If you think about it, a Sorcerer Supreme has been around for ages, which means Merlin was once just that. Robbie Thompson has weaved that into the Doctor Strange mythos and at this juncture, things have gotten way out of whack, and the penultimate issue is underway.
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So what’s it about?
Why does this book matter?
Interweaving magic, the Word of God, and superheroes, Robbie Thompson has created a unique story that’s worth checking out. Javier Rodriguez has drawn quite a series, with 3D effects and inventive designs, layouts and ideas. This is the penultimate issue which means it’s all about raising the stakes to 11 so as to wrap things up next issue.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a satisfying issue in a variety of ways, from explaining what the big threat really is to bringing a large swath of heroes together. Thompson even gives Howard the Duck a role, which is amazing given even Vision is joining the fray (though admittedly after a hard reboot). Essentially the reader gets all the information they need, key characters are put into position to face incredible stakes, and it’s all done in a beautiful package.
It’s clear Thompson takes great joy in writing the funnier characters, with both Spidey and Howard the Duck getting some good riffs in. Per usual the Avengers put up with Spidey, but it’s for the reader’s benefit. I’d love to see Thompson back on the character (Spidey was so so good), and the dialogue in this issue is testament to that.
The art by Javier Rodriguez is without a doubt a showstopper in this issue. There are some wildly inventive ideas afoot here, which is frankly necessary if you’re going to do Doctor Strange justice. In one double page spread there’s a 3D effect used to show a weird and wildly insane flashback. In full page spread later, the panels are literally crumpled and Rodriguez makes the panels actually fold in on themselves. It’s a cool effect that realizes the reality bending moment.
Stop your snapping!
It can’t be perfect can it?
Serial storytelling requires the focus of the plot to shift dramatically, and it does so here. Doctor Strange doesn’t get a lot of page time, and instead we get scenes of the Avengers, or exposition heavy moments to get the reader from point A to point B. Standing alone, this issue relies heavily on what came before and where it’s going. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means this is going to be best enjoyed in the collected format.
Is It Good?
Prepare to trip out on some wild ideas and even wilder art. The creative team has done Doctor Strange justice and proven the finale will be a must read.