Lucifer. Mephistopheles. Beelzebub. Auld Hornie. Satan. Nick. Clootie. Whatever you choose to call him, the devil has a long and storied (pun intended) history, from his humble beginnings as a nameless adversary in the book of Job to a tempter in the desert to the spokesmodel for canned ham.
The prince of the power of the air has been at the center of stories for thousands of years, canonical, deuterocanonical, and extracanonical alike. His status as an instantly recognizable symbol and a royalty-free denizen of the public domain have made him an irresistible go-to in stories where an ultimate evil is needed, including in comics.
If you’ve never read Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment, it’s doubtful that you’re in some peculiar minority that has its own scholarship or anything. The book was released as an original graphic novel in 1989 and has only been in print sporadically since then, so it’s not hard to believe that so many have never come across it. But among a certain subset of fans, it's maintained a reputation as something of a forgotten classic, a rare treasure that savvy readers should excavate. This week it got a lot easier: Marvel released a new paperback edition of the 80-page story, along with a handful of related stories. So how does it hold up?
In case you hadn't heard, a little over a year ago, Spider-Man -- who married hot-redheaded model/actress Mary Jane in 1987 -- had his marriage magically dissolved by Mephisto, a.k.a. the Devil. This wasn't a divorce, mind you -- it changed reality so that the marriage had actually never happened, leaving Peter Parker a swinging single once again...
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