Doctor Strange #8
Writer – Jason Aaron
Artist – Chris Bachalo
Inker – Tim Townsend, Al Vey, Mark Irwin, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba
Colours – Chris Bachalo, Antonio Fabela, Java Tartaglia
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit
Doctor Strange and a few allies are on the run from the Empirikul and looking for any object which might hold a little bit of magic – anything that might aid them in their enemies defeat. It is a tense and exciting tale as only Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo are able to tell and it finds our Sorcerer Supreme on the ropes with little hope, a place where he is used to being, but one where he ultimately comes out on top. As of this moment, he has no idea just what is going to come of everything, but if he cannot find some means of defeating the Empirikul, then magic in the Marvel Universe will die and that to him is unthinkable. Zelma and Wong make a brief appearance in the book, where they in fact leave the story off on an ending which could very well turn the tide for our hero or destroy everyone and everything. It is very hard to say at this point as we have no idea just what it is that the creators of this tale have planned, but this has been hinted at from day one and tiptoed around continuously. The fact that we are now seeing this particular plot device come to fruition, after all this time, has to mean that it has some sort of import and more than likely will play a large part into what is currently going on. While Stephen might be frightened of this, knowing full well what it is, he may have to put his trust in it to defeat the Empirikul because as of yet, he and his companions have not been very lucky in their quest. The great thing about this latest iteration of Doctor Strange is that despite still being the serious magician he has always been, he now has a sense of humour, most especially about himself. It is a brilliant character trait that Aaron has added and you have to think that without it, Stephen would have gone mad long ago from all the insanity and the horrors that he has experienced throughout the years. Chris Bachalo with a lot of help continues to deliver some of the best artwork of his career on this book and you can probably add his name to the illustrious ranks of definitive artists who have illustrated the good doctor over the years. As it is, Aaron and company create such a captivating story with every issue, that you wish it could be released on a weekly basis. For now, anticipate is all you can do until Doctor Strange and the next chapter of The Last Days of Magic hits.
4 out of 5
Squadron Supreme #7
Writer – James Robinson
Artist – Leonard Kirk, Paolo Villanelli
Inker – Paul Neary, Marc Deering
Colours – Frank Martin, GURU-eFX
Letters – Travis Lanham
You know at some point it had to happen and this issue by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk with a little help from Paolo Villanelli and friends finally bring us the encounter that we have been waiting for – Nighthawk versus Nighthawk! For the loyal Marvel enthusiast, you find yourself rooting for Kyle Richmond, long out of the spotlight at this point in time. The man was a leader and a successful hero for many years and while you know that the incarnation of Nighthawk who stars in this book and now going by Raymond Kane, is going to come out on top, it would be an amazing thing if Richmond came out on top. Despite the predictability though, it is still exciting to see and the book really delivers on this particular plot. Whether one defeats the other or they come to terms remains to be seen, but the book leaves off on a cliff-hanger guaranteed to make you come back and see who indeed might win. The primary story though, has to deal with where the last issue left off with Dr. Spectrum and her mission gone awry after running into Toro and Black Bolt. While she has no particular grievance with Toro, she does so with Black Bolt who helped to murder her world before the events of Secret Wars. That moment hurt her more than anything else in her life ever has and she is not willing to let go of that hate, though at the moment, she realizes that she might have to if the three of them are to make it out of the undersea base before it explodes. There is a great piece of characterization in the book and it has to do with Dr. Spectrum and specifically her hatred towards Black Bolt. No matter how much she distrusts the man, how much she dislikes him and wishes him dead herself, in a way she understands what he did and why he did it and it is the only reason why she finds herself teaming up with the Inhuman king. There is a little bit more involving Hyperion which ties into his ongoing series and while it seems to have no bearing on anything in this book whatsoever, Robinson must have written it in for a reason. The seventh issue of Squadron Supreme is a good one that leaves you wanting more in the best way possible.
3.5 out of 5