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Whatever Happened to the Sorceror Supreme?

February 21, 2010

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     The last issue of Mark Waid’s bizarre Dr. Strange story, Strange, sees magic having a stroke in a very ridiculous-sounding metaphor.  The whole thing is because Virilian violated the rules, and now, it’s affecting every magic user on Earth.  Dr. Strange goes to visit Eternity and to fix this mess and also tries to convince all the other magic users to stop using magic, though Daimon Hellstrom doesn’t seem to care.  He tells Casey Kinmont to focus on scrying for Laroximous Boneflayer to get her soul back.  She finds Larry, but he’ll only give her soul back if she helps him get out of where he is.  Meanwhile, an old rogue of Strange’s, the Silver Dagger, tries to take this opportunity to do some damage to Strange’s comatose body.  Instead of getting her own soul back, Casey manages to stop him by teleporting his dagger away.  This summons Baroshtok, who seals off his dimension from our dimension in anger and takes Casey as she fades away.  Although Strange succeeds in saving Eternity, it’s a rather pyrrhic victory.  Larry comes back and awkwardly gives Casey’s soul to Strange.  Strange decides to screw the consequences and go after Casey, since at the very least, they have her soul, and Larry’s along for the ride.

     The very idea that magic is having a stroke because one inconsequential demon broke a few rules is just stupid.  Pretty sure that more important people have been breaking the “rules” (which were never established, by the way) ever since there’s been magic in the Marvel Universe.  But then I’ve already said that.  And I’ve also already said that Casey Kinmont is a boring character inserted into this story to humanize Dr. Strange, which weakens his appeal.  Well, this issue is more of the same of that.  Same with Emma Rios’ too cheery art that just doesn’t fit with the “hell” that’s supposed to be going on.  Sure, it’s nice to see an old Strange rogue like Silver Dagger get brought out of the comic book files.  Too bad he was nothing more than a plot mechanism to tie Strange to Casey even further due to his bad feelings about her “death.”  Add to that the fact that we barely even see Strange “perform surgery” on Eternity in favor of Casey saying, “Thanks for being the one person who understands me, the Mary Sue of this book,” and I just can’t believe that Mark Waid wrote this story.  Honestly, did he never read a classic Dr. Strange tale before?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I hope that future writers ignore that this ever happened, or conveniently say that Casey was rescued or something off-panel.  Maybe, someday, Brian K. Vaughan will come back, and all will be right again.  At least, I can hope.

Plot: 5.5      Art: 5.9      Dialogue: 5.2      Overall: 5.0

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