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8 March, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Doctor Strange: Damnation #1

www.ign.com
Doctor Strange: Damnation #1

One could argue that the most significant event to take place during the course of Secret Empire didn’t involve Captain America’s heel turn, but rather the complete and total destruction of Las Vegas. It’s a little strange in retrospect that there’s been so little fallout from or even acknowledgment of that major event in Marvel’s Legacy books. The Damnation crossover looks to be Marvel’s belated attempt to rectify that problem. But for fans of Donny Cates’ Doctor Strange run, all that truly matters is that we’re getting more of a good thing.

Damnation builds directly on the aftermath of Secret Empire and Cates’ first Doctor Strange arc, as a newly empowered Strange attempts to singlehandedly will the Vegas of old back into existence. But if we’ve learned anything from Cates’ run so far and Jason Aaron’s before it, it’s that magic always carries a cost, especially spells of this magnitude. That’s actually tied to one of the flaws with this issue. Cates and co-writer Nick Spencer are so quick to set the wheels in motion and establish the supernatural fallout of Vegas’ resurrection that they don’t devote much attention to Strange’s motivations in the first place. The character comes across as unnecessarily foolish and short-sighted as a result.

In general, this issue seems a bit too concerned with paving the way for the larger crossover and not enough with telling the best possible story. That’s especially true in the final pages, as the focus shifts to roping in various other supernatural heroes for no apparent reason. It’s hard not to feel that this story would be better served simply as a straightforward Doctor Strange tale.

That all being said, much of the appeal of Cates’ main series carries over. He and Spencer bring a light touch to the supernatural realm. There are clear stakes to this conflict as Strange and Mephisto jockey for control of an entire city. But at the same time, the story has a fun, irreverent quality to it. It doesn’t hurt that the writers are able to find a middle ground in terms of their collective voice. Regardless of how scripting duties may have been divided on this book, the prose shows shades of both Cates’ style and Spencer’s.

Rod Reis is a fitting choice to draw this miniseries, both because of his work on Secret Empire and the fact that his ethereal style and use of coluor lend themselves so readily to the supernatural realm. The fact that so much of this issue unfolds with glitzy casinos and hedonistic demons as a backdrop just makes this creative pairing gel that much better. Reis is adept at conveying the magical energy and horror elements fueling this conflict, while also highlighting the physical comedy and character banter that are so crucial to Cates’ Doctor Strange work.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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