There’s a scene on the first page of this issue that will indicate if you’ll like this comic. In it, Doctor Strange has gone shopping at his local Pathmart store, which I gather is a supermarket on the East Coast [EDITOR’S NOTE: “Pathmart” indeed alludes to the “real” East Coast supermarket chain “Pathmark”]. Doc Strange stands outside the market in full superhero regalia, wearing reading classes, ticking items off a shopping list: “forty pounds of fresh meat. (beef, not pork.) Forty-five points of ribs and other assorted bone.” Meanwhile, his servant Wong follows Doc around, dutifully helping out his master.
If that scene strikes you as amusing, you’ll probably enjoy this issue. The entire issue is filled with slapstick scenes like this one. In other scenes, Scott Lang, Ant-Man, happily spends his afterlife fighting monsters in the carpet, and the old Golden Age hero the Whizzer keeps himself busy playing with his model soldiers. The funniest scene comes out of a bit of accidental racism, which is a clever satire of America’s way of dealing with racism these days.
It’s all very silly and light and amusing. When he’s in his satirical mode, Peter Milligan wonderfully presents a just slightly off-kilter Marvel Universe. And the art by Dragotta and Allred maintains Allred’s wonderfully traditional yet fresh look at the characters he shows. I especially like the way he channels Marie Severin’s rendition of Doc Strange.
I liked this comic a lot, but your mileage may vary. If you take the Marvel Universe seriously, this is not the comic for you. But if you like the idea of Doctor Strange buying false teeth, you’ll love this one.