Strange Tales #165: "The Mystic And The Machine!"

Strange Tales #165
"The Mystic And The Machine!"
February, 1968

From The Forbidden Files of
Comes This

Tensely Told

And Pictured

Lettered Behind
Locked Doors

And Reviewed

Doctor Strange finds himself advancing forward... aware that -- at the
end of the deep tunnel resides -- Yandroth!!  The science-lord of a
planet entire -- whose evil mind has found the secrets of the universe.
The Master of the Mystic Arts feels an ill wind as he makes his way
through the tunnel, and wonders what lies ahead.  He must pit his magic
against the scientific wizardry of Yandroth.  In order to save Victoria
Bentley from becoming the bride of Yandroth, Doctor Strange must dare

At the end of the tunnel, vaultlike doors bar the Doctor's path.  Magic
must be used to gain entry, but by expending too much, the Master of the
Mystic Arts may be leaving himself vulnerable.  In doing so, Doctor
Strange may be able to gauge his foe's strengths.  A bolt of mystical
force fails to pass through the doors, and after further effort, the
Doctor sees that they are invulnerable to his occult power.  Not wishing
to use any more energy, Doctor Strange is about to use his astral form to
pass through, when the vault doors begin to open by themselves.

The vast doors to the supreme laboratory have opened, with the voice of
Yandroth  calling out to the Master of the Mystic Arts from an unseen
location.  The science-lord watches from his control room, and waits for
the mortal magician to enter.  As the push of the firing button, his
approaching foeman will be disintegrated into so many random atoms.

Sensing that the scientific equipment may be more susceptible to his
magic than the doors were, Doctor Strange unleashes the Flames of the
Faltine upon their circuitry.  FTOOM!  The resulting explosion causes
Yandroth's monitor screen to go out, and after the cruel entity switches
to another camera, he sees that the disintegrator has been destroyed.
Since the sorcerer has proven to be more formidable than the science-lord
had expected, he goes for a rear attack with the ultra-spectrum laser
beam on the Doctor's brain.

HSSSSSP!  The brain-blasting device is triggered with the press of a
button.  Seeing the magician's body falling to the floor, Yandroth gloats
with his victory, then decides to pay a closer inspection on his fallen

As he exits from the control room, the science-lord passes by Victoria
Bentley's holding cell, and tells her that no one will prevent her
becoming Yandroth's queen.  The alien scientist is unaware that the
astral form of Doctor Strange is shadowing him, and that it had separated
before the fatal laser blast was fired.  Now knowing Victoria's location
and seeing that Yandroth is on his way, the Master of the Mystic Arts
returns to his physical body. 

Seeing that the Doctor's body is nowhere in sight, the science-lord draws
his Q-Ray blaster from its holster, and sees that his foe is still among
the living.  A crimson band of Cyttorak forms into a lightning whip to
disarm Yandroth, and cosmic fire reduces the blaster to nothingness.

THOK!  The next moment finds the science-lord delivering a right cross to
the magician, then racing back to the safety of his control room, and the
ultimate weapon.  Recovering from the surprise punch, Doctor Strange
levitates himself after his fleeing foeman.

Hearing the approach of the magician, Yandroth reluctantly activates the
fateful switch.  When confronted by the Master of the Mystic Arts, the
science-lord distracts him with another Q-Ray blaster. This time, Doctor
Strange is ready for his foe, and tackles him.

KRAK!  A punch to the jaw floors Yandroth, and the Doctor is able to
inspect the control console.  RRRRRR  The sound from the corridor
signifies the approach of the ultimate weapon.  KRUMF!  The next moment
finds the wall being blasted apart, and Doctor Strange can only speculate
the menace which is to follow.

The science-lord bids his foe to gaze upon Voltorr, he who holds the
universal lightning which can unite or destroy all matter.  With such
power, the automaton can divert stars from their course -- erode entire
mountains -- and dispose all living things just as simply as one would
turn off a light -- as the mortal magician shall soon learn in these last
few seconds remaining to him.

The Master of the Mystic Arts versus an evil alien scientist.  Somehow
this seems much more suited to the Distinguished Competition than for

Who was Jim Lawrence?  A pseudonym or a writer who wrote a handful of

Victoria Bentley, successor to Clea, as the prisoner to be saved by
Doctor Strange.

The Doctor versus two vast vault doors.  The battle is won when Yandroth
deigns to open them.

With such a supreme laboratory, the science-lord has a secure solitary
fortress to operate from.

After delivering the killing blow, Yandroth wishes to inspect his
handiwork., and to make sure that he didn't miss.

Thanks to his astral form, the Master of the Mystic Arts has got a ghost
of a chance against his scientific foe.

I wonder why the Doctor didn't imprison Yandroth within the Crimson Bands
of Cyttorak?

Seeing Doctor Strange using hand-to-hand tactics against his opponent
doesn't seem right.

Behold Voltorr, the metal giant who holds two lightning rod drumsticks in
each of his hands.

The Master of the Mystic Arts must do his "Pete Best" against this
malevolent coffee maker.

Steve Chung
"The Mystic And The Review!"