Strange ends this week with issue #10, a precursor to Jed MacKay relaunching Doctor Strange in March. It’s a series about Clea taking over the Sorcerer Supreme mantle after Doctor Strange dies. Along the way, Clea has shown her ties to darkness, giving her an edge the Sorcerer Supreme doesn’t always have. Paired with her deep love of Stephen Strange, she has been on a mission to do him justice and, recently, fight alongside the Harvestman. Now in the finale, Harvestman and Doctor Strange must fight a reanimated Sentry who is unbeatable!
Strange #10 is a good example of how the penultimate issue can be so-so, but that’s because it spends its time teeing up an absolute hit of a finale. To say this finale pays off is an understatement. It pays off Clea’s journey as the Sorcerer Supreme, the established rules between her and Harvestman, and delivers a satisfying ending in its own right. A “to be continued” is unnecessary in a book like this because it captures its ending so perfectly. It’s the happy ending Clea deserves.
The fight in this issue is hard-fought, made evident from the excellent captions inside Harvestman and Clea’s heads, but also in the teeth-gritting facial expressions by Marcelo Ferreira. From the incredible magical abilities being thrown around — colored wonderfully by Java Tartaglia — to the absolute beating they take at the hands of Sentry, they earn every minor win and a large one to boot.
In fact, calling it a large win is an understatement. MacKay crafts a moment that feels earned and perfect for a book like this. It has always been about Clea reuniting with Doctor Strange, and they do so in an epic way that only a magical character could. It’s a neat idea that not only plays into what we know about life and death in Marvel Comics but also sets up a precedent between these two characters that makes them stronger for it.
It also looks absolutely jaw-droppingly good when we see them turn the tide. The three pages that make up their transformation is incredibly well drawn, with MacKay keeping us in their heads every step of the way. It’s romantic, epic, and godly.
If I were to find a gripe in this issue, it’s simply one long fight scene – not to mention a fight scene that started last issue. Plot progression is minimal, and not a lot of time is covered. Worth the epic reveal to turn the tide, though.
Strange has defied expectations from the very start, delivering on the notion that anything can happen in Marvel Comics with a big enough imagination. MacKay and Ferreira prove their imaginations are so big that your expectations will be blown away, making you very thirsty for more. The well has been tapped, and the creative team shows if you think you know what is possible, think again. Read Strange #10 knowing it might be the end, but the creators are only getting started.
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