Strange is a new series spinning directly out of Death of Doctor Strange #5. Don’t be alarmed if the main hero looks different — that’s just Clea, Doctor Strange’s estranged wife, and the new Sorcerer Supreme. Getting her own series by Jed MacKay and Marcelo Ferreira means exploring the fallout of losing her husband, but also what it means to be Sorcerer Supreme when you’re not quite of this world.
As a spoiler-free review, don’t expect any details below outside of what is in the preview, which shows Dr. Doom has come calling for the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. This issue doesn’t quite open with this scene, but it does help convey a lot of details efficiently, including how Clea gained the mantle without question. Dr. Doom is not very pleased Dr. Strange gave the mantle to “his woman” and a confrontation ensues. Not only do we get an idea of who this new Strange is here, but we see she means business too. Do not mess with her as her patience runs thin.
Much of this issue supplies ample examples of how Clea is a much more badass and violent Sorcerer Supreme than we’re used to. That gives the book an edge that is typically missing from Dr. Strange titles since he’s typically more about resolving issues cleanly without a trail of bodies behind him. Right out of the gate you’re going to like this version of a Dr. Strange book.
As the preview details, Clea is on a mission to bring Dr. Strange back from the dead. This desire of hers also ties into who she is and where she comes from. Essentially, MacKay has outlined how she’s not only a different Sorcerer Supreme, but built differently as a hero, too.
If you dig magic, MacKay also supplies ample magic talk and spell casting in the issue. Ferreira goes hard on the art, with some gory scenes and plenty of gnarly monsters and beasties that spring up. Java Tartaglia colors the issue with inks by Don Ho and their work plays off each other well. Tartaglia captures the burning white fire of Clea when she’s in sorcerer mode while Ho gives the book a darker edge that suits the edgier feel of the book. There are a lot of cool-looking magical effects with proper glow and detail.
One quibble with art is a slight inconsistency. Particularly in faces, but if you look close enough you can see the inks don’t quite look the same at times and this is possible because Ho is joined by Roberto Poggi. Colors tend to not distinguish between background, foreground, and the characters much either, which can make the imagery blend together losing the 3D effect.
Strange #1 is a good start to a different kind of magical Marvel series that’s edgier and darker. MacKay has nailed the new Sorcerer Supreme giving Clea a darker purpose while leaning into her dark beginnings. It’s playing out as a series that’ll pull no punches, especially for a Big-Two series.
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