Filled with twists, turns and mind-bending, quasi-psychedelic illustrations, Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme Vol. 1: Out of Time is one hell of a magic carpet ride. This trip through time was entertaining throughout, but, was it an enjoyable read or just a cheap thrill? After all, you’re reading this review to find out whether you should pick up a copy of Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme Vol.1: Out of Time for yourself, right?
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So, what’s Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme Vol. 1 About? From the publisher:
An ancient evil threatens to unravel the fabric of reality, and one Master of the Mystic Arts may not be enough to stop it. Doctor Strange must unite Sorcerers Supreme past, present and future to stem the coming darkness – including Merlin, the Ancient One and Wiccan! Then there are the surprise packages: Sir Isaac Newton! A Ghost Rider from the 1800s! And the mysterious Nina! But Strange should watch his back with this super group of spellcrafters, as not all of these mages have his best interests in mind! When the Forgotten arrives, it will take the whole team to put him down – but if anything happens to the young Ancient One from the past, what will that mean for Stephen?”
After reading the description of this collection I was eager to pick it up and get started, and although I said before that this collection was a hell of a trip, which it was, really, I can’t say that I thoroughly enjoyed going on the trip. In fact, if I had the opportunity to travel back in time and unread this, I would. And no, it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I had hoped that it would be. The premise behind this story arc is awesome. Couple that with an appearance from Sir Isaac Newton and a Ghost Rider form the 1800’s and we have a recipe for sure success. So, what went wrong?
This collection came out of the gate swinging with a solid first issue. There’s talk of locks and doors and keys – there’s talk of defiance and regret – there’s Merlin, yes, that Merlin, and he’s doing terrible things, evil things. And then, despite lacking the magical strength needed to really help, Doctor Strange is recruited to fight alongside a team of Sorcerers Supreme that Merlin was traveled through time to recruit.
Seeing as though Merlin assembled such a team, it’s safe to say that the world is in dire need of saving, right? Merlin seems to think so, but when the team goes to battle with the lackluster villain threatening existence, things fall apart. There’s more running and searching and talking than there is fighting, and the ‘action’ scenes are far from intense. Our team of heroes have just as difficult of a time dealing with traps set by Merlin as they do dealing with the evil being that they are trying to fight. Despite being told so, I didn’t feel as though anything was at stake throughout my reading. But, there was potential…
To put it simply, it felt to me that Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme Vol. 1: Out of Time didn’t meet its full potential and ultimately was crushed under its own weight.
On the bright side, this collection is packed with some epic artwork and some fantastic panel/layout work. Is that enough reason to pick this one up? I’m unsure. Doctor Strange fans may enjoy this, but then again, this collection (I think) will appeal to newer fans more than it will to long-time readers.
If you’re up for taking a trip that, at times, can be entertaining but mostly falls short of expectations, go for it.