Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gosh! Recommends... Dr Strange - The Oath TP

Story: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Marcos Martin
Marvel Comics

Doctor Strange? Isn't he just that dude they drag in whenever they need another Avenger to fill out the ranks? Yes, it is. But once upon a time, when Steve Ditko and Stan Lee came up with him, he had a backstory and themes and motivations. Nowadays he's just there for somebody to say 'why can't you sort this Skrull business out, Steven' to him, so he can reply 'oh because the ancient ones and the scrolls and such and I'm just tired, okay?'

But since he's been drafted in to do that so often, Marvel's senior editorial staff realised 'oh crap, we haven't given the guy his own solo series in like five years', and got one of comics' greatest current writers (or 'The BKV' as he's known) to throw together a quick five-issue miniseries to give the readers some idea of what Doctor Strange is about. The result: pure gold.

The good thing about Strange not having his own series for so long is that Vaughan can throw everything cool about the character into this one project in a big wonderful slurry of magical medical drama. The pacing's excellent, the characters are well-written, and the intro involves Strange being dragged, unconscious and gut-shot, into a secret superhero doctor's surgery. The charater of Strange is brilliantly conveyed, portraying him as a conflicted servant of humanity, rather than the more typical frowning mystic role he seems to take on. Instantly gripping, and beautifully rendered by Marcos 'Why The Hell Aren't I Drawing A Protracted Run On Batman By Now I Mean For God's Sake Batgirl Year One Was Bloody Transcendent' Martin. We can only hope Vaughan and Martin team up again, because in addition to all the rest, this series stands as a testament to the absolute synergy (hnnng) of their creative talents.