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Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1 Review

Story by Robbie Thompson
Art by Javier Rodriguez, Álvaro López, Jordie Bellaire, and Joe Caramanga
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque and John Rauch
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 26, 2016

Good day, Pulp Nation! Here we are, just a couple days away from the release of the highly anticipated film, Marvel’s Doctor Strange. To coincide with its release Marvel Comics released a new Doctor Strange team-up series: Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme. Recently, I had a chance to review another series Doctor Strange: Mystic Apprentice, so I thought I would give this comic the same treatment.

In Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1 a weakened Doctor Strange is on a magical scavenger hunt to retrieve mystical artifacts that will restore all magic, which had been destroyed by the Empirikul in the “Last Days of Magic.” During one such quest, and in the midst of a battle with Q’uvin the Malevolent, Merlin travels from the past to request assistance in a battle against the Unforgotten. Merlin’s been recruiting fellow Sorcerers Supreme as well. In short order, we find future Supreme Wiccan; Isaac Newton— ahem, Sir Isaac Newton; Kushala; Nina; and a very young, Ancient One.

The Writing

Writer Robbie Thompson has written an impressive introduction that takes us right into the action after a brief pre-credits sequence and once the action starts it barely slows down. This is a fast-paced story meant to quickly introduce both old and new characters. Many introductory issues, particularly team-ups, make the mistake of interrupting the story to ensure we know who everyone is. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme perfectly introduces us to the cast without slowing down the pace.

Thompson has set the table in Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme with just enough to satisfy our appetites and keep us looking forward to the next helping. Also, the writing flowed well, and no part of the script—particularly the humour— seemed forced or out of place.

The Artwork

Javier Rodriguez (pencils), Álvaro López (inks), Jordie Bellaire(colors), and Joe Caramanga(letters) join forces to present a visually stunning adventure. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme begins with a scene from the distant past that appropriately gives off an old school comic feel. When it cuts to the present day the artwork gives way to a more modern touch, while keeping that old school feel.

The two-page splash that features Merlin and Strange time traveling is a visual feast for the eyes. Awash in greens and purples, it feels disorienting—as I imagine time travel would be. This trippy experience continues throughout the whole of this issue, giving off a supernatural and mystic feel.

Final Thoughts: Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1

The story and artwork in Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme are as great a matchup as I have seen in recent memory. Writer and artists started off blazing. As a result, I only see upside as the story develops and the characters evolve.

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1 puts a new spin on an old character without being tiring. The skeptics among us might feel that this is nothing more than a cheap movie tie-in, but that is not the case here. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme is an excellent offering in its own right. But most importantly, when I read this comic, I felt like I was reading one of those old comics your favourite uncle would have given you back in the day. Those were the books you read over and over.

*Unless otherwise noted, all comics I (Bradley) review are provided by Freakshow Comics in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada* 

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