Doctor Strange #382



DoctorStrange382There’s debatably a palpable sadness emanating from Donny Cates’ script for this second instalment to his “Loki: Sorcerer Supreme” storyline which must surely have disconcerted some within the publication’s 24,286 strong audience in December 2017. But whilst the demise of the wonderfully lovable Bats towards the end of this twenty-page periodical is undoubtedly something of a true tear-jerker, this comic’s greatest lamentation is arguably due to just how uncharacteristically low “one of Marvel’s few bright spots in recent months” has penned Stephen Strange to sink.

Naturally, the former “preeminent surgeon” is going to be understandably disheartened by his ‘off-screen’ loss to the Asgardian God of Mischief, resultant abrupt departure from the Sanctum Sanctorum and surreal switch from being “Earth’s first defence against all manner of magical threats” to the life of an untrained veterinarian running a small animal hospital. However, that hardly explains why the Garland-born author would depict the Master of the Mystic Arts pitifully pleading with his former apprentice on the doorstep of his old mansion simply because he suspects Zelma Stanton has become Loki’s girlfriend; “Ouch. That’s… yeah, that’s rough, Doc. I mean, guy takes yer house… yer cape, yer job… And now this? Jeez, I feel for ya, I really… Doc?”

Interestingly, Cates does desperately try to overshadow the fallen member of the Illuminati’s evident bitter jealously by ridiculously revealing that Stan Lee’s co-creation has supposedly covertly bound the Exile of Singhsoon to the one-time mind-maggot infested librarian’s soul so as to keep the all-powerful spell out of “anyone’s hands”. Yet this bizarrely convenient rational as to why Strange subsequently awakens the Sentry, having been easily bested by Thor’s half-brother once again after spying him briefly kissing Zelma, somewhat smacks of contrivance and lazy writing.

Similarly as inconsistent as this comic’s questionable narrative is Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s artwork, with the Hugo Award-nominee’s pencilling imbuing both Stephen’s barking basset hound and venomously angered Stanton with some thoroughly enthralling dynamism one moment, and then presenting a somewhat lack lustre titular character or Loki in the next. In fact, much of the pet doctor’s emotions disappointingly are only ‘picked up’ from the book’s numerous text boxes rather than from any facial expression sketched by the Spanish illustrator.

This article is the opinion of the author and does not represent the views of the site owner.


Reviewed by
For the past forty or so years I have been collecting American comics… To begin with they were predominantly black and white British reprints of “Marvel Comics Group” titles such as “Spider-Man Comics Weekly”, “The Mighty World of Marvel” and “Star Wars Weekly”; all six to ten pence editions I could store away under my bed in a large cardboard box. As a result though I was introduced to the teenage angst of Peter Parker, the discovery of a frozen Captain America by Earth's Mightiest Heroes, witnessed the dreadful rage of Doctor Bruce Banner, and even travelled to a galaxy far far away... Later I would be able to afford actual America colour comic books and supplemented my collection of “Marvel” titles such as “Conan the Barbarian”, “Howard the Duck” and “Captain America” with some “DC Comics” issues of “Batman”, “Green Lantern” and “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew”. There would even be time for Independent publications such as “Wildcats”, “Spawn” and “The Authority”. These days however I must admit to yearning back to the simpler times of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, back to when both artwork and storylines were straightforward, easy to follow and super-heroes were just starting out on their adventures. A time when no-one had yet to be resurrected from the dead for the fourth time. I've written over seven hundred comic book reviews on my blog over the past few years, with them usually following my latest purchases, all wrapped up in a large brown paper bag, as well as occasional ‘flashbacks’ to some of the classic "Golden Age" issues I already own…

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