WRITER: Jed Mackay
ARTIST: Lee Garbett
RELEASE DATE: January 26th, 2022
Warning: There be spoilers below
The Death of Doctor Strange #5 may be better than the previous issues at showing what really makes Doctor Strange unique and interesting as a character. Through the introduction of his younger version who I like to call “Ditko Doc,” we see a side of Stephen writers don’t dwell enough on.
Doctor Strange doesn’t just show up and cast spells and throw energy beams at villains. He has to prepare and plan more than most Heroes have to. In his own way when it comes to tactical planning, Doctor Strange is like a Batman or Captain America. At least when it comes to magic. Furthermore, Death of Doctor Strange #5 does a nice job of showing Ditko Doc out thinking and out planning everyone around him. Even how he can bring back the “real’ Doctor Strange is a surprise. As that Doctor comments on his younger self “, I do not remember being so accomplished, so calculating”.
Speaking of the return of the good Doctor, I was pleasantly surprised when he suddenly returned. For a moment, I thought those solicits for the upcoming Strange series were just baited to trick readers. But Mackay plays it fair with the readers and shows that the modern Doctor Strange could only return temporarily. This also gives us a lead into that new Strange series starting Clea.
The only real downside to this series was the main villains. The reveal of who murdered the Doc back in issue one was underwhelming. That being said, this story has always seemed more about the repercussions of his death rather than the mystery. As well, the introduction of the Three Mothers and the Peregrine Child was really just a McGuffin for the heroes to fight.
Lee Corbett’s art was clean and a joy to follow this entire series. For fans of the old Fables Vertigo series, there is a style reminiscent of Mark Buckingham’s art. While I’m sure the new artist joining Mackay on the upcoming Strange series will do fine, I just wish Corbett was returning.
The Death of Doctor Strange #5 is a nice end to a surprisingly well-done mini-event. For what it’s worth, you don’t have to read all the tie-in issues to this story. The main series presents the story without needing all the back matter. However, I will miss Ditko Doc as he was just starting to get his own distinctive voice.