Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Jesus Saiz and VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 5, 2018
I have not really been enjoying this run of Doctor Strange. It’s hard to keep your focus on a book that can’t seem to keep a steady focus itself. It all started with Doctor Strange going into Space to get his powers back…until he suddenly had them and then it was back to Earth to fight a doppleganger…until that wrapped itself up in a convenient (?) way. Throw in an Infinity Stone and you got yourself a bit of a mess. So, with that all taken care or (or swept under the rug?), I was looking forward to this issue after the last issue’s mysterious cliffhanger. So, do we get things off on the right foot? Let’s find out…
Well, it seems that Mark Waid wants to rail against gentrification a bit before moving forward here. Lovely! Through a series of flashback scenes, we see 10 years of attempts at Bleeker Street and ten years of Doctor Strange holding his ground, protecting his neighbors and being a dashingly good guy.
Of course, the people behind the attempted real estate takeover have nefarious reasons beyond putting in a Wal-Mart or the like and try to force Strange to give in using blackmail and the awful nature of the human race.
It all blows up in their faces and the issue ends with an extended demonic battle that shows you can take the man out of Bleaker Street, but never Bleaker Street out of the man…well, kind of like that. After all that, we get yet another cliffhanger that has me intrigued, but from this point on I need more than that to get excited about next issue…fool me once and all that!
This is a nice enough issue in and of itself. Mark Waid shows that he knows his way around a comic book issue and gives a regular joe type of look at him and those around him. The spotlight on his (mostly) great neighbors was nice, but in a run that has struggled to get any sort of footing, nice just isn’t enough anymore. If this book doesn’t get a solid direction going forward, it will be leaving my pull list until it does.
You will never hear me complain about the art in this book. Jesus Saiz does an incredible job whether he is drawing a fight on the moon or a demon in a board meeting. Kudos to him for making a fantastic looking issue.
Mark Waid has done nothing to get me excited about this book since the start of his Fresh Start run and slamming on the breaks for a nice little issue about Stephen from the block isn’t changing that. Hopefully, it changes for the better with next month’s legacy #400.