Doctor Strange #1 is a new series from Marvel Comics written by Jed Mackay, art by Pasqual Ferry, colours by Matt Hollingsworth, and letters by Cory Petit. There is a backup story titled “Freak Out!,” written by Mackay, art by Andy Macdonald, and colours by Ian Herring. Doctor Strange is back and has returned as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, alongside his wife, Clea. Now they must work to reestablish control of the magical mishaps occurring across the planet.
The comic has to both return to the status quo and change it at the same time. With Strange returning, normal service has resumed within his occupation. Mackay spends little time dwelling on the past and focuses on current events within the Marvel Universe. He has set up a role as a consulting doctor, helping out heroes who encounter demons and other magical foes. This is a whole load of fun to start off the new series, also displaying a fantastic potential for almost limitless adventures. Just one of the situations included could have been an issue in itself. Then the second half of the comic brings drama and tension with it. A violent and oppressive situation creates conflict within the married couple, who just so happens to both be Sorcerer Supreme. And very quickly, something extreme happens that will lead to massive consequences.
The dialogue and the script of this comic are sublime, matching the tone completely. The first is intensely positive and freeing, revelling in the fact that Strange is back. His encounters with other heroes are brilliantly fun and adventurous, reminding us of his connections with some of the long-standing characters in Marvel’s history, such as Spider-Man and Luke Cage. But there are also others where his menace and darkness leak through, highlighting how dangerous Stephen can be when he’s angry. There are also signs of both love and conflict between Strange and Clea. They work excellently together, learning how to work alongside each other, but they have very different mindsets on how to solve situations. Whilst it often comes from the same place of wanting justice, one may be filled with more fire and fury than the other.
The art is incredible. Ferry is a superb choice as artist for the series. He captures the warmth of the book terrifically, with Strange having either an exquisite gaze or a happy smile on his face. The creatures and beings that he comes across are all amazing and varied in their design, and the heroes are spectacular. The way Strange floats around the place with the unnatural floating cape grants the book a constant whimsical nature. Small, almost imperceptible, details are added through very small lines, such as the patterns on Clea’s costume. The colours are stunning. They are small and powerful, giving the comic a clean look. And the magic is intensified by the work of Hollingsworth. The glowing lights when spells are cast vary in contrast, making them fascinating to look at. The letters are very easy to read.
In the backup story, we see Wong and Pandora Peters take on Doctor Zee in an energetic and chaotic encounter. Fighting in an airship above Birmingham, England, there’s a fast pace to this tale that makes it infectious, with Doctor Zee being a bizarre character. The art is gorgeous, and many hallucinogenic patterns and displays seem reminiscent and tributary to Ditko’s Doctor Strange work or even Steranko’s Nick Fury. There is an insane amount of detail in character designs and locations. Herring’s colours are a fantastic mix of fluorescent shades with more natural tones.
Doctor Strange #1 brings the Sorcerer Supreme back in a marvelous first issue. The energy and exuberance of the comic make it very easy to sink into, whilst that ability to descend into darkness gives the book weight and unpredictability. The book instantly cements Strange as an important part of the Marvel Universe, easily interacting and fitting in with whichever hero Mackay includes. But he and Clea and also very capable of spearheading a comic through their own strength of character.
Doctor Strange #1 is available where comics are sold.
Doctor Strange #1
Doctor Strange #1 brings the Sorcerer Supreme back in a marvelous first issue. The energy and exuberance of the comic make it very easy to sink into, whilst that ability to descend into darkness gives the book weight and unpredictability. The book instantly cements Strange as an important part of the Marvel Universe, easily interacting and fitting in with whichever hero Mackay includes.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”