After a really great arc in which Clea leaves him, Stephen Strange meets up with… D’Spayre! At a time when Jim Shooter was telling everyone to do done-in-ones and keep it light, Roger Stern dug deep into the exploration of emotional rejection. It’s something I don’t think anyone had ever done in comics before. Even Jean Grey didn’t get this kind of a send off, and Clea’s not even dead!
In this story, Strange’s self-indulgent sadness gives rise to a Christmas Carol inspired story in which he mystically gets to see what the world would have been like if he had never existed.
Along the way, he meets his creators: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Also, there’s a flashback with The Defenders, and we get to see them drawn by the great Michael Golden.
Beautiful. But it doesn’t count as an appearance because it’s just a mystic dream.