Doctor Strange #386 review
Doctor Strange has been through hell the past year or so, starting with Jason Aaron’s run and Donny Cates, joined this arc by artist Niko Henrichon, hasn’t been any kinder to him either. But even with just Cates run itself, Strange has been put through so much hell in such a short time, and, in return, has made horrible decisions because of this. In Damnation, the event this story ties into, he makes probably his worst decision yet, resurrecting a city that’s been destroyed, along with all the people in it. But as readers have learned, all magic has a price to pay, and it seems that the bigger the magic, the bigger the price.
This issue mostly takes place before and after Strange resurrects Las Vegas in Damnation #1. The issue starts with the lead up to his act and why he believes he has to do it. Strange is worn out, seems stressed and exhausted and, therefore, keeps making horribly decision after horrible decision, something that gets brought up by his newly resurrected pal, Bats. Cates hasn’t been telling traditional Doctor Strange stories, he’s giving us a different take and so far it’s been working.
The bulk of the issue is Strange playing Mephisto in a card game with Las Vegas and his soul on the line. Niko's art really shines in these moments, with all the demon designs he gets to play with, and he also draws a damn good Mephisto. His gritty, messy art style is so in sync with this book. But, of course, things go wrong as one could imagine in a card game with Mephisto, and Strange gets the one thing he needed most taken from him: hope.
This issue was a solid issue: if there are any complaints, it's that the pacing is pretty slow and seems off a couple times. It’s not a very action packed issue, but mostly talking and explaining, some of which may not have necessarily needed to be explained but is anyway. This is still a great issue though.