As the count down to Doctor Strange ticks closer, Marvel’s brought us trailers, images, and TV spots as well as a Prequel Comic. The comic spotlights the film’s villain as well as the organization that he works for – an apparent order of “masters of the mystic arts”. The overall tone of the book conveys that these Masters of the Mystic Arts have existed for awhile, perhaps even while earth was being visited by extra terrestrials and other alien beings.
The plot is pretty simple, we’re introduced to the Masters of the Mystic Arts (including a very familiar name, Tina Minoru – throw away easter egg for Marvel television? Or potential Doctor Strange connecting tissue?) they do battle with a seemingly corrupted young woman and take back the artifact that’s done the corruption. Interesting observation but the drawing of the staff almost appears to look like Doctor Strange’s source of power the eye of agamotto. Is there a connection there? Could the sorcerer supreme have to master such an artifact before achieving his place in the universe?
Or does the eye of agamotto have a darker counterpart? Something connected to Dormammu, Doctor Strange’s biggest villain? There are plenty of mystical artifacts out there, the important thing to note is that this particular staff seems to affect people deeply and dark magic seems to be a big deal, motivating people’s viewpoints and opinions.
Regardless, the overall look and feel is that of a cop film, which makes it another unique entry into the MCU. The comics make it seem like we’re dealing with an officer off the force in Madds Mikkelson’s villain. The comic paints the artifact as a powerful source of dark magic and those who come into contact with it seemingly want only control and division, as well as death.
It’s pretty telling that Mikkelson’s villain is one of the first to handle it after defeating the original wielder of the weapon. If it has a negative effect on all of those who touch it then Tina Minoru’s presence as a future villainness in the Pride is pretty important. Mikkelson’s villain is called kaecilius and he calls himself destruction and death. Whatever the artifact is, it’s going to play a key role in the film and while he’s arrogant it seems like it’ll feed off those emotions.
We may not have any confirmation on the origins of the mysterious staff or if there’s actually a connection between Doctor Strange and Marvel Television’s Runaways, but the comic is a fun little piece of writing filled with Easter Eggs. It sets the stage for a Departed style almost procedural picture that proves the MCU has the chops to continue to change up it’s style. Complete with Mordu and Master Wong, it’s shaping up to be an interesting film.
So what do you think True Believers? Are you excited for the film? Intrigued by this new villain? Think there’s any connection to the MTU and a runaway future? The Doctor Strange prequel comic is currently 3.99 on comixology, a must own for any fan looking forward to the film!