Want to know who Doctor Strange is and what makes him interesting? Well, writer Frank J. Barbiere has you covered with this latest issue. Focusing purely on Stephen Strange, Babiere takes us on a dark tale which does an effective job jumping between the past and present. Not only is there a strong parallel in both stories, but the contrast primarily exists to give us a great insight into the Sorcer Supreme's mind. This spotlight offers a terrific focus on the Marvel character and successfully showcases just how much he has changed over the years. It's a quick and effective way to learn about his mentality -- it almost feels like "Doctor Strange 101" but without blatant exposition.
This character study also hits us with what is quite possibly the most unique and immersive action sequence you'll see this week. Witnessing Strange unleash his abilities is simply epic and likely going to be pure bliss for big fans of the character. And the way artist Marco Rudy brings it all to life? It's extraordinary, but we'll get to praising him in the next paragraph! Even when abilities aren't on display, we're treated to a narrative that never loses its grip on your attention. It may not be the most unique plot around and you'll see one moment coming a mile away, but it's still able to get the point across quite well and always kept me engaged.
Marco Rudy's artwork is brilliant. Literally every single page is marvelous and kept me awestruck. I have no idea how he's capable of putting so much creativity and stunning artwork on every page, but I'm more than happy to appreciate it and all of the spectacular layouts he creates. This is a visual journey like no other -- which is very fitting for Doctor Strange -- and Rudy was constantly delivering new ways to drop my jaw. Everything from a grand fight between Doctor Strange and a Demon to someone kissing a loved one on the head is presented with so much talent and raw emotion. I just can't praise it enough.
The story in the past doesn't pack as strong of an emotional punch as it could have, but that's a pretty minor gripe.
NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 costs $4.99 and it's well worth every single penny. And the best part of it all? It's 100% new reader friendly. You can go into this issue with absolutely zero knowledge of the current NEW AVENGERS volume or Doctor Strange and you'll never feel left in the dark. It's a great spotlight on the mystical character and it has legitimately phenomenal artwork on each and every page. Seriously, you don't need to be a fan of Stephen Strange to fall in love with this issue