Dr. Strange continues to battle a new villain every issue as writer Jason Aaron has made the story feel fresh in every installment. How is the latest issue as Doctor Strange takes on Dormammu?
Doctor Strange #16 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the preview to find out more.
Why does this book matter?
Chris Bachalo and Aaron have proven their run on Doctor Strange is going to go down as one of the best ever. They’ve added new wrinkles to the character as well as delivered incredible art. With Doctor Strange recently depowered and now facing Dormammu…it ain’t looking up for the doctor!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a key flashback that pays off by the end of the issue and sets up the long history Doctor Strange has with Dormammu. It effectively reminds us Dormammu is an evil bastard who relishes in killing so that when we cut to the “now” we’re very aware Doctor Strange is in big trouble. He certainly faces it as Aaron brings Dormammu right up to the door of the entire world ending. Aaron continues to write Strange in a fun way as he riffs and banters positively to cope with the insanity that he’s facing. The structure Aaron gives the story adds weight to the narrative – he also refers back to how Dormammu survived the science folks – which makes the entire issue feel fulfilling.
Bachalo, with help from Cory Smith, continues to render this magical world as bizarre and crazy. The creepy eyes that grow on limbs and tentacles continue to look grotesque and unnerving and Dormammu looks positively striking; the flaming head is wild and looks great. Dormammu gets to show Strange what he’ll do to the world and there’s some full page spread work that’s downright confusing, but in a good way. Bachalo gives this world texture and that’s hard to do considering anything is possible with magic.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The big resolution is very much an out of the blue fix that serves the plot to get things wrapped up in time. I’m not clear how Doctor Strange pulls it off, which cheapens the twist of it. Doctor Strange actually attempts to explain, but is quickly thrown off track by a revelation. It’s unfortunate as it makes this issue feel less whole.
Batman would not approve.
Is It Good?
Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo continue to pump out Doctor Strange comics that assert his world is very much different from the rest of the heroes. Every month you’re reminded of the topsy turvy and wildly weird world that’s infectious.