Written By Jason Aaron
Art by Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend, Al Vey, & Mark Irwin
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 4, 2015

Dr. Strange literally has strange tastes.

Stephen and Zelma take us on a tour through the Sanctum Sanctorum, trying to find a solution to their demonic pest problem. Zelma has been sprouting mouths, and she and Stephen are trekking through the Sanctum’s magical halls to get rid of them. After being separated, and Zelma stumbling on Stephen’s refrigerator, they put a brief end to their problem as our Dr. Strange realizes he’s going to be immersed in a larger magical issue.

Dr. Strange is a quirky series to match the twists and turns of stairs within the Sanctum Sanctorum. Stephen is true to form in this issue, his interactions with Zelma full of dry wit and poise. Zelma and Stephen are great together, especially as Wong comes into the picture. This installment was a nice read from start to finish and a wonderful look into a rather everyday adventure for Stephen.

Jason Aaron writes a seriously enjoyable crew of characters. Zelma is very emphatic and animated, a distinct contrast to the measured speech and actions of Stephen and Wong. Aaron did a great job of meshing these characters together without losing important aspects of who they are. I appreciated how Aaron wrote Stephen as keeping calm and collected, even when facing his own startling surprises.

The entire art team was magical throughout the issue. Chris Bachalo’s pencils and colors match a somber, clandestine, but curious world. Tim Townsend, Al Vey, and Mark Irwin on inks work wonderfully with Bachalo’s colors, casting shadow in perfect places and adding an edge to Stephen’s mystical home. Every corner of the Sanctum, to the winding stairs and the numerous interdimensional doorways, is brought to life in this issue.

In the spirit of my bond with women in comics, I loved Zelma. Maybe it’s because she’s a librarian and I love books, but she added a sense of life into the rather dark world of the Sanctum. If this issue is any indication, she will most certainly be back. Zelma being part of Stephen’s cast of characters is bound to bring something dynamic into the Sanctum.

This series has been my first foray into the world of Stephen Strange, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dr. Strange #2 is setting up a pretty interesting story that I’m excited to see unfold. I’m curious about the vestiges of the Sanctum and how they, Stephen, Wong, and definitely Zelma, will handle the upcoming supernatural mysteries. I am most certainly along for the ride.

The Verdict: 8.0/10


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