Grew up reading comic books in the 90's. Marvel fan at heart. Hulk, the Midnight Sons, and Marvel's cosmic universe are my favorites.
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Doctor Strange’s back is against wall as he faces the greatest challenge of his life: the death of magic. Doctor Strange #6 has arrived and ComiConverse Contributor Mitch Nissen is here with the supernatural skinny.
Sanctum Sanctorum has fallen.
The first issue in a new Doctor Strange story arc has begun in what looks to be a magic heavy month at Marvel Comics. Once again the wonderful team of Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, and Tim Townsend along with a few surprise guests bring us the latest chapter in the life of the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange #6.
The Story So Far
Spells are failing. Comrades in metaphysical arms are falling. Unimaginative, unyielding, unforgiving science is burning all magic away. Doctor Strange faces a foe unlike any he has ever faced before: the Empirikul.
Our dimension is the last bastion of sorcery left in the multiverse. The Empirikul are swift and employing extreme prejudice. They attack every font of magic. One by one the houses of magic fall, their users and servants along with them. Neither Heaven nor Hell, storybook or fairy tale is spared their wrath.
Doctor Strange at last faces the dreaded Empirikul. At the gates of his Sanctum Sanctorum the Doctor makes his last stand in a magic versus science showdown with the leader of these mystical burning inquisitors.
The title of this particular issue is The Last Days of Magic Part 1 but it feels like a cap to the last story arc. Doctor Strange faces down the leader of the Empirikul in a climactic science magic slug-fest.
This is an action issue.
Artist Chris Bachalo shows us Doctor Voodoo, Scarlet Witch, Daimon Hellstorm, Shaman, Talisman, and Magik all under attack and those we do not see, writer Jason Aaron name drops: Ghost Rider, Shou Lao, Darkmoor, Monster Metropolis, and the Tomb of Dracula. No place or person is left out.
The number of character appearances (albeit brief), and the number of references, is astonishing. Aaron truly opens the reader’s eyes to how many characters are connected with magic and how much of our world has traces of magic in it. What is more he touches on simpler every day magics, magic we can relate to Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, flying carpets, and the magic shows of Las Vegas.
Jason Aaron goes to great lengths to show the widespread effects of the Empirikul, and in doing so sets up a gargantuan task for himself and his creative team. Every character shown and mentioned by name is a potential player in a future battle. If these characters don’t make an appearance in this Empirikul drama it will be disappointing.
On a personal note, the supernatural realm of the Marvel universe is my favorite corner of Marvel. I am enjoying what Aaron and Bachalo are doing here and this issue set this story up to be one of the greatest supernatural storys ever told involving all characters who are mystically, heavenly, or demonically inclined. The Midnight Sons, the Secret Defenders, the classic Defenders, the Vishanti, the Trinity of Ashes, anyone and everyone should be showing up here with what they have setup in this one issue. I want to see a whole gang of Ghost Riders called to arms. I want to see Sleepwalker ripping the Empirikul apart with his warp-gaze! And of course, a school of magic great white sharks devouring the inquisitors. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have an opportunity to restore this long neglected corner of Marvel and show us all why these characters are “magical.”
The stakes could not be higher. The creative team behind Doctor Strange goes to great lengths to show the reader how far reaching the effect of the Empirikul is and reminds us of how much magic is in our lives.
The foundation for what could potentially be the most imaginative and wildest Marvel story yet written is laid in this issue. We could see characters from all facets of the supernatural allying together. We could see Mephisto, Dormammu, and Satannish fighting side by side with Ghost Rider, Doctor Druid, and Agatha Harkeness. We could see battles spread across multiple dimensions all at once. Heaven and Hell side by side.
Want to learn more? Check out the previous reviews for Doctor Strange and stay tuned as I review each of the coming issues.
Mitch Nissen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @NinjaMitche.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Doctor Strange. In an all out action issue Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo set up what could be the wildest and most imaginative Marvel story ever.