Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Javier Pina, Brian Reber, VC’s Cory Petit, Jesús Saiz
Release Date: October 2, 2019
An event so epic shakes Doctor Strange to the core and makes him completely reevaluate his life and role in this week’s all-new DOCTOR STRANGE #20 by the magical Mark Waid. By the Wondrous Winds of Watoomb, this event is so huge that it makes this the last issue of Mark Waid’s run. So, let’s crack into the issue and find out how Waid’s run comes to an end!
When last we read DOCTOR STRANGE, it panned out that Stephen put together a deal that “could” have impacted his ability to cast spells. This reviewer was a bit critical of that perspective of the issue. Why? Well, the criticism was primarily due to the fact that the Good Doctor was able to not only save the child’s life but also STILL conjure spells to send the Specter away. Therefore, it appeared in that moment that the consequences were a plot thread that was created for mere tension and had no face value. What was the price of the deal? Well, in this series concluding issue, fans see what appears to be some minor consequences for the Doctor’s decision, as well as he treatment of his loved ones. Seeing Waid not lose track of the price from the last issue as well as Stephen’s mismanaged relationships shows the quality of writer and storyteller Mark Waid truly is. It’s the small details that many writers today brush over and forget… but not Waid.
Lastly, Mark Waid’s series ultimately concludes with Stephen Strange being pulled in two directions. Two callings; one of science and one of sorcery. However, both avenues are life-saving and the Sorcerer Supreme believes he can manage them both simultaneously. This reviewer can already feel the future plot tension to come in DOCTOR STRANGE: SURGEON SUPREME. Now, while nothing overly dramatic happens during this issue other than a throw down with a new techno-sorcerer, Kanna helps the Good Doctor regain some of the medicinal advancements in technology he’s missed since leaving the field of medicine. So, what is next for our Surgeon Supreme? Well, in December, readers will find out with his brand new series!
Overall, the issue was delightfully entertaining and reasonably kept this reviewer’s attention throughout the issue. That said, the battle seemed to get really interesting when elements of the Ancient One were introduced on the other planet. However, the climactic plot point fell flat as the reveal didn’t amount to anything significant to the current saga or future of the next series moving forward. It appeared as though Waid had something tremendously huge in mind but didn’t follow through with that aspect of the issue causing the narrative to fall a bit flat. To this reviewer, it was actually the most interesting angle of the comic and this critic was hoping for more connective tissue to Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. Maybe in December? Readers can only hope.
For the last issue of this series, this reviewer was expecting a bit more. That said, this week’s story wasn’t bad by any stretch. Just like the series overall, Waid created a consistent story that was reliably enjoying and creatively inventive. As this series comes to a close, fans will remember the aspects of Waid’s run that made the Sorcerer Supreme so unique, such as combining technology and sorcery, as well as tangling with the Devour of Worlds. Waid ends his run at a great spot to pass the baton off to a new creative team with his guidance. Pick this issue up if you’ve been on board since day one. Otherwise, if you’re interested in a DOCTOR STRANGE comic, simply wait for December and start-up fresh at that time. Thank you, Mr. Waid, for a great run!