Doctor Strange has always been a fascinating character. His dealings with Marvel’s magical menaces are trippy, bombastic, and impressive. But in Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa, the good doctor faces much more than that. In this book, Strange must face himself.
With a script by J.M. Dematteis and beautiful painted art by Dan Green, Into Shamballa takes us on a trip (in more ways than one) on a journey of Strange’s self-discovery. Far from a typical superhero tale, Into Shamballa follows Stephen Strange on a pilgrimage into the Himalayas to honor the late Ancient One and his subsequent journey to enlightenment.
The second-person perspective this book takes is certainly not something done often in superhero comics, and it puts you firmly into Stephen’s shoes. The book reads more like a story book than a comic, and while the approach is interesting, it may be a turnoff for some.
But what I think we can all agree on is Dan Green’s amazing artwork. The paintings all throughout the book evoke a dreamlike quality not unlike what you’d see in a Sandman book. Every page, every small detail feels like it just breezes through you yet feels so real as if in a dream.
While those looking for more straightforward actiony Doctor Strange stories are better suited reading Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s excellent The Oath or Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s current Doctor Strange run, Into Shamballa offers something different for those looking for a weighty read. This is a book that’ll make you think and maybe do a little self-reflection after putting it down. It’s well worth a read.