Comic Book Review: Doctor Strange #1

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I have to say that there was some skepticism with this new relaunch of Doctor Strange. The run before was very down to Earth and unique for how the story changed everything that we thought we knew about the world of magic. It even reinforced some things that they have been pressing upon up to this point. But when all of that is said and done, then we go off to space? That is where you wonder about the future of the sorcerer supreme. If this is truly the next step, now was the time to convince us.

The very first scene of this new run did quickly begin to ease some of the worries I had when the priority was seeing that Doctor Strange himself wasn’t going change too much. One thing that could only hurt this story was losing that spark that made the sorcerer supreme different from most other magic users in the Marvel Universe. Mark Waid quickly nailed the contrast in personality between the overwhelming confidence, charisma, and ability to think on his feet. Then giving us this Doctor Strange who had been through so much since those times of invincibility, and stilling trying to make his way towards something resembling who he once was. Keeping that uphill climb after the loss of magic was important for him to be able to move forward and his direction make sense.

I only found one thing troubling, and that was the state of magic. We were before left with the impression that magic was recovering, albeit slowly. Now we are facing a world where it is simply fading away before any real recovery could begin. On the flipside, one could find themselves content with the fact that this is the first real struggle with a lack of magic since the Emprikul attack. Strange could have always found himself lower than he fell before, and this is what rock bottom actually looked like.

When speak of this story turning into a cosmic adventure, it made sense who Doctor Strange turned to during this time of crisis. It was the one person who also was able to somehow reinvent himself when Earth wasn’t offering enough room for growth. This was also the best time to start asking the right questions in terms of what lies beyond Earth. These stories have always taken us to other dimensions and realms, but why not simply outside of Earth? A whole universe out there where every planet and race of people have their own way of preserving magic  or protecting it. It was really about time, and the conversation was very engaging for the doors it finally opened.

I was very impressed by the artwork of Jesus Saiz. Despite being familiar with his work beforehand, that didn’t stop the idea that there was need for worry considering this is somewhat new territory. That isn’t to say that there was any need to doubt his skill either. Once you saw the cover art, you already knew that you were getting the same quality of art on the interiors. The personal touch on these characters was perfect. A dash of realism went a long way considering he does both drawing and colors. Normally you notice a better blend when an artist is given that room to make everything blend together and flow from one scene into the next. The creativity for the new aliens and even the ship grabs your attention quickly as a start. When you imagine a space adventure for someone who is a sorcerer, you expect that a lot of what you see will be unique, and to that extent there was no disappointment. The ship in particular had a design which made sense of for the person who built it and provided it. Great color scheme and texture as well.

The Space-Explorer Supreme takes flight, and this first issue was an excellent set-up for what this new run and creative team has to offer. Doctor Strange #1 killed any of the skepticism I had about picking up where the last story left off. You never know with Marvel relaunches these days, so it makes a big difference when a new creative team knows when a story needs to continue evolving and progressing rather than hit with a blank slate.

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Total Score
8.1