21st Feb2018

‘Doctor Strange #385′ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Donny Cates | Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

doctor-strange-385

With Jason Aaron’s run and now Donny Cates, Doctor Strange has finally had a continuously great series. Cates and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta came in at just the right time as Aaron’s run was coming to its natural conclusion.They have not completely abandoned what Aaron built instead choosing to continue many of his major threads. As their first arc comes to its end one hopes they are just getting started.

Here Strange is yet again dealing with the ramifications of his actions as the Void is now free and inhabiting his body. Zelma and Loki are left to try to fight off this force before it can become too powerful and threatened all of magic. This was classic storytelling done right. All of the pieces that have been building since the arc began have come together in an especially satisfying conclusion. One filled with all the action, heart, and drama you could ask for. Sometimes it is as simple properly setting up the pieces and letting them naturally flow to their conclusion.

Although this is the first book Cates and Walkta worked on together you would never know it. Their sense of styles fit together so well. Walta faces are expressive in the best of ways. You can see the fear in Loki’s eyes as he sees the horror of what is in front of him. Considering that he is a god and rarely shows that sides of himself those moments immediately feel important. He is not especially known for his ability to stage action and this book has not really called for it as of yet. Here he has a plethora of toys to play with and uses them with great effect. Even though we are only working with a handful of characters the stage feels big. That keeps the intimacy of the story intact with all the craziness.

A lot has been said recently regarding the status quo of Marvel and how so many of their books lack quality. There is some validity in that claim but there is also reason to be hopeful for the future and this series is one of the biggest reasons. Both Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta are bringing fresh ideas to the world of comics so when you put two creators like that together magic can happen. Fittingly with this book that is exactly what has occurred.

****½  4.5/5

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