The New Doctor Is Also Strange

Feb 28, 2022


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There are very few relationships in the Marvel Universe that would be considered normal. Similar to the lives of first responders, doctors, and members of the armed forces, situations arise that demand these “heroes” attention. So with the exception of Mr. Fantastic and Sue, love isn’t always in the air in the pages of Marvel comics. No one demonstrates that with their distanced demeanor more than Doctor Strange. However, at his passing Stephen bestowed his title to his wife, Clea. And while intent to continue her husbands obligations to the magic community, Clea’s desires (and lineage) may serve as a distraction in the pages of Strange # 1 from Marvel Comics.

Strange # 1

Marvel Comics

Writer: Jed MacKay
Penciler: Marcelo Ferreira
Inkers: Don Ho w/ Roberto Poggi
Colorist: Jada Tartaglia w/ Felipe Sobreiro
Letter: VC’s Cory Petit

Jed MacKay opens with a scene reminiscent of a early 70’s American sitcom. At least that is how I envision this exchange between Doom and Clea. Doom, as the door to door salesman with Clea as the lady of the manor. Much like the slippery snake oil salesman, Doom thinks he is in complete control of the situation. Clea quickly diminishes any hopes Doom may have of laying claim to Stephen’s artifacts. In an instant Clea let’s Doom, and hopefully any others who would challenge for claim of the Eye of Agamotto and Cloak of Levitation know one thing. The Dr. may be out, but there’s still a Strange one here.

While Clea’s power display indicates she is adjusting to her role nicely, Wong on the other hand has some ways to go. In dealing with Stephen, Wong was at times his voice of reason. I would never call him Jiminy Cricket but that may be as good a comparison as possible. As you read his conversations with Clea you sense he now feels lost. Hopefully he will come to discover his role is as vital now, if not more, than it was with Strange. Certainly Clea, not being human, could use Wong’s help as Earth’s protector. His suggestion for her to contact the Avengers hints at his role at helping her adjust.

Clea speaks with Doom interior Strange # 1

As Clea and Wong work out their feelings over Stephen’s death, Clea indicates they both need coffee, and nothing she has found matches Dark Dimension roast (wonder if Ilyana will send her some Krakoa blend). Fortunately the influx of creatures from other dimensions has led to a Goblin Market. Wong’s explanation of it’s origin helps make the markets location plausible and sets these inhabitants up to be Clea’s cause. Noticing a threat that arrives to harm the inhabitants Clea lets out any leftover frustrations from Doom’s visit on the Blasphemy Cartel members.

The artwork this issue is truly powerful. My only complaint happens early in the issue. A storm battered Clea stands facing an attacker and unfortunately she could pass for Ilyana Rasputin. After that page Clea’s look is a perfect combination of her classic comic appearance with some modern flair, love the new hairstyle. During the action sequences Ferreira, Ho and Poggi use each possible moment to display the fury that this woman contains. Despite her appearance Clea is a Faltine and the artists do a great job adding the touches of rage that remind readers of her family tree. Add in the colors from Tartaglia and Sobreiro and Clea’s short battles make for stunning declarations of her power.

While Stephen was no doubt a great protector of Earth, things have changed. The magickal community is in a state of upheaval. I doubt neither Doom or the Cabel will be the last threat for power Clea faces. I also can’t shake the feeling that Clea will have her alliances questioned with her new role. And though she may show concern for Wong, this issue highlights there is only one thing, one human Clea desires in this world. And given the option between Earth and having Stephen back it’s hard to say what the new Sorcerer Supreme will choose.

Score: 8.9