Saturday, February 19, 2011

Done in One: Marvel Vault Doctor Strange

Marvel Vault: Doctor Strange, script by Roger Stern, pencils by Neil Vokes

In comics biz there are a lot of projects that almost make it to publication, but for one reason or another are shelved indefinitely. The Marvel Vault is a series of one-shots that have been pulled from editorial limbo and into the light of publication.

Marvel Vault: Doctor Strange is a crash course in Dr Strange lore. It succinctly features the origins of both his powers and his headquarters, the Sanctum Sanctorum. In this book, (full title: Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault No. 1) a young Stephen Strange purchases a house with a sordid reputation. According to the realtor, there have been six previous houses built on that lot going back centuries, all of which “came to mysterious ends--most often through fire.”

However, Dr Strange recognizes the house as a focus for supernatural energies, which leads him to investigate a strange and sinister presence. If you’re a Doctor Strange neophyte (like I am) it’s a fun story, but long time followers of the good doctor may be sick of the origin story.

The illustration is great, ranging from dark and moody within the confines of the home to to surreal and spectacular when travelling the astral plane or battling the chaos-entity, Tyanon.

It’s a solid one-shot. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but if you’re looking for a Doctor Strange primer, this is a good book to pick up. I’m looking forward to what else comes out of the Marvel Vault.

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