Doctor Strange: Damnation #4
Written by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer
Art by Rod Reis
Letters by Travis Lanham
Wong’s forces continue to fight their way through the city of Las Vegas, losing ground along the way as the possessed Avengers and hordes of demons stand in their way. Unfortunately, Johnny Blaze has been killed by Mephisto, changing Wong’s plans to stop the demon. When Mephisto confronts Wong and his Midnight Sons about the former servants failure to stop him, he gets more than he bargained for when the possessed Avengers turn on their master and attack Mephisto, taking him completely by surprise.
It turns out that Wong had an ace up his sleeve the entire time and his plan to stop Mephisto is brilliant in both its planning and execution. So brilliant that it requires an entire one shot issue to lay it out (read Ghost Rider: Johnny Blaze #1 to find out what the plan entails). Needless to say, the demon is taken off guard at this new prospect, but he’s never truly without resources as he tries to escape to hell to find out what has happened. What follows is another part of Wong’s plan that no one saw coming and an epic conclusion to this story.
The conclusion of Damnation works across the board for me. It satisfies the need for both spectacle and character growth as Strange realizes that he couldn’t do anything alone and Wong trying to make him see that he never really is alone. It’s a little sappy, but it works in the sense of what Strange needs to realize going forward as the Sorcerer Supreme. Cates and Spencer give the character a chance to evolve in his understanding and that informs the rest of the issue as well. Reis’ art is amazing with some great panels with Strange and Mephisto confronting each other. A satisfying conclusion to a decent event.