Based in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), this two part Prelude Comic Book Limited Series informs us on the events prior to the upcoming movie, Doctor Strange:
The first issue maintains focus on Wong and Kaecilius and the second features The Ancient One and Karl Mordo.
Minor spoilers follow:
We jump into the story at a time where Kaecilius is still a “good guy” who works with Wong to stop an unruly amateur who has gotten hold of a powerful relic. Although Kaecilius is still on the side of good, you can see the animosity between him and Wong. Side note: I love this version of Wong. The same way that Jarvis in the MCU was an A.I. instead of a butler, (most likely to avoid comparison’s to Batman’s Alfred) Wong is no tea making servant. Wong is referred to as a “Master of the Mystic Arts” and displays a sense of courage and wisdom. I have been rooting for the MCU version of this character to impress and it looks like I (hopefully) won’t be let down. Kaecilius and Wong team up with Daniel Drumm and Tina Minoru to track down the “Unknown Relic” that was stolen. The combined efforts of the team allow them subdue the theif and retrieve the relic. Once the stolen relic is back in good hands, we get a tease of the Sanctum Santorum and the collection of relics Wong oversees.
The issue opens with The Ancient One and Mordo involved in a standoff with The Dragon Raiders. Note that Mordo is referred to as a “Master of the Mystic Arts” the way Wong and Kaecilius were in issue one, and The Ancient One is referred to as “Sorcerer Supreme“. We flash to Kamar-Taj where The Ancient One mentors her students. Here we get a feel of what the Ancient One is going to be like in the MCU. The proverbial elephant in the room is the fact that the character was gender and race swapped from the source material. This tends to be a lose-lose scenario when dealing with this character: Stick to source and be accused of stereotyping, or change the race and be accused of erasure. Having said that, the rest of the cast appears to ge diverse, and I continue to hope for the best. The rest of issue two continues the trend of Masters of the Mystic Arts retrieving ancient relics that have fallen into the wrong hands. We see how powerful the Ancient One is, but also get a sense of her compassion. Mordo, sadly gets sidelined in favor of impressing us with the Ancient One, but he does get a few cool moments in, and doesn’t appear to have a villianous streak in him like his Comic Book version. Once again, the relic is retrieved and stored at the Sanctum Santorum.
Just when you thought the Prelude Comic was over, you are informed that there will be a Doctor Strange Infinite Comic Prelude that will go further into Kaecelius’ knowledge of the Mystic Arts.
As much as I enjoyed the comic Prelude, and I truly am excited fo the movie, I can’t help but paraphrase another Doctor from Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcom: “Now eventually you might have Doctor Strange in your, in your Doctor Strange Comic Book, right? Hello? yes?” I’m just kidding! I do understand that these are the events leading up to his origin story, but it is kinda funny he’s nowhere to ge seen. Having said that, it is interesting to see some backstory on the other characters that will populate the world of Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.