Doctor Strange: The Oath #5


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Doctor Strange: The Oath #5


  • Words: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Art: Marcos Martin
  • Inks: Alvaro Lopez
  • Colors: Javier Rodriguez
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 28, 2007

It all comes down to this...Wong’s life hangs in the balance, as Stephen Strange must face the dark mirror that is Nicodemus West.

Writer Brian K. Vaughan has done wonders with Doctor Strange in five rollicking all-too-short issues. As the series comes to a close, Vaughan leaves Strange in a new and better place than the character has been in years.

As Wong’s brain tumor causes his heart to cease beating, Stephen Strange has no choice but to leave his faithful friend in the hands of Night Nurse in order to chase Nicodemus West for the elixir that could save Wong’s life. There are reasons why you should not tick off a Sorcerer Supreme as West learns but can Strange still save the day when he is cut off from magic completely?

In this mini-series Vaughan has used his own writing magic to cut away everything dead and useless about Doctor Strange. Instead of focusing on the magical elements of the character, he has zeroed in on the humanity. Also, unlike many series, there is a definite character arc here. The arrogant, self-assured sorcerer readers meet in the first issue is a very different man than we see by the time the last page is turned on this issue and all the changes are for the better. Personally, I cannot remember the last time a writer made Strange this personable, funny, compassionate, and charismatic – all without ever disrespecting history or continuity.

Marcos Martin’s pencils have been perfect throughout this series and this issue puts the icing on the cake. Martin’s style is unique, clear, expressive, and refreshing all the while keeping just a touch of Steve Ditko’s original designs for tribute. Martin beautifully balances making the magical elements enchanting while maintaining all the characters’ humanity. Nowhere is that more visible than when Strange, the master mage, reveals his scarred and ruined hands. The single panel speaks volumes.

Fusing elements of the past with a forward momentum, Vaughan and Martin pay tribute to the history and continuity of Doctor Strange while moving him into a new future. Doctor Strange: The Oath has been pure magic from start to finish so why not let this mini-series cast its spell on you?

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