Doctor Strange #2
Released: November 4th 2015
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Pencils & Colours: Chris Bachalo
Inks: Tim Townsend, Al Vey & Mark Irwin
Who lives in a house like this?
Warning – Contains Story Spoilers!
In issue #1 of this new run of Doctor Strange, Jason Aaron reintroduced us to the Sorcerer Supreme. In this issue, he aims to familiarise us with the world the good Doctor abides in.
One could be forgiven for mistaking 177A Bleecker Street for the type of home Mary Poppins might visit on a windy afternoon. One could be mistaken, one could be very, very mistaken.
Haunted, burned to the ground & rebuilt on several occasions, a home to mystics & a satanic supper club, the lair of a puritanical witch hunter, built on sacred Indian vision quest grounds, a centre point of ley lines and mystical energies! Welcome to the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’, the home of Doctor Strange!
We are given a tour of Strange’s home (if the word ‘home’ can do it justice!) through the eyes of Zelma Stanton, a young librarian seeking the Doctor’s help with an unusual growth. Typically, this growth turns out to be of the mystical persuasion and upon closer inspection all manner of beasts and tentacled things erupt, invading the Sanctum.
Arming Zelma with a sword they proceed to delve deeper into the peculiar building. The artwork here is stunning. Sometimes given wide panoramic panels depicting Strange’s Sanctum, the detail draws you in through the gloom to look for every hidden beastie within.
Winding staircases, cavernous hallways, an unruly library and a refrigerator that may just be the gateway to hell itself, are all high points of this ‘tour’.
Perhaps taken aback by all the, Strangeness, Zelma is certainly not deterred or even afraid, instead wanting to personally reorganise the library, which is no mean feat considering most of the books are actively trying to kill you!
We are also introduced (or reintroduced for long-time fans) to Wong. Serving as chef, martial arts instructor, occult curator, mystical guardian and companion to Doctor Strange we find Wong fighting with dinner, literally!
With his second issue, you really can get the feeling that we are only yet scratching the surface on Aaron’s Doctor Strange. The first two issues seeming like a combined origin story almost. Zelma will return, brave as she is, with the aim of sorting the Doctor’s library on a regular basis, so I think it’s safe to say we can expect to see more of her in the coming issues. It’s easy to get distracted by the chaos of the Sanctum Sanctorum but I think Zelma may have a bigger role in future events than you might have guessed.
Aaron really has set the tone well for his run on Doctor Strange. Blending humour with the truly horrific admirably and keeping things fast paced with something weird seemingly crawling from every panel, it really is a page turner!
If the first issue showed us Stephen Strange and what a day of his life was really like, the second has showed us his surroundings, set the stage even, and given us the supporting cast. What else will we see from Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme in future issues? One could only guess but whatever it is, you can be sure, it will probably be what you least expected!
5 out of 5 nerds