Close on Dr. Strange’s hand. He is falling and his hand is reaching upwards. A playing card peeks out of his sleeve. It is the Ace of Spades.
CAP (Strange): Tuesday night poker game with the Omnipotent Oshtur did not turn out well.
Pull out to show Dr. Strange falling through space – crazy Ditko dimensions of space with whirling pathways, nowhere doorways and snaky tendrils of sinister all around.
CAP (Strange): I should have heeded the Ancient One when he warned me never to play five card stud with an all-seeing Elder of the Universe. But I’ve felt so lost lately, my every endeavour doomed to failure and bitter recrimination…
Pull out even further to show the scale of the insane universe Strange is falling through. It's a whirling maelstrom of Ditko madness… but an end to his fall is in sight. Along the bottom of the panel we can see the horizon of a planet – a small town landscape with buildings and shopfronts in silhouette. Having seen the ground rapidly approaching, Strange begins to cast spells to slow and break his fall.
CAP (Strange): I thought perhaps Oshtur could show me why. I should have known better. With her, nothing comes without a price…
CAP (Strange): And once again my arrogance has been my downfall.
Strange’s efforts to slow his fall are only partly successful. While mystic bands of spellcasting energy erupt in the air around him, he still crashes to the earth with a painful bump in the middle of a deserted small town high street. It’s early morning, the sun is rising, and the Ditko dimension absurdity is fading with the final stars of night.
Strange: By the Craven Cushions of Caramagglio, I command cottony comfort--
Bruised and battered, but not completely crippled by his crash landing, Strange sits up and looks around. He attempts some spells to heal his injuries, but his fingers give out little more than insipid sparks.
Strange: B-by the... ragged runes of... ah...
CAP (Strange): From Oshtur’s palace, I fell through a crack in the fabric of reality… I should have known then that something was wrong.
Struggling to his feet, Strange staggers towards the entrance of a nearby building. It is a Doctor’s Surgery. We can tell this because a sign on the wall reads ‘Ordinary Medical Practice’, and in smaller, almost unreadable letters, ‘S.O. Nothing-Strange MD’.
CAP (Strange): Fabric does not crack. It tears. Wherever I am now, nothing works the way it should…
Strange enters the surgery. A receptionist greets him from behind her desk. She has no face. She has no face, yet still she is scowling. (Hey, I like to give my artists a challenge.) Faceless townspeople sit around in the waiting room, nursing a variety of everyday ailments.
Receptionist: Can I help you, sir?
Strange: Yes. Yes, I’m injured. I… I had a fall… I can’t…
Receptionist: Well, Dr. Nothing-Strange is very busy today…
Close on Strange’s face. He is angry. Preparing himself for a fight.
Receptionist (off-panel): Perhaps you could make an appointment for later in the week?