Doctor Strange is tipped off that Loki may be trying something exceedingly dangerous via the talking dog, Bats. Meanwhile, Loki is continuing his attempts to get into the door Strange locked to him.
Before we start, I need to plug the review for Doctor Strange #382 given by fellow BC writer and awesome guy Joe Glass. Give that one a read first.
I was initially wary of the introduction of Loki as the new co-lead in Doctor Strange, even if the story generally interested me with the angles it was pushing.
Those fears have mostly been put to rest, as this comic was thoroughly enthralling. Loki is a great character of course, and the dynamic he has with both Zelma and Strange himself provides some good drama.
We also learn more of how this transition happened, at least in regard to Zelma—it was abrupt and without her knowledge. This, naturally, puts a lot of tension between she and Doctor Strange.
Bats gets more panel space in this issue, and I love him. He is in the same league as Cosmo the Talkin-k Space Dog in terms of awesome speaking pooches.
A will-they-won't-they aspect sparks of which I'm not the biggest fan. Also, the predictions you probably had about Bats are completely true, and that is disappointing.
Also, there is that final reveal, which our Editor-in-Chief Rich Johnston talked about in another article. All I have to say is holy crap. I definitely didn't see that one coming, but I am eager to see where it goes.
Gabriel Hernandez Walta seems very much at home in Doctor Strange. His gritty yet at-times surreal style fits this stage of the Sorcerer Supreme's life very well. He makes Bats incredibly expressive, which is actually quite impressive. He has facial expressions, but they look so realistic it's almost unnerving. I dig it.
Jordie Bellaire's color work is muted and washed-out, adding to the gritty atmosphere of this comic. It works very well. He and Walta seem perfectly in-sync.
Doctor Strange #382 continues to show that Donny Cates has a great handling on the saga of Stephen Strange. It's intriguing, compelling, and has a lot of solid character drama. He thoroughly understands the mind of Stephen Strange, and Walta and Bellaire bring it to brilliant visual life. This one gets a strong recommendation. Check it out.