#7 - Strange Tales 145 - “To Catch a Magician!”
The adventures of Dr. Strange, as crafted by Lee and Ditko, always focused on battles between the hero and a magic-wielding enemy (sometimes human, sometimes not).
This story seems to be following that lead, as Strange tracks down the evil magician known as Mister Rasputin, a criminal who uses his magical skills to steal.
Yep, he's just a "common" criminal, but a very clever and deadly one.
When Strange confronts him, Rasputin seems almost defeated before he starts - his mystic power pales next to Strange's - but he does something the hero doesn't expect.
He draws a gun and shoots Dr. Strange! It was a shocking and unexpected event.
Mortally wounded, Strange must run - but Rasputin isn't one to leave things to chance.
It's a shocking change of pace for the series, and it pushes Strange to the limit.