Storytellers: Barry Kitson and Mark Waid
Art: Scott Koblish, Brian Reber, and VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: May 22nd, 2019
Multiple Watchers, Dormammu, and an unholy alliance which may bring the end of the mystical and technological known universes all in this week’s DOCTOR STRANGE #14 by Barry Kitson and Mark Waid. By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, let’s jump into this issue!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Barry Kitson and Mark Waid open the issue with a very quick recap of what Stephen Strange is currently doing by guiding readers quickly around the Mystical Nether Realm where the Good Doctor is in search of uninhabited magical worlds for Galactus to feed on while Clea keeps him busy and unfocused on his appetite. After Doctor Strange finds a suitable world and returns, Clea and the Good Doctor escort Galactus through many mystical realms with much resistance along the way. Finally, Galactus makes his way to the world Stephen found only to ravenously devour a planet that began to cause him pain that echoes throughout all realms and universes.
Turns out, Galactus begins to burn with the “Flames of Faltine”, which signify that Dormammu was responsible for tampering with the world’s energy AND responsible for the relentless barricades Doctor Strange, Clea, and Galactus fought through on their way to this world. It’s revealed that Mephisto and Dormammu worked out a deal to alter the energy that Galactus would devour changing Galactus into a being composed of both technology and magic with Dormammu as his new herald. Kitson and Waid end the issue with Dormammu capturing the Good Doctor to have him watch as Dormammu ushers Galactus around to begin to take over the universe. By the Wondrous Wands of Watoomb, how is the Good Doctor going to get out of this one?
WAID‘S EXPERIENCE IS MAGICAL
Kitson and Waid make this a pretty quick read that’s fast-paced and gets readers through the story without the premise drawn out too long. Waid is brilliant at using every inch of his pages masterfully to tell his stories while guiding readers to the key components of each issue. And let me say; issue 14 is no different! At first, the issue seemed to be moving slowly with heavy dialogue weighing the pages down. However, before this reviewer knew it, the issue was done, mapped out well, set up for the next issue, and left with an amazing cliffhanger. Dormammu is now Galactus’ herald AND he’s infused with the Faltine Flames. That’s nuts!
As always, Waid had few plot holes and guided readers exactly where they needed to go without making fans have to stretch at a reason for Mephisto and Dormammu to work together. Heck, Waid even dropped Bats in for a quick second AND the Watchers, which is bad$&@$! By showing readers the Watchers, readers can see how epically screwed the universe will be if Galactus and Dormammu work together, which elevates the stakes of this issue, as well as this arc.
Waid makes the issue feel important and gives it merit. At times, the magical words, the names of the people involved, and even the drawings of the mystical people were a bit too much and made it difficult to follow with one read. However, that’s not this reviewer saying it’s bad. It’s just that it became heavy at times making certain scenes and panels difficult to remember and retain. This fan thinks it’s simply the nature of what is being written about within the issue making it hard for any creative team to maneuver, which isn’t this creative teams fault. It’s more the material being written.
For an issue that began slow and wordy, it picks up fast, becomes really fun and incredibly interesting. Waid gets the character of Doctor Strange, writes his voice well, and found a way to connect Dormammu and Galactus together in a way that makes sense, which is freaking amazing! There is a flow to this issue that fans will notice that only comes with experience. Waid is truly a comics wizard who knows how to gradually develop nuggets throughout his stories that naturally get revealed along the way. Waid took Galactus, made Doctor Strange his herald, and then managed to combined Dormammu and Galactus together into this techno-magical juggernaut that appears to be impossible to defeat…and he did it in three issues that made sense organically. Every issue of Waid’s run has been a must read that can’t be skipped and this issue is no exception. Pick this up and add this series to your pull list. You’ll definitely have a fun time with Waid, his creative team, and the Sorcerer Supreme!