(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
Right before I left comics for a decade, I was introduced to Dr. Strange’s newest disciple in a wonderful series of Doc adventures. Things were a little rougher and yes, the “street level” attitude of then (and now) had invaded Stephen’s tales. But ah, Rintrah! No Clea he!
Rintrah is an intelligent being from another dimension. He resembles a green-skinned minotaur of Greek myth. Rintrah's magical potential somehow brought him to the attention of Enitharmon the Weaver, an other- dimensional sorcerer. Enitharmon took Rintrah in and began training him as an apprentice.
Rintrah first encountered Earth's then-Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange when Strange asked Enitharmon to repair his Cloak of Levitation, which had been torn in a battle. After he repaired the Cloak, Enitharmon told Rintrah to return the Cloak to Strange. (Stitch in time!)
Rintrah found Strange just after the sorcerer's physical body had been badly wounded in a battle with a demon sent by Urthona, an alien mystic from Strange's own dimension. Mortally injured, Strange had been forced to release his astral form and take possession of the bodies of two of his friends, Morgana Blessing and Sara Wolfe. While in these two other forms, Strange was just able to beat Urthona's demon. During the battle, Urthona transported Strange's house, and everything inside it, to his home planet.
Rintrah found Strange just after intense surgery was performed to save Strange's physical body. Still inside Sara Wolfe's body, Strange's astral spirit asked Rintrah to allow him to project his spirit into Rintrah's body. Rintrah agreed, allowing both Strange's and Rintrah's consciousness to inhabit one body at the same time.
Rintrah's shared body then took Strange's healing body and borrowed a spaceship from Reed Richards. They traveled to Urthona's home planet and confronted the alien wizard.
During the battle, it appeared as if Strange had destroyed his magical books and mystical talismans. In actuality, the books and talismans were saved by the magical entity Agamotto, one of the Vishanti. Agamotto later returned the unharmed items to Dr. Strange. (Apparently Agamotto then did not have the hard feelings he had in New Avengers?)
Strange and Rintrah were able to beat Urthona, and free his captives, Wong and Topaz. They then returned to Earth. Rintrah remained with Dr. Strange and accompanied him on several adventures.
Rintrah was a staunch supporter of Strange's during the troubling times that followed. As Earth was invaded by a number of evil entities from beyond, Strange was forced to turn to black magic to help defeat them. During this time, Strange allied himself with the black magician Kaluu. (Gesundheit!)
After defeating the dark forces, Strange attained godhood and slowly became detached from humanity. Kaluu, Enitharmon and Rintrah were able to return Strange to his old self. Rintrah then returned with Enitharmon to his dimension.
Eventually, Rintrah returned to Earth and asked Strange to accept him as an apprentice. Strange agreed and Rintrah lived with Strange in his home in Greenwich Village.
Rintrah helped Dr. Strange search for a cure for Topaz, one of Dr. Strange's allies, who had been possessed by an ancient demon of Sumer. The spell required to banish the demon requires a number of unique ingredients. One such ingredient was the flame from a demon's head. The search for the demonic fire led Strange and Rintrah to the newest version of the Ghost Rider. They then battled the mysterious villain known as Zodiak, who was apparently backed by mystical masters from another dimension. During the battle, the heroes were able to drive back Zodiak, plus gain a piece of flame from a demon from Zodiak's home dimension.
During the battle, Rintrah disguised himself to look like Topaz, and he made Topaz look like him. Rintrah chivalrously insisted on doing this, hoping to protect Topaz. Rintrah subsequently took a mortal blow intended for Topaz from the mad Zodiak. Dr. Strange and Topaz returned to Strange's home with the wounded Rintrah, where Strange promptly used a spell to remove any taint of black magic from Rintrah's grievous wound.
Strange then used his earthly medical abilities to operate on the wounded Rintrah. Luckily Rintrah recovered, but he remained weak from his brush with death.
Although Rintrah later earns his master's original blue Cloak of Levitation and Amulet of Agamotto (not to be confused with the Eye of Agamotto), he seemingly perishes when he smashes the enscrolled talisman of Tartessus. His remains were sent to another dimension for temporary safekeeping.
But d’ast, we are talking about “comic book death” and magic here. This is not to say that the lovable green minotaur cannot return, since only origin-spawning deaths like Uncle Ben and Bruce Wayne's parents are the only permanent meaningful deaths in comics.
I hope one day to see the bumbling but loyal green bull among the 616 dwellers again.