Doctor Strange: The Oath (2006) #4

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Vaughan gets back on track this issue (it probably should have been combined with the previous one, of course). There’s not as much palpable charm, but Vaughan makes up for it with the return of Strange’s overconfidence.

It turns out—spoiler alert—the overconfidence is somewhat warranted (though Vaughan does play pretty loose with what Strange can and can not do against the series’s villains) and there are some great scenes. So great, Vaughan has to rely on a particular harsh, hard cliffhanger.

The issue moves so well, it hides the lack of actual content. There’s a little more flirting between Strange and Night Nurse, but not exactly character development. Wong has a handful of lines, but he’s sort just used as a sickly narrative device.

Vaughan does return some of it to Strange’s past, but really just as filler. He doesn’t need it, the issue’s excellent without the retcon.

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