♦ Tripwire’s editor-in-chief JOEL MEADOWS takes a look at the fourth collection of Jason Aaron’s Doctor Strange run, Doctor Strange: Mr. Misery out now from Panini…
Doctor Strange: Mr Misery
Writers: Jason Aaron, Kathryn Immonen & Robbie Thompson
Artists: Frazer Irving, Chris Bachalo & Wayne Faucher, Kevin Nowlan, Leonardo Romero, Jonathan Marks Barravecchia
Jason Aaron is one of the most talented and versatile modern comics writers. His own creation Scalped with artist RM Guera for Vertigo was brilliant while his work on Punisher and Wolverine and The X-Men for Marvel showed flashes of brilliance. This collection reprints the end of his run on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme and here he is assisted by a variety of distinctive but equally adept comic artists.
British artist Frazer Irving (2000AD) opens proceedings with his usual charm and pizzazz, offering a contrasting style to what comes next. His collaborator on Wolverine and The X-Men Chris Bachalo is back here, capturing the beautiful insanity of Strange’s New York while Kevin Nowlan, arguably the artist’s artist, makes an appearance here in a short but brilliant vignette. The main story which sees Mr Misery, the adversary that Aaron created for Strange at the beginning of his run, is wrapped up neatly here and we have an endcap in the shape of an annual written by Kathryn Immonen and drawn by Leonardo Romero, which is much lighter in tone than Aaron’s run but still a fun read. The volume ends with a short story by Robbie Thompson and Jonathan Marks Barravecchia, which sets up new title Doctor Strange and The Sorcerers Supreme. The art is a radical departure from the Aaron run and so it is a little bit jarring. But obviously Marvel have decided to go with a very different tone in the next Doctor Strange series.
Jason Aaron’s Doctor Strange was a series that managed to walk the tightrope between supernatural suspense and more down to earth human emotion with style and class. It feels like it stays true to Lee and Ditko’s original intentions for the character while still offering something modern and contemporary at the same time. Despite the fact that we do have a selection of different artists here, somehow it manages to work. Aaron will be missed and his run on Doctor Strange is one of the best we’ve seen in years.
Doctor Strange: Mr Misery is out now