Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

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NEILALIEN

A Doctor Strange Fansite
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Neilalien.com: not-daily linkblog
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Latest Weblog Post:

11 Is A Palindromic Number, and,
A Recusal

Please celebrate with Neilalien his 11th Blogiversary! Exclesior!

That's 1,111 in internet/weblog/dog years. You won't find a better combination of starting earlier and blogging longer in comics-blogging.

But alas, as of today, Neilalien is officially recusing himself from the news, entertainments, and expectations of the near-daily visitor to his website.

Now is a good time- 11 is a palindromic number, of course...

[25 Feb 02011: More...]

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Dr. Strange Information
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More: OriginPre-Blog Links

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Overheard in a comic con bathroom:

"We have a new character... named Dr. Strange... Twas Steve's idea."
 - Stan Lee, letter to Comic Reader #16, 23 Feb '63, as quoted in Steve Ditko's 32-Page Package v.5 Tsk! Tsk!

"Is that the Eye of Yaphet Kotto?"
- A demon, Marvel Comics Presents #20

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Creators/Publishers: Neilalien would love to help, but he does not accept free comics or review submissions.

"Do not accept for review a book you are
predisposed to dislike, or committed by
friendship to like." - John Updike


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PURPLE GEMS

Doctor Strange #9 is out! [preview]

Updating reviews as found: [Comicbook.com]

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Marvel's September 02016 solicits include a boatload of Dr. Strange; Baron Mordo and Clea! An annual! A prose novel!? A Flight of Bones TPB finally! A coloring book!?

DOCTOR STRANGE #12
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
DEFENDERS VARIANT COVER BY TBA
"BLOOD IN THE AETHER" STARTS NOW!
After the Empirikul destroyed almost all the world's magic and nearly killed Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme must try and build himself back up.
Witness the return of BARON MORDO! But what effect did the Empirikul attack have on him?!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE ANNUAL #1
KATHRYN IMMONEN & ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) LEONARDO ROMERO (A)
Cover by W. Scott Forbes
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
YOUNG VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
HIP-HOP VARIANT COVER BY THEOTIS JONES
Clea comes back into Doctor Strange's life as he's picking up the pieces from the worst beating he's ever taken.
Clea's going to make that battle look like a walk in the park.
Also in this issue... WHO ARE THE SORCERERS SUPREME?!
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VS. THE SINISTER SIX #3
Adapted by Joe Caramagna
SPIDEY -- MILES FROM HOME!
Reality is on the verge of collapse!
Doc Ock and Baron Mordo try to summon the Goblin from an alternate universe, and Spidey needs help!
Enter: Miles Morales and Doctor Strange!
But... is even the Master of the Mystic Arts skilled enough to prevent reality from collapsing?
32 PGS./All Ages $2.99

DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2: THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC PREMIERE HC
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #6-10 and DOCTOR STRANGE: LAST DAYS OF MAGIC #1.
168 PGS./Rated T+ $24.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: THE FATE OF DREAMS PROSE NOVEL HC
Written by DEVIN GRAYSON
Cover by KEVIN NOWLAN
The world is falling apart. Violent crime is surging while the global economy craters. Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, has defeated demonic hordes, battled evil wizards and tirelessly defended our realm against invading interdimensional armies. But when a dangerous dream begins inspiring normal people to act out their darkest ambitions, even Doctor Strange is pushed to his very limits. Working alongside his longtime nemesis, Nightmare, the Sorcerer Supreme must delve into the nightmares, delusions and desires of an entire planet. To save the Dream Realms, he'll have to give up some illusions of his own -- including his heroism. And in the fallout, what dreams will haunt the Sorcerer Supreme?
304 PGS./No Rating $24.99

