A couple months ago I received a preview guide from the local comic shop, and within it’s pages discovered that one of my favorite pencillers, Chris Bachalo, was still active. I remember this guy from his run on Generation X in the 90’s, and have loved his style from the first time I saw it. Seeing it within the preview guide in his take on Doctor Strange just made me want to check it out:
So, I picked up the issue. Prior to this, I’d never really read anything with Doctor Strange. I knew the movie was on the way(which I have seen and enjoyed), but that was about it. Luckily, this book is the starting point for a new arc, with the Doctor being greatly de-powered in the previous one. It brings back/reintroduces one of the characters from the movie, Mordo, and a very creepy manifestation of black magic that he spends most of the issue fighting. The preview I picked up included the latter, and it the way it was depicted really drew me in. Bachalo has a real talent for creepy amorphous things, and to be honest, I enjoyed it a little more in the black and white preview… I think the lack of finer detail drew me a little more into the conflict by forcing me to focus on what the penciller had decided was most important in the scene. Regardless I thought it looked cool, and so does the finished product.
Story wise the comic does a decent job of showcasing just how much Strange has been de-powered. Apparently he used to be able to do just about anything with his magic, altering reality at his whim. In the aftermath of the last story(which I have not read), he is relying more on his wits and a variety of magical artifacts. Watching a character actually have to outsmart their foes is far more entertaining to me, and the display of resourcefulness that he employs really drew me into the story. I’m not sure where it will go, but assume that the previous status quo will be at some point restored. It is a comic book and given enough time that always does seem to happen.
In conclusion, if you enjoyed the movie and have no other experience with the character, buyer beware, you won’t see that Doctor Strange here. However, if you haven’t picked it up before, have enjoyed Bachalo’s art in the past, or are just looking for a fun read, give it a go. I enjoyed it, and liked seeing the Doctor as an all powerful force. I love it when heroes have to think on their feet!