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Mystic Punishment

The Sorcerer Supreme Teams with the One Man War on Crime

Doctor Strange and The Punisher are two fan favorite Marvel characters that have little to nothing in common, making them perfect for a team-up. And Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1 delivers the best of both characters in a kinetic and incredibly fun story.

It opens on Frank Castle and Stephen Strange going about their normal routines. Frank is killing gangsters and Stephen is confronting a demon from another dimension. So, what leads the Punisher to the door of the Sanctum Santorum? And why does he need Doctor Strange’s help?

As it turns out one of New York’s restaurants is a front for the mob and that in turn is a front for occult activity. When The Punisher stumbles onto the establishment filled with evil spirits he has no choice but to turn to the Sorcerer Supreme. Doctor Strange being first and foremost a healer does not exactly jump at the chance to team up with the violent vigilante.

The Odd Coupling

It’s the mismatched moral codes of these characters that makes the book so engaging. The Punisher is a shoot first, second, and third kind of guy. And Doctor Strange is, well, a doctor. Seeing Frank try to give Strange a gun or Strange creating an energy shield to protect them both from an explosion is a thrill.

The first issue does a great job establishing the basis for their working relationship. And the ebb and flow of their relationship should continue to evolve over the course of the series. Those following Doctor Strange’s solo book know he’s been significantly depowered following The Last Days of Magic arc. That means he must defer to The Punisher in most combat scenarios–even though he abhors Frank’s brutal tactics.

It’ll be fun to see this odd couple continue to work together through this mini series and fans of both characters will get plenty of great moments.


Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1, Marvel Comics, Released December 14, 2016, Written by John Barber, Art by Andrea Broccardo,  $4.99

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Written by John Campbell

John has been in love with comics since he was first given an issue of "Swamp Thing" at way too young an age. He can be heard every week on the podcast "Panel on Panels" discussing all things comics and comics related. He is also a filmmaker and actor who can be seen performing in shows around the Portland area.