Doctor Strange #1 Review

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Doctor Strange #1

Written By: Jason Aaron

Art By: Chris Bachalo

Release Date: October 7, 2015

When Marvel announced the list of comics in their All New All Different lineup, I was pretty thrilled to see Doctor Strange would be starring in his own series. Doctor Strange is a character that I’ve mostly experienced through the major events and New Avengers titles but wanted to read some of his solo adventures, especially with the movie coming out next year. When I heard he would be included in the ANAD lineup, I decided to hold off until then. Doctor Strange is a really interesting character that has a lot of depth to him because of the mystical aspect to his powers. I don’t think that the mythical realms in the Marvel universe get touched on enough, so I’m hoping that this new Doctor Strange book really embraces that part of the character and can show that he is cool and powerful.

The book does a great job of setting up the story, I really love the pre-title explanation of how he got his powers and I hope this is a reoccurring trend for these ANAD Marvel titles. The background story is laid out really nicely, given a filter to look like old comics while the text is overlaid in a bolder yellow that really pops. Marvel has been establishing this ANAD as a jumping off point where new readers can pick up a story and not feel out of the loop, so I hope they continue to do similar backstory set ups like in Doctor Strange #1.

My immediate reaction to this story was being blown away. As mentioned above, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from a solo Strange story and I was delighted. I thought that the character was written really well and I’ve heard a lot of good things about author Jason Aaron, so it’s great to see him come out of the gates on this so strongly. Honestly, it’s no surprise to see Doctor Strange get a solo title with the movie coming out next year because it’s a free form of cross platform marketing for the company. In the MCU, the plan is to have Doctor Strange be the next Tony Stark who is the leader of the Avengers, and I think the character is definitely established in this story with a slight Tony feel within his personality. Doctor Strange isn’t a jerk, but the way Aaron writes him in this first issue has me enjoying the smart sarcastic remarks he will make at points throughout issue #1. Doctor Strange is a great character because he is smart and powerful but also humble, quiet and patient.

The story is definitely a standard full arc set up, but I think Doctor Strange #1 actually handles this nicely because it creates these ongoing mystery about whatever “the oncoming slaughter,” is. I like the idea that we are going to watch the character go up against something big and challenging but I’m also extremely curious if it will be a past major villain such as Baron Mordo or Dormammu. The first issue makes the character feel somewhat bored or like he hasn’t faced a challenge worthy of the Sorcerer Supreme in awhile, and I’m hoping we will watch Doctor Strange really prove himself throughout this arc.

More than anything, I was in love with the artwork from this premiere issue. The style was very minimalist and really reminded me of David Aja’s style from the recent Hawkeye comic runs he’s done. Chris Bachalo really made me a fan of his style with this comic because it offers that neat looking Aja-like style but can also break out immense detail like on the issue’s cover. Along with this, I think I was more blown away by the coloring of the book. The amount of vibrant colors used really make the scenes and pages pop with an extremely beautiful look. I think Bachalo really succeeds in his use of a single color theme for a page and then finding the perfect accessory colors to really create some beautiful palettes. This is on display in the image above, look at how the entire scene glows with that soft red theme but adds in soft pink, orange and yellow colors to complete the scheme. Below are some of my favorites.

Doctor Strange #1 is easily my favorite ANAD Marvel comic from this first wave of releases. For how important the character is to the Marvel universe, I feel like he’s been kicked to the curb for the past 5-10 year span. Although I loved Invincible Iron Man #1 as well, I think that Doctor Strange is a character who is more immediately relatable with due to his quiet and humble personality. I thought this first issue really established the character, arc and style that this book has planned. I’m hoping we sort of see Doctor Strange continue to have to use more and more of his powers until he faces whatever “the oncoming slaughter,” is where he has to go full on out to win. I’m super excited to continue reading this act; I’m pleasantly surprised with Jason Aaron’s writing and think he’s doing something great and if you didn’t figure it by now, I was mesmerized with Chris Bachalo’s art and color choices.

Highly Recommend 

Other Thoughts:

  • I really hope they show the full extent of Doctor Strange’s powers. I want them to go crazy with it. I feel like he can do some amazing things that would be really cool and we are only scratching the surface.
  • I was surprised that we didn’t see Wong in this issue. He gets mentioned in this issue but I guess I thought he might have popped up talking in a scene at the house. I also think they could be setting up the new character, Zelma Stanton, to fill in the sidekick roll.
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