REVIEW: ‘The Death of Doctor Strange,’ Issue #4

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Death of Doctor Strange #4 Review

The Death of Doctor Strange #4 is written by Jed MacKay, illustrated by Lee Garbett, colored by Antonio Fabela, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. The younger Doctor Strange has confronted his old enemy Baron Mordo, sure that Mordo is the culprit behind his present-day self’s murder. However, Mordo reveals that he was framed, as the real murderer planted Strange’s Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto in his castle. At his wit’s end, Strange, with the help of the ghost dog Bats and his former wife Clea, confronts the warlords of the magical kingdoms that have invaded Earth while the Three Mothers prepare their final assault.

With previous issues and tie-ins covering Strange’s relationships with his magical allies and other superheroes, it only makes sense that one issue would be dedicated to his relationship with his enemies. While Mordo turns out to be innocent when it comes to Strange’s murder, he expresses regret that he didn’t get to kill the Sorcerer Supreme himself. As Mordo rightfully points out, if he did finally kill his enemy then what reason would he have to lie about it? MacKay’s script slowly builds up the reveal of the murderer, as well as the threat the Marvel Universe faces. Continuing the trend of previous issues, this comic is broken up into three sections, with Petit designing an ornate title card for each section; this plays into the mystery aspect of the story and helps build suspense.

However, he truly excels when it comes to writing the conversations between Past Strange and Bats. Bats has been one of my favorite additions to Doctor Strange’s supporting cast since he appeared in Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s Doctor Strange; here, he serves as a friend to Past Strange in his lowest moment. So does Clea, who assures Past Strange that she believes in his ability to navigate this current crisis. It’s a wonderful way of continuing to show how much impact Strange has had on others over the years. Even if this Strange isn’t the one they’ve grown to know, they’ll still help him.

Garbett and Fabela continue to lean into the aesthetic that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko established when they created Doctor Strange, especially in the character’s clothing. Past Strange, Mordo, and Clea all wear some form of a cape, with Clea sporting a spiky headdress and Mordo’s cape having pointed embellishments over the shoulder. When Strange goes to visit Umar, who served as a warlord in the Dark Dimension-and also happens to be Clea’s mother-he enters a curved, crystalline city that could have been plucked out of a science fiction novel. One page features Strange unveiling the warlords’ grand plan, with Fabela drawing a series of images that makes it look like he’s pacing. Fabela gives the background of this page a swirly pink neon pattern that hews fairly close to the psychedelic artwork of Ditko, complete with a golden version of Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum symbol.

The Death of Doctor Strange #4 finally reveals the Sorcerer Supreme’s killer and sets the stage for a massively magical finale. Considering the series’ track record so far, I’m sure that the final issue will have a satisfying ending.

The Death of Doctor Strange #4 is available wherever comics are sold.


The Death of Doctor Strange #4
4.5

TL;DR

The Death of Doctor Strange #4 finally reveals the Sorcerer Supreme’s killer and sets the stage for a massively magical finale. Considering the series’ track record so far, I’m sure that the final issue will have a satisfying ending.