From the House of Ideas: “The Death of Doctor Strange” concludes + “Devil’s Reign” tie-ins enhance narratives

In this week’s column, I’m going to throw out some quick hits, as there are some solid books coming out of the House of Ideas that I want to shine a light on:

The Death of Doctor Strange #5 wrapped up the mini-series in fine form, with the good Doctor’s killer (Kacelius, best known from the first Doctor Strange film) getting his just deserts and allowing the late Stephen Strange to die…again, while also passing on the mantle of Sorceror Supreme. I read most of the tie-ins to this Marvel Event, and I definitely think all the creators involved managed to demonstrate in their various issues just how essential Doctor Strange was to keeping Earth safe from the magical monsters across multiple dimensions (come on, that’s some solid illteration right there). This being comics, we know at some point Stephen Strange will return to the land of living, but in the meantime it will be fun to see how the world does without him in it.

The other big Marvel Event going on right now is Devil’s Reign, which finds Mayor Wilson Fisk implementing an anti-hero law outlawing vigilantes, with his own group of Thunderbolts working to keep law and order in New York City. This series comes out of Chip Zdarsky’s outstanding and ongoing Daredevil series, and just like The Death of Doctor Strange tie-ins, the various books working alongside the main mini-series are excelling at building out the larger narrative.

Devil’s Reign: Villains For Hire from writer Clay McLeod Chapman, released a few weeks ago, put the spotlight on Fisk’s Thunderbolts, and was a bloody fun read of villains causing havoc with impunity. Both that title and this past week’s Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier are excellent examples of tie-ins enriching Devil’s Reign, as we find the lone world Bucky Barnes breaking into Wilson Fisk’s mayoral mansion to steal back files that identify Buck’s now forgotten past.

In Devil’s Reign: Winter Soldier, writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing do a strong job of exploring the morality of the Winter Solider at this point, especially when he has to make a decision whether or not to lend the heroes the proverbial hand. It’s worth noting that, if like me, you haven’t kept up with the comings and goings of the Winter Soldier, you might be a little lost as to who he is right now, but Kelly and Lanzing fill in enough of the blanks and the story moves quick enough that you’re able to just go with it.

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