Doctor Strange #1 Review

Doctor Strange (2023) #1

Writer: Jed Mackay

Artist: Pasqual Ferry

Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

Cover Artist: Alex Ross

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Doctor Stephen Strange is back! After he was murdered, then solved his murder, then made into a servant of Mistress Death, Stephen Strange is back among the living. And now that he’s back, Strange is already getting back to work as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. See what adventures await the good doctor in Doctor Strange #1!

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So, yeah, Doctor Stephen Strange is back! What’s more this comic is all about re-establishing the status quo of Doctor Stephen Strange for all of the right reasons and actually makes Stephen Strange being the Sorcerer Supreme something to get behind as a character and as a reader. Not too much happens in this book, this comic takes the approach of getting readers acquainted with the new dynamics in Stephen Strange’s life. The art from Pasqual Ferry is good and seems to be able to handle the mundane with the mystical and supernatural elements in the series. We’ll probably get to see how far the comic pushes Ferry’s art and just what craziness the creative team has in store. There will be slight SPOILERS in this review but nothing major.

The comic follows Doctor Stephen Strange in his first day back of not only being the Sorcerer Supreme but also being alive again. What’s more, he’s in good spirits for a change as he has his friends, his wife Clea, and his work as a doctor and master of the Mystic Arts. We see him catch up with plenty of his friends and allies, both heroic and otherwise (looking at you Doctor Doom). We see Stephen work with Clea on a couple of matters showing the contrast and potential drama that can come from them being married and partners in superheroics. What’s more, we see the beginnings of a new storyline for the Sorcerer Supreme and his allies.

Right off the bat, I have to give props to Jed Mackay for the direction he’s giving to Doctor Strange and what he’s doing for him as a character in recent years. See, before Jed Mackay, previous Doctor Strange series have had this underlying melancholy to the character, making his life and the man himself seem less than appealing as it used to be. It was not a joy to be Sorcerer Supreme nor was Stephen Strange always a hero you’d want to root for in some of his past series. But this series is different.

Mackay basically has this entire comic have a more positive and pulpy feel to it. It’s not all sunshines and rainbows of course, but there’s adventure, friendship, love/drama, and danger or at least setup for it. Stephen Strange is in a good place in his life all things considered, and for once we get to see him actually enjoy being not only the Sorcerer Supreme but a doctor who wants to help people. Readers will recognize that Mackay did the same for Stephen Strange in the Death of Doctor Strange series in the first issue, showing him as a prideful but principled man who actually enjoys being the Sorcerer Supreme, who takes pride and purpose in doing his work, his duty and that’s all replicated here.

There’s also a short backup story starring Wong and the new W.A.N.D. organization, small as it is. It’s not much but its got its own little adventure in it that shows the direction that Jed Mackay is taking Wong and the W.A.N.D. organization and he manages to neatly tie it into the bigger story that’s been setup in the main Doctor Strange story. We’ll see where Mackay and Ferry takes these characters going forward.

Final Thoughts:

Doctor Strange #1 gives readers a chance to become reacquainted with Stephen Strange again. There’s an undoubtedly positive presence to Stephen Strange that Jed Mackay gives to the hero even with everything that’s happened in his life. But it’s not just him feeling good about being alive, it’s that readers get to see him be a sincerely helpful doctor to his friends and allies as well as be a mystical superhero too. The comic does its job to establish Dr. Strange’s status quo moving forward while setting up the next big story for Stephen and his allies.


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