This week sees the release of two The Death of Doctor Strange one-shot tie-in stories, and the most logical of titles to get that treatment is Strange Academy. Given Doctor Strange created the school, protects it, and is now dead, a great change is coming for the students of the school. In an extra-sized issue, Skottie Young and Mike del Mundo focus our attention on a specific student. Plus, expect to see a page for each character with a guest artist to help readers know where the students end up with the school closed.
This issue opens with Doctor Strange pushing Enchantress off him in a flashback. As you can see in the preview, Young and del Mundo remind us Enchantress was never a very good mother. She literally bartered with the souls of her children, Iric and Alvi. The main story focuses on Enchantress actually trying to be a mom for once and saving one of the sons who is kidnapped now that Dr. Strange’s powers aren’t protecting the kids.
As one expects, del Mundo draws and colors the hell out of this issue. Enchantress and her son bond over fights, going to strange lands and encountering strange fantasy-style characters. There’s a scene change or two that is a bit jarring, but overall you’re getting the super fun and imaginative genius of del Mundo on every page.
In general, the story is just okay. It hits some conventional beats and ends in a not-so-surprising way. These characters aren’t A-listers by any means, which makes the adventure feel less important. There are some fun magical themes at work here, but it’s difficult to care about Enchantress redeeming herself when even at the moment she seems to not care all that much about her kids. It’s also a bit of a bummer it doesn’t tie into the event much at all, but instead spins out of it.
Closing out the book are one-page stories revealing where each of the main classmates of the Strange Academy ends up. Young is paired with a different artist for each page, starting with Niko Henrichon focusing on Dessy, Peach Momoko on Emily, Humberto Ramos with German, Alessandro Cappuccio on Calvin, Gustavo Duarte with Gus, C.F. Villa on Howie and Heidi, David Baldeon with Toth, Luciano Vecchio with Doyle, and finally Natacha Bustos with Zoe. It’s a nice way to bring focus to every character and give longtime readers of the series a bit of color surrounding the various characters.
Strange Academy Presents: The Death of Doctor Strange is a great read if you’re a fan of this series as it gives every main character a time to shine. This is also a no-brainer buy for fans of Mike del Mundo, but don’t expect a story that’ll have you riveted by any means.
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