Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom: Triumph and Torment

Doctor Strange has been declared the Sorcerer Supreme, but with the title comes the responsibility of aiding another sorcerer, the diabolical Doctor Doom. Luckily, Doom's request is selfless enough: rescue his mother from Hell. Roger Stern is one of the few writers to "get" what makes Doctor Strange interesting, but for a hardcover oversize original graphic novel, Triumph and Torment is a fairly lackluster event. Although the doctors face hardship, betrayal, and the devil himself, it all falls a little flat. There's just no real pathos to this story that is largely a regurgitation of both characters' origins (which seems unnecessary, as I can't imagine anyone who doesn't know something about them bothering to pick up the book). Rescuing Doom's mother should be a major event, but here the plot seems contrived and pedestrian. Stern seems to be just going through the motions. The art, too, is drab. I enjoy Mignola's distinctive style, and it's well-chosen for this tale, but it is capped off with Mark Badger's inks and colors which are all middle-range pastel. Mignola's art should be full of blacks and vibrant colors, but Badger sticks to washed out hues further subdueing the overall feel of the story. While not a torment, this book is no triumph.