Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #16

doctor-strange-vol-2-16Writer – Steve Englehart
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Tom Palmer
Colours – Tom Palmer
Letters – John Costanza

Any story entitled Beelzebub on Parade is going to be a good one no matter what book it is in or who stars in it. For the readers of this particular title, it is a good thing as it features Doctor Strange and as one might guess, the big bad of this story is none other than old Satan himself. Seeing that Doctor Strange is in a bit of a fragile state after his most recent excursions into the world of magic, Satan looks to exploit that weakness and for the most part, he does a great job of it. Thus far, Steve Englehart has painted Stephen Strange as a man of strength and character – a man who never gives up despite the forces aligned against him. If there is one advantage that Doctor Strange has, it is being the Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme and he has fought many a devil and demon on previous occasions. If there is one thing that Englehart continues to do issue after issue, it is the exploration of what makes Stephen Strange tick. More often than not, it is cloaked as a trial or a punishment, for how else can you explain what the author continues to do to Strange. On the other hand, every encounter that Strange has come out the other side of, has only made him that much stronger. Part of you wonders exactly just where Englehart can go next though. The man is indeed a very talented writer, but after facing magical villains, demi-gods, Dracula and the embodiment of all there is, not to mention Satan in this very issue, who or what could be next? Good to see was a little action from Rama Kaliph and Lord Phyffe, minor characters to be sure, but as they have been in the book for a number of issues now, seeing them be something other than wallpaper is nice. With some more stunning pencils courtesy of Gene Colan – a man quite adept at drawing devils, Doctor Strange is a continual win on all fronts.

4 out of 5

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