I’m going to be honest, I had no real intention of collecting this series at all. All but 2 of the characters were unknown to me and the prospect of a magical Avengers-like team wasn’t really that appealing (Which, with hindsight, is a bit weird considering my love for Doctor Strange). Moreover, with this title being run by a completely different creative team, I had my doubts that it would be as brilliant as the solo Doctor Strange title. I can only say that my doubts have been well and truly squashed and, moreover, by the first issue!
The basic premise of the title is that Sorcerers Supreme have been brought together from their different eras of time to take down major magical threats. The main man behind this is Merlin, perhaps one of the best known magicians in fiction. The team is composed of: Doctor Strange (If you hadn’t already guessed), Merlin, The Not-so Ancient One, Kushala (Ghost Rider from the 1800s), Nina the Conjurer, Wiccan, Sir Isaac Newton and his Mindful One.
The issue opens in the year 507 AD in Time’s Forgotten Hollow, England. Merlin is, against the wishes of King Arthur, imprisoning a man working with some dark force when his apprentice (Bohra) attacks him. It is revealed that Bohra is in fact working against Merlin and the King with the same dark force. Bohra and the other man are imprisoned in a magical cell. The focus then jumps to present day New York City where Doctor Strange is fighting Q’uvin the Malevolent (If nothing else, the names are fantastic). Still weakened by the Empirikul and his acolytes (Which was very much addressed and appreciated, thank heavens) he is trying desperately to take down the tentacled terror when Merlin arrives and makes short work of the beast. They then go through the Backroads of Time where Merlin explains the severity of the situation to Doctor Strange. They arrive to see several sorcerers fighting rather terrifying banshees. Doctor Strange joins the fray, his axe being the only effective weapon at his disposal. After defeating the weird banshees, Kushala senses a disturbance in the ground. From it emerges the Forgotten, a rather terrifying creature who, upon review, reminds me of one of the poorly formed Doppelgangers from the terrifying Doctor Who 2 part episode (Brrr). The Sorcerers Supreme do all they can to stop the Forgotten. For Merlin, however, it is too late. He dies in the arms of Doctor Strange… The issue ends with the magical cell door handle covered in blood. Doors are Magic.
Wowzer. For an opening issue I was blown away at just how good it was. Robbie Thompson’s writing is on par with that of Jason Aaron which not only appreciates the atmosphere of Doctor Strange but expands it. The team, despite my initial thoughts, make for an excellent array of characters. The strong presence of new characters is also great and they are a delight to see in action.
All I have left to say is that I can’t wait to see where this series is headed. It has shown the vast amount of potential it has in just one issue (For me, anyway) and I imagine that it is only going to get better from here. If you have any thoughts or questions then please leave them in the comments.