Doctor Strange #1
Released: October 7th 2015
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils & Colours: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend, Al Vey & Mark Irwin
Warning – May Contain Slight Story Spoilers!
Any Whovian will tell you, 1963 was a big year. It was then that Doctor Who first appeared on television screens. Over at Marvel Comics however, another kind of Doctor was about to take up residence. Doctor Stephen Strange first appeared in Strange Tales before Marvel renamed Strange Tales in 1968 as simply ‘Doctor Strange’.
That was then. This is now. Like it or not, the big wigs over at Marvel have completely obliterated their universe. The massive 2015 event ‘Secret Wars’ has seen the end of the Marvel multiverse as we knew it.
So, starting fresh & avoiding any Secret Wars spoilers, the Doctor is back!
In his first book in quite a while, we are reintroduced to Doctor Stephen Strange, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. With a brief origin story covering only one page, we are reminded of his injuries to his hands & his meeting and subsequent training from the Ancient One.
“The Way of the Weird” is a great jumping-on point for any new fans. With only a slight nod to his legacy, the book brings us ‘a day in life’ style introduction to Strange. Jumping from the ‘real’ world to the world through the Doctor’s Eye of Agamotto, allowing him to observe and interact with the mystical world around us.
At one point we are shown him taking a leisurely stroll and all that entails for one such as Strange. Battling creatures on the mystical plane leaves our protagonist looking rather foolish, apparently battling thin air to the casual passer-by.
The story, as is the norm for Doctor Strange, sees him pitted against a tentacled femme fatale (vaguely reminiscent of Beetlejuice) in a battle that takes place within the mind of an afflicted child.
Strange stands out in the Marvel universe as he does battle on mystical, ethereal planes against creatures that defy all logic. His signature spells & calling upon the strength of the Vishanti are his weapons.
He is most definitely a hero unlike any others within Marvel’s roster.
With Benedict Cumberbatch set to take on the role of Doctor Strange in Marvel’s 2016 film, the resurgence of the Sorcerer Supreme is well underway.
For long-time fans, Strange’s role in the Infinity Gauntlet cannot be understated. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is gearing up for 2018/19’s two part Infinity War & Doctor Strange is set to take centre stage.
With this opening issue, Aaron seeks to bring the world of the weird to a new generation of readers and succeeds admirably in keeping the older fans happy.
The artwork flows beautifully having distinct styles between Stephen’s real world, mystical world & alternate dimensions. It remains to be seen if they can maintain the opening issue’s quirky but engaging style.
For my money, I can’t wait to see just how Strange things really get!
4 out of 5 Nerds