Doctor Strange Season One
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Emma Rios
Pre-Conceived Notions: After a series of mundane releases Hulk Season One redeemed the Season One line due in no small part to the creative team of Fred Van Lente and Tom Fowler. Strange’s creative team could quite possibly equal if not exceed that book. Pak has a great catalog and Rios has never let me down so lets get to the magic (sorry)!
We are thrown right in with Stephen Strange finding the Ancient One, who is said to be able to heal. They have some pithy back and forth and Strange decides to stay with him and train. We are treated to a few flashback pages — or rather, collages — on how Strange’s hands were mangled and how he found the Ancient One. We are also introduced to Wong, who thinks Strange is evil. The Ancient One decides Wong and Strange should team up, 80’s buddy cop style. Wong has great power and heart but no form or discipline, while Strange has amazing form and discipline but no heart. How will these two ever get along? What could possibly bring this odd couple together to learn about themselves? Enter the girl with the problem (80’s buddy cop style, remember).
Our crew travels all over the world searching for three magic rings that controls a magic something-or-other when all are brought together, and it pretty much goes the way you would figure. Each ring brings another obstacle and battle, with our heroes learning what they need to get where they need to be. It’s not as bad as all that. It’s actually not bad at all. It is rushed, however. The actual origin of Strange is told in less than two pages. It doesn’t give you a great sense of what a giant dick he was before his accident or why a man of science would turn to the mystic arts to heal
him. That’s one of the most pivotal (and forgotten) parts of Strange. He harnesses magic so supremely (sorry) because he respects it more than anyone; it gave him a life again.
Without expressing this, his journey in this book has almost no impact. He just becomes a dude who goes on an adventure because he really doesn’t have anything better to do. Like I said though, this book isn’t bad. Rios’ art is wonderful. Her ability to capture fluidity and psychedelic images really shines here. Her full page magic stuff really
portrays grandiose things. It really looks like magic should, and makes you feel so small for being a mere mortal.
If you are a fan of Doctor Strange this book will do. If you aren’t, it won’t make you one. It’s not a great origin story, and it’s definitely not a Sorcerer Supreme story, but it is one of the better Season one stories and possibly the last, as Marvel hasn’t announced any up coming releases.