DOCTOR STRANGE #1 is out now, and writer Jed MacKay seems to be working his way through the Marvel Rolodex. He’s already done wonderful runs on Moon Knight, Black Cat, and the Clea-led Strange series. Now, Stephen Strange is back, and naturally MacKay was tapped to write the story. Joining MacKay for this issue is Pasqual Ferry on art, Matt Hollingsworth on colors, and Cory Petit on letters.
It’s hard to complain about a book when Jed MacKay’s name is attached to it. His track record speaks for itself and has been excellent. With Doctor Strange #1, MacKay takes you through the first week of Stephen being back. This includes everything from helping Spider-Man deal with demon issues to greeting aliens and catching up with Black Cat. MacKay injects some humor into this issue as well. Something as simple as Stephen helping Felicia feed the dragon in Central Park provides a laugh. One of the most interesting parts of this issue are the connections to Stephen Strange that MacKay continues to build. There is a visit to Doctor Doom, as well as the visit to Black Cat mentioned above. These interactions matter because MacKay continues to build on the continuity in stories from the past. Doom and Strange worked together in Triumph and Torment and Savage Avengers, and Black Cat and Strange worked together in MacKay’s Black Cat series. For a first issue, Doctor Strange is fun, humorous and great at bringing readers into the issue without confusing them.
The pencils this issue are handled by Pasqual Ferry. His style seems to fit perfectly with this series. Ferry’s strong line work and detailed faces convey a lot of what he wants to say in this book. Funny panels, like when Stephen is talking with Luke Cage about the Warlord of Manhattan, rely on Ferry’s facial expressions to show how these friends interact. Ferry draws Doctor Strange with a suspicious look on his face. These small panels matter to readers and it’s one of the areas that Ferry Excels at in this issue. Another part of the issue that looks great is the body language used as Strange visits people. Black Cat is stretched out and relaxed, while Doctor Doom is standing tight as he nearly meets Strange at eye level. These pages show the tension or easy going nature of the relationship Strange has with other characters that he interacts with.
The colors by Matt Hollingsworth work very well with the pencils by Pasqual Ferry. Hollingsworth uses a light color palette, which is effective as Strange and Clea travel to different dimensions. The Purple Dimension has a light and smooth purple tint to the background that is actually pretty eye catching. Hollingsworth uses brighter and more vibrant colors when someone uses their powers. An example of this would be when Dr. Strange feeds the Central Park Dragon. Hollingsworth uses a pink that illuminates the page. The cooler blue color that Hollingsworth uses for bats also comes off really well in this issue. It almost seems like Hollingsworth and Ferry were destined to work well together. Their art and color style mix so well with one another it’s really a treat for the readers.
The letters by Cory Petit needed to be precise for this issue. There are lot of dialogue heavy pages, and Petit had the chore of dodging all the beautiful images. Petit is able to effortlessly make this work. As Aggamon talks with Clea, both characters are positioned in the center of the page. Petit uses his word balloons perfectly as they slide in between the tiny space by the characters. My one gripe with the letters is that are almost no sound effects. Sound effects are a way to enhance the reading experience and MacKay/Petit didn’t use many in the beginning of the book. Near the end we start to see some and they are effective.
Doctor Strange #1 is a fun gateway into the world of mystic arts! Jed MacKay continues his hot streak with another superbly written book. The art flows together nicely and works well with the story being told. Doctor Strange #1 is available at comic shop near you.