Comic Comments: Doctor Strange #1


Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo

Issue (Status): #1 (Ongoing)

Previous Comic Knowledge Required: Dr Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, the front line against Mystical attacks from other dimensions.

Basic Synopsis: The life of a Sorcerer Supreme is a strange one, one minute you’re defending the soul of a sleeping child from demons from another realm – the next you’re walking through your own shadow into a magical bar to meet up with the other big hitters in the Mystical world.  But is there a price to be paid for this magic and has Dr Strange been paying his Tab?

My Thoughts: I have a personal love of Dr Strange, due to the fact that he is so very different from the majority of the Marvel Universe.

This being the #1 Issue that follows on from Secret Wars, as a result a lot of this issue is about setting the tone of the series for new readers. They do a very rapid overview of his origin, give you examples of the kind of things he regularly does, all while weaving in what will be the overarching story for the start of this run.

It starts with him fighting off a soul-eater demon invasion within the soulscape of a small child, the battle is visually impressive and gives you a solid idea of his power. After doing that you are treated to a view of how Stephen Strange sees the world, with mystical creatures inhabiting it much like random animals in the normal world.

After dealing with another little pest in the form of a Psyche-Leech, he continues on to meeting of the great and good of the marvel mystical world including Doctor VooDoo, Shaman & Scarlet Witch. Over a drink they catch up on the current events including the fact that there seem to be a lot more demons in places they would not normally be lately.

This is when the idea of the cost and balance of magic it discussed, particularly with regards to Dr Strange himself – Monako, The Prince of Magic questions whether all his work with the Avengers might be tipping the tables the wrong way round.

The issue wraps up with the revelation that there are some bad things going on in other dimensions, as we see the Sorcerer Supreme of the 13th Dimension for some form of techno-wolves…a sign of things to come

Recommendation: This is really going to be a love/hate comic, the art is great but the Mystical side of Marvel can be a bit hard to get into. If you want something different give this a shot.

Comic Comments: Contest of Champions #1


Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Paco Medina

Issue (Status): #1 (Ongoing)

Previous Comic Knowledge Required: All you really need to know about Contest of Champions is that, a) it is primarily based on a mobile phone game and, b) that it is set on what appears to be the remnants of Battleworld from Secret Wars.

Basic Synopsis: The Contest of Champions has started and the Collector has his summoner. It’s up to the Maestro, an evil future version of the Hulk, to select the greatest and strongest team of heroes from across the Marvel multiverse to battle against the team of an unknown competitor.

My Thoughts: Considering this comic series is basically a spin-off from a mobile game, I did not go in with massively high expectations for it.

The Collector has once again but called into some form of bet that involves having a ‘Summoner’ putting together a team of heroes, to take on the team created by the other person’s Summoner.  The other party is not explained in this issue, but I’m sure it won’t be long before it is.

The issue starts with the one of the Maestro’s team being collected and what is interesting about this for me is that it starts with a character I know nothing about, The Outlaw, who is apparently a british version of the Punisher last seen in the 90’s. Considering they have the marvel Multiverse it would have been too simple to kick off with one of the well-known names.

Once collected hes is thrown into a fight against someone much more familiar, Venom, however a version of Venom that is still a bad guy and in his universe managed to kill Peter Parker. Overpowered, it is a pretty good job backup soon shows up in the form of Gamora, while she keeps Venom busy Outlaw has to help another member of his team, a version of Iron Man.

He is having his ass handed to him by another character that I have not seen in some time, Joe-Fixit, a personality of the Grey Hulk that worked for the Mob. I always loved that character so it was a shame to see him beaten, and I hope that is not the last we will see of him. However they really have run with the idea of all the multiverse to select from as the combatant is Devil Dinosaur & MoonBoy – but from a Universe where they are part of Hydra.

After a short fight the team is declared the winner, and that is when they are introduced finally to the Collector & Maestro, as well as Stick (the guy who trained DareDevil) and Guillotine (a newly created character).

The rest of the issue is given over to giving some backstory to Guillotine, as well as a side story about the fact that someone has noticed that some people have gone missing and is investigating that fact.

Recommendation: I am going to actually say this could be worth following based on this issue.