What was once intended to be the penultimate issue for Rick Remender’s first story arc featuring the new Sorcerer Supreme in all of his bad-assery has become the penultimate issue for the series that has been cut short with next month’s issue #5, which is set up as a battle royale between the real and the unreal, with strange alliances forged between foes who battled in this same title mere months ago.
Palo and Vitti provide the jittery visuals for this issue. Their work is reminiscent of Mike Mignola from way back when Mignola was drawing mystics of the Marvel Universe, but the reminiscence is not overpowering. The artwork is distinctly offbeat from most other comics today, and perhaps this style plays against a title such as this gaining further notice. I am not saying the art is bad; it just isn’t Marvel’s “house style” right now. It is, however, perfectly suited for a story that takes place in the shadows of shadows, in the realms of the unreal and imagined.
The cameos from many of the Marvel mainstays are nice vignettes into characters that normally would not cross paths with one such as Doctor Voodoo, and they help to sew this comic into the greater tapestry of the Marvel Universe. It’s a shame that it wasn’t given a longer go to entrench itself further into the comic stands and the pull lists of comic readers.
Given that the end is near for this book, I find it interesting that the story seems to be nicely timed with the expiration of the title. Remender ties Nightmare’s plot into the curse of despair and self-doubt that has long plagued Jericho Drumm, and in doing so sets up a tidy bow to be placed upon the package that was “Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural.”
While this title was originally intended to be an ongoing, perhaps this will give Marvel impetus to figure out how to handle comics starring magical characters. All the pieces seemed to be in place for this book to succeed, from an up-and-coming writer to a tie-in with Marvel’s most successful current brand. It’s a shame that Remender wasn’t really given a chance to make this book shine. Unfortunately for fans of this character as well as the former Sorcerer Supreme, a title folding this quickly probably also bodes poorly for future endeavors in this direction. There is, however, one issue left. That issue promises to be a doozy, giving readers one last chance to celebrate with the Houngan Supreme.