Tuesday, January 3, 2017

DOCTOR STRANGE V.1 - A REVIEW

Doctor Strange (2015) Volume 1: The Way of the Weird
Written by: Jason Aaron
Illustrated by: Chris Bachalo
Hardcover: 136 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Language: English
May 2016
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

Only Doctor Strange can protect our world from the darkness beyond -- now, witness the full toll that constant struggle takes on Earth's Sorcerer Supreme! Every spell cast comes at a cost, but what happens when Strange falls behind on his tab? Find out as the good doctor wakes up somewhere very odd, nearly naked -- with no spell books, no weapons and no memory of how he got there...or why all the monsters are chasing him! And as a new visitor to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum learns one wrong door can lead to oblivion, a magic circle of Strange's friends and allies are about to face their greatest threat. Dark forces are destroying everything mystical in the multiverse, and their sights are set on this dimension. Magic's days are numbered, and Doctor Strange is not ready!

Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #1-5.


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“Who do you call when things are coming out of your dreams and trying to kill you? Or when your daughter is cursing in Latin and walking like a spider? Or when your dog keeps screaming at you to strangle your neighbors? Doctor Strange, of course. “

There are still a few Marvel characters I do not know very well despite being the Marvel fangirl that I am. One of them is Doctor Strange. Sure I know the basics and what I have gleaned from his appearances in other series, but I figured I should read what’s new in comics before I went and saw the film (as a refresher course). Jason Aaron’s new series seemed like a good start especially when the first trade came out this summer.

The volume begins with a page of faded Silver Age panels giving the cliff notes version of how Doctor Strange came to be. It’s a quick origin story and that’s all you really need to know. But here is a more modern Strange and one I think I am going to like. I also pictured Strange as having a similar personality to Stark, kind of an ass, ego completely unchecked, but a hero in the end. Here, he is boyish and charming. Ego is still there, but I find him endearing.

‘My name is Stephen Strange and this is a normal Tuesday for me.’ And by normal we are talking about giant teddy bears for the win. Oh and monsters.

Things I liked: Whoa Nelly, that art. I loved it. From the first splash page to the colors and how the Sanctum is depicted…loved it so much. Those opening pages set the tone for the rest of the volume and I hope the series. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and full of weird magic. Just how I like it. This was not the Stephen Strange I was expecting and I am so giddy that I was wrong.

Like I said Doctor Strange still has his ego and his arrogance shows through at times, but he also is shades of aloofness and kind of Harry Dresden when I think about it. He’s funny. He has quips. He understands that though extremely powerful as the Sorcerer Supreme, that power comes with a high price. He’s acerbic and has ulcers the size of subway rats. Above all he is the hero in the story. You see it with his payment on the kid’s life at the beginning, how he helps our new librarian friend, and how much he truly cares about this world.

I loved the Bar with no doors, sitting with Doctor Voodoo, Scarlet Witch and Shaman. I loved ‘‘Do not talk to the snakes.’ ‘Hey girl, what’s up?’ ‘What’s your hurry?’ (Can we revisit the snakes again in another issue). I loved the trippiness of the monsters. Yeah I just kind of loved it all.

Things I didn’t like so much: It ends on a cliffhanger.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. Or at least pick it up from the library. A great place to begin I think with Doctor Strange.

Part of: Ongoing series.

Also Recommended: For more Jason Aaron try his run with Thor (The Goddess of Thunder), Scalped, or Original Sin. For more Doctor Strange see how J Michael Straczynski did with Doctor Strange: Beginnings and Endings. For some more magic tinged comics give Black Magick by Greg Rucka a shot or maybe Monstress by Marjorie Liu.

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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