DOCTOR STRANGE EPIC COLLECTION: A SEPARATE REALITY TPB
Volume #3 in the Doctor Strange Epic Collections
Written by ROY THOMAS & STEVE ENGLEHART with GARDNER FOX, STAN LEE, BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH, ARCHIE GOODWIN, MIKE FRIEDRICH & FRANK BRUNNER
Penciled by GENE COLAN & FRANK BRUNNER with BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH, HERB TRIMPE, MARIE SEVERIN, SAM KWESKIN, P. CRAIG RUSSELL, JIM STARLIN & DON HECK
Cover by FRANK BRUNNER
It's Doctor Strange at his very best, brought to you by a host of top-flight creators including Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Stan Lee and Barry Windsor-Smith! They'll take you on a trip to the dark side of the Marvel Universe, and bring you before the Undying Ones, Baron Mordo, the cosmic threat of Eternity and the eldritch horror of Shuma-Gorath! Then, Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner break new boundaries of cosmic consciousness and other-dimensional adventure. Their all-time classic "Sise-Neg Genesis" and "Silver Dagger" sagas are strikingly personal epics featuring deliriously lush art and stories that plumb the depths of Strange's soul! Also: Witness the death of the Ancient One, and Doctor Strange's ascension to Sorcerer Supreme! Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (1968) #180-183, SUB-MARINER (1968) #22, INCREDIBLE HULK (1968) #126, MARVEL FEATURE (1971) #1, MARVEL PREMIERE #3-14 and DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #1-5.
472 PGS./Rated T $39.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: THE FLIGHT OF BONES TPB
Written by TONY HARRIS, DAN JOLLEY, RAY SNYDER, KIERON GILLEN, PETER MILLIGAN, TED McKEEVER, MICHAEL GOLDEN, JIM STARLIN & MICHAEL GILBERT
Penciled by TONY HARRIS, PAUL CHADWICK, FRAZER IRVING, FRANK BRUNNER, TED McKEEVER, MICHAEL GOLDEN, JIM STARLIN & MICHAEL GILBERT
Cover by J.G. JONES
Doctor Strange turns Marvel Knight and plays supernatural detective when a series of bizarre robberies and a spate of spontaneous combustions set him on the trail of an old enemy. Magic meets noir in an atmospheric Strange tale! Plus: In stories from standout creators, the good Doctor makes a deal with the devil, and the former surgeon must be a very different kind of healer when he hears of a man's deep grief. The Master of the Mystic Arts will duel with demons; meet the Bottle Imp; and face odd reflections of friends, foes and himself. Discover the darker side of Doctor Strange! Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (1999) #1-4; MYSTIC HANDS OF DOCTOR STRANGE; and material from MARVEL SHADOWS AND LIGHT (1997), SHADOWS & LIGHT (1998) #2 and MARVEL DOUBLE-SHOT #4.
192 PGS./Parental Advisory $24.99

COLOR YOUR OWN DOCTOR STRANGE
Penciled by STEVE DITKO, FRANK BRUNNER, CHRIS BACHALO & MORE
Cover by FRANK BRUNNER
By the Hoary Hues of Hoggoth! Marvel's most psychedelic super hero has been stripped of all pigment and left trapped in a world of black and white! The Sorcerer Supreme needs you to step forward and take your place as Earth's Colorist Complete! So grab your pens, pencils or crayons, and prepare to brandish them like the Wand of Watoomb -- working your magic on page after page of line art starring Strange and his greatest friends and foes! You'll be incanting the Shades of the Seraphim, the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak and the Ruby Rings of Raggadorr in no time! But worry not if you're struggling to keep your kaleidoscope of color inside the lines -- beauty is in the Eye of Agamotto!
120 PGS./All Ages $9.99

MARVEL UNIVERSE DOCTOR STRANGE DIGEST
Written by JOE CARAMAGNA, PAUL BENJAMIN, PAUL TOBIN & JM DEMATTEIS
Penciled by DAVID NAKAYAMA, JACOPO CAMAGNI, WELLINGTON ALVES & MORE
Cover by JACOPO CAMAGNI
By the Vishanti! Experience exciting adventures of magic and mysticism featuring Doctor Strange and Marvel's greatest heroes!
Can Spider-Man and Iron Fist help Strange stop the demon named Nightmare before he puts the whole world into an endless sleep?
Even with the Hulk's help, can Strange defend the Earth against the Dread Dormammu?
When Captain America vaults in, will shield and sorcery be enough to stop a soul-devouring monster?
The Doc goes it alone for another round with Dormammu, and then takes Spidey on a mind-bending journey across the realities!
Strange tales one and all, for the whole family to enjoy!
Collecting MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #21, MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK #5, MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES (2008) #5 and #9, and material from MARVEL ADVENTURES SUPER HEROES (2010) #21.
104 PGS./All Ages $9.99

[25 June 02016]

Doctor Strange #8 is out! [preview]

Updating reviews as found: [Fandom Post] [ComicsVerse]

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Marvel's July 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #10, Last Days of Magic conclusion with some Sorcerer Supreme shenanigans, new Doc Masterworks, movie prequel comic with "Masters of the Mystic Arts" "team"

