Published on March 26th, 2023 | by Howard Smith
RETURN OF THE SORCERER SUPREME IN DOCTOR STRANGE #1 Review
Summary: If you don’t know where to start on reading about Doctor Strange or looking for some magical excitement, then start here. Be sure to pick this one up at your local comic book store or online.
A new start
A Sorcerer Supremes’ duty is beckoned and Strange answers.
Debuting his official return in the latest installment of Doctor Strange comics, Stephen…
Strange dawns his persona as the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth again in Doctor Strange #1. Affairs have been out of sorts since the original Doctor Strange was last alive. Seeking to accustom himself to the duties of his profession, Strange sets out to lend a hand where he is needed. However, he is not alone as his wife Clea who took on the mantle previously accompanies him. Strange and Clea do their best to sort out issues that arise. Mysterious creatures protesting against Luke Cage, unfinished business with the troubling sovereignty from Latveria, a certain webhead losing a bet, and another Sorcerer who may have been responsible for Strange vanishing all take a course in the event of one week. Doctor Strange may just have his hands full for a while.
In the mystical arts of Doctor Strange #1, MacKay (Black Cat, The Avengers, Timeless) continues to explore the life and intricacies of a Sorcerer Supreme. After the explosive conclusion and return of Stephen in his previous comic book issue run with Clea Strange, we are given ease back into the lifestyle Stephen Strange once had. There are no big fights, no black portals leading towards a nightmarish realm, an undead Sentry, or a space god terrorizing denizens but the interactions of what it means to be a Sorcerer Supreme through the mind of Stephen. MacKay provides us a special window to view how Stephen adjusts to being alive again, but in the company and partnership with his wife. There are moments that say more than they need to and through these moments we are reassured why Stephen is Marvel’s favorite Sorcerer Supreme. MacKay wrote an important new beginning worth noting because every hero needs to find their footing after falling. With Stephen taking a significant fall, it felt right that MacKay would begin a new chapter in this way.
Correspondingly, artist Ferry (Fantastic Four, Captain America, Batman Beyond) and colorist Hollingsworth (Seven to Eternity, Batman: Curse of the White Knight, Daredevil) band together to bring forth that vision of a new beginning. Through each page we can see how Stephen is physically attempting to get back on his feet and establish his senses in the world he was removed from. From a series of close-ups and wide shots, we can witness how important this journey is no matter the subtlety. The colors meld well with the illustrations because, in a world of magic, there will always be an arrangement of color that defines an atmosphere of the unknown. The scenery is essential, especially when working on Doctor Strange. Both Ferry and Hollingsworth placed their talents on the table and gave nothing but their very best.
Identically, letterer Petit (The Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, The Immortal Hulk) was tasked with a duty of his own much like Stephen Strange. After many years of lettering at Marvel, Petit nails his craft at making sure the artwork can flow freely without disruption. The placement of the word bubbles and captions helped navigate the story and was easy on the eyes while reading. Noticeably, the lettering does not diminish any movement of any characters as it feels natural. Finally, cover artist Alex Ross (The Avengers, Batman, Red Sonja) graces Doctor Strange with a cover that says it all. The cover depicts Stephen leaping through a portal of his own as he seemingly makes his return into the Marvel limelight. His cover captures the exact premise of the story presented by MacKay. Ross’s covers are always a mesmerizing body of work that compliments fantastic stories and thankfully he returned to do another Doctor Strange cover.
With life given back to Stephen Strange, there are more mysteries and magic to investigate. A phenomenon is right around the corner just waiting to be discovered. This new chapter in Doctor Strange #1 foretells fun transportation into a mind-bending unearthly trip. If you don’t know where to start on reading about Doctor Strange or looking for some magical excitement, then start here. Be sure to pick this one up at your local comic book store or online.
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Pasqual Ferry
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: VC’S Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Editor: Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment