Doctor Strange #684 Loki: Sorcerer Supreme Part 4
Between Thanos and Doctor Strange Donny Cates is absolutely hitting it out of the park with each respective issue. Doctor Strange has returned from Asgard embodied with the magic of the Yggdrassil The World Tree transforming Stephen into the God of Magic. Doctor Strange, reduced to a veterinarian, seeks retribution against Loki for the murder of his companion and the title of Sorcerer Supreme.
This issue constantly took the story to the next level in all the right ways. Maintaining a levity of humor that doesn't take away from the weight of any given scene adds a unique flavor to Cates’ run. It's obvious how much fun Cates must have had writing this issue showing how powerful everyone can be. Let's not forget The Sentry, a huge talking point for the series a couple issues back. Magic always has a price and The Sentry is there to help his friend pay the cost taking upon the task with his eyes closed, literally. At one point Loki even brings the fight to a hell dimension. Stephen simply turns the dimension into a grassy field and the demons into rabbits.
When Jason Aaron left the title last year I could not imagine who could follow his run. Cates takes what Aaron had started while bringing in concepts previously unseen to the title and pushes the envelope with a well spring of new ideas. It's hard to imagine wanting another writer on the title at this point. Cates gives every character and unique voice and makes them endearing in their own way without feeling like someone's proverbial mouthpiece.
Even as the penultimate issue of the storyline, Cates is able to fit in a great fight but also weighted moments like between Wong and Stephen before what they believe to be his final showdown. Every issue leaves you wanting more without feeling cheated. This is the kind of storyline you tell friends with passing knowledge of the universe to get them to actually read the issues.
Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s interior art creates a very specific look to this run. It's raw gritty feel adds so much weight to scenes at times. Loki’s face of desperation and anguish are shown with such deliberate care for the character. We cannot talk about art without talking about Mike Del Mundo’s awesome Doctor Strange/The Void cover once again displaying Coates’ genius translated to page.
If you hadn't guessed already from the cover, Doctor Strange merges with The Void, whom he had locked in his Sanctum Sanctorum, in hopes of defeating Loki. I cannot wait to see where Coates takes us in the following months to come, exit light and enter The Void.