Friday, 4 December 2015

Doctor Strange #2 Review (Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo)

If there’s something weird
In your librarian’s head 
Who ya gonna call? 
Strange doctor! 

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s Doctor Strange goes from strength to strength with this brilliant second issue. This time the main focus is on the Doc’s magical abode, the Sanctum Sanctorum, as mind maggots escape from Zelma the librarian’s head and run riot in the house. 

There’s an interesting brief history of the Sanctum before the Doc takes Zelma (the reader’s proxy) on a tour of the place, taking in playa table snakes (“Hey girl, what’s up?”, “What’s your hurry?”), a bathhouse (“Of course you have a bathhouse. Look at your moustache.”), Escher stairs and Beetlejuice-type doors to terrifying dimensions. And the less said about the contents of the Doc’s fridge, the better!

Strange’s kung fu manservant Wong makes a great entrance before cooking the worst-looking lunch ever (the Doc’s culinary tastes living up to his name)! You get a strong sense of the close friendship between Strange and Wong in this issue just from little moments dotted throughout – they come off less like master/servant and more like Odd Couple housemates! 

Zelma, the new character, holds her own as well. Being a librarian she’s appalled at the way Stephen stacks his books up haphazardly and we get to know her very well as she has to yell her deepest secrets to draw the mind maggots to one place! It’s funny and a clever ploy to endear her to the audience which totally works. 

Aaron hasn’t forgotten the overarching storyline either. For some reason Stephen’s magic isn’t working and we catch a glimpse of a mysterious figure at the end along with the hint of a terrible threat headed the Doc’s way. 

Jason Aaron’s blend of humour and imagination is the perfect approach to Doctor Strange. The pacing is just right and the comic flies by - such is the case when you’re in the hands of a master storyteller. There’s so much here to enjoy, I was grinning the whole time reading it. Chris Bachalo seems to be having fun too with some great sprawling demonic visuals skilfully juxtaposed with the domestic setting. 

Is it any surprise that Jason Aaron’s Doctor Strange is terrific? The man’s some kind of literary magician! Definitely keep an eye (or three) out for this one, Marvel fans!

Doctor Strange #2

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't ready for this reboot to be so typically humor driven, as this seems to be Marvel's current house style with fast snappy scenarios that don't carry much weight and nothing is really a threat. This was fun, but it's Doctor Strange the sitcom. I was ready for something more challenging.