Compared to the previous volume (The Last Days of Magic), Blood in the Aether is a whole lot of fun.* It’s a veritable smorgasbord of familiar faces any Strange fan would love to punch–Baron Mordo, Dormammu, Satana, Night-fricking-mare, and of course, last volume’s standout baddie, Misery**. Stephen goes through a number of funny scenarios–nightmare in a mansion with a group of bimbos, a trip to the latest Marvel hell which involves him eating bacon and nearly dying (you read that right) and so being forced to play Satana’s MC. That one had me grinning, I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Then, there was this…eye? I think I might’ve hallucinated that part, because the eye kept wanting to watch people do horrible things, and it was all connected to Uatu the Watcher somehow and maybe someone slipped me a bit of LSD, I’m not high, you’re high.
Entertaining enough cliffhanger Aaron finishes this one at. I’ll pick the fourth volume up if I find it among the stacks of comics in my library, but I don’t want to give money for this run. It has not, in my eyes, earned that–though, needless to say, if you’ve enjoyed it, if you find it does things you care for, all the power for you. I’m envious, really.
I still feel like I’m reading a Tony-Stark-starring-as-Stephen-Strange story, which is perhaps the greatest issue I have with this run. I don’t identify this Strange closely enough with the character I so enjoy reading about, which is–a great pity. The good news is, I found the colourist who did Bachalo’s art to have done a far better job than was present in the last issue. I also enjoyed Nowlan and Romero’s art on issue #11.
*By “a whole lot of fun,” I mean, it did not bore me.
**By standout baddie here, I mean mildly intriguing.