- What's the matter? Khat got your tongue?
- -- Khats
Appearing in "Khat!"
- Arnie Green
- Victoria Bentley (Recap)
- Morgana Blessing (Recap)
- Morarji Desai (First appearance) (Indian Minister of Defence)
- Dr. Robinson (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Cloak of Levitation (Destroyed)
- Eye of Agamotto
- Orb of Agamotto
Synopsis for "Khat!"
At Kamar-Taj, new Lama Arnie Green learns that the Indian Defense Minister is making plans to occupy their monastery as part of the mounting tensions between India and China. In his anger, he accidentally releases a curse in the form of a demon that the monks' candles had been sealing away.
Meanwhile, Dr. Strange is stressed over the suicide of Dr. Berenson, for which he feels responsible, as well as his own disconcerting track record with love, which Topaz inadvertently brought to his mind by kissing him to demonstrate her own impaired empathic faculties. When he hears the news of the Indian Defense Minister's collapse at the UN by suddenly and mysteriously choking on a large amount of military medals, he heads to the hospital to help, sensing that both his medical and magical training will be required. In the operating room, Strange meets the agent of the Minister's curse, the demonic Khat, servant of Erlik Khan. Khat has the power to bring suffering to his targets as well as a talent for looking into their minds to determine what will hurt them most. As Strange is able to protect the Minister beneath a shell made from the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, Khat moves to inflaming the suffering of the other patients at the hospital. Strange knows he has to chase down and stop Khat as expediently as possible, but in ignoring the cries of suffering around him he's reminded of his time as an arrogant surgeon and how he became numb to pain and death. These doubts are just what Khat was aiming for and it manages to pull Strange into its own realm during his moment of weakness.
Strange sees he's at a disadvantage and realizes that all the time spent ignoring and denying his personal shortcomings has led to his downfall against an opponent adept at bringing them to the surface. So instead he indulges, he admits his inability to love and accepts Khat's wrath as punishment, which costs him the Cloak of Levitation as it's shredded by Khat's claws. It's then that Strange reveals that by accepting his weakness, he's able to find his strength, and with the Flames of Faltine he seals Khat away once more. He returns to the hospital where the patients are all safe and gets a telepathic call from Arnie Green apologizing for the ordeal. Though the day was saved, both mystics go away realizing they still have much to learn.
- The threat of Kamar-Taj's occupation is a reference to ongoing issues around Tibet's independence. At the time in 1986, there was a renewed campaign to bring this to the attention of the international community as human rights issues.
- The Cloak of Levitation is damaged in this issue and won't be repaired until Doctor Strange Vol 2 80.
- Dr. Strange intentionally admitting his failings with the expectation that it will somehow power him up a few minutes later does not quite count as a lesson in humility.
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