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Doctor Strange #1 Review

Comic Books

Doctor Strange #1 Review

Doctor Strange attempts to find his mojo…in space!

The hype is real if you’re a fan of Marvel Comics’ cosmic universe and Doctor Strange. Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz are bringing the character to outer space in this new series out tomorrow. Much like The Immortal Hulk and Venom before it, it’s very character focused and for that those who have tired of Marvel events should feel quite happy with this new series.

So what’s it about?

Read our preview.

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Why does this matter?

Mark Waid has done an excellent job with nearly every character he’s taken on in the last decade. We’re talking Daredevil, Black Widow and his recent Captain America run. The man understands how to probe a character and bring out the heroic nature of their journey. He’s teamed up with Saiz here who delivers a photorealistic look that grounds this story, further getting at the humanity of the character. It’s a good pairing.

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

Doctor Strange #1 Review

Dude, that thing is crazy.

Right off the bat Waid and Saiz draw you in with an excellent action sequence showing off why Doctor Strange is one of the coolest heroes. He takes on a giant monster that’s freakish and yet he never loses his cool because his magic is so powerful. This cuts to Earth and Jesus Saiz dazzles with some epic magic meets medicine stitching that had me in awe. It’s an amazing start to the book.

Much of this issue cuts through time reminding us of Doctor Strange’s battle with his loss of magic. Truth be told this story is somewhat similar to what Jason Aaron has been doing as Doctor Strange’s mastery of magic is further reduced. That might bum some folks out, especially with the opening that showed off how awesome he can be, but what is a hero without weaknesses? Waid effectively sets Strange on a mission to find magic in the universe and for the most part it’s a solid kickstart to that journey.

Saiz does an amazing job with the art which is made even more impressive by how much Waid uses captions. There are pages stuffed with the internal monologue of Strange and yet Saiz’s art is moody and atmospheric, giving a single panel a layered, multifaceted meaning. It’s strong stuff.

Doctor Strange #1 Review

So cool.

It can’t be perfect can it?

Those captions I mentioned in the last paragraph sap this book of its pace and intensity. Saiz does well to make the narrative interesting, but I couldn’t help be bored to tears at times when reading this issue. It’s very focused on getting us inside Doctor Strange’s head and does a good job of it, but lingers too long and seems to tread water waiting to get to the last plot development. By the end of the issue I was excited to read more, but I wished Doctor Strange got a bit further into his journey. Waid is going for an almost poetic take on the captions and internal struggle of Doctor Strange, but it lingers so long you never get to the meat of the space exploration.

Is it good?

I liked this issue as it sets in motion a character-driven story that highlights the internal struggle of losing your mojo. The plot moves at a snail’s pace though and leaves you a few pages short of getting into the space exploration side of the story.

Doctor Strange #1 Review
Doctor Strange #1
Is it good?
A strong start that is hindered by a slower pace.
The visuals are stunning
Gets at the core of Doctor Strange's internal struggle
Gives us a taste of the space side of things...
...but takes so long to set that up you'll be hungry/annoyed for more
It's a slower paced book with a lot of captions

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