Doctor Strange: The Way of the Weird (Vol. 1)
By: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo (Penciler and Colorist)
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Only Doctor Strange can protect our world from the darkness beyond — now, witness the full toll that constant struggle takes on Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme! Every spell cast comes at a cost, but what happens when Strange falls behind on his tab? Find out as the good doctor wakes up somewhere very odd, nearly naked — with no spell books, no weapons and no memory of how he got there…or why all the monsters are chasing him! And as a new visitor to Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum learns one wrong door can lead to oblivion, a magic circle of Strange’s friends and allies are about to face their greatest threat. Dark forces are destroying everything mystical in the multiverse, and their sights are set on this dimension. Magic’s days are numbered, and Doctor Strange is not ready!
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #1-5.
I had been eyeing this collected book since 2015 but it took me forever to get around to it…Actually it took watching the 2016 movie (review) to prompt me to pick it up at long last! Not knowing too much about this Marvel superhero coming into the movie, I figured starting with the New 52 story was a good entry into the character’s story.
Oh man, not only was this a great introduction for me to Doctor Strange and the world he lives in, but also just a great story that left me wanting more (ugh, why is the second volume only coming out in paperback in July? *cue the tears* Edit: I read and and wrote this review back in April, hence why July felt so long from when this review was published). The opening was pretty cool not only showing him in the middle of work–complete with the kind of personality he is–but also had that full first page of scenes from the original comic with Strange narrating over 😀 The kind of enemies that Strange has to deal with are obviously dark–dark arts and all–but I could feel the chills running down my spine as I read how magic is slowing fading out from the multiverse and Strange’s enemy here are pretty hardcore to say the least. The cliffhanger, as you can imagine, left me wondering what will happen next.
But what I also really enjoyed about this book was how it showed how magic has its price. The movie sort of started scratching on the surface about it, but obviously using such intense magic has its consequences and here while we’re following Strange and his friends figure out what’s going on and battling demons and monsters of all sorts we’re also seeing how magic is taking a toll on Strange. It’s interesting to see how much Strange is willing to take in order to fight and protect the earth, but I was also surprised at what Wong kept from Strange. I don’t want to say much more without veering into massive spoiler territory but suffice to say it added another element to Strange’s character and role as Sorcerer Supreme (hah, spoilers from the movie?), but it also really sucks for him. Like, really sucks.
I liked the art, in a way it reminded me of Matt Fraction’s run on Hawkeye (err, you’ll have to browse through the Marvel tag to find my reviews from that series) but the colours are warmer. All in all, I enjoyed this first volume in Jason Aaron’s run with Doctor Strange, it was a good introduction to the character for a relative newbie like myself but I also enjoyed the story; it kept me turning the page and left me chilled and wanting to find out what happens next. Will definitely pick up the seconf volume as soon as it comes out!