Doctor Strange, Surgeon Supreme Volume 1 – Under the Knife
Writer – Mark Waid
Artist – Kev Walker
Do you ever walk around the library and look for a book and you are having a hard time deciding on one, when the book you didn’t know you wanted jumps out at you? While looking at graphic novels, that’s exactly what happened with this volume of Doctor Strange.
I actually picked up the first two issues of this run and if I’m not mistaken, this series was impacted by the pandemic. A lot of comics went on hiatus due to printers grinding to a halt and comic shops temporarily closing for health and safety concerns.
Dr. Strange, after regaining full use of his hands, spends his days working at the McCarthy Medical Center taking on cases that are too difficult for your average surgeon. His work – life balance is thrown off course when villains start wreaking havoc on New York City thanks to upgraded weaponry. Dr. Strange must uncover the supplier of these deadly weapons, while handling medical cases that end up taking a supernatural turn or two.
This short-lived series would be the coda on Mark Waid’s run on the Sorcerer Supreme and although it would wrap up some dangling plot threads, there are some questions that remain unanswered by the end of the run. There is a long dead Avenger who returns to the land of the living but we don’t know how or why they returned or how they end up finding their place in the Marvel Universe. The villain of the story is revealed in Issue Five and I like that they aren’t normally associated with Dr. Strange. Their motivation for supplying other villains with weapons is diabolical, but their true reasons for their evil ways doesn’t make a lick of sense. I might have to read up on the villain’s history when I have time to see what I may have previously missed.
My favorite part of this graphic novel was the art. Kev Walker does a great job bringing creepy and disgusting creatures and muck covered monstrosities to life. The premise of the story was one that I also enjoyed. Dr. Strange must use his medical expertise to help save lives, knowing full well he can’t use magic spells as a shortcut because using magic always has a cost. The good doctor doesn’t mind paying the price but he doesn’t want to put innocent patients in harm’s way. I wouldn’t mind seeing a medical drama sent in the Marvel Universe brought to life, either in comics or in a live-action Disney Plus show.
“Skin Deep” in Issue Three was my favorite story in this collection and works as a standalone issue in case you would only want to read that one. I ended up sitting and reading the entire six issues in one day. It was a breeze to read and the chills and thrills, the overarching mystery, and sprinkles of comedy kept me coming back for more.
If you miss Stephen Strange since he went to the great beyond or are looking for a quick read on the Road to Halloween, Dr. Strange, Surgeon Supreme is worth checking out STAT!