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'Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise' #1 may be the trippiest story Marvel has ever told
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise’ #1 may be the trippiest story Marvel has ever told

Tradd Moore’s work here is brilliantly original and gloriously dreamlike. It’s a delight.

The much-anticipated Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #1 is out this week, featuring the exquisite art of Tradd Moore, who you might know from Silver Surfer: Black. Written and drawn by Moore, with colors by Heather Moore, you’re guaranteed to get a work of art when you purchase this book from comic shops. The questions are: does the story suit Doctor Strange, what is going on that sends Stephen into a trippy head-trip mindscape, and can the story sustain four issues?

As the preview shows, Doctor Strange is practically liquid, curving as he mediates and attempts to figure out what is going on. Moore’s splashy style gets highly condensed in this issue, which is different from some of his previous projects. The panel structure is as erratic as what we’re witnessing takes place, which helps create a sense of weirdness only a Doctor Strange book could pull off. I can’t say I know exactly what I’m looking at in every panel–be it an eye or some character with their arms up–but that’s the point. From the start, it’s unclear where Doctor Strange is or what is going on, but when he’s doing magic, we know it’s him, and we know we’re rooting for him.

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This issue is broken into three chapters, with the first having Doctor Strange face off against some tiger creature while also recounting Doctor Strange’s origin. The second chapter sets Doctor Strange on a quest to find something, and the third has him inside a maze-filled palace. I don’t yet know what exactly Doctor Strange is facing, but given the rich artistry of the environments and world around Doctor Strange, I’m not sure how much that matters. I’m also not sure if the confusion I feel around Doctor Strange’s motivations and goals are purposeful, either. Regardless of knowing or not knowing things, it’s without a doubt worth reading, and you’ll want more of what you get here by the end.

Doctor Strange

This book is one of the wildest visual comics you’ll read this year.
Credit: Marvel

Colors by Heather Moore are also fabulous, leaning into the colorful nature of Marvel’s storied history with the character. Paired with Tradd’s lines, you have a work of art, a panel, or a full-page composition. I’d argue this book deserved to be released in a larger format, as the standard comic book size doesn’t do this art justice. More than likely a Treasury Edition is on the way eventually, but you somehow feel shorted by the page size, given how epic and creative the art can be.

Much of the storytelling delivered via words is done by captions, which read like poetry more often than not. Clayton Cowles letters with Moore doing some of the work, and it’s always easy to read. Words are limited in this book, with more in the front half always tucked away so the art can speak for itself. An excellent action sequence in the latter half goes without words or sound effects.

You need to read Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise with eyes wide open, willing to accept what you get isn’t hand-feeding you answers nor delivering a conventional-style story. This is an artistic masterpiece with a vision that’s hard to deny or put down. Could the story used a bit more cohesion to make sense of it all? Probably, but then maybe your experience would be disrupted since this is more about the unknowable weirdness of Doctor Strange’s daily mission. Tradd Moore’s work here is brilliantly original and gloriously dreamlike. It’s a delight.

'Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise' #1 may be the trippiest story Marvel has ever told
‘Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise’ #1 may be the trippiest story Marvel has ever told
Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #1
You need to read Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise with eyes wide open, willing to accept what you get isn't hand-feeding you answers nor delivering a conventional-style story. This is an artistic masterpiece with a vision that's hard to deny or put down. Could the story used a bit more cohesion to make sense of it all? Probably, but then maybe your experience would be disrupted since this is more about the unknowable weirdness of Doctor Strange's daily mission. Tradd Moore's work here is brilliantly original and gloriously dreamlike. It's a delight.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.9
Incredible visualization of a magical world you've never seen before
Great use of color and lettering
Puts you in the shoes of Doctor Strange and it's all so unreal and hard to fathom...in a good way
For how good the art is, I'm still unclear what is going on or what the mission is for Doctor Strange
9
Great
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