Rating: 4/5 – Great Stories and Art, but You’ll Pay For It.
By ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Doctor Strange: The Last Days of Magic is a one-shot that ties directly into the current story line taking place in the main Doctor Strange series. This one-shot takes a look at a few other magic users within the Marvel Universe and how the recent attacks on magic are affecting them. Zelma Stanton, the new supporting character in Stephen Strange’s life, frames each of the two main story sequences as she rearranges books in Strange’s library. The Empirikul are wiping out magic by destroying any and all users of magic, significant landmarks and mystical objects. In this book we see how the Empirikul are taking down other magic users in the Marvel Universe.
Although the framing sequences of the story are written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Leonardo Romero, the first tale starring Doctor Voodoo is written by Gerry Duggan with rt by Danilo Beyruth. Although Beyruth doesn’t have a whole lot of work in the US, I love what work there is and his pencils on Doctor Voodoo were the highlight of this issue for me. Beyruth packs the pages with details as he has Voodoo trying to get to his “armory” located in a cemetery in New Orleans. Beyruth includes three full splash pages in the fifteen page story and one is a jaw dropper as Voodoo stands in front of shelves that are packed with jars of ingredients, shrunken heads, old scrolls and more. It made me wish for a Doctor Voodoo series staring this Doctor with this artist, but knowing that won’t happen I’m hoping that Beyruth at least finds more frequent work at Marvel.
The second main story introduces us to a new character named Alice Gulliver. Writer James Robinson tells us a quick version of her origin without getting too far into her battle with the Empirikul. Mike Perkins draws this new character’s introduction and does so with a nice twist that I didn’t see coming. While Voodoo’s story was my favorite, Gulliver’s story made me excited to see more of her within the pages of Doctor Strange as she shows quite a bit of promise and potential. Throughout the framing sequences drawn by Leonardo Romero, we also get to see the Spanish Doctor Mystical, Professor Xu and more.
Doctor Strange: The Last Days of Magic has some great stories, but $5.99 is a hefty price tag to get over psychologically, even though we regularly pay $3.99 for 22 pages and here we get forty-five pages. I was entertained but other readers may find the price a bit too steep, especially since this isn’t necessarily “required reading” to enjoy the main Doctor Strange series. Is this worth the price? To me yes, since I order these with a hefty discount on-line, but I’d have a hard time shelling out the the full $6 at the shop and would probably try to find it cheaper at a later date if faced with paying full price.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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