Doctor Strange #389
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Niko Henrichon
Letters by Cory Petit
Colors by Laurent Grossat
As events continue to unfold in the resurrected Las Vegas, we are given a little backstory to the events that led Mephisto to Earth and the battle he fought against his fellow demons to get there. This leaves Dormammu trapped in a nether region and the only person who can help him escape is Stephen Strange. Coincidentally, the souls of the transformed Avengers are there as well and Stephen has to decide if freeing his friends is worth freeing his greatest enemy. Unfortunately, the incoming hordes of Hell might take that choice away from him as he makes a deal with the demon to release his friends first.
Like any deal with a demon, it doesn’t go exactly as planned, but this issue isn’t about that part of the story. The rest of that story is being told in Damnation #4. This is the aftermath where Strange is having coffee with an old friend and trying to determine why he still feels alone even when surrounded by people he cares about and who care for him. It’s a good moment for character development and the character that Cates uses to give Strange advice is appropriate given the events that he just witnessed. It will be interesting to see where the story goes next.
This issue serves as a good conclusion to the events of Damnation from Strange’s perspective. It doesn’t fix all of his problems, but it allows him to find a moment to really think about whether or not he can evolve as a person with the people he cares about. The tone of this issue also allows for some great humorous moments, especially the one between Bats and Dormammu. Cates seems to have fun writing these characters and moving their journeys along. Henrichon’s art also enhances the story visually. Adding some great moments and expressions from the characters, especially Stephen.