DOCTOR STRANGE #10
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A)
COVER BY KEVIN NOWLAN
DEATH OF X VARIANT COVER BY TBA
THE THRILLING CONCLUSION OF "LAST DAYS OF MAGIC"!
The Sorcerer Supreme must learn some new tricks and utilize new weapons if he's to defeat the Empirikul!
Witness the status quo shift of the Sorcerer Supreme!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 7 HC
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #23-37 and CHAMBER OF CHILLS #3-4.
304 PGS./Rated T $75.00

Also: MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE #1 (of 2)
Marvel's official movie prequel
A powerful, ancient relic has been stolen from the British Museum a relic that could do significant damage in the wrong hands...
Enter the Masters of the Mystic Arts!
The team is on a mission to find the relic and the mysterious mystic who stole it but will they be able to track her down before it's too late?!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Also: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY CLASSIC: IN THE YEAR 3000 VOL. 1 TPB
Collecting GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (1990) #30-39 and ANNUAL #3, and material from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #134.
Even with the cosmic power of Firelord, a Phoenix, a Spirit of Vengeance and the thousand-year-old former Wonder Man, can two teams of Guardians stop the Dread Dormammu? Perhaps with some help from this era's Sorcerer Supreme... or a strangely recognizable Ancient One!
320 PGS./Rated T $34.99

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Marvel's August 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #11

DOCTOR STRANGE #11
JASON AARON (W)
KEVIN NOWLAN & LEONARDO ROMERO (A)
COVER BY KEVIN NOWLAN
VARIANT COVER BY ADAM HUGHES
MARVEL TSUM TSUM TAKEOVER VARIANT COVER BY RYAN STEGMAN
"Last Days of Magic" aftermath!
How did Stephen Strange become the Sorcerer Supreme?
And how has he lost it all?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Also:

MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE #2 (of 2)
MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE TPB
Collecting MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE #1-2, MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE PRELUDE INFINITE COMIC #1, DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH #1, DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #1, MARVEL PREMIERE #14 and material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #110 and #115.
152 PGS./Rated T+ $16.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: STRANGE ORIGIN TPB
Collecting DR. STRANGE: SEASON ONE and DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #1.
144 PGS./Rated T+ $19.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SECRET DEFENDERS TPB
Collecting SECRET DEFENDERS #1-11.
264 PGS./Rated T $29.99

DEFENDERS EPIC COLLECTION: THE SIX-FINGERED HAND SAGA TPB
Collecting DEFENDERS (1972) #92-109, MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #101 and CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #268.
480 PGS./Rated T $39.99

Marvel's big event this summer is Civil War II- no indication seen yet that Dr. Strange is part of it.

[30 May 02016]

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Was the Ancient One whitewashed into a Celt played by Tilda Swinton in the Doctor Strange movie to avoid China political upset over Tibet and risk exclusion from its large movie market?
> 'Doctor Strange' Writer Explains Casting of Tilda Swinton as Tibetan ["There is no other character in Marvel history that is such a cultural landmine... if you acknowledge that Tibet is a place and that he's Tibetan, you risk alienating one billion people..."]
> 'Doctor Strange' Screenwriter C. Robert Cargill Clarifies Comments About Tibet And The Ancient One
> Marvel Denies Whitewashing 'Doctor Strange' to Appease China
> Marvel defends 'Doctor Strange' casting with new character info
> Doctor Strange's Erasure Of Tibet Is A Political Statement
> Jigme Ugen: "kowtowing to China to twist history... Something the Ancient One would forbid."
> Discuss: The Ancient One in the comics is a racist mystery-guru Asian stereotype no modern movie should want to use anyway
> 'Doctor Strange' co-writer unintentionally provides further evidence of deep-seated Hollywood racism [it is possible to acknowledge in film in China that Tibet exists, without declaring its sovereignty; it is possible to portray an inoffensive, yet still Asian, version of The Ancient One]
> Tilda Swinton on Doctor Strange Whitewashing: The Script Didn't Have an Asian Character for Me to Play
> What Tilda Swinton's Role as the Ancient One in 'Doctor Strange' Means to a Tibetan
> Update: George Takei: "You cast a white actress so you wouldn't hurt sales... in Asia?"
> Discuss: Was the Ancient One really so originally established as Tibetan as to headache filmmakers? [Strange Tales #115 Doc origin: "Come with us to India..."] [Strange Tales #169 Doc origin: "the timeless, trackless wastes of the Himalayas..."] [Strange Tales #148: AO is from "Kamar-Taj, a hidden land high in the Himalayas!"]
> Discuss: The original whitewash: Dr. Strange looks Asian in his first appearance, and then becomes Caucasian in his origin a few issues later as he becomes