Graphic Novel Review: Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme: Time After Time

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme: Time After Time

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme: Time After Time - Credit: Archant

Could this be one of the greatest Doctor Strange series of all time?

(Panini Books)

The time-twisted team-up of arch mages from across the centuries reaches a spectacular conclusion in this second volume, including some of the most innovative story-telling devices of recent years.

Any series which includes a journey through the pages of a book as one of its key instalments before wrapping up the run with a proper wide-screen edition is showing there are still mainstream creators out there who aren’t afraid to take risks.

Writer Robbie Thompson and artists Javier Rodriguez and Nathan Stockman are obviously having fun with the various quirks they have introduced into this series, and yet they also understand the importance of good storytelling, as no amount of clever tricks can outweigh the importance of characterisation and narrative.

Picking up from the cliffhanger of the preceding volume, we find Strange and his compatriots – Sorcerers Supreme from various eras of history – betrayed by one of their own and facing a battle to protect reality itself…

The line-up of the team is inspired, including a youthful Ancient One, a future version of Young Avenger Wiccan and a 19th century host of the Spirit of Vengeance, each bringing with them a sense of wider Marvel history and their roles as the magical defenders of their day.

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Although this series proved unfortunately short-lived, there was definitely the potential to meet the Sorcerers Supreme from other points in the timeline, and hopefully this isn’t the last time we meet the master mages of other centuries.

The recent renaissance of Doctor Strange might have begun with Jason Aaron and Chris Bachelo’s take on the character in his own book, but it is really cemented in this title, which reveals how their new twist on the character fits in among his peers and predecessors. An exceptional book which will be sadly missed.