What follows next is not so much Doctor Strange guesting in a Thing comic but the other way around. It reads like a Doctor Strange comic that happens to have the Thing as a guest star. Let's begin . . .
The scene: A New York subway:
Things to note: Dr. Stephen Strange and Clea (Clea in pink). Two rowdies, Duff and Nick off to the left. Sheldon and Renee (Sheldon in a tux). Alvin looking at a bottle. Everybody factors in this story except Alvin.
Oh I forgot. A girl playing the harmonica. Actually she's not a girl she's a --- I don't know. Here she falls on the rails.
Yup, definitely not an ordinary girl. And I told you this read like a Doctor Strange story.
A truly uncommon subway incident indeed as everyone goes their way. Doctor Strange is left with the harmonica the girl was using.
Harmonica in hand, the Master of the Mystic Arts conducts his own unique style of investigation.
He gets an answer from the "girl" who identifies herself as either destiny or an agent of destiny and has this to say about the matter.
I have a hard time deciphering what she actually said until I read the rest of the story. Since I've done just that, this is what she said. Each of the people on the subway got showered with those strange sparks. Everyone - except Doctor Strange and Clea - maybe because they're "mystical" to begin with - will manifest their greatest belief. Still a bit hazy? The rest of the tale will make it clear. The message is alarming enough for the Doctor to go out and search for these people. An impossible job to most but Stephen Strange can fly and he has the Eye of Agamotto (and we all know that Japanese technology is amazing).
First up is Sheldon and Renee. The problem: Sheldon just lost his face.
In comes the Doctor.
And an explanation.
So it's going to be like this huh? I like it. Very nice. Let's find the next one.
The next one is that punk, Duff. And this is where the Doctor bumps into Ben.
It's time to backtrack to how Ben got in here (which is funny because this is the Thing's book).
Going back a few hours, it's 2am. Look how peaceful the Baxter Building is.
It's even more peaceful considering most of the time we're seeing this place getting blown up. Inside, it's really peaceful.
What is that a king-sized bed? Ben makes it look like a single.
So Ben get's woken up by an old neighborhood friend.
I like this story because it focuses on the Thing's character and on his relationships from when he was plain old Ben from the neighborhood. The people who care for him don't stop caring just because he's changed into the Thing - and he cares for them still. It turns out that Mrs. Coogan is related to Duff.
Speaking of Duff, this happens to him.
This explains the rat.
And this resolves it.
There's one left: the homeless Alvin. But that's for a future issue together with the promise of a Valkyrie!