ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man,’ Issue #1

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The Death of Doctor Strange Spider-Man #1 - But Why Tho

The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1 is written by Jed MacKay, penciled by Marcelo Ferreria, inked by Wayne Faucher, colored by Andrew Crossley with Pete Pantazis, and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna. It is published by Marvel Comics. After his mysterious murder, Doctor Strange reaches out to his good friend Spider-Man for help containing a series of magical threats in Manhattan. What Strange doesn’t know is that Peter Parker is currently in a coma and Ben Reilly has taken up the mantle of the web-slinger. Along with the Black Cat, Ben fights a multitude of mystical threats while discovering just how important the Sorcerer Supreme’s role was.

MacKay, who also pens the main Death of Doctor Strange miniseries, once again hones in on the importance of Strange’s role in the Marvel Universe—and Spider-Man’s, as well. It turns out that Strange wasn’t just fighting the likes of Dormammu and Baron Mordo; he also kept the peace in various parts of Manhattan and looked after those who needed it. Likewise, Ben and Black Cat butt heads over his taking up the Spider-Man mantle; Felicia doesn’t believe Ben’s motives are entirely altruistic, saying she knows a thief when she sees one. But over the course of their adventure Ben reveals that he feels the world needs Spider-Man just as much as it needed Strange. Ben’s desire to live up to the Spider-Man mantle has been touched upon in the Beyond Saga, and I’m glad it’s extending to other titles.

Mackay is joined by Ferreria, who previously illustrated issues of Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man. Ferreria and Fauncher lean into the insanity of Doctor Strange’s world, illustrating sequences featuring a group of goblins taking a car for a joyride and Moon Knight making a surprise cameo (that happens to be extremely bloody). The biggest standout of the issue features a pair of back-to-back splash pages that show Ben and Black Cat dealing with a number of tasks, which include feeding a dragon a cart full of hot dogs and exorcising the “666 Train,” which is just as terrifying as it sounds.

Rounding out the artistic team are Crossley and Pantazis. Most of the issue takes place at night, and their color art is made up of mostly muted colors with the sole exception being Ben’s Spider-Man suit. Caramagna’s letters also get a neat design, as the captions scattered throughout the issue represent yellowing scraps of parchment that Strange wrote on. With each task the heroes complete, the captions are crossed off. And when Doctor Strange appears before Ben to read his dying wishes, his speech balloons are blue and ghostly, signaling that he’s shuffled off the mortal coil.

The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1 highlights the importance that its titular characters have in the Marvel Universe and the insanity of Doctor Strange’s magical world. With the Death of Doctor Strange storyline heading to a close, I look forward to the next one-shot, which features Blade in a leading role.

The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1 will be available on December 1, 2021, wherever comics are sold.


The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1
4.5

TL;DR

The Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man #1 highlights the importance that its titular characters have in the Marvel Universe and the insanity of Doctor Strange’s magical world. With the Death of Doctor Strange storyline heading to a close, I look forward to the next one-shot, which features Blade in a leading role.