There are a lot of events happening right now in the world of Marvel Comics. X-Men fans have Inferno keeping them busy, the final books from Jonathan Hickman’s revamp of our favourite mutants. You can read about the first issue here, and take my word for it, the second instalment keeps things moving, charting a course for serious conflict between different X-factions (can I copyright that term, I don’t think there’s ever been a book using it, has there?)
There’s also The Death of Doctor Strange mini-series running, which is as promises, dealing in the matter of Stephen Strange’s actual demise. The fallout is being felt amongst a series of one-off titles, two of which were just released and that work together to highlight the repercussions of the good doctor’s death.
The Death of Doctor Strange: Strange Academy #1, written by Skottie Young and illustrated by Mike Del Mundo explores what happens when the school run in Strange’s name has to shut down for an indefinite time following his death. The various students have to vacate the premises, with the main focus of the book on Iric and Alvi, whose mother happens to the the evil Asgardian, the Enchantress. There’s a great joke throughout the book where the Enchantress has to constantly explain that, yes, she had sold the souls of her unborn children for various reasons over the years, mainly because she never planned on having kids in the first place. It’s a light touch in a story that’s really about family, as the Enchantress and her son Iric visit Weirdworld to track down the kidnapped Alvi.
I haven’t been keeping up with the ongoing Strange Academy series, so I don’t have much insight to any of the students (the remainder of whom appear in a series of one pagers following the main story), but Skottie Young has crafted an easily accessible standalone that left me curious as to what will happen at the Academy in the wake of Doctor’s Strange’s death.
The Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers #1 is a bit larger in scope, as it finds the team battling a mystical attack from what appears to be a group of Juggernauts. I really enjoyed this issue. Writer Alex Paknadel does an excellent job managing the various voices that make up the Avengers, while artist Ryan Bodenheim’s work is simply gorgeous. In what I hope the artist takes a compliment, I couldn’t help but think of the work of Mike Allred while reading The Death of Doctor Strange: Avengers #1 Bodenheim’s style has the same fun, kinetic style that Allred’s possesses, and this title left me wanting to track down more of his work.
While I wouldn’t call either of these titles absolutely essential to the ongoing Death of Doctor Strange miniseries, both do good jobs showing how Strange’s death reverberates with other characters, while also standing out as fun one-off stories.