Strange Academy #7 Review

by Charles Martin on January 27, 2021

Strange Academy #7 Review
Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Colourist: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In this issue, Emily awakes alive and well, but is instantly furious because the same can't be said for her classmate Doyle Dormammu. Sharp flashbacks show the cosmic lengths Dr. Strange went to to save her life -- why didn't Dr. Voodoo's off-page adventures do the same for Doyle?

Now that I've relayed the basic set-up, my next priority is to address the art, which I'll do by saying: "Holy ☠️☠️☠️☠️, this comic is beautiful." 

Humberto Ramos deserves all the credit in the world for turning in a jaw-dropping set of visuals. The art is only open to the most strategic and subjective nit-picks: Are these the best blocking choices? Do you like Mr. Ramos's long-limbed, wide-mouthed character designs?

But I think that even if you disagree with the artist's high-level decisions, you have to admit that his panel-by-panel execution is impeccable. The lines are perfectly balanced between scrupulous detail and clear simplicity, with the latter quality serving well to play up Emily's youth.

Colourist Edgar Delgado contributes in a big way to this issue's artistic triumph. He busts out high-intensity colours for magic surgery and a visit to Hoggoth, but in my mind, his softer pastel work in the mundane scenes is even more impressive. When you take the time to scrutinize individual faces, you realize just how much of the emotive work is being carried by Mr. Delgado's carefully-modulated colours.

Emotion is critically important in this very personal story. Emily's really put through the wringer here. Skottie Young's script uses simple language to call forth her feelings in a natural way. The words illuminate her reactions without dipping into straight exposition. There aren't many memorable turns of phrase, but the dialogue feels consistently natural, which is harder than it looks to achieve.

When it comes to the larger story of Strange Academy, this issue clarifies some of the title's mysteries, but it replaces them with fresh questions. Looming largest is the fact that Emily is special to Dr. Strange, even beyond her magical talent. This comic doesn't explain why -- but it does a terrific job engaging the reader and getting her invested in seeking out the answer in future issues.

Strange Academy #7 wrings heavy emotions out of Emily's survival. Clear language expresses her feelings in a natural way, but the real stars of this issue are the fantastic visuals that bring her and her pain to life. This comic is plenty of fun to read, but it's even better to look at. The gorgeous art elevates the story and plays a large role in making it compelling.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
And another kudo to Mr. Ramos for throwing all that detailed magical-medical equipment into the background of Emily's hospital room.