Doctor Strange #10
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Butch Guice, Kevin Nowlan, Jesus Saiz, Carlos Lopez, Tom Palmer and Daniel Acuna
Letters by Cory Petit
Want to get Stephen Strange to start paying the cost for his use of magic? Hire a cosmic accountant.
In a truly dramatic move, the Ancient One is pulled from the spiritual plane and cast back on Earth. With his knowledge of magic ripped out of him, he seeks out Strange’s help before he deteriorates. Stephen must work against the clock to retrain his mentor to remember the magic stolen from him. It’s a bittersweet moment between the two of them and one that forces Stephen to look for who is responsible.
His journey takes him to an unlikely plane of existence that resembles an accountants office and the man in charge has been waiting for the Doctor to put things together. The accountant has a series of revelations for Strange leading back to when the sorcerer lost his connection to magic. Rather than humbling Strange, Stephen’s space journey to learn more about magic has incurred a bigger cost. One that now needs to be paid.
Stephen has to take action when the accountant reveals that the Ancient One not the only target of his attacks. Strange confronts the accountant and discovers that the accountant is not who he appears to be as well as one of the entities Stephen owes has come to Earth to collect.
Mark Waid is great as showing that the all-powerful Sorcerer Supreme has his own unique set of problems. This story and the other short ones in this issue show that, despite his persona, Strange is still a flawed, arrogant work in progress. Both the plot and the dialogue reveal an expanding and ever-changing world for the character that allow for varied and interesting stories to be told. It is a sublimely clever and entertaining issue with interesting twists and a great climax.
The art is beautifully done across the board. There are panels that evoke some of the best visual moments from the history of the character and the art in the main story in brilliantly detailed.