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Doctor Strange Prelude #1 Review!

Jondee here at Kamar-Taj,

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The Marvel prelude comics, written by Will Corona Pilgrim (and Fred Van Lente) bring readers and MCU fans up to date, but no big spoilers before the films. Still, potential spoilers! The film by Scott Derrickson is set for release on November 4th. This issue, Doctor Strange Prelude #1, features the photo of Benedict Cumberbatch as Strange bringing mystic power for a blast. The interior art is by Jorge Fornes. It opens at the British Museum, the crowds are a bit much, mostly people are inside, brilliant museum. A woman in a robe with a staff is confronted by a bald man in monk-like robes. She raises her staff and the man is overwhelmed by the mystic forces. The woman mentions something about being “cast into the shadows.” This ends with smoke making a strange sound, “Ssssssombra.” Looking up the word, it looks like it means “shadow.” The man is meditating over the conflict and he is introduced as Wong, “Master of the Mystic Arts.” This is the character played by Benedict Wong from The Martian, but I know him best as Prime in IT Crowd. Wong is the servant of Doctor Strange, but he has been upgraded here as a sorcerer. This is the location in the Himalayan mountains that is the home of the Ancient One. There he sees another Master of the Mystic Arts, Kaecilius, the character played by Mads Mikkelsen. In the comics, he is the disciple of Baron Mordo introduced in Strange Tales #130 (1965). He has contempt for Wong failing to take care of the woman and retrieve the staff.

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They are joined by two other Masters of the Mystic Arts, Daniel Drumm, otherwise known as Brother Voodoo, and Tina Minoru, a mysterious character introduced in Runaways #1 (2003). These characters don’t seem to be in the Doctor Strange film. Kaecilius transports away, I’m not sure exactly what is happening here, he’s spinning something and there’s a Whoosh Whoosh, then a Krackle, turning into energy? Next, we get the Shard in London, a massive structure on the London Bridge. The woman sorcerer is there and Kaecilius appears from a circular portal. He has an ancient blade what looks like a kurri and they fight with purple mystic energy. I’m not certain exactly what happens some sound effects and swinging weapons, but Kaecilius is wakened by Wong. He suggests that they work together, a Mystic Avengers. The mysterious woman is now at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich overlooking the Thames. In a splash page, the sorceress leaps up and activates her staff over the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Again, not certain what is happening, staves hit, a closeup of the staff hitting Kaecilius’ jaw, confusing. The Masters combine their powers and the woman screams. Again, she fights each of the Masters with the strange, red, circular closeup. The staff is overloaded with energy and Wong knocks it out of her hand to Kaecilius. He and Wong bring the staff to the Sanctum Santorum in New York, Doctor Strange’s headquarters in the comics, with Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation in the back case. I like the focus on London, but it is never explained. I’m not certain how the magic is supposed to work, but there is no Stan Lee phrases in casting the spells, “By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!” The art is confusing, but the story sets up a few of the mystic characters. Three Eyes of Agamotto out of Five!