Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Barry Kitson, Scott Koblish, Brian Reber, VC’s Cory Petit, and Jesus Saiz
Release Date: July 24th, 2019
The only good thing about Galactus sating his hunger in another dimension was that the Marvel Universe was safe. Well, he’s powered up and back in the Marvel Universe and all of space and time is in dreadful danger in this week’s all-new DOCTOR STRANGE #16 by Mark Waid. By the Fangs of Farallah, let’s jump into this issue!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The battle to end all battles is set. Mark Waid prepares a plan to take down the being set to outlast the entire universe. Waid’s job is to create a means of defeating the literal “end” of the Marvel Universe but has to find a way to do it without deals (like the Silver Surfer once did) or without science (like Reed Richard’s once used). Waid creates a way of defeating the Devourer of Worlds that truly surprised this reviewer. Doctor Strange called upon all the strongest beings, friends, allies, and foes he had while knowingly using them as cannon fodder to cause Galactus to explode leaving the good doctor with the final blow. But, what does something like that do to a man’s psyche?
Doctor Strange strategically organized and planned for some of his closest friends to die without informing them of his plan first. Why? Is it because he thought they would say no? Was it because this was the best plan he could come up with and had no time? Or, is Waid’s Doctor Strange so incredibly arrogant, pompous, and ultimately lost? This seems to have been the case ever since the story began back in issue one. Honestly, this reviewer thinks it’s all of the above.
Strange created this mess in the first place. Stephen has NEVER truly realized the price magic has and continued to make deal after deal endlessly saying that it’s for everyone else’s benefit. However, Waid has pointed out again and again that Stephen’s true weakness is his pride. This issue simply hammers home that same idea. The good doctor is willing to sacrifice his closest friends and colleagues for a mistake he ultimately made. Waid spelled out thousands of lives have ended because of his hubris. So again, how does a man live with that on his conscious?
One of this reviewer’s favorite scenes was the face-off between a supercharged, screaming Black Bolt (who NEVER screams mind you) and Galactus. Black Bolt did his best but failed. Gladiator, who Waid NEEDS to write a series on, was the next to take a stab at the tremendously stellar behemoth. However, he couldn’t help but succumb to the power Galactus contained. Additionally readers, the detail Waid showed with these two battle scenes, as well as the elaborate delineation portrayed in this week’s HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #1, shows this reviewer that Waid is the true master of ceremonies at Marvel right now. His knack for the intricate nuances of the Marvel Landscape and pure knowledge of the content is totally unmatched and should be commended.
Waid delivers a powerful issue that sets the stage for something that seems more like an event than something happening within the DOCTOR STRANGE series. He furnishes fans with a substantially in-depth plot that is chalked full of fantasy, originality, and wonder. Waid understands the main character, the all-encompassing Topography of the Marvel Universe, and how to lead readers through a story naturally. But, where is this story going to end? Waid killed off thousands of big players within the Marvel toy box. So, how does he navigate readers through this one?
Fans should be all in on Waid’s DOCTOR STRANGE. From traversing the cosmos on a magical space journey to becoming the Herald of Galactus, Waid’s taken the Sorcerer Supreme on a ride more wild than Mr. Toads. It’s a series that this reviewer wishes wasn’t coming to an end. However, all good things seem to expire at some point. My hope is that fans truly get to see how amazing this run has been before it’s too late. By the Sons of Satannish, buy this issue and get the trades. You’ll be glad you did!