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Doctor Strange #25

by Michael D on September 20, 2017

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Kevin Nowlan; Juan Frigeri
Publisher: Marvel

Not too many Marvel titles make it to #25 without a relaunch, so when they do, they release a double-sized issue to celebrate.  With the Secret Empire tie-in arc finally over, we go back to the status-quo that Jason Aaron had set. This time, John Barber, writer of the recent Doctor Strange/Punisher crossover, takes over writing duties. 

Barber tells two intertwining stories with one taking place in the present and the other in the past. The issue has two artists so this split feels natural. There is a lot of fun to be had here, particularly with the story that takes place in the past.  For this segment, Barber goes old school Doctor Strange. There are thought bubbles everywhere, Strange screams out spell names as he cast them, and there is narration galore. It’s sure to please the fans of Doctor Strange fans that didn’t particularly like the direction that modern Doctor Strange has taken. As a fan of Doctor Strange runs from Stern and Englehart, I found it to be a blast. The modern portions of issue avoid this old school style. There isn’t much overall plot progression, to be expected since Cates is taking over in November. Overall, the story felt more like filler rather than part of an overarching plot.

Luckily, the art is strong in this issue. Juan Frigeri takes over art duties for the part of the story that takes place in the present. You can tell he is having fun here with great creature designs on every page. Frigeri’s art is also very kinetic, lending itself very well to a non-stop action issue.

Industry veteran, Kevin Nowlan takes over art duties for the past portion of the story.  Nowlan started his Marvel career with Doctor Strange and his art feels natural with the character. He has some great panels and draws a really good looking Doctor Strange. The way Strange poses and flies through the air pairs well with the old school vibe of the issue.  Unfortunately, Nowlan has some awkward looking faces that can be distracting.

The past portion of the issue is a great throw back to old school Doctor Strange and has a lot to offer to fans that are looking for that. Unfortunately, the story feels a bit like filler and asking fans to pay $5 seems a bit much. 

Our Score:


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