DOCTOR STRANGE #1.MU
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Julian Lopez
Inker: Scott Hannah
Color Artist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 02/15/17
Plot: In this one-shot tied into Monsters Unleashed, Doctor Strange, now suddenly half the man he used to be due to a shortage of magic in the world, is forced into an unlikely partnership with Googam from the Planet X, AKA the home of Groot, to take down a magical beast laying waste to everything in its past.
Story: Chip Zdarsky and Julian Lopez use this one shot to create a situation in which Doctor Strange is forced to use all of his might, magical, and non-magical abilities to ameliorate New York City’s growing monster problem. Teamed up with Googam because certain death was the only other option, Strange is forced to travel the globe to find and defeat a monster that he teleported without knowing where the creature would land. For his part, Googam is trying to prove to himself and those around him (read: daddy issues) that he has the mettle for battle.
Zdarsky and Lopez do an outstanding job of giving both Strange and Googam a reason to work together and it’s rather amusing to see a de-powered Strange try to have the same impact he once was able to bring to bare. In many ways, Strange is having to learn more about himself and magic as a result of its disappearance, and Zdarsky and Lopez knock it out of the park with their ability to bring it home and tie it all back to the larger picture. You know, because it’s all connected or something.
Art: This one-shot brought some serious guns to get the job done and the book is all the better for their inclusion. As previously mentioned, Julian Lopez does an outstanding job with the visual presentation. Scott Hanna and Frank D’Armata also provide vivid backgrounds during all situations and it’s made all the more impressive by the comic’s expansive journey. Finally, VC’s Corey Petit continues to bring the fire with his lettering style, matching each font to what you would expect from each character.
Verdict: It’s really intriguing to see Doctor Strange work in the new Marvel continuity. Once one of the more powerful characters, Strange is now just a shadow of his former self. Even with reduced abilities, his character has actually become more human and seems more willing to embrace humor. Getting the chance to see a legend of the Marvel universe forced to reinvent himself on the fly is way more fun than one might imagine. This one shot is definitely worth picking up, especially if you’re putting away the Magic Bullets series with Doctor Strange and the Punisher (also an incredible piece of work). Do yourself a favor and watch Doctor Strange unleash his monster and pick up this book! — JW