Issue by Issue – Doctor Strange Vol.2 #80

Writer – Peter B. Gillis
Artist – Chris Warner
Inker – Randy Emberlin, Scott Williams
Colours – Bob Sharen
Letters – Jim Novak

Doctor Strange lies dying from a would suffered at the hand of a giant alien creature who is hell-bent on killing him. Making matters worse is the fact that the wound is no natural wound, it being caused by both physical and magical means. Peter B. Gillis and Chris Warner craft a tale that is both new and original, something that has not been seen in this title before and it is thrilling in a way, watching Doctor Strange die on an operating table, especially as the man himself is trying to operate through the use of his astral form. Gillis packs the book with tension and fraught nerves as Strange fights to save himself and it is all he can do as the people who are operating, including Sara, are not the ideal candidates to cohabitate a body with. There is even a point where Strange starts to get pulled away by the lure of the afterlife, his body dying and yet he fights to continue on, knowing that people need him more than ever. Also finally being introduced in this issue is the villain who has decided that the universe needs a new Sorcerer Supreme, the creature known as Urthona. He is a vile being and a powerful one and to give credit where credit is due, he is also quite smart for he used the missing half of Topaz’s soul to zero in on her and the location of the Doctor. He still holds the soul of poor Topaz as well, torturing her with it while boasting about his plans for Strange all the while. Though the book is short on action, it does not mean that the pace was lacking. Gillis knows how to keep the reader hooked and while there was no villain to fight essentially, the one thing that Strange did not have on his side for all of this was time and with the turn of every page, he was running short of it. This was definitely a different kind of Doctor Strange story, but it was a good one and Gillis along with Warner, are increasing the stakes for the Doctor, slowly but surely.

3.5 out of 5

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