Writer: Jed Mackay
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Colorist: Heather Moore
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Doctor Stephen Strange and his wife Clea Strange have been cordially invited to the wedding of Umar the Unrelenting. Aka, Dormammu’s sister, Clea’s mother, and one of several murderers behind the good doctor’s prior death. However, there’s more to this wedding than meets the eye. Read Doctor Strange #5 to see how bad this mystical wedding gets.
I can’t say if Umar’s wedding is really something Dr. Strange fans have been excited for since the end of Doctor Strange #3, but it goes about as well as most readers would expect. Dr. Strange and Clea show up on time in sharp clothing for the wedding, and the second they run into the bride and groom, the fireworks start. There’s arguing, some choice words said by multiple people, and then two members keep their respective partners from trying to kill the other to go cool off for the real wedding. Which naturally has a bit of pageantry before it all goes downhill.
Of the many things that keep this book, let alone this series afloat, it’s the art by Pasqual Ferry and the dialogue by Jed Mackay. Mackay’s really nailed the voices of all the characters in this book, and more importantly he knows how to have them bounce off of each other in ways that feel natural to the characters. The only problem is that there’s little true tension in the comic until after the halfway point since Tiboro and Umar are defanged like Dormammu is in this series. This is heavily important because the majority of this comic book issue is rooted in dialogue conversations between characters with little action in the end.
Now, the art by Pasqual Ferry fits the supernatural wedding that’s going on. Mind you, there’s nothing that stands out when it comes to the locations, but they look fantastical all the same and there’s plenty of weird, bizarre, and mean looking Fantasy beings to populate the wedding ceremony. Even the inclusion of the one and only Dormammu himself to officiate the wedding for his sister and warlord Tiboro, and that’s as far as his presence in the story goes. Because this comic only really hits it high point near the end where we finally get the big reveal of the killer. But that’s the big SPOILER, so head to the next section if you want to learn more or skip to the Final Thoughts section.
Let’s get right to it. Once the action started with the wedding getting attacked, I was pumped a little as we get only a glimpse of Umar and Tiboro in action with Dr. Strange and Clea. Then we finally see who the mysterious killer is behind those involved in Strange’s recent death and other major players in the Magical underworld. Turns out it’s none other than: General Stephen Strange. Yes, that’s right, we’re getting a villainous version of Dr. Strange as the villain.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but this reviewer is both shocked and confused since this reveal did skew my enjoyment of the comic. This reveal is what readers were looking forward to, the reveal of the killer, not Umar’s political marriage. Obviously, Jed Mackay is going to tell the story of General Strange in the next issue, but I was just wondering why he went this route for the main villain when it’s truly an overdone trope that’s been done to death in both Marvel and DC Comics at this point. To say I feel burnt out on Marvel heroes fighting evil versions of themselves, is an understatement. Hopefully, the creative team can change my mind on this in the next issue.
Doctor Strange #5 has Stephen and Clea come for the wedding of Umar and the warlord Tiboro, but readers came for the wedding crashers. The art and character banter are what sell this comic since most of it is character conversations until a little after the halfway point. Of course, the real show stealer is the big reveal of the main villain for this story arc. And mileage will vary from reader to reader since it’s an idea that’s been overdone, to put it mildly, in Marvel Comics. Hopefully, the next issue really sells the idea of the main villain in spectacular fashion.