.
Meanwhile, the Doctor has returned to the home of Madeleine St. Germaine where he calls his Santcum Sanctorum in New York. Sara Wolf answers the phone and tells Stephen about how Clea’s search for Wong was impeded by Shadow Demons and how they traded places so she might get past them. Elsewhere, Clea has tracked down Wong’s location to a mansion in the Adirondack mountains, where she is shot from behind and tumbles down a hill.
Back in Paris, Stephen reads over the news, and a front page headline about mysterious disappearances near Citrusville, Florida gets his attention. Seeing a picture of Madeleine’s family makes Stephen reflect back during his early days as a surgeon he saved Madeleine’s life and the two had a whirl wind romance thereafter. It ended when Strange’s love of money became an obsession and Madeleine would turn down a marriage proposal and walk out of his life. With the recollection over, Strange realizes that he still cares deeply for the woman. When Madeleine returns, he explains his need to get to Citrusville when suddenly, Madeleine’s maid enters in the room in a panic. To their horror she ages rapidly before their eyes before crumbling to dust.
Suddenly, the newly transformed Lord Phyffe enters the room and attempts to destroy Dr. Strange. The Sorcerer Supreme soon finds that Asrael’s power allows him to age not only people at a touch, but spells as well, making any of the Doctor’s attacks nearly useless against his foe. Their battle rages, and brings the attention of the police. While all are distracted, Dr. Strange grabs Madeleine and makes a run for it by jumping out a nearby window. Asrael manages to catch up by causing the mortar in a brick wall to decay causing a rain of bricks to fall on Stephen. Pulled out of the rubble by Asrael, Dr. Strange soon begins to succumb to the evil magicians powers, ageing rapidly.
This story is continued in Man-Thing Vol. 2 #4…
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