Writer Jason Aaron
Pencils & Colors Chris Bachalo
Inks Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, John Livesay, Wayne Faucher, Victor Olazaba & Jaime Mendoza
Letters VC’s Cory Petit
My first comic of 2016!
John Livesay and Wayne Faucher are new inkers to Team Bachalo. I wonder how that studio actually works.
I’ve been, unofficially, following this series – as I do enjoy the creative team. Glad to finally have a reason to buy this title. I figured I would, eventually, as Doctor Strange has been keeping a posse of magicians with him. That isn’t all he’s been doing for three issues.
More and more, each day, supernatural forces are coming to New York City. Magic beings are running from their original locations to our world. Someone is killing Sorcerer Supremes. I didn’t even know there were other Sorcerer Supremes. I suppose, Brother Voodoo would still be considered a Sorcerer Supreme – even if he isn’t the current fellow.
Years Ago. We’re getting a training session with Strange and the Ancient One. We didn’t get scenes like that, in the early issues – so it is nice to see these scenes. Strange doesn’t want to punch the Ancient One, for one – his hands are still crippled. Plus, he’s trying to learn sorcery from him.
I do like how the flashbacks are in black and white – that’s a nice touch.
Strange throws the punch and hurts his hand. The most important lesson of being a sorcerer is – the harder you punch, the more it hurts you. Which sort of makes sense, that’s how head butting works.
I also like seeing a young Strange, not knowing the names of spells and not really taking it seriously. Even though he is successfully levitating a yak, so he knows there is magic in the world – but he doesn’t quite have a handle on it. Apparently, every spell comes at a price – sort of like on Once Upon A Time – all magic has a price. Strange has been casting spells for a week, and now is throwing up.
Now. Strange is throwing up. Which is embarrassing, as he is throwing a party. Chondu, the other Wong, isn’t thrilled about the throwing up. It took a lot of stronger magic, to clean up the mess. So we’re to believe that Strange has been throwing up for fifty years? That isn’t a great idea. Throwing up is the worst.
The Bar With No Door. So glad that Magik has made it to this series! I knew she had to, as the solicts have stated that Strange was going to be keeping in touch with his magical friends. Plus, Bachalo drawing Magik again, is always a good thing. I would have liked, her in her current outfit but I understand Bachalo wanting to keep her in his own design outfit.
The magical inclined heroes are here to hear the bad news that they know Strange has. I wish I recognized more of these characters. Damian Hellstom, I know from Facebook : Avengers Alliance. Alpha Flight’s Shaman has been in this series thus far – plus, as a X-Fan, I know who Alpha Flight is. Looks like a guy with Cloak’s . . . cloak but with a messed up jaw, is in attendance. Who is that next to Magik? I imagine that is Wanda (who has also been in this series, thus far) is sitting next to Shaman.
Strange has buried seventeen Sorcerer Supremes. They were the top sorcerer of their respected dimensions. Each was killed, horribly – hours of torture that ended with being burned alive. Not only are they dead, but their dimensions have been cut off. Their bodies were hidden away so that someone like Strange, would have to look for them. This threat is now coming to Earth.
Brother Voodoo asks how many Sorcerer Supremes are there. Strange doesn’t know and the Ancient One never revealed it. Strange sent out a call to the rest of them. He stood around, for hours and no one answered the summons.
I like how Count Kaoz name checks himself. Plus, he seems very interesting with that bear attack story.
Magik, being as great as she is, volunteers to invest in Limbo and see if anyone is taking credit for the murders.
Damian Hellstom is going to investigate Hell, which seems like a place to get some answers.
The Cloak cloak borrower is either Professor Xu or Mahatma Doom, suggests that they all mindlink so that they can be better informed.
El Merico Mistico, in Spanish, is willing to fight to the death.
Monako (none of these people are familiar to me) is under the impression that Strange brought this on himself (and them) for not being more active. Which seems silly, to me.
Strange doesn’t believe any of his rogue gallery is responsible for this.
Wong calls the bar, there has been another murder.
Zelma Stanton, the character that brought this threat to Strange’s attention, is found the book that hit her. When it hit her head, she had a little creature forming in her hair – it looks like Strange dealt with that. Now she is hanging around.
Zelma is telling Strange that the book that hit her on the head – The Grimoire of Watoomb – is now blank. She says the book died, which surprises Strange as well. Which isn’t good, if Strange is in uncertain waters, don’t follow that guy, too closely.
Since the pages are empty, that must mean that something horrible has happened at the Temple of Watoomb. Strange plans on investigating. Before he can do that, he collapses. Wong brings him to the table, so he can eat lunch. Wong lets Zelma know, that after these years of being who he is, Strange has a very special diet. Strange tells her not to watch him eat, once she does, she can never unsee it. She describes the dish as, culinary afterbirth. Which, really, is all I need to know. Jason Aaron seems to be really getting into the day-to-day of what it is like to be Doctor Strange. Hopefully Brother Voodoo was warn of all of this, when Strange was making him the next Sorcerer Supreme. The food would kill a normal man and it should kill Strange, eventually.
Later, Zelma is worried about books being murdered, or if magic is being murdered. Strange wouldn’t have thought it was possible to murder magic but someone is doing a fine job of doing just that.
Strange opens a portal, that appears to be to the ocean floor. He instructs her to go home, as he enters the ocean. The Temple of Watoomb is deep beneath the Indian Ocean. Watoomb, seems like such a familiar word, I’m sure it is one of his go-to spells. Strange is able to simply swim pass defenses, so clearly something is wrong. A machine that disrupts sorcery stops him. Apparently, that shouldn’t be a thing.
This reminds me of Waid / Wiering’s run on Fantastic Four. When Reed had to fight Doctor Doom. Reed doesn’t know magic so Strange gave him some simple spells, I believe that all Reed had to do, was repeat one phrase and had some simple spells at his disposal. I wonder if he threw up after that?
Zelma calls Strange, via the spell he cast on her phone. She tells him that all of the books are dying. Her phone gets disconnected, I’m not sure how he was talking to her. Maybe the call just appears near his head?
Issue ends with Strange, triumphant over the machine. He makes a conference call to all mystical beings. He was wrong, the enemy isn’t coming – they are already here! dun dun DUN!!!
Such a great issue! I should be reading this series properly.
. . .
I’m writing this on January 9, 2016 – let’s see how long it is before it is published!
This is being published on July 12, 2016. So seven months to see the first comic of 2016.
Like I do every year, I keep track of what the best comics were of 2016 – typically, it is always my first ten comics.
- Doctor Strange Volume Four Issue 4
One down, nine more to go!