Doctor Strange #385
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
One of the prevailing themes with magic in the Marvel Universe is that all magic comes at a cost. Loki, as the new Sorcerer Supreme, believes that his god-like status makes him immune to that doctrine. Former Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange has decided to actively flout that cost as he attempts to stop Loki from discovering The Exile of Singhsoon, a spell that will transfer all of the world’s magic to a single user. He also hasn’t taken into account that hiding that spell in the soul of his friend Zelma, who has been growing closer to Loki in Stephen’s absence.
In the midst of their battle, the monstrous Void was released and has taken possession of Stephen’s body. Loki finds out the truth and more importantly, so does Zelma. In order to defeat the Void, Loki has to take possession of the spell and when he does, Loki surprises everyone again by freeing Strange and giving him back his power. He commits another act that fixes a problem rather than make it worse and Stephen is impressed as the two of them work to contain Void along with Sentry.
In the aftermath of the battle, Zelma finds purchase as she forces Loki to make a huge confession. Sentry confronts Stephen about the mountain of lies that he has been sitting on and Loki does what he does to try to stay out of trouble. There may not be huge Earth-shattering costs to what Loki and Stephen have done, but there are some interpersonal costs that can be just as important and I think they are going to learn that very soon.
I liked the way this arc ended. Not only was it handled with care, but it was executed to be both visually and in narrative context satisfying. Donny Cates’ dialogue was refreshing and every character was given some fun moments, especially Loki. Walta’s art was really good. His visual style really suits the character and his power set and the details enhanced the story. Great consistent read.