Whether it’s something we discuss often or not, comic books are about accessibility. Some books run on for hundreds of issues, and that can seem a little scary to new readers. When’s a good time to start something new or pick up a title you’ve never heard of? Sometimes, picking up the first issue can be a good start. But, even if you don’t know it, there could (and probably are) hundreds of stories you missed before that #1 issue. With Dr. Strange #1, that is the case.
There have been Dr. Strange stories before, in both comic and movie form. But, this first issue is an easy one to just start reading. It walks you in easily, telling you what you need to know about Dr. Strange and his life on earth. Even if you hadn’t seen the MCU movie, you could probably find your footing quickly in this series.
Maybe it’s just me, but starting a new series is always a little daunting. With Dr. Strange #1, you don’t have to worry about that. The first few pages layout the world and Stephen Strange’s past. However, it’s not one of those boring first issues that only lays the groundwork. The action starts before the midpoint and continues on to the end. It’s a good mix of both setup and excitement.
Dr. Strange #1 Offers A Fresh Start, Sort Of
This is by no means an origin story. Dr. Strange is fully established in his role and has been for some time. He even goes as far as recounting some of his past ventures. The fresh start comes from his ability to perform medicine. He made a deal with a demon that resulted in him being able to use his hands again. He mentions that he’s not sure when he’ll have to pay the price for that. We’ll certainly find out right alongside him, as that’s likely to be a key point in this new series.
In this fresh take, Stephen Strange is learning how to balance his new life. Between protecting Earth and taking on complicated procedures at the hospital, he barely has any time to breathe. It will be interesting to see if they touch further on this feeling of burnout. It would be fun to see how a superhero reacts to working too hard, and doing too much too fast, as many of us real people deal with in our own day-to-day.
The Plot And The Art Of Dr. Strange #1
While it is an interesting set up for a series and something that could be fun to read down the line, the issue left me feeling kind of “meh.” It wasn’t overly exciting or fun to read, and not much occurred within the pages. However, it wasn’t bad or even boring, it was just lacking something I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe the sass levels that Benedict Cumberbatch brought to the role in the MCU, I’m not sure. But overall, it is a good read. It’s just not phenomenal. However, this is only the first issue and there is room for more excitement down the line. After all, it’s Dr. Strange, so we’re bound to see some cool time and space bending.
The art in Dr. Strange #1 is fascinating; the typical Marvel level of beauty and nothing to complain about here. The best part of the comic is Strange’s narration through the issue. Maybe the main problem came from his lack of interaction with other characters? After all, he doesn’t talk to anyone aside from a cancer patient and a villain, who we don’t learn much about.
Worth The Read?
Even with the negatives above, I would still say this is worth the read if you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s interesting to think about what Strange’s life is going to be like while balancing both jobs, but the magic side of things was always more interesting than the medical side. Written by Mark Waid and penciled by Kev Walker, Dr. Strange #1 falls a little short of my own expectations but is overall a well done first issue. Java Tartaglia colored the issue and VC’s Cory Petit lettered it. If you’re a big fan of Dr. Strange in general, or you’re just curious about him as a character, maybe pick up this issue. Hopefully, the story gets more exciting from here.