Doctor Strange #4 Review: A Good Story Needlessly Complicated

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Doctor Strange and Kanna are on the run with a Nidavelliran Dwarf named Eoffren. A photon-based species, called the Majesdane, kidnapped Eoffren to force him to create a superweapon for them. Strange and Kanna sprung Eoffren, and the Majesdane are now trying to kill them.

Doctor Strange #4 cover by Jesus Saiz
Doctor Strange #4 cover by Jesus Saiz

Doctor Strange #4 has a straightforward plot, as you could glean from that plot summation. Strange and Kanna staged a prison break, and now the jailers are after them. For unclear reasons, this comic is told in a nonlinear manner that serves no purpose to the plot.

There's no big reveal to obscure, no deeper meaning to take from this nonlinearity, and all it does is needlessly complicate the plot and obliterate the pacing.

That's a shame, because it's a fine story. Mark Waid tells a compelling Doctor Strange, and there's a good payoff to this issue. Stephen must accept things about himself that he doesn't like, and the ending promises some cool changes to Strange's comic coming up. Stephen Strange is a very flawed hero, and this comic highlights that in an interesting and kinda gutsy manner.

It's still good, but it could have been so much better if it were just told beginning-middle-end instead of the unnecessary scrambling with which we were presented.

Doctor Strange #4 art by Jesus Saiz
Doctor Strange #4 art by Jesus Saiz

Jesus Saiz one again fires on all cylinders in making this an absolutely beautiful comic book. There are gorgeous vistas, impressive showings of magical prowess, and texturing that makes you feel like you could reach out and touch the characters. His color work is impeccably balanced, sealing the deal on Saiz being one of the best artists currently in the business.

Doctor Strange #4 is almost a great comic. It makes one mistake that nonetheless sabotages this otherwise good read. I can still easily recommend it; it's just frustrating that it overcomplicated its own presentation. Nevertheless, feel free to check this one out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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