The Death of Doctor Strange has been an exciting take on the death trope for superhero comics. Jed MacKay has got Doctor Strange of the past investigating his own death, but he only has a week to figure things out. Meanwhile, new threats hang over Earth and something must be done or we’re all in big trouble. Just your usual mini-event from Marvel Comics.
It feels like just yesterday The Death of Doctor Strange #1 came out, but here we are getting the penultimate issue to the series. Picking up where the last issue left off, Strange is confronting Mordo at his castle, feeling fairly certain that he’s the killer. It’s a confrontation that pays off later and ends up being the lead Dr. Strange needed to truly find the culprit.
Much of this issue feels self-contained, as it focuses on Dr. Strange’s response to Mordo admitting he didn’t kill him, some check-ins with characters that are close to Dr. Strange, and the eventual confrontation with the suspect. These check-in moments help remind us about those who truly loved Dr. Strange while giving us new details to chew on.
The eventual confrontation scene ends up playing out like a great courtroom scene, complete with a big speech and proclamations. Lee Garbett draws a hell of a page for this scene with Dr. Strange walking across his emblem as multiple aspects he brings up pop up within the spaces of the emblem. It’s sort of like a magic PowerPoint, although it’s fairly clear only the reader can see the images.
Outside of this moment, Garbett draws a good issue, though it certainly lacks the action we saw in previous chapters. This is a procedural detective drama issue, so expect lots of talking, but the scene changes and angles on the characters keep things moving nicely. Antonio Fabela colors the book with rich and deep colors that suit the darker tone.
As far as the big reveal, this issue doesn’t disappoint. Not only does it make sense who killed Dr. Strange, but it makes sense for this story. It actually makes Dr. Strange look better too since he couldn’t avoid it, not knowing who or why would take him out. With so much focus on the big reveal, there’s less buildup for the cliffhanger, making it feel a bit dropped in and out of nowhere. Regardless, the showdown will be entertaining.
The Death of Doctor Strange #4 sets up a final issue with satisfying reveals and plenty of entertaining detective work. It’s a suspenseful bit of procedural drama as the finale looms large.
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