Doctor Strange #4
By Jason Aaron & Chris Bachalo
The new run of Doctor Strange is still in its infancy, but in the four issues that have been released, Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have introduced a lot of worlds, characters and concepts. This book in particular focuses on a certain theme; a strong, universal theme. The comic opens with a stunning flashback, illustrated by Bachalo, from when Stephen Strange was training with the Ancient One. The opening page just hits you with a full page close-up of Strange’s master’s stare coming right off the page. It is in this beautifully rendered sequence that the core concept of the issue is presented vividly. The story then jumps forward to the present, where Doctor Strange assembles basically all the magical beings in the Marvel universe to discuss the impending threat. Once a new lead arises, Stephen heads to a new mystical location, but of course trouble rears its ugly head…
The past three issues seem to have been used to introduce readers to world Aaron and Bachalo are creating and the tone/direction they’re going for. It’s in this one that everything just works. Yes, the arc continues, but the theme is the heart of the issue. It resonates so well because it is an elemental device that makes so much sense placed in the context of this character and story, which just elevates the material. If this book is an indication of how other Doctor Strange tales will be done – sign me up!
Bachalo continues to bring his unique style and creativity to the comic. It’s always exciting to open an issue in this series because one will never know how or what will be depicted. His layouts and color schemes are also very inventive and dynamic. Due to this, the material is electric and maintains a strong momentum. It’s as if this title is a big experiment for him and the results are wonderful. Needless to say, Chris is a great asset to this series.
Marvel is publishing some fresh and innovative comic books with this title among them. It’s only four issues in, so it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon. Now’s the time to start reading into the character, especially since the live-action film comes out later this year. Prior knowledge of the character isn’t totally necessary, just bring a sense of wonder and excitement because that’s what one will get with Doctor Strange!