Death in comic books, as I know I’ve written previously, is never permanent, and that’s why I never get my Eye of Agaoatto in a tizzy when a prime Marvel character gets killed off. Like Arnold Schwarzenneger, they’ll be back, so it’s fun to see what sorts of stories creators come up with in the absence of certain heroes.
Such is the case with Strange Volume 1: I Belong To Death, the new collection of the first five issues of the new Strange series written by Jed MacKay and illustrated by Marcelo Ferreira. The Strange in question isn’t the good doctor, Stephen; instead, it’s his longtime love Clea, who has taken on the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme following the doctor’s recent demise.
Here’s the logline: Doctor Strange is dead – long live the Sorcerer Supreme! Or should we say…Sorceress? Haunted by her recently returned memories, Clea longs to bring Stephen Strange back from the grave. But when a dangerous group targets Earth, she must rise to the task of being the planet’s sole defender against otherworldly magical threats! Clea comes face-to-face with the mysterious Harvestman as they both face off against a familiar undead foe – and finds herself caught in the middle when mortals target monsters! But just as Clea begins to uncover ways to bring Stephen Strange back to life, another impossible assault upon the magical realm rears its head. Clea must face her wicked mom Umar, the dark Shadow Knight and a small army of reanimated heroes and villains! Luckily, Clea is not just any Sorcerer Supreme…she is a warlord!
Strange Volume 1: I Belong To Death makes for great reading during spooky season, as it brings together monsters and the subtle machinations of Death, as Clea Strange becomes determined to find away to bring Doctor Strange himself back to life. I love this particular aspect of MacKay’s story; when Clea discusses her plan with Wong, she casually notes how the heroes always comes back to life, so it should be no different for Stephen to as well. She’s so right, and her determination is a big piece of these first five issues, even though she’s warned about doing no such thing by the Harvestman. Why can’t Strange return from the dead??
Strange Volume 1: I Belong To Death is a definite splatfest, with lots of demon dismemberments, and it’s a fun introduction for those of us who may have been unfamiliar with Clea prior to The Death of Doctor Strange event (or even her post-credits appearance in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness). The character is definitely strong enough to carry her own book, and I’m keen to see where this series goes next.