Kevin Feige could stand to take some notes here.
Issue #3 of Tradd and Heather Moore’s Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise is yet another rollercoaster ride through an expansive and vibrant hellscape, with plenty of delightfully detailed illustrations to accompany the story on display.
Some mild spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #3
If it wasn’t already clear, this four-issue mini is shaping up to be an all-timer for the character of Doctor Strange, evoking the zaniness of Silver Age stories with its visuals whilst remaining (somewhat) accessible to newer readers; this is evident from the first page of this issue, which gives a brief retelling of Strange’s career-defining car accident before catapulting the reader head first into the end of the previous issue, all raining fire and screaming lightning.
Tradd Moore is, yet again, in top form with this issue (truly shocking, I know). Every flex of the artistic muscles holding his pen is met with an equal flexing of muscle of the environment itself on the page. This can be seen best in the chase scene that kicks off the issue, as Strange and his companions struggle to escape from the Body Machine with their lives. These incredible details, combined with the striking palette of reds, pinks, golds, blues, and greens, make for panels that are (and continue to be) truly remarkable.
Following this, we are treated to some further expository content in order to set up the final confrontation that will surely realize itself in the next issue, and while I am excited to see how this story ends, this does raise a minor issue I have with the series. Whether it’s due to the (incredible) artwork dividing my focus, or Tradd Moore having more experience with said artwork than with writing, I find that I’m having to revisit the previous issue(s) in order to both remember where things left off and contextualize what I’m reading and rereading in the current issue. It may just be that the issues are so stuffed with content due to this series only running for four issues, but whatever the case, my enjoyment of the issue remains undiminished. Any other real issues I have would be echoing my review of issue #2, namely that the action and flow of certain scenes can be hard to follow due to the amount of moving parts present on any given page (though this is less of a problem in this issue).
To nitpick, I hate that this kind of story has a very small chance of being realized in live-action, due to both its highly stylized art and its disconnectedness from the larger Marvel universe. As I was reading this issue, I couldn’t help but think “this is what Multiverse of Madness should have felt like”; a weird, visually arresting story of Strange being a medical and mystical doctor, solving unique problems and making new friends along the way. On the other hand, though, that this series is so niche and isolated is nice, as the alternative would be to have the Avengers (or any number of Strange’s super-powered supporting cast) show up in Pleoma and wreck shop. And while I’m sure some fans would not mind such a simple solution, I am grateful that the Moores have been given this portion of the Marvel toybox to operate in, however briefly.
There’s not much else to say here, negative or otherwise. Strange fans, pick this up if you need something else to read before the March renumbering. Art fans, pick this up to gaze upon Tradd Moore’s gorgeous work and be amazed and possibly terrified. Fall Sunrise #3 is absolutely worth the read.
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