Marvel’s Most Important God is Dying – and It’s Doctor Strange’s Fault

Strange Academy’s biggest secret is finally becoming a problem, and it may change the entire Marvel Universe if Doctor Voodoo can not fix his predecessor’s mistakes.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Strange Academy # 16, available now from Marvel.

Under the watchful eye of Doctor Strange, the Strange Academy has been the premier school for the next generation of Masters of the Mystic Arts. Unfortunately, the Sorcerer Supreme’s recent untimely demise has soured things across campus, not to mention across dimensions. While many of these grave concerns have been dealt with already, there is one unattended problem that could threaten the entire world. Not only is the impending death of Hoggoth all Strange’s fault, but his former students could be the ones left paying the price.

While the Marvel Universe has largely returned to normal following the tragic death of Doctor Strange, the school he founded has hardly come along as well. Doctor Voodoo has found himself working overtime trying to cover all of his predecessor’s bases as a headmaster, which includes convening with the Vishanti. These ancient deities have not just called upon Doctor Voodoo to check in on recent goings on, however, but to discuss a new matter of the utmost importance. As seen in the pages of Strange Academy # 16 (by Skottie Young, Humberto Ramos, Edgard Delgado, and VC’s Clayton Cowles), one of the Vishanti is currently on the verge of death, and it just so happens to be the titular school’s fault.

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The Vishanti, who made their first full appearance in the pages of 1972’s Marvel Premiere # 5 by Gardner Fox and Irv Wesley, are a trio of ancient gods from across the cosmos. Oshtur, an Elder God of Earth, took to the cosmos thousands of years ago, whereupon she met Hoggoth, the tiger-like final survivor of an alien pantheon. While these beings have long played an important role in the Sorcerer Supreme’s life, Hoggoth became integral to the success of Strange’s school. All magic requires some sacrifice, whether that be the ingredients of a spell or the lifeforce of the sorcerer in question, and Hoggoth has been paying for the cost of all of the magic wielded by the students of Strange Academy.

Now it seems that incredible burden is finally taking its toll on Hoggoth, and the Marvel Universe might never be the same should he pass. Apart from forcing the students of Strange Academy to face the harsh reality of magic in their world, there is no telling what the fallout could be if one of the Vishanti fell. The death of Doctor Strange saw a menacing myriad of mystic threats converge on Earth from all manner of alternate dimensions. The Vishanti might not be as prominent as the Sorcerer Supreme, but there is no question that they too stand between their reality and unspeakable dark forces. Especially as an alien god, the secrets Hoggoth hides could be more devastating than even his fellow Vishanti are aware of.

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With any luck, Doctor Voodoo will be able to help Hoggoth overcome whatever it is that ails him. Assuming there is time to do so, the answer may very well lie in the Strange Academy itself. Considering how much Hoggoth has taken on for the school, it only makes sense that it would be able to return the favor. Then again, there is no way of knowing if Doctor Strange’s school has not passed on more than it could handle to begin with. If Doctor Voodoo can not find a way to make up for Doctor Strange’s mistakes, there may not be a Strange Academy for much longer.

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