Review: The Death of Doctor Strange #1
Listen, we all know Doctor Strange isn’t going to stay dead. With a film coming out next year, the character will eventually be back in the way we’ve known (though maybe a bit more aligned with the film). So, the “death” aspect to The Death of Doctor Strange #1 isn’t much of a surprise or interesting. Who the murderer is, might be. The details of the comic are really what’s going to win us over.
Written by Jed MacKay, The Death of Doctor Strange #1 takes us through Stephen Strange’s life. He recounts his origin in some ways and what his role in the Marvel Universe is. We get the balance that this is a person who has a lot of responsibility as a Doctor and as the Sorcerer Supreme. MacKay generally beats us over the head that without Strange, the Marvel Universe and Earth is facing a major threat. The debut issue is a lot of setup as to WHY Strange dying matters.
The Death of Doctor Strange #1 is that moment of the story while the villain’s shadow looms over and threatens everything underneath. The issue is the ball in the air and now we have to see how well it can be hit. The defenses are down. Someone is a murderer. The question is who will stand up to protect the Earth. How will they do it. And, how killed Stephen Strange? None of this is surprising at all and none of the setup feels all that original. We’ve seen “key” heroes get killed and then a threat shows up that only they can stop. This is just a magical version of that. It’s not bad as a start but it’s also not all that exciting.
The art by Lee Garbett matches the tone of the story itself. With color by Antonio Fabela and lettering by Cory Petit, it’s good but not great. There’s nothing bad about the art at all. What’s missing is that bit of excitement. For a comic all about “magic”, the art doesn’t really have any. The scenes of its use feel rather… mundane, like a kids’ magician making some colors. There’s never that moment that really surprises or takes advantage of the fact this is magic we’re dealing with. Everything feels a bit… grounded.
Beyond the very end reveal, there’s nothing surprising or all that interesting about The Death of Doctor Strange #1. It reminds people of who Stephen Strange is and why he’s important. It’s a comic that feels like it exists to make the case as to why its main character matters. The fact it has to makes it feel like that’s been a failure leading up to all of this. Most of the comic is pretty much what we’d expect but it’s a decent setup and start. Really what matters is where it all goes from here and if the team can really make this an exciting story to come now that there’s actual danger to deal with.
Story: Jed MacKay Art: Lee Garbett
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review