Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #45

doctor-strange-vol-2-45Writer – Chris Claremont
Artist – Gene Colan
Inker – Diverse Hands
Colours – Gaff
Letters – Jim Novak

It has been building for the better part of thirty issues – maybe more, and it is in this tale by Chris Claremont and Gene Colan that Clea finally has a little breakdown. No matter how many authors have graced this title, one of the longest ongoing plotlines the book has carried has been that of Clea feeling useless and inadequate as a disciple of Doctor Strange. It has consistently reared its head for so many issues and to have Clea finally give voice to it is something of a relief and for now at the very least, it is put to bed. It is a fantastic bit of character development, something Clea has been in need of for a very long time. Though she may just be a supporting cast member, Clea is an important one and sometimes the spotlight needs to shine on her. Another thing that this book can claim to boast is a down to earth villain in the form of a reporter who is intent on causing Stephen all sorts of trouble. The man needs to sell copies and Strange is a mystery, one that might need a little embellishment now and then and one that he does not intend on stopping. As good as these two developments are, the book is all about the Master of the Mystic Arts and he needs a mystical foe to fight which comes in the form of the N’Garai, a holdover from the last story-arc and a being that means to kill Doctor Strange and his companions. With the good Doctor assuaging Clea’s feats earlier on, she more than pulls her weight and protects Stephen from harm while fending off the N’Garai. Colan and Claremont make it quite thrilling and Colan’s pencils are on point, creating a most fearsome creature for the heroes to battle. When all is said and done, Clea has a new found confidence in her abilities and it should be interesting to see if that translates into more exciting stories going forward. With Strange usually being the focal point, having Clea take a large portion of the story to herself was something long in the coming.

4 out of 5

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