Review – Doctor Strange #18 (Marvel Comics)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Mark Waid
Artwork: Jesús Saiz
Release Date: 28th August 2019

In the middle of Kansas in a house much like any other, our story begins. A night of celebration and joy for one simple ordinary family. Well, that’s how the story should go, but that’s not what happens here, because this is the story of how one house and one family crossed paths with the Sorcerer Supreme, and how they worked together to save an entire town.

So, it’s been nine issues since I last talked about Doctor Strange. It’s nothing personal, but frequent delays and a story with massively escalating stakes sort of put this book on the back burner for me. However, I’m so glad to be back now, because this might be Waid’s best issue of the whole run.

What Waid has done here is take one of his biggest strengths as a writer and apply it perfectly, framing the fantastical through an ordinary setting. This is a story about a normal suburban family in which Doctor Strange just happens to show up. The story is told from the perspective of a regular couple, an approach which helps the story feel fresh while giving it an absurd and slightly comedic tone.  This is something the book doesn’t hesitate in leaning into, making it absolute delight to read. I mean, we literally have a rhyming demon here. This is everything a good Doctor Strange comic should be.

However, while Waid is certainly delivering some of his best and funniest work here, I’m also delighted to see Jesús Saiz back for this issue. Saiz has a knack for showing magic and the mystical world of Doctor Strange that has been unfortunately missing in recent issues.  His skill provides a massive boost to this issue, making the wonderful and magical look great, which delightfully contrasts with the comedy of this issue.

This comic is a gift of physical comedy and reaction faces that I’ll be using for years to come. Without a doubt Saiz is the best Doctor Strange artist since Niko Henrichon and Chris Bacalo, and every time he’s back on this book it becomes the first book I need to read when it comes out.

Look, this book is ending in the next two issues, and if it maintains the level of quality that we’re treated to here then we’re in store for a phenomenal ending to the Waid run.

This latest issue is a one-off story, not connected to any event crossover or internal long-running storyline, so you have absolutely no reason not to pick it up. For me, it’s the best Doctor Strange related comic in a long time and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.

Rating 5/5.


The writer of this piece was: Jonathan Mullen
Jonathan Tweets from @JonathanDMullen ‏

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