What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Dr. Strange – Surgeon Supreme #2! If you were on the fence about getting into this new run, then Dr. Strange #1 puts some of those reservations at ease. Overall it is a great concept, though at the expense of the very things that were a bit more thought-provoking about the run before. Hopefully this balance Stephen is trying to get out of being a doctor again will make it easier in overlooking what this takes away from our further exploration of the magic world.
Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong about things. When it came to the first issue of Dr. Strange – Surgeon Supreme, one of the bigger concerns I had about this book was the impression that there was a lot of things that would be ignored about what the previous run of Doctor Strange made now possible for the sorcerer supreme. That concern was with the fact that this Dr. Strange didn’t seem to share in the same reliance on magical items and artifacts as he did before. Something I admired because he should have always been capable of creating his own weapons, tools, and so forth. So I liked that almost right off the bat I could see that this was still a thing available to him. Surely enough there are other readers out there too who will appreciate knowing this. I’m actually hoping that much more is still taken from that run too. Most times you want a new creative team to do their own thing, but never at the expense of veering too far off in a different direction to the point where it doesn’t make sense.
That said, the transition was great going from a first issue where the focus was primarily placed on Strange’s ease back into the medical world, and the second focusing on the fact that there is little time to breathe when there’s always another villain or threat out there calling the sorcerer supreme to action. This of course doesn’t mean that his time with the hospital is neglected. Even then you see that Mark Waid knows how to strike a balance for us to get both halves of his life. It was something that in the second chapter it was emphasized that normal isn’t really a part of the plan in the hospital either.
Getting back to the Wrecker situation, round two was a thrill! The real fun in any Doctor Strange book is how the guy takes a beaten and back with a new gameplan. Just as fun when you jump into the action to see that nothing is as it seems on the surface. Strange’s solution to the problem that was Wrecker turned out to be very resourceful. It was a satisfying scene for the spells used, the danger he was faced with in the moment, and the lengths he was willing to go in order to overcome the difference in power.
While I did love the artwork from the first issue, even then I still felt like I needed to see just a bit more from this art team. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in them, because Kev Walker and Java Tartaglia are a perfect team to put together on a book like this. I simply wanted to see where they were at when hitting a highpoint in the story. When we reached that climax in this first part of the story? I was blown away by the efforts from both that went into the pencils and colors. There was a lot more confidence in the costuming of Strange. Especially knowing that there will be opportunities for him to wear things outside of his normal garb that he makes in the forge. There was a lot more confidence in the way he draws these characters a s a whole. Nailed the personality of Strange in the way he carries himself, nailed the terror from the Wrecker who seemed almost possessed by the power he wielded, not to mention the averages of everyone else who simply exists in the moment. That aside, the colors continue to grab your attention for the way that it makes the art pop. Tartaglia gets explosive with these bold colors, and that is exactly what we need to see from a magic user who really doesn’t know how to not hit you with the heavy stuff.
Some would say that with the first issue this book looked like it was in good hands, though I would dare to say that after the events of Dr. Strange – Surgeon Supreme #2? Now it feels like this book is in good hands to take us into the next chapter in the life of Stephen Strange with the challenge of being both the sorcerer supreme and a neurosurgeon again.