Comics You Should Read – Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph &Torment

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Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom are two iconic Marvel Comics characters. They have both been used in a variety of media from comics, to movies to games, but many don’t realize how much the characters have in common. They are both driven men, who strive to better themselves, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. Dr. Doom, despite being a man of science, is also a sorcerer like Dr. Strange and that is where  Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment comes in.

A recurring part of Dr. Doom’s stories for a long time was his goal to free his mother from hell. Every midsummer’s eve he would fight a demon, lose and vow to fight again. In, Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment a new approach is taken. After a test by the deities known as the Vishanti, Dr. Strange receives new affirmation of his role but also a new duty. Doom was also tested and nearly succeeded and Strange must grant him a boon, the boon being his aid in freeing Doom’s mother from hell. 

Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment, is unlike any other Marvel comic. First released as a standalone graphic novel, when Marvel had its line of Prestige Graphic Novels, the title has recently been reprinted along with some other relevant stories to give more context ( and one not so relevant but there is a reason for its inclusion). It was written by Roger Stern and drawn by Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy, and as such has a truly unique look to it. The comic shows the lengths Dr. Doom will go to, to free his mother, and gives, even more, depth to the dictator of Latveria, including insight into his sense of pride and honor. But at the same time, it helps expand the mythos of Dr. Strange, both by showing him interacting with other sorcerers of all kind and through his work with Dr. Doom. It also expands on characters like the Aged Ghengis, a recurring character, and shows a very different side of him. It also shows just how connected Dr. Doom and Dr. Strange truly are. It even gives new insight into the demon Mephisto and his role in hell.

Triumph and Torment is a strong title for the comic, but it has multiple meanings, some of which is not clear until the end. It was a highly acclaimed work, but sadly unavailable for many years, until as stated, it was recently reprinted. If you are a fan of comics, you should read this. Even if you dislike superhero comics, this is worth your time as it doesn’t really come off as a superhero comic at all. It is far more philosophical and spiritual in nature, reflecting on the nature of humanity and destiny and redemption. And if you like art, you can see Mike Mignola’s earlier pre-Hellboy work here. It is of an amazing quality and really helps the otherworldly nature of the comic and its protagonists. Do yourself a favor and give this one a read.

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