Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: Filipe Andrade
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: January 29, 2020
“Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered. Your time is short. – The Ancient One (Doctor Strange 2016)
Doctor Strange, the end. Unfortunately when push comes to shove that’s really it. At first glance I really wondered why Marvel would want to make the most interesting man in the world Doctor Strange.
But lets be serious for a moment. Leah Williams is tasked to write a simple one shot telling the end of the Sorcerer Supreme. And “The End” seems to be in a far future, with a senile Stephan Strange, depleted of most of his magic, and his only friends are a dead Wong speaking from beyond the grave, or at least it is implied, kind of hard to tell with crazy ‘ol Dumbledore speaking to another “friend” Jenny, an A.I. presumably something in everyone’s home in the future.
Now this sounds like a very odd cast of individuals that could have made great company in this adventure story Williams had planned, unfotunately Williams decided to waste six pages on a group of Cyberpunk bullies that ultimately just tell the reader that Dr. Strange is seen as an old senile magician in the public’s eye, which can be clearly seen through most of the story any way.
As the story moves forward in this bizarre adventure with Stephan and the shrine of Wong, I have to say it was interesting, some parts silly, others a little more on the serious side. Williams definitely gave Strange a voice in this one-shot, an enjoyable one, but at the same time, not necessarily familiar to Strange’s character, now of course it may be the years and years of life that he has lived that we clearly do not get to see, but without the familiarity this could have been any crazy old man and the issue would have been fine.
Strange speaks to Wong the entire journey, Williams also has Strange narrate telling of the last days of Scarlet Witch, now those pages I felt were unnecessary, this is where those pages would have come in handy, maybe a nice little flashback along with that narration. If Marvel is looking for it’s next “Old Man/Woman (insert famous Marvel character here) it would be nice to see the world these creators are attempting to create.
As the title suggests it is in fact the end of Dr. Strange’s story, kind of? (I’ll leave that for you to see on your own) There is a little bit of hope left at the end of this story, leaving it opened ended of course, because let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a Marvel comic if it actually ended.
The art was very good, I loved the style, even though at times the back of Strange’s head looked like a grey helmet. The colors were vibrant but nothing too crazy (with a Dr. Strange title, you never know what you are going to get). Filipe Andrade reminds me a lot of a Lee Garbett. Letters also grabbed my attention from the very beginning with the conversations with Jenny and Dr. Strange. I don’t normally comment on the letterer unfortunately but it here it was noticeable enough to take note.
I may have high standards for a one-shot, but with ten additional pages I think Leah Williams could have fleshed out a little more of this story to make it coherent enough to answer the questions I had, but still appreciating it when a second issue eventually arrives and I’m wanting more.