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Up from the primordial muck slithers… the Dan-Thing! In his oozing fist he clutches a time capsule: Marvel comic books from 1972! Our muck-stomping friend the Dan-Thing asked that we share these bronze-age beauties with you for education and inspiration.

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Welcome to our fourth and final installment of the Dan-Thing Archives for 2013. Today, we crack open the Dan-Thing’s time capsule to discover beautiful artwork on Dr. Strange by Barry Smith. The story uses a tried-and-true plot with our hero assailed by a mysterious villain warping his reality. Smith takes the opportunity to present us with stunning page designs, compelling facial expressions for the good doctor, and a delicately sumptuous rendering of Strange’s mystical doodads, magic threads, and spiritual chill pad.

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The “reveal” of the villain may seem a little weak to today’s readers, not involved in the Marvel continuity of 1972. But, Stan Lee and Barry Smith nonetheless deliver a truly trippy confrontation, replete with mystic energies and warped realities. While the World Spins Mad is one of the most satisfying Doctor Strange stories we’ve read in a long time.

Collector’s Guide: From Marvel Premiere #3 featuring Dr. Strange. Reprinted in Marvel Masterworks #4: Doctor Strange; Marvel, 2010.