Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Kev Walker
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Release Date: February 12th, 2020
Dr. Strange, the Surgeon Supreme. Follow Stephan Strange in a villain of the week structured story no one asked for.
Dr. Strange the Surgeon Supreme sounds like a cool name, something I’m sure Mark Waid probably pitched jokingly before Marvel gave him the go-ahead. Being a surgeon is a big part of Stephan’s origin story, and throughout the years Dr. Strange has found some way to go back to his profession, but it just doesn’t scream “ongoing series”. The fact that Dr. Strange can use techniques and think like a surgeon is situations is far more intriguing than him actually being in a hospital being a “surgeon”.
As entertaining as I may have been with this issue, I feel as though Waid creating this series was just an excuse for him to make bad doctor/surgical puns throughout the series. I do have to give him credit, with this particular issue, Waid went full blown Grant Morrison. Which I believe is the direction any Dr. Strange book should go, embrace the weird, the crazy, the complete nonsense. But have a concrete story while doing it.
Having your run of the mill “Villain of the Week” or “Items to collect” story is a bit cliche in any medium. Now it may be my fear of hospitals, or the fact that I care about Stephan Strange being a Defender of the Mystic arts more than a doctor, but seeing Stephan waste time at a day job bored me in the beginning of this issue and almost made me put it down. As soon as I saw Strange enter a new dimension, Mark Waid had my attention. Not every comic needs action, but with certain characters there’s a criteria you must meet. Dimension jumping, magic, it’s not that hard. I just think Waid has trouble getting to that point in his stories.
This Surgeon Supreme title has it’s gimmick but for how long? I can’t even imagine reading issue #25 of Dr. Strange Surgeon Supreme in the next few years. As I said before, Dr. Strange is known for two things, Magic, and the Defender of the Earth Dimension (Earth Realm whichever you would like to call it). Now if you took his Magic away and made him a full time Surgeon I could see the play on words with the title, but even still that’s a mini series at best. Maybe Mark Waid has a trump card up his sleeve with the main antagonist in this story? I have no clue, the Black Market dealer of these mystical items could very will be the the reason this book survives. Unfortunately Waid is the type of writer that will keep us in the dark for way too long.
Final Thoughts: All in all this series needs a strong driving force to have me continue reading and though this book was entertaining enough to make it to the end of the issue, the story wasn’t entertaining enough for me to take the bait of the cliffhanger. Mark Waid may have made Dr. Strange the Surgeon Supreme, but not even a Surgeon could help save this book.