Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #4

Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #4Writer – Steve Englehart
Artist – Frank Brunner
Inker – Dick Giordano
Colours – Linda Lessman
Letters – Tom Orz

The fourth issue of Doctor Strange picks up where the second one essentially ended and it finds our hero Stephen headed straight into the jaws of death courtesy of Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner. It is a fantastical journey as it nears its end, more so than anything seen previous in the title and while Englehart’s story is solid, it is the highly imaginative pencils of Brunner that really bring it home for the reader. Spacescapes, dynamic and spectral assault the eyes with each turn of the page and combined with the colours of Linda Lessman, it is a real treat to read a book that looks as good as this. The story finds Stephen in a between life and death situation and it is a fight that is harder than any he has faced before. There is no flesh and blood villain to be found, there is simply the entity called Death and his own resolve which he must fight to keep if he is to survive. Either one would be enough for any one man, but Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme for a reason and if it takes his dying to save Clea, then that is exactly what he is going to do. More than anything, this was a great character piece, a story that put the spotlight on Doctor Strange in the best possible way. We see courage and determination from the man, not to mention selfishness which is important and dates back to his origin from when he was just a simple surgeon before becoming a magician. Stephen had always been a selfish man and it was not until he had lost it all and made to realize just how he had been that he finally changed his ways. It was probably a good thing too as his new life is one of wonder and magic and having Clea as a part of it is not a bad thing. A truly astounding tale from start to finish, this issue of Doctor Strange was everything you could possibly want to see in the book.

5 out of 5

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