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Graphic Novel Review: The New Avengers Vol. 11 Search for the Sorcerer Supreme by Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan, and Chris Bachalo

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Everyone knows that in the Marvel Comics universe Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, right? Well, evidently that’s changing. There have been a lot of changes in the Marvel Universe, and some of them I haven’t been too keen on. I have to admit, it took a writer as good as Ed Brubaker to convince me that maybe I needed a new Captain America. So maybe some changes will be all right.

But Doctor Strange? Come on. The guy has been an icon since practically forever. Every time I think of him, I think about the old Stan Lee stories and the Steve Ditko art.

However, Brian Michael Bendis has been known to shake things up. His take on Daredevil won me over, as much as Frank Miller’s run back when I was much younger. And the idea of the responsibility of Sorcerer Supreme dropping to…uh-uh. You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I was thoroughly taken with the idea and want to see where it goes.

In the meantime, though, The New Avengers Vol. 11 Search for the Sorcerer Supreme is a great graphic novel. There’s lots of action, lots of jokes and humor, a meal at Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’s house, and a tour of some of the supernatural heroes in the Marvel Universe that haven’t been seen in a while.

I don’t know that I was particularly taken with the portrayal of the Son of Satan, but it was a fun romp watching him explode with power while fighting demons. And Bendis’s introduction of the whole plot, the gentle scenes with Doctor Strange seeking out Wiccan of Young Avengers and trying to find out if he’s supposed to be the next Sorcerer Supreme was well done. I really enjoyed the characters and the dialogue.

When the possessed villain showed up on the scene, though, Billy Tan and Chris Bachalo’s art really seized the stage. The look, the menace, was terrifically creepy and totally blew me away. Right then and there, I wanted to see a new Doctor Strange series showing him fighting demons like that – in the urban streets as well as other dimensions. Maybe we’ll get it soon.

In the meantime, Bendis delivers a great story chockfull of characterization and a blitzkrieg of supernatural action. The one-liners and the unmasking of Spider-Man (again, since the reset button got pushed on his life, which is not something I agree with) were awesome. This is a fun book that will make you think about the possibilities, especially since the Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Universe is —

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