|DOCTOR STRANGE No. 6, May 2016|
Predominantly focusing upon the magically-charged confrontation between the comic’s titular character and the Empirikul’s Imperator, Issue Six of “Doctor Strange” certainly showed its 52,440 strong audience in March 2016 just how doggedly determined the former “preeminent surgeon” could be when faced with an opponent he apparently cannot best… and likewise demonstrated to its readership the formidable power wielded by the deadly globe-headed spell-caster purifiers.
Indeed, Jason Aaron’s opening chapter to “The Last Days Of Magic” really seems to have gone that extra mile to exhibit just how truly cataclysmic the Sorcerer Supreme’s supernatural abilities really are by having Stephen literally “drain the Dragon Lines [and] drain the Earth itself of all its magical energy” in order to try and lay a decisive ‘smack down’ upon his terrifying opponents; “Abracadabra, You son of a bitch!”
Previous displays of “such power” by the Ancient One’s successor have usually been limited to him simply evoking a dread-sounding incantation or perhaps had the book’s illustrator sketch a flamboyant splash reminiscent of Steve Ditko’s Sixties surrealistic work. But for this twenty-page periodical the Alabama-born author’s script instead meticulously details the “Man of Magic” breathlessly fending off his lethal attackers with captivating shrubbery, numerous abandoned automobiles, the thick black tar-like despair of the Bronx and Harlem, as well as the bestial fire from the planet’s very heart. In fact in many ways this entire comic is arguably just one long battle between the “Little Wizard” and his monotone-coloured would-be killers, with the Harvey Award-winner’s narrative only occasionally giving its audience pause for breath with the briefest of interludes.
Fortunately these glimpses into the worldwide battle against the Empirikul’s forces are equally as enthralling as Doctor Strange’s toe-to-toe slugfest with the high and almighty Imperator, courtesy of artist Chris Bachalo weaving an incredible amount of characterful cameos throughout the action. Doctor Voodo, Professor Xu, Mahatma Doom, Hellstorm, Scarlet Witch, Wong, Count Kaoz, Magik, Shaman and Talisman all join Chondu and Monako in their fight against the crew of “a giant eyeball ship in the sky”. Whilst the publication’s secondary short story features the ‘demise’ of such notables as Mistress Miraculous, Mister Sunny, Lady Butters, Snoozy, Bipples and Captain Kazoo.
|The variant cover art of "DOCTOR STRANGE" No. 6 by Butch Guice|