Series: Doctor Strange (2015)
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Chris Bachalo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Summary from Comixology: “Who do you call when things are coming out of your dreams and trying to kill you? Or when your daughter is cursing in Latin and walking like a spider? Or when your dog keeps screaming at you to strangle your neighbors? Doctor Strange, of course. He’s the only person standing between us and the forces of darkness, but has he been paying his tab? Every act of magic has a cost and Jason Aaron (Thor, Original Sin) and Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men) are going to put Stephen Strange through hell to even the scales.”
Jason Aaron is my favorite comic book writer. Period. I fanboy about a ton of writers, but he is without a doubt the number 1 in my book. I also just happen to be a big fan of Doctor Strange, so when Marvel announced that Aaron would be writing the new series for the Sorcerer Supreme I was immediately excited. Like, Will-Ferrell-in-ELF-when-he-heard-Santa-was-coming excited. Seriously. (I probably even jumped up and down and made people around me uncomfortable.) I’m not really even sure why I like Dr. Strange so much. I think maybe it’s that he does magic and growing up I was frequently told that magic was “of the devil” and so obviously that made it more interesting to me.
This rebooted version of Stephen Strange gave me a cool-college-professor vibe. Like… Professor Lasky! From Saved By The Bell: The College Years! Remember him? He was the super cool teacher that ended up dating Kelly, which was kind of douchey because you know I gotta take my boy Zach’s side, but then later they broke up and Kelly and Zach got married.
Anyway… this new Doc kind of reminds me of Professor Lasky. Just a cool dude who’s doing his job but ends up in some pretty sketchy situations. I thought it was clever that they depicted him freeing people of supernatural and demonic spirits that they didn’t even know had attached to their souls. Even being a skeptic, I can still appreciate that type of plot exploration. Aaron is good at that existential stuff. He’s good at putting characters is situations that challenge and test their spirituality (as well as your own), but he doesn’t do it to make a specific point. It’s just like, “Consider this…”
How about that artwork, huh? Chris Bachalo is a real professional. He’s very detailed but not complex or complicated. There’s a simplicity to his style that if you look hard you’ll notice it isn’t simple at all. His line-work is impeccable, and the way he sometimes plays the supernatural elements in colors off of the real world is black and white is brilliant. I was extremely impressed with his work in this issue.
This is a brand new jumping on point for the good Doctor. Pretty much everything coming out from Marvel this month, as well as some next month, are new jumping on points so if you’re interested in getting into reading comics but aren’t sure where to start, head down to your local comic shop and pick any one of the new #1 issues that are likely to be on their shelves.
I highly recommend picking up this issue. It’s fun, and exciting, and funny, and even… kind of brutal and gruesome in some parts. It almost surprised me a little, how intense the imagery and situations get. Doctor Strange can handle it though. He’s tough, but fair.
Music Pairing –
I had a really hard time with this music pairing. I think it’s just the reconciling supernatural and natural that makes it tough to find some musical accompaniment that feels like a good fit. After racking my brain, I decided on the new song from Baroness, “Chlorine & Wine”. They’re really good and laying these grounded rhythms while simultaneously putting out a melody that feels otherworldly. Go grab a copy of Doctor Strange #1 and jam this track while you read it.