After 73 days of incarceration, Doctor Strange performs a narrow escape with the help of his new friend Kanna and manages to hold off an intergalactic planetary war with shear emotional urgency.
Review: Doctor Strange #2 written by Mark Waid with art by Jesus Saiz
The story opens with a fantastic display of artwork. Jesus Saiz’s detail to the background of the buildings, as well as the size of the Grynda leader, help contribute so well in making Doctor Strange look so helplessly lost. Also, notice the physical action Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz use to show the readers how genuinely awful Stephens situation is: he’s cleaning the Grynda rulers feet. The same hands that were once used for surgery, healing, and magic are now doing one of the lowest forms of work known to man. This creative team truly paints the picture of desperation immediately as the story opens by drawing the reader into this world instantly.
And if that wasn’t enough, take a look at the next page. Jesus Saiz gives us another fantastic description of the tortures Doctor Strange endured during his 73 days of imprisonment and slavery with truly outstanding detail to each character. The reader can see the utter depression in Stephen’s shoulders and head as he’s escorted back to his cell. Heck, I felt like I could hear his agonizing screams in the last frame of the page as the needles are injected into his face!
But after trying his best to remember any last bit of magic that could help him escape, the reader is introduced to his buddy for this space opera. Kanna, as he calls her, is an arcanologist (not a misprint). Kanna travels the galaxy looking for arcane objects. And to this world, as well as many across the universe, magic is a thing of the past and considered “arcane.”
This is the only part of the issue that felt forced and unnatural. So, on a planet of people that don’t use magic at all, the only two beings are somehow “magically” placed in the same cell together.
Maybe Mark Waid can clear this up later and we find out a deeper reasoning as the story unfolds? But for right now, it seemed forced to move the story forward and to quickly get our characters together. However, it does help the story progress much faster and lead to Stephen’s escape.
By the Moons of Oshtur, Mark Waid and Jesus Saiz did a fantastic job this issue giving Doctor Strange’s Intergalactic Space Journey a purpose while introducing to the reader a new type of techno-magic called Technomancy, which is a mix of technology and magic.
Kanna can replace aspects and parts of spells with technology in order to make them work. Mark Waid’s idea of technomancy connects the space exploration, magic, and technology together in such a creative way that makes this space odyssey seem so much more critical while giving the character of Doctor Strange a way to continue his magical heroism throughout the cosmos. Waid’s imagination is top notch in this issue.
Next, Kanna uses parts of Strange’s universal translator to create a technowand which helps them escape their cell. They track the Eye of Basphorus down that Kanna found, which is an ancient magical artifact that even Doctor Strange knows about, and make their way to her ship to flee the planet. But on the way, Stephen overheard some of the Grynda people say they’ll be working their way to Earth in order to take over that planet and explore the galaxy themselves. Feeling responsible for introducing this civilization to Earth, Stephen jumps from the spacecraft in midair and uses the Eye of Basphorus for one last ditch effort.
This page with Doctor Strange jumping from the ship to use the Eye was genuinely magical. Jesus Saiz mixes the dark reds of space with the bright light of Stephen’s spell to truly show the hope that our hero still has even after imprisonment, isolation, and in the emptiness of space. We should all be excited for the mystical awakening of what’s to come on this intergalactic planetary adventure Waid and Saiz have in store for us. There is no doubt this should be on your pull list. So, get your popcorn ready and hop on board now before this series takes off.
But who’s watching Doctor Strange from afar? If they knew he was in trouble, why didn’t they help me? Will they try to stir-fry him in their wok? Will Stephen’s knees start shakin’, and his fingers pop? Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock? (BB circa 1998) I guess we’ll have to wait till next time.
Well, what did you guys think of Doctor Strange #2? Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @dispatchdcu