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'Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe' review
Abrams Books

Comic Books

‘Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe’ review

Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe is a good pickup, especially for the Marvel fan who has everything.

If you ever wanted to brush up on your Doctor Strange knowledge, you might just need Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe. Out this week from Abrams Books, an encyclopedic refresher on the current Sorcerer Supreme–and all those that came before him–is now out in hardcover. Told in the form of a reproduction of an ancient tome, the book details the many magical characters, events, and even specific spells you can’t get anywhere else.

Told on what looks like parchment paper that’s been stained and aged, The Book of Vishanti is a cool addition to any Marvel fan’s collection. You might know everything there is to know about Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and villains like Dormammu, but do you know details and backstory around specific spells? As a Marvel fanatic myself, I found the most insight in the spells. These spells also give Marvel’s magical realm a bit more color and believability.

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There are also plenty of neat objects detailed that aren’t as well known. The Satan Sphere, for instance, is an interesting object I knew nothing about. The pages on supervillain Nightmare (seen below) are particularly well done. It gives you enough on the character, potential children, and his approach to using magic well.

'Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe' review

Courtesy Abrams Books

The book doesn’t have a proper author listed at the front to create the illusion that this tome is the real deal, but Matthew K. Manning is given writing credit in the back. Manning does a great job making this book feel thorough and not without a missing character or bauble. I was particularly happy to see the Infinity Stones get a section, as well as sorcerers of note.

The book can be a bit light on how deep the details go, though. The Sorcerer Supremes of the past, which include Wiccan, The Conjuror, Demon Rider, and Strange (Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-928), only get brief paragraphs. Given the book is more of an encyclopedia rather than a complete retelling of all things magic, it suits certain sections to be as brief as they are, though.

Illustrations by Alessandro Valdright give the book a sketchy style as if every visage of Loki, Doctor Strange, or another hero was literally drawn in by our narrator. Some images can be fully rendered in color, while others are line drawings. A page covering “The Multiverse” is expertly drawn and colored, while the page on “The Crystal of Kadavus” is a quick sketch. Given there’s an image for every listing, it’s quite impressive how much art is in the book, although a bit more detail at times would make it feel more expertly done.

Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe is a good pickup, especially for the Marvel fan who has everything. There are objects and characters that even the most expert Marvel fans might not know about. There might be a bit too much brevity in some listings, especially for items or characters fans dearly love, but overall it’s a good look at the world of magic in the Marvel universe.

'Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe' review
‘Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe’ review
Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe
Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti: A Magical Exploration of the Marvel Universe is a good pickup, especially for the Marvel fan who has everything. There are objects and characters that even the most expert Marvel fans might not know about. There might be a bit too much brevity in some listings, especially for items or characters fans dearly love, but overall it's a good look at the world of magic in the Marvel universe.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.8
This book is thorough with listings even the most obsessed Marvel fan might not know about
The art and look of the pages gives the book a real-world feel as if it was plucked out of the 616
Standout sketches and full color drawings throughout
Listings can feel a bit brief at times, which might irk fans of specific characters
Art can be a bit too unfinished looking for its own good, but there's charm in that too
9
Great
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