By Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend
Volume four of Doctor Strange continues its first story arc. The comic joins the good doctor in the middle of being hunted by a horde of slugs from another dimensional plane. They are definitely more dangerous than one would expect and Strange struggles to escape and contain the situation. The real questions he seeks to answer is why did these creatures cross over to his dimension and what is the looming menace that these blue gastropod molluscs foreshadow…
Since the debut issue two months ago, this series has been just a psychedelic supernatural ride. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo fully embrace the extraordinary nature of the material. One never knows what they’re going to experience from page to page and that’s part of the fun! Aaron imbues his sorcerer supreme with quite a bit of levity; a refreshing take on the character who predominantly appears to fit the “old sage” archetype. The worlds this creative team birth are fascinating wonderlands that readers won’t soon forget. Despite all the weird that is put forward, Stephen Strange’s arrogant, yet charming voice provides the welcome guidance fans will appreciate.
Chris Bachalo, without a doubt, has quite the imagination and Strange and Jason Aaron allow him to cut loose. Seeing Strange being chased by slugs with a rainbow in the background while having unaware humans being only inked in is just a small sample of what this artist is bringing to the table. How he decides to depict the various planes of existence is a total surprise and treat every time. It may be jarring or claustrophobic at times due to the sheer amount of content he places on the page, but it works for story that is trying to be told. Inker Tim Townsend is able to show his talent off with so many different situation and environments. His inking suits Bachalo’s art by not making the defined lines clean. The rough grit adds another layer to the artwork. This comic is a great example of creative freedom and art experimentation.
This issue of Doctor Strange maintains the lively tone that number one introduced. With his feature film debut on the horizon, now’s a good time to jump on the mystical Marvel bandwagon. The two interpretations of the titular character will more than likely differ, but it’s always nice to have a primer or context. Aaron and Bachalo make the comic very accessible for newcomers and don’t bog the plot down with continuity constraints. If wild and crazy is what you want, wild and crazy is what you’ll get!