The Absurd Praise for Marvel’s “Death of Doctor Strange” Event


Newsarama’s written very unobjectively about the oh-so fantastic death of Stephen Strange, and who the culprit is in the 4th installment of the tale:


It was Kaecilius, in Marvel Comics a disciple of Baron Mordo, who up until the first pages of the new issue was the main suspect.

If you’re not a hardcore Marvel Comics reader and you’re thinking to yourself that name sounds familiar, it’s because Kaecilius was (loosely) adapted (and as a result elevated) as the main villain in 2016’s Doctor Strange film, played by Mads Mikkelsen.

Created in 1965 in Strange Tales #130 by none other than Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, despite his pedigree Kaecilius has been something of a minor Doctor Strange villain, more nuisance than genuine threat.

In fact, his motivations for killing Strange and purposely framing his master-mentor Baron Mordo for the murder goes all the way back to 1982’s Doctor Strange #56 storyline in which Kaecilius and some cohorts are routinely banished by Strange to the Purple Dimension, a pocket universe of “cruelty and suffering” also created by Lee and Ditko.



And we’re supposed to find this impressive why? This is just so pathetic. And look where Kaecilius first resurfaced, not too long ago:


To give you a sense of how minor a comic book character Kaecilius was despite his big-screen profile, after his 1982 banishment, he didn’t return from the Purple Dimension until a 2020 storyline in Valkyrie: Jane Foster, a virtual eternity in comic book time.

But with Clea needing her our rogues’ gallery of mystical villains now that she’s graduating to series star for the first time in her history, it’ll be interesting to see if given his MCU profile Kaecilius is elevated to a more significant threat.


Oh, I see. One of the comics built on SJW themes of recent, which Jason Aaron was a leading engineer for. And here’s the problem they won’t acknowledge: Clea graduates to star of the Doctor Strange title itself at Stephen Strange’s expense. All without establishing her going in pursuit of her own legacy. I’m sorry, but all we have here, if anything, is another modern artistic failure, and even if Stephen’s demise is only temporary, the news writer shows no disappointment the Sorceror Supreme’s been put in afterlife limbo. Making you wonder if he’s really a fan of Lee/Ditko’s creation.


Even Adventures in Poor Taste took a sugarcoated view of this cliched tactic:


The Death of Doctor Strange has been an exciting take on the death trope for superhero comics. Jed MacKay has got Doctor Strange of the past investigating his own death, but he only has a week to figure things out. Meanwhile, new threats hang over Earth and something must be done or we’re all in big trouble. Just your usual mini-event from Marvel Comics.

[…] As far as the big reveal, this issue doesn’t disappoint. Not only does it make sense who killed Dr. Strange, but it makes sense for this story. It actually makes Dr. Strange look better too since he couldn’t avoid it, not knowing who or why would take him out. With so much focus on the big reveal, there’s less buildup for the cliffhanger, making it feel a bit dropped in and out of nowhere. Regardless, the showdown will be entertaining.

The Death of Doctor Strange #4 sets up a final issue with satisfying reveals and plenty of entertaining detective work. It’s a suspenseful bit of procedural drama as the finale looms large.


And I guess it makes sense to just cynically kill off Stephen Strange, because he’s a white guy whose racial background has rendered him obsolete, right? Fascinating how they acknowledge the very problem with this tale: it’s an “event”, resulting in nothing more than 15 minutes of fame that don’t lead to long lasting sales. Why do they even think Stephen looks better if he couldn’t keep himself from being murdered? There were plenty of times in past stories where he was vulnerable to villains’ weapons, so what’s their boring point? This is not satisfying so much as it’s revolting. And they have the gall to make it sound as though the “trope” is a great one. Absolutely not.


What business does AIPT have writing about these famous products if they have no appreciation for them, and all the hard efforts Lee took to create them? This is exactly why Marvel and DC are able to get away with these repellent stunts: because these apologists will never object to their reprehensible tactics.


Originally published here.

Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1