Here is one from the vaults; out of print for several years now, this one took more than a little effort to find both in decent condition and for a reasonable price. EBay and Amazon were only too quick to want to change $30+, and that is just too much for anything but the most special of books. I eventually found this at Graham Cracker’s Comics in Chicago. This was part of their online site, and since they were going to be at C2E2, I called and asked if they could pull and bring it for me to pick up there. They were very helpful and the book was cover price.
I had not read this one or much Dr Strange really, as I was never a fan. I have tried a few times and just never gotten interested. When I saw this and another one (Doctor Strange the Dr is Out by Mark Waid, which I will review as soon as it arrives) my interest was sparked. This volume collects all 5 issues of the limited series and a 4 page teaser for the series. Originally released in 2006, this series by Brian K Vaughn (Ex Machina and Y the Last Man) and Marcos Martin (Daredevil) never really found the audience it deserved, and after being collected, was quickly allowed to go OOP. That is a shame really, as this was a decent book. It is by no means Vaughn’s best work, and I would call it a light entertainment at best, but at cover price and as an intro to the characters, it works very well.
The book deals with Strange’s efforts to find the person that shot him and stole a mysterious elixir that he himself stole to cure his disciple Wong of his cancer. Aided by The Night Nurse (an answer to where all the street level Marvel heroes go for medical attention) he finds the answers and some small bits of adventure over the run of the story. The real point of this book seemed to me to reset things for new readers, but it succeeds at that and tells a decent, if predictable story. Vaughn has never been that strong with short form, his real strength being in slowly developing plots and characters, but this does work fairly well.
The art by Marcos Martin is not as strong as his current work on Daredevil, but that is to be expected. This series was several years ago and Martin’s work has grown and changed a great deal in that time. The color palette is muted and that seemed a bit odd to me. The magical themes in Dr Strange books would lend themselves to very strong colors when magic is being employed, but the opposite approach is being taken here. A printing cost issue maybe? Martins art is not the crazy detailed art that some of the Marvel artists use, so the color may be a reflection of that, but I think some more vibrant color would have worked well here.
As a starter for someone wanting to look into Doctor Strange, this works well, but to a seasoned fan this series might be a bit on the light side. I will post a review of the other book once I have gotten it and we can compare the two.