The following contains major spoilers for Strange #8, available now from Marvel Comics.
When Clea Strange took over for her late husband as the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, she knew that it would entail taking on all manner of mystical monstrosities. What she didn’t expect, however, was any threat even remotely similar to the Blasphemy Cartel. As luck would have it, the Blasphemy Cartel wasn’t expecting anything like her to get in their way either. Now that she knows why she might even be able to finally take them down.
Now that Doctor Strange is officially back in action and former W.A.N.D. director Pandora Peters is on their side, Clea and Wong can finally piece together the puzzle that is the Blasphemy Cartel. As they learn in the pages of Strange #8 (by Jed MacKay, Stefano Landini, Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Java Tartaglia, and VC’s Cory Petit), the Cartel was already working on weaponizing undead Revenants long before S.H.I.E.L.D. dissolved. Not only did they use S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own resources to compose their necrotic spells, but the Cartel also pulled every piece of information regarding the heroes and villains they knew would eventually stand in their way, save for the one who is doing precisely that right now.
The Blasphemy Cartel Was Never Prepared for Clea Strange
Knowing that the Sorcerer Supreme would eventually be their problem, the Cartel made it a point to prepare to take on Doctor Strange or anyone else that could take his place, yet none of them ever thought to worry about Clea. While the fact that they had access to so much in terms of resources and information has given them an obvious edge over the usual competition, it hasn’t helped them when it comes to their Faltine nemesis. Now that Clea understands the inherent advantage she holds, dismantling the Cartel’s operation should be all the easier. Then again, it also points towards just how capable the Cartel truly is.
If the unexpected nature of Clea and Stephen’s appearances is all that have put the Cartel on edge, then there is precious little time for the heroes to put a stop to the Revenant threat. Presumably, nothing else is ever going to pose a legitimate challenge to the Cartel, especially while they are still producing undead superheroes to fight their battles for them. Thankfully, even those haven’t been unstoppable in the face of the Sorcerer Supreme and Harvestman. Although that might all change depending on what the Cartel have learned since their last encounter.
Doctor Strange May Need Clea’s Help Against the Blasphemy Cartel
Like the Blasphemy Cartel never expected Clea to get in their way, they also never expected Doctor Strange to come back to life as Death’s personal Sorcerer Supreme of sorts. That doesn’t mean they never expected Death to respond to their Revenants, however. If their countermeasures for Strange are still practical, he may not be able to hold his own against them for much longer. If that proves to be the case, the only one left to offer any sort of real resistance would once again be Clea herself.
Assuming the Blasphemy Cartel are indeed prepared for everything but the current Sorcerer Supreme, then her upcoming assault on their Emerald City stronghold will likely be the last that either side sees carried out. As the first line of defense against the Cartel, Clea has shown them time and time again why fighting a Faltine is unlike any other battle they have fought. As the last and only hope of bringing their machinations to an end, on the other hand, Clea can only hope that the Cartel is still as genuinely uninformed as they were when this all started.