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Quote1.png Your life is a sham, Black. Your only reality is the refuge of illusion. You have mistaken shadows for substance for so long--. Quote2.png
Doctor Strange

Appearing in "A Midsummer's Nightmare!"

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Synopsis for "A Midsummer's Nightmare!"

After an evening reading William Shakespeare and having a discussion with Wong, Dr. Strange retires to bed for a well deserved rest. Both Strange and Wong fail to notice a rat that has infiltrated the Sanctum Sanctorum, and enters Stephen's bedroom. As the Sorcerer Supreme rests, the rat pounces on him, causing a magical incantation that sends the Doctor's spirit form into the realm of Nightmare. Nightmare boasts about how he was going to attack Strange when he least expected it.

When Strange demands to know why Nightmare has brought him to this realm, the evil creature tells Strange that he intends to kill his old foe and unleashes his current pawn on him: Cyrus Black, a low level magician that Strange had defeated previously with the aid of his comrades the Defenders.[1] Black however has had his powers increased by Nightmare, and the insane magician wants nothing more than revenge on Doctor Strange, and seeks to destroy the Sorcerer Supreme with his own magical might.

Initially overpowering Strange, Cyrus boasts of a grand revenge for a past misdeed, Strange unaware of any such event asks Cyrus to explain himself. Cyrus tells of a time when apparently, Strange and Cyrus both vied for the Wand of Watoomb, traveling to the world of Watoomb to obtain the mystical item. He explains in their struggle Cyrus was defeated and the Wand was broken in half. He would later hear that the Wand was taken into possession by a rival magician named Xandu, who Strange would later defeat. Cyrus would then recite a slightly different account of his earlier battle against Strange and the Defenders. Following his defeat at the hands of the Defenders, Black explains that he was shunted into Nightmares realm where the dream lord taught Cyrus how to harness his full magical potential and made him an even greater magician.

This exposition allows Strange to regain his strength and marshal a counterattack, while Strange turns the tide Cyrus Black manages to regain a foothold in the battle and overpower Strange once again. However, Strange regains the upper hand against Black by using his Eye of Agamotto. It's light revealing the truth about Cyrus Black to the evil magician himself, that most of his revenge story is false. On the sidelines, Nightmare becomes furious over being bested by Strange and attacks him directly. He then instructs Cyrus to cast a fatal spell on their foe, but the fight is soon ended when Cyrus, realizing the truth, saves Stephen from Nightmare's attack and then uses his own magic to commit suicide.

With Nightmare's plot ruined, Strange is able to escape back to the waking realm where he is left to ponder about his fate of constantly battling the powers of darkness.

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