Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #31

doctor-strange-vol2-31Writer – Don McGregor
Artist – Ricardo Villamonte, Tom Sutton
Inker – Tom Sutton
Colours – Marie Severin
Letters – Gaspar Saladino, Diana Albers

In his spectral form, Doctor Strange has gone in search of help, namely to Atlantis where his friend and fellow Defender, Namor rules. Strange beseeches Namor to help him best the villain named Alaric, who has come into possession of a sword that will gain him immortality – but only with the death of a Sorcerer Supreme. While he does not agree to do as such immediately, Namor ends up helping Strange to best Alaric, though not in the way expected. Guest-writer Don McGregor comes on board with this issue as Roger Stern moves to editing and on the artwork side of things, helping Tom Sutton out on the pencils for the book is Ricardo Villamonte. With this story, the title also sees a continuation of not only the done-in-one type of tale, but a more basic, superhero-like story instead of the multi-issue epics the book has been known for. For the bulk of its pages, there is a lot of action and there is no real origin story for the villain which is a good thing as it makes him seem not only more mysterious, but dangerous. Alaric is an unknown figure and what the reader is given to know is that he quests for life eternal and he means to get it by going through Doctor Strange. As was seen last issue, Clea plays an important part once again – not as Stephen’s girlfriend, but as his disciple and fellow magic-user. As formidable as she is, she is no match for the mystical blade that Alaric wields. While at times the story might be a little clichéd, it is made quite exciting by the pencils of Villamonte and Sutton. The two make a great pair and perfectly portray our heroes as needed. Namor is regal and strong, Clea – beautiful and determined. When it comes to Strange, the man refuses to give up and is willing to sacrifice his life if need be in order that the world live in on in as much peace as it is able to make for itself. While Stephen ultimately defeats the villain, it is only with the help of the Sub-Mariner that he is able to do so, for without him, this story would have had a very different ending.

4 out of 5

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