Doctor Strange: Surgeon Supreme #1
Marvel has relaunched Doctor Strange with a new #1 subtitled Surgeon Supreme. After events of the previous series, and a deal with a demon, Dr. Strange has the use of his hands back, so that he can resume his previous life as “the world’s greatest neurosurgeon”.
He clarifies, early on, that he won’t combine his magic and his medicine, as “spellcraft requires total concentration” and he can’t multitask while operating. (Although his unique vision does allow for some impressively gnarly representations of what disease and trauma look like, as monsters hanging over their victims.) So now he’s got two high-pressure, demanding careers, which just made me feel sorry for him.
I don’t know what I thought Mark Waid and Kev Walker (co-credited as “storytellers”) would do with a Stephen Strange who can once again engage in his high-level medical career, but it wasn’t this. They do an excellent job introducing the character and situations to new readers, and I liked assistant Kermit, who has to juggle the insurance paperwork and his curiosity about his boss’ superhero career. But then the back half turns into a simple “villain attacks” battle, although the particular antagonist has apparently had a super-power-up.
I’m curious enough to see where this goes, since Waid knows the character well and has done interesting things with him previously. I’m not sure how much a superhero who’s heavily overcommitted will read as fun escapism to me, though.
Marvel has released this trailer to promote the series, in which the writer and editors talk more about their plans and goals for the comic. I’m intrigued by their ideas for the hospital setting, although their emphasis on it being horror may mean it’s not for me.