ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Strange,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Strange #1 - But Why Tho

Strange #1 is written by Jed MacKay, penciled by Marcelo Ferreria, inked by Don Ho with Roberto Poggi, colored by Java Tartaglia with Felipe Sobrerio, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It’s published by Marvel Comics. In the aftermath of The Death of Doctor Strange, Clea Strange has taken up her husband Stephen’s mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. But Clea is not content to let Strange’s death be permanent and searches for a way to resurrect him, running into a mysterious figure known as the Harvestman along the way.

MacKay excels at putting a spotlight on lesser-known Marvel characters, including Black Cat and Moon Knight. This continues with Clea, who’s appeared sporadically throughout the history of Doctor Strange. Immediately, he highlights the differences between Clea and her husband. Clea is born of the Faltine, a race of warlords that include her mother Umar and Strange’s lifelong enemy, the Dread Dormammu. As a result, she’s more vicious and less forgiving of her enemies than Strange ever was. Doctor Doom, intent on claiming the title of Sorcerer Supreme from himself, learns this the hard way when he tries to intimidate her.

MacKay also takes the time to explore how Clea and Strange’s partner Wong are handling the Master of the Mystic Arts’ death. Wong chooses to drown his sorrows in drink, while Clea dabbles in darker forms of magic including necromancy. As Wong puts it, the events of The Death of Doctor Strange happened within the space of a few days, which didn’t leave Doctor Strange’s friends and family much time to grieve his passing. I genuinely appreciate a writer actually addressing the grieving process and how people handle grief differently, especially in a genre where death happens frequently and is often undone just as quickly.

Ferreria, who previously illustrated the Death of Doctor Strange: Spider-Man one-shot that MacKay wrote, returns for Strange and puts his own spin on the magical corners of the Marvel Universe. Clea sports a new uniform reminiscent of Strange’s, with her face glowing purplish-white whenever she utilizes her spells thanks to Tartaglia and Sobrerio’s color art. This has a terrifying effect, especially when she utilizes her spells. A demon summoned to destroy her is torn apart in a shred of white energy and even Doom, who usually towers over everyone, shrinks from her fury. The Harvestman, who appears in the beginning and end of the issue, has his own costume consisting of a golden mask and a tattered tan cloak complete with a massive scythe.

Ho and Poggi give Ferreria’s art a rich texture with their ink, including the Shrouded Bazaar where most magical beings peddle their wares and the pouring rain in the opening pages when Clea confronts the Harvestman. Keeping in line with Clea’s magic, Petit makes her narrative captions purple and white, immediately drawing the reader’s eye to her inner thoughts. The color of Petit’s word balloons also change; there’s red for demons and black & white for the undead.

Strange #1 bestows the mantle of the Sorcerer Supreme upon Clea Strange as she embarks on a quest to bring her husband back to life. The end of the issue resurrects a classic Marvel hero from the 90s and it’s clear that MacKay and Ferreria intend to put Clea through all manner of hell.

Strange #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on March 2, 2022.


Strange #1
4.5

TL;DR

Strange #1 bestows the mantle of the Sorcerer Supreme upon Clea Strange as she embarks on a quest to bring her husband back to life. The end of the issue resurrects a classic Marvel hero from the 90s and it’s clear that MacKay and Ferreria intend to put Clea through all manner of hell.