High Five! Comics

Strange #1: There is NO Crying in Baseball!

Posted on: November 12, 2009

Strange1When I heard about Strange, I got stupid psyched. I’ve loved Doctor Strange since I read Brian K. Vaughn’s Doctor Strange: The Oath mini-series. I’ve loved Mark Waid’s work since I first read Kingdom Come. When I heard that these two were coming together, well, holy shit.

Before you read this book, you definitely need to get caught up on what’s been up with Doctor Strange as of late. During World War Hulk, his hands were crushed by a rampaging Hulk, limiting his powers (not being able to gesticulate is a pret-ty big handicap in the sorcerer business). Then, during Secret Invasion, the Hood’s cronies broke into his Sanctum Sanctorum and Strange was forced to use dark magic to defend it. Pissed at himself for using the dark magic, he gave up the title of Sorcerer Supreme and is currently looking for his successor. Blah blah blah Dark Reign and here we are!

Strange is the story of a weakened Doctor Strange trying to make do with the powers he has left. This month, he’s trying to save a few thousand baseball fans from being condemned to Hell by Tul’uth, “Lord High Incubus of Games and Chance.” Along the way, he involves the granddaughter of the baseball team’s manager, who, conveniently, seems to have a natural talent for magic. What I found most interesting about this particular take on the character is that he is portrayed as more of an everyman than ever before. Hell, the first time he appears in panel, he’s spilled nachos down the front of his shirt. You wouldn’t expect to see Strange cheering on a sports team or hear that he played baseball in college (med schools have baseball teams?), but there it is. It’s as if Stephen Strange’s newfound lack of powers has humbled him, and this is a change I like.

I could spend all day talking about how much I like Mark Waid‘s work (or Todd Klein‘s lettering), but you’ve heard it before. What really surprised me about the book was the art. Normally, I’m not a fan of anime, but Emma Rios (who previously worked on BOOM! Studios’ Hexed) and Christina Strain somehow pulled off making the art in Strange just a little anime-eqsue without bothering me all.

Anywho, I highly recommend this book. If not Strange himself, the next Sorcerer Supreme is destined to be a big player in the Marvel Universe, and I’m curious as to whether or not Casey can fit the bill. It’s weird, usually I feel like I’d recommend drinking some old man liquor with a Doctor Strange book but, with Strange’s new attitude, it seems like a big red plastic cup of Budweiser would be more appropriate. Pick it up!

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