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Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 Review

I never thought I’d see a Doctor Strange/Punisher team up, but here we are. Come to think of it, it’s such an odd pairing it’s kind of genius. One uses bullets to solve problems, the other magic, and what could be more opposite? Is it good?

Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 (Marvel Comics)

So what’s it about? Read the preview with pictures!

Why does this book matter?

Aside from the cool combo of these two characters we also have the opportunity of seeing how their worldviews can come together. Doctor Strange certainly doesn’t like killing, but will he make an exception when Punisher saves his butt?

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

What a welcome.

This is written by John Barber with storyboards by Jason Muhr and art by Andrea Broccardo. This issue opens with Punisher taking on a bunch of hoods and then logically segueing to Doctor Strange who is taking on his own astral plane goons himself. Barber showcases each character taking on their own type of goon well, which helps make them appear more alike than they might think. While Punisher seeks out Strange, there’s a good focus on the bad guys of this story and this helps develop the bigger threat that’ll lead to the cliffhanger of this issue.

The art by Broccardo has a somewhat cartoonist look rendering both Punisher and Doctor Strange well. The look certainly makes the story feel a little less gritty though the monsters look fantastic–particularly in the Doctor Strange introduction as he takes on a green airplane thing whilst the background is rendered colorless. This beast is somewhat heavy handed and absolutely mental and Broccardo does a good job with it.

It can’t be perfect can it?

What the bad guys are up to is never really explained which makes it feel like any other evil baddies doing bad things just because. Obviously Punisher needs Doctor Strange for a threat like this, but why Strange even cares enough to help is never explained well enough. Essentially they seem forced together for weak reasons. You never get a sense of what their history is or why they are so averse to each other. Since much of this issue focuses on them dealing with bad guys their own way and then spending much of the time having them bicker over working together, much of the narrative is boring.

It’s tiring being the king of the castle.

Is It Good?

This is an okay start to a unique team up series. Unfortunately it’s mostly introduction to each character and then bickering to get on with the mission. Here’s to hoping they entertain more once in the thick of things next issue.


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