Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #28

doctor-strange-vol-2-28Writer – Roger Stern
Artist – Tom Sutton
Inker – Ernie Chan
Colours – Janice Cohen
Letters – John Costanza

Unable to help Doctor Strange, all Clea, Wong and the Ancient One can do is stand by helplessly and watch as far in the heavens, their friend battles the In-Betweener for the fate of their world. It is a solid potboiler from Roger Stern and Tom Sutton, one that sees Strange in a battle like none he has ever had before. The In-Betweener is seemingly all-powerful and no matter what the good Doctor throws at him, it is wasted and ineffective. So it is that the Cosmic Wheel remains just out of reach and with it, the means to restore the Earth back to its original form from the abomination that the Creators have transformed it into. Stern shows Strange as a man possessed, but in not in the way he has been of late, having excised that demon previously. This time, he is battling not just for himself, but for all of reality – or at the very least, his own reality. Sutton’s pencils, with a little help from Ernie Chan, are quite fantastic and the fight is a ferocious one with all manner of spells being cast and tossed aside as if they were nothing. Once again, that mysterious ankh appears on the Doctor’s forehead and you know that when it does, things are becoming quite serious. It also means that in the end, the Doctor is going to get the upper hand and pull out a win, for when things are at their grimmest, it is then that Strange excels. What is most interesting about this battle and about the In-Betweener is the fact that he is not the sort of foe that Strange faces on a normal day. Usually it is of the mystical variety and that makes sense given who and what Doctor Strange represents. Cosmic beings are on an entirely different level as proven by his previous run-ins with Eternity. It is a little surprising that the man won out in the end, but you can be sure that should they ever meet again; the In-Betweener will be ready and protected against such an assault. A great issue that finds everything restored, including the Ancient One and it does make one wonder, what could possibly be next.

4 out of 5

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