Doctor Strange #3 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jed MacKay, art by Pasqual Ferry, colors by Heather Moore, and letters by Cory Petit. There is a backup story written by Amy Chu, art by Tokitokoro, colors by Fer Sifuentes-Suto, and letters by Petit. Doctor Strange must parley with his most sworn foe, Dormammu, spending the day in conversation with him.
There is superb storytelling within this issue. While the issue’s opening focuses on the larger arc at play, it steps aside to allow the singular story within the chapter to take prominence. There is a large element of fun in Doctor Strange #3, with a clever concept in the book. Doctor Strange and Dormammu have a day of snarky jabs at each other as they are restricted from fighting. That tension and bristling hatred the two have as enemies is present from start to finish. The issue moves through locations in New York City as Strange keeps up with his daily rounds as Sorcerer Supreme. And while the issue is fun and humorous, a deeper thread can sometimes be hidden. But MacKay never forgot, using the final parts of this issue to demonstrate the terrific heroism that separates Strange and Dormammu.
The dialogue is fantastic. Most of the comic just features the conversation between Doctor Strange and Dormmamu. There is a brilliant and hilarious balance between displaying their regal personas as powerful, magical beings and the general pettiness they have. Their revulsion for each other makes their squabbles delightful to read, filled with venom and jabs. It verges on friendly at points, perhaps with a level of respect. The level of intelligence is also high. It is funny that there is a scene where the duo plays chess, representing what is happening at a higher level.
The art is brilliant. Some of the comic’s humor comes from the visuals before the dialogue. One of the most notable is placing Dormammu in a business suit, installing an interesting look for him that lasts the entire issue. The panels themselves are so detailed, but they almost seem like a different comic to what is happening in the foreground, sometimes looking like a different style. The magical elements are stunning, with some truly epic glimpses of more significant battles. These pieces looking odd within the world cements them as out of place.
The colors are ridiculous in the details as well. This comic has so much happening in each panel, yet the colors flawlessly help identify what is going on. The palette changes between the foreground and background, again creating that feeling that they are separate styles, but the depth within those backgrounds is jaw-dropping. The letters can be challenging to read, especially the word balloon used for Dormmamu, due to the addition of dots and red text.
The backup story is an excellent team-up between Nico Minoru of the Runaways and Doctor Strange. Much more energetic than the main book, it’s a frantic and noisy confrontation to protect the Staff of One from falling into the wrong hands. That is captured superbly by Tokitokoro, whose work is similar to manga as opposed to a Western influence.
Doctor Strange #3 is a great example of how different this book is from other superhero comics. The job that Doctor Strange has is vastly separate from that of Spider-Man or Daredevil. He is practically a magical diplomat at times, having to place nicely with his sworn enemies. It’s such a fun and adventurous book, with MacKay able to tell multiple stories simultaneously while being driven and powerful in his messages, partnered with a phenomenal art team.
Doctor Strange #3
Doctor Strange #3 is a great example of how different this book is from other superhero comics. The job that Doctor Strange has is vastly separate from that of Spider-Man or Daredevil.