Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #76

Writer – Peter B. Gillis
Artist – Mark Badger, Chris Warner
Inker – Randy Emberlin
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Janice Chiang

The book begins with a damsel in distress and it immediately grabs the reader’s attention from that very first page. The thing is, while she may have snakes for hair like a gorgon, how could one not be moved by her plight? The woman needs help and the only way she can see her way out of it, is with the aid of a mortal man who just so happens to be a friend of Doctor Strange. Soon enough, the good Doctor is made aware of the situation involving his old friend who has been bewitched by the otherworldly woman into casting a spell and it is one that will allow her to set foot upon the Earth so that she might sustain her life force by taking the spellcaster’s. Though she might have seemed like a woman in dire need of help, albeit a different one than most are used to, she is in fact a villain and one that Doctor Strange means to put a stop to. Peter B. Gillis writes a bewitching tale, one that hooks the reader immediately and refuses to let go until that final, shocking scene. It is a tale of hope and longing, one of sorcery both good and evil and he fills it not only with action and excitement, but drama and tragedy. It is, more than many issues of this series, like watching a film up on the big screen and it definitely would have translated well if it had been so adapted. The artwork is in the very capable hands of Mark Badger, Chris Warner and Randy Emberlin and they give the book a very cinematic feel at times, perfectly translating Gillis’ story to the page. Nice to see is that this is not the average type of villain that Strange usually faces in this book, though he has faced some pretty powerful beings in his time. Also addressed in this issue is the woman who escaped from Hell last issue – Topaz, the same Topaz from the Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf by Night titles. As of yet, Strange has not reclaimed the other half of her soul, but he means to which should make for another great adventure in an upcoming book. Altogether, this was a great issue, filled with everything a person could ever want in a Doctor Strange story.

4 out of 5

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