I want to be Doctor Strange.
Okay, not really. But reading the newest incarnation of Doctor Strange in Marvel Comics is pretty awesome. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have taken the good doctor to new places and fleshed out new ideas about what it means to be the Sorcerer Supreme. The storytelling is fantastic, clever, imaginative, and witty while the art is just top notch Bachalo at his best.
I’ve always had a fondness for Doctor Strange. He’s pretty much been a “B”-list character for most of his career despite having had his own comic book in different formats. Along with Power Man and Iron Fist and Black Panther, the doctor was among my favorites (all of which are now getting their own movies!). But with his own movie coming out, Marvel has pushed him to the front of the line and has had him featured in a number of widely-publicized projects. The recent Secret Wars and the events leading up to them in New Avengers prominently feature Doctor Strange and with a new comic book out, he is truly developing into an even stronger character.
Aaron has done a remarkable of job of exploring concepts about the character than had not been explored before. He really plays up Strange’s role as the Sorcerer Supreme and delves into what that means. I love how Aaron reveals that Strange sees the world differently than we do and Bachalo does an amazing job of rendering that through his art work. In the image above, I love how they play with black and white as the “real world” and color as the “magical world” to give the reader the idea that we don’t see the world as it really is.
Doctor Strange is more than just battling the villain of the month, it is a book that delves into what it means to live in Strange’s mystical world. The Bar With No Doors is kind of like a magician’s secret club, but it’s a great way to not only connect all the mystical characters in the Marvel Comics Universe, but to also give some perspective into how important Strange’s role is in all of it. Doctor Strange also pays a price for the magic he uses. As they’ve been saying, “Every punch comes with a cost.” He can no longer eat pizza – or any normal human food – due to his use of magic. Instead his manservant Wong makes him meals that wouldn’t even be easy to look at let alone consume. And Wong himself is an interesting character. More than just the Watson to Strange’s mystical Holmes, Wong takes a very active and sometimes proactive role in the Doctor’s life as the book uncovers with the revelation of the Secret Disciples of Strange.
The current story line that has begun is “The Last Days of Magic” and if it’s anything like the rest of the series has been so far, it’s definitely a must-read.