Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colours by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: VC’s Corey Petit
Doctor Strange has traveled to Asgard and back to equip himself with the full power of Yggdrasil in the hope of finally taking Loki down and regaining his Sorcerer Supreme title. But at what cost? Meanwhile Loki is still searching for a way to unlock the Exile of Shingsoon, not realising its been in front of him this whole time, hidden in Zelma…
Ever since the Vishanti chose Loki to take Stephen’s place at the last sorcerers tournament I’ve been left wondering why, but following Stephen’s actions in this issue, I think I finally understand. This is a desperate and unpredictable Stephen who’s willing to go to extreme lengths and incredible costs to do what he thinks is right. But do the ends truly justify the means? This arc has been exploring the powerful notion that there is always a price and consequence for using magic, and Stephen’s proving that he is going to pay dearly for his actions. But in his current state of mind, the former Sorcerer Surpreme doesn’t seem to care for the ramifications, as he unleashes a shocking power in the closing panels of the issue!
Doctor Strange #384 finally gives us the showdown between Stephen and Loki we’ve been waiting for from this arc and it doesn’t disappoint! Stephen looks absolutely amazing in his upgraded Yggdrasil outfit and it’s great to finally see a level playing field between the two sorcerers, as Stephen is finally able to take on the God of mischief. The fight spans multiple dimensions as they both travel to a hell dimension full of demons (the ancestral nesting realm of the canerous vampa cabra warriors don’t you know) while bickering the entire time! Cates has done an amazing job of writing these characters; I absolutely love the banter between Stephen and Loki and it’s great to explore the God of mischief in more depth – is he really trying to forge a new and better path for himself?!
The art in this title is one of the most distinctive in Marvel’s current titles, with Walta and Bellaire doing a fantastic job of bringing the magical elements to life. The design of Strange’s new costume and staff looked absolutely amazing and the battle was equally impressive, the green and pinks used to represent each sorcerer’s spells were so vivid against the muted backgrounds.
Doctor Strange continues to be one of Marvel’s strongest and most intriguing ongoing titles. I genuinely can’t wait to see how Loki and Zelma deal with the horror that Stephen unleashed at the end of this issue, as well as discovering the price Stephen will have to pay following his heavy use of magic! If you haven’t discovered this title yet, I would highly recommend picking it up!