Written by Jason Aaron
Drawn by Kevin Nowlan & Leonardo Romero
Colored by Kevin Nowlan & Jordie Bellaire
Dr. Strange has survived the Emprikul and this is the aftermath. Well, that and he's getting a brand new origin. Okay, that's not fair. It's really just an update of his origin, bringing it into the modern era. Which will no doubt be wiped away by some summer Earth shattering event by Marvel next year. Don't look so surprised.
In this new origin tale, Doctor Strange has lost the use of his hands (as the norm) and tries some Mutant Growth Hormone to get them back, which he considers his last chance to get them back to tip top form. But he sadly overdoses. He has no one to blame but himself. Well, that and Grant Morrison, cause he created the stuff in the pages of New X-Men. While Strange is od'ing, the dealers who sold it to him toss his ass into a dumpster. Just like in real life.
The Ancient One shows up in Astro form and restarts Strange's heart. This allows Dr. Strange to see a sign for Roxxon air to visit Tibet. Fancy that. At least Aaron has the ability to inject a little bit of continuity into his work. Something that is sorely lacking in the current crop of Marvel titles.
Spliced in the issue is how the magic is mostly gone from our world and Doctor Strange is trying to bring it back. The old spells that
were given to him by the Ancient One just ain't working anymore. So he goes back to basics and has to create some new ones. Which, I guess, makes him the new Ancient One? Modern One? I don't know. But, hey, Zelma Stanton is now a regular character and is the new librarian of Doc Strange's new magical library. Meta.
The ending is a cliffhanger, because just when you think Doc Strange can go and relax from work on bringing back all the magic that was lost, Baron Mordo is back. Just in time for the movie of Doctor Strange from Disney. But it was cool to see Kevin Nowlan illustrate the flashback. I've always been a big fan of his work since I saw him drawn Batman when I was a kid. Newcomer Leonardo Romero has a quirky style that reminds me of Marcos Martin. It's easy to see how he got the gig. But I'm not complaining. My tip of my hat to him. It was bright and inventive, especially how he showcased the astral world that Doctor Strange inhabits. Kudos to the whole creative team.