Mind Capsules – Nailbiter #20 and Doctor Strange #5

Nailbiter #20
Nailbiter #20

Writer – Joshua Williamson
Artist – Mike Henderson
Colours – Adam Guzowski
Letters – John J. Hill

Officer Vaughn is feeling pretty good now that the Devil Killer has been taken off the streets and everyone thinks he is a hero. Everyone but Finch and Barker. They know that Vaughn is the actual murderer and before they are able to take him in, Vaughn makes a confession about the Butcher and the Master back in Buckaroo as he throws himself out a window. The admittance of a new player in Buckaroo, someone who might be controlling the killers, or at the very least the newest killer, is a big thing though nobody knows just who that person might be. Yet. Finch has a chat with Edward who is now in custody, Crane has the big talk with her daughter and Abigail Barker does something completely unexpected and expected. If there is one thing that Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson know how to do, it is to leave you wanting more and with a cliff-hanger like the one in this book and then the fact that they are going on hiatus for a month or two makes you savour it even more while cursing the creators for doing so. Big things are happening in this book and this is the issue where everything changes for almost everybody. Barker is never going to be the same again, though she never was once she was let go by the Butcher. She was damaged when she came out of that hell and we have been privy to her delusions ever since, knowing that it was only a matter of time before she snapped. We gain a little bit of information about Edward which just adds to the mystery of who he is and a part of you has to wonder if he is the Master, simply for the fact that he is always playing some kind of game and the book is named after him after all. One of the more interesting moments which takes place off-page is when Crane tells her daughter just who and what she is. Going forward, that could be a game-changer and it may not be for the better. There is a lot happening, things that we have been waiting to see for quite a while now and with Williamson’s fantastic story and Henderson bringing it to life, things are getting frantic.

4.5 out of 5

Doctor Strange #5
Doctor Strange #5

Writer – Jason Aaron
Artist – Chris Bachalo
Inker – Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Jaime Mendoza
Colours – Chris Bachalo
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have been building up to the clash between Doctor Strange and the Empirikul for the past four issues and the opening gambit of that meeting takes place in this book. As previously seen, the Empirikul is hell-bent on destroying magic in all shapes and forms on every world in every universe. It is a monumental task, but they have been successful no matter where they have set their sights and now their gaze is set upon the Earth and Doctor Strange. As stated, Aaron has been ramping things up slowly for a while and now the tension and suspense, not to mention the action, has exploded within the book and it is merely the opening salvo to what is sure to be a brutal battle between Strange and the force known only as the Empirikul. There is of course more than just the beginning of the fight between the two mentioned forces as Aaron gives us a little more background on Strange and how his magic works. We have been shown all manner of things since this series has started and here he continues to show us that whenever the good Doctor uses his magic, there is a cost and one of those happens to be his sense of taste. Over time, Strange has lost his ability to distinguish one food from the other and in addition to that, as he has been using more powerful and more deadly magics, the tolls that they take on his body have worsened to the point where he has found himself on death’s door many a time. Part of that price that Doctor Strange pays also has to do with Wong and the mysterious Secret Disciples of Strange. Just what they are and how they came to be has not been explained as of yet, but one can make an educated guess. As the book leaves off, Strange summons a powerful magic to aid him in defeating the minions of the Empirikul while magic users across the Earth take part in their own battles. The problem is that it may not be enough and it is there that Aaron and Bachalo hook us so that we have to come back for more because the story is just that good.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. I’ve never been a regular reader of Nailbiter, your review certainly makes this title sound like its worth checking out. Doctor Strange #5 was really good, I think this is one Marvel’s best new books, and I love the story and art. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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