Doctor Strange #2
An unending sleeping sickness has struck the children of Bleecker Street! There can only be one culprit behind this attack. It’s up to Doctor Strange and Clea to travel into the Dream Dimension to confront their old foe, Nightmare. But all is not what they seem…and what they discover will shock them!
By the Vishanti! We are back with the second issue of the new Dr. Strange ongoing by Marvel superstar writer Jed MacKay, and legendary artist Pasqual Ferry, where Strange continues to rebuild his life now that he’s returned to the land of the living with his wife, Clea by his side. In this issue we have special guest, Moon Knight, another book by MacKay, as Doc & Clea enter the land of dreams and nightmares to save the life of one young girl. Are they up to the task, or will they lose young Ester Oh to this mysterious psychic malady?
In the second issue Clea’s the narrator of this story, and we get a different perspective on the situation. You see, Doctor Strange and Moon Knight don’t seem to enjoy each other’s company, but Moony and Clea seem to, which could lead to some interesting interactions, and with MacKay penning this book and Moony’s book, so the chances of seeing this story beat explored down the road is exponentially higher. Will this plotline be further developed here, or in Moony’s book? I guess time will tell.
MacKay’s voice for Clea is that of a very strong-willed woman who’s got a very pointed sense of humor, and personality. MacKay has really fleshed her out in a way that we’re not used to seeing from her. This is something that’s become a signature trademark for MacKay, as you can see in his runs on Black Cat, and his Cat and Mary Jane minis. Irreverent sense of humor, who’s not afraid to make fun of the silliness of the medium. While his Stephen isn’t quite as defined as his Clea, which is kinda disappointing due to the work that MacKay has put into Clea, Stephen just seems rather one-note. Luckily it’s only the second issue, so he has plenty of time to start giving us his Stephen.
Something else that felt off was the treatment of Nightmare. Nightmare is Strange’s very first villain, who is a major lord of one of the magical realms, so to see him humbled so horribly in the last couple years is kinda giving me pause. What’s going on here? Is it just a lack of respect for the dream lord, or are they just humbling him to make others look better? Something I’d like to see addressed by Marvel.
MacKay’s also dropping some interesting subplots in this issue, such as who’s behind the death of one of the magical warlords? Who’s responsible for transforming the young girl’s astral self into a magical entity that’s proved to be a match for Doctor Strange himself? Who captured and tortured Nightmare? So many questions in just two issues.
Pasqual Ferry is the artist, and he’s been one artist I’ve been following for a majority of his career. I first noticed him when he helped launch the Heroes for Hire series that was launched in 1997, in the post-Onslaught Marvel Universe, where the Avengers and Fantastic Four were trapped on the Heroes Reborn counter Earth. From there I’d follow him to DC where he had a run on Action Comics, back to Marvel for Thor, and the Fantastic Four, where I lost track of him until he launched the Namor: Conquered Shores mini, and it was like lightning had struck. All the memories of how much I enjoyed his work came flooding back to me, and it was all there. The figure work, the clean lines, mixed with Matt Hollingsworth’s colors, this oro was back, ready to let a whole new generation of fans get to know his work. He continues that ephemeral style here, and it’s absolutely sublime. The perfect partner for MacKay’s style of writing. This looks like it’s the beginning of something great.
It’s a solid second issue to this new team, and both MacKay and Ferry seem to have a firm grasp on how they want this book to work. Ferry’s art here is a masterful showing by the legend, and compliments the story beats flawlessly. The few weak spots can be course corrected in a book that’s still so young, so Strange fans are going to get one heck of a ride.
Doctor Strange #2: Never Gonna Give You Up, Never Gonna Let You Down
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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