Wong has an almost-heart-to-heart with Ghost Rider in a flashback. In the present, Wong’s team try to remove the flaming Mjolnir off Blade. Wong and Bats try to fend off the possessed Doctor Strange. Once the hammer returns to the possessed Thor, Wong’s team enters heated battle against the possessed Avengers. Meanwhile, the Ghost Rider goes to meet Mephisto himself.
Damnation #3 gets some points for bringing together the battle between the Ghost Rider-Avengers and Wong’s Midnight Sons for which we’ve been waiting. Unfortunately, it takes a while to get there, and it doesn’t show much of it.
That last point is likely because this is where the story is intended to split off into the tie-ins. Marvel crossovers tend to do this, because it incentivizes you to buy all the other books. It also tends to damage the crossover’s story by giving a faff-about issue somewhere in the middle where we are given a lot of build-up that has no payoff in the comic proper. Plus, it takes the odd removed/summarized storytelling style, which sucks a lot of the tension out of the battle.
That said, the comic still has some cool scenes and moments. Blade jabbing an exploding katana into Ghost Rider-Thor’s head is pretty damn awesome. Batts possessing Ghost Rider-Doctor Strange is funny. The opening giving us some insight into Wong’s mind while staging this rescue gives some emotional resonance to the story.
Szymon Kudranski’s artwork is ethereal and atmospheric, which is fitting for Damnation. It’s also light on finder detail, and that becomes distracting whenever the panel focuses in on a face. Contact between to characters and objects looks a bit odd at some angles too. However, the artwork is solid for most of the comic, and it is well suited for a mystical story like this. Dan Brown’s color art bounces between cold, faded shades and hotter, burning colors. It works well for the story, and it looks good too.
Doctor Strange: Damnation #3 is a middling entry in the end. It has its moments, but the story is painfully padded and slow to allow for the spinoff entries. I can recommend it if you’re following the story, but, if you’re just checking in to see what the story is about, I’d steer clear from this one.
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