Comic Vine Review

17 Comments

New Avengers Annual #1 - Self-Surgery Review

5

Doctor Strange faces a massive challenge as he visits monks in the Himalayas. Just how far will he go to save a life?

The Good

Want to know who Doctor Strange is and what makes him interesting? Well, writer Frank J. Barbiere has you covered with this latest issue. Focusing purely on Stephen Strange, Babiere takes us on a dark tale which does an effective job jumping between the past and present. Not only is there a strong parallel in both stories, but the contrast primarily exists to give us a great insight into the Sorcer Supreme's mind. This spotlight offers a terrific focus on the Marvel character and successfully showcases just how much he has changed over the years. It's a quick and effective way to learn about his mentality -- it almost feels like "Doctor Strange 101" but without blatant exposition.

This character study also hits us with what is quite possibly the most unique and immersive action sequence you'll see this week. Witnessing Strange unleash his abilities is simply epic and likely going to be pure bliss for big fans of the character. And the way artist Marco Rudy brings it all to life? It's extraordinary, but we'll get to praising him in the next paragraph! Even when abilities aren't on display, we're treated to a narrative that never loses its grip on your attention. It may not be the most unique plot around and you'll see one moment coming a mile away, but it's still able to get the point across quite well and always kept me engaged.

Marco Rudy's artwork is brilliant. Literally every single page is marvelous and kept me awestruck. I have no idea how he's capable of putting so much creativity and stunning artwork on every page, but I'm more than happy to appreciate it and all of the spectacular layouts he creates. This is a visual journey like no other -- which is very fitting for Doctor Strange -- and Rudy was constantly delivering new ways to drop my jaw. Everything from a grand fight between Doctor Strange and a Demon to someone kissing a loved one on the head is presented with so much talent and raw emotion. I just can't praise it enough.

The Bad

The story in the past doesn't pack as strong of an emotional punch as it could have, but that's a pretty minor gripe.

The Verdict

NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 costs $4.99 and it's well worth every single penny. And the best part of it all? It's 100% new reader friendly. You can go into this issue with absolutely zero knowledge of the current NEW AVENGERS volume or Doctor Strange and you'll never feel left in the dark. It's a great spotlight on the mystical character and it has legitimately phenomenal artwork on each and every page. Seriously, you don't need to be a fan of Stephen Strange to fall in love with this issue

18 Comments
Posted by MrTummyTumms

So is Doctor Strange a good guy or a bad guy cause lately he's been making me wonder.

Posted by Vulshock

I'm really hoping for a Dr. Strange series.

Posted by Cavemold

AGREED. Really love this issue. 5/5.

Hes a good guy but he has to do bad things sometimes to save people and everything has a cost.

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster

This was an amazing annual.

Online
Edited by LiveForever

@k4tzm4n, how much does this tie into the current run of New Avengers? It doesn't sound like it does much at all. I passed on it at the shop.

Sounds like more of a Dr. Strange #0, huh?

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster
Online
Posted by longbowhunter

Well...that was awesome. I'm not up to speed on what's up with Strange in New Avengers. I glean he's sold his soul and done some unsavory things. Regardless I thought this was a bang up issue. Great stand alone annual that for once was worth the price. Marco Rudy is a psychedelic madman. Every page was stunning to look at. I want more of this.

Posted by Fenderxx

I normally skip Annuals, but I may pick this one up, sounds cool, and I love Dr. Strange.

Posted by bjurczyszyn

Just finished reading this, wow! Amazing art to go with an interesting story. I can only hope for more Strange stories in the future. A solo series would be great.

Posted by Spideysense44

Cant wait to read this

Posted by Owie

@k4tzm4n, how much does this tie into the current run of New Avengers? It doesn't sound like it does much at all. I passed on it at the shop.

Sounds like more of a Dr. Strange #0, huh?

As I read it, this is how Strange gets the power that he unleashes at the end of this week's New Avengers. I wasn't sure if it was related when I was in the store either, but unless I'm completely misreading it, it's a direct tie-in.

Great art and a good story. The only issue I have is that Strange has wobbled back and forth into black magic before, for example with the Wings of Needless Sorrow and Shuma-Gorath arc in the 80s Strange Tales, so the idea is a bit of a retread. But still I think Strange is always more interesting when he opens up his magic tool box to options beyond just white magic, so that's fine.

Posted by LiveForever

@owie: Interesting. Maybe I'll grab it on comixology. Thanks!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@vulshock said:

I'm really hoping for a Dr. Strange series.

@k4tzm4n, how much does this tie into the current run of New Avengers? It doesn't sound like it does much at all. I passed on it at the shop.

Sounds like more of a Dr. Strange #0, huh?

Well...that was awesome. I'm not up to speed on what's up with Strange in New Avengers. I glean he's sold his soul and done some unsavory things. Regardless I thought this was a bang up issue. Great stand alone annual that for once was worth the price. Marco Rudy is a psychedelic madman. Every page was stunning to look at. I want more of this.

Just finished reading this, wow! Amazing art to go with an interesting story. I can only hope for more Strange stories in the future. A solo series would be great.

It's been confirmed that there will be a Dr Strange solo book so I'm wondering if this will be the creative team.

Posted by longbowhunter
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Posted by LakeFToy

This book was a lot of fun...been really missing a Doctor Strange ongoing...if Rocket Raccoon and Starlord can carry series, surely the good Doctor can...

Posted by Blackice709

yes please! a doctor strange series! :D