Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Colorist: Heather Moore
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Doctor Strange meets General Strange! During the midst of attending the arranged marriage of his mother-in-law, Umar the Unrelenting, and Warlord Tiboro, Stephen Strange and Clea were attacked by a mysterious assailant who has revealed himself to be an aspect of Dr. Strange who was called upon to wage a mystical war but became mad in the process. Now he’s free and meets his original self in the flesh. Read Doctor Strange #7 to see how the good doctor deals with his darker half.
Fair warning, there will be some SPOILERS here and there but not much. The comic picks up back in the present where Dr. Strange and Clea are confronted by General Strange, the true killer behind all the murdered mystical warlords and the like, and he’s at the wedding to steal Clea’s unborn Faltine sister. Why? To join his army of “Warchildren” as he seeks to reignite the “War of the Seven Spheres” that he fought in and finally finish his war for good. But he chooses to speak with his original self and Clea for a hot minute.
Once again, the comic is a mixed bag. For starters, Jed MacKay is writing this comic well and he continues to pull of his characterization of Doctor Strange, Clea, Wong, and all the rest in this series. The problem is that the comic raises moral issues for Doctor Strange, classic superhero dilemmas that never get old such as why they don’t just kill every single villain they face, and it works for what MacKay is going for with his take on Dr. Strange. It also goes hand in hand with Pasqual Ferry’s art that showcases the sadness, shock, anger, and solemn resolve that Stephen Strange expresses in this comic.
Now, that was the good, here’s the bad. The problem is this whole dilemma of no killing directly flies in the face of the past decade of history for Dr. Strange in Marvel Comics. For over ten years he’s never had a problem killing or attempting to kill his enemies before, so it’s clear that it’s only a problem now because MacKay wants it to be for emotional and moral stakes. What’s more, Dr. Strange has done plenty of very dark things in the recent past to defeat his enemies that he wouldn’t normally want to do but did.
Look no further than his involvement in the Savage Avengers series by Gerry Dungan where he teams up with Conan the Barbarian, Dr. Doom, even Shuma Gorath for a hot minute, and more to take down the appropriately savage and diabolical sorcerer Kulan Goth. So this comic shouldn’t give the impression like he’s never done this sort of thing before, if anything it should be that Stephen is afraid of falling back into those behaviors to defeat General Strange.
What’s more, the comic doesn’t really show Dr. Strange and Clea go all out to stop General Strange before he inevitably leaves the party. In fact, there’s barely an attempt besides one page with Clea and it’s not like the General really did anything to them either. So the action in their encounter isn’t all that interesting here either no matter how nice the art looks. Despite that, the comic does a solid job of setting up the next phase in this story arc and where everyone will be heading off to and what they’ll be doing in the next few issues.
Doctor Strange #7 continues the confrontation between Dr. Strange and General Strange. The exchange between Stephen and his darker self was well-written and the emotional writing for the character is compelling in the comic. However, said confrontation wasn’t really that eventful as it could’ve been. While the main event wasn’t that suspenseful, the rest of the comic did a fine job setting things up for the next issue that should make things more interesting.