Thursday, 20 October 2016

Doctor Strange Volume 2: The Last Days of Magic Review (Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo)

The Empirikul have purged the other dimensions of magic - now it’s the Marvel Universe’s turn! With the Sorcerer Supreme already weakened, Doctor Strange faces an uphill battle to save magic from dying - but he’s not alone. The final battle between magic and science is about to begin… 

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! After such a strong first volume, it’s so disappointing to see Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo dropping the ball with Doctor Strange, Volume 2: The Last Days of Magic. 

The concept of magic here is stupid. It’s a finite resource like oil apparently, and it’s being physically destroyed? Find a magic item or magician, destroy them, and that’s magic gone? That’s so dumb, Jason Aaron! And there’s really no clear difference between magic and science in this book anyway - the science appears to be just as fantastical as the magic! 

Strange and the others spend most of the book gathering magical objects to launch an attack - but why does it have to be a magical attack? Why not just shoot the Empirikul with guns?! It doesn’t even feel very magical - Strange just ends up punching the bad guy over and over! It’s so generic and tedious. The structure is overly simplistic and cliched too with the villains predictably beating the heroes until the final act when the tide turns. 

The Imperator’s story is dull (his motive, like every villain’s these days seems to be, is, yawn, vengeance) and the Empirikul as a whole seem to be quite unintelligent, uninquisitive and barbaric, clinging to dogmatic behaviours - hardly scientific! Also there weren’t nearly as many fun and clever Doctor Strange scenes in this book as there were in the first. 

Chris Bachalo’s art is still great but Jason Aaron’s script is surprisingly flat and boring. If you haven’t already, check out their first Doctor Strange book but severely lower those expectations when you come to this second volume. The difference in quality between the first and second book is like David Blaine or Derren Brown opening for a kid who’s just learned the “pick a card” trick! 

Well, given Marvel Studios’ track record, at least the Doctor Strange movie out later this month will probably be awesome!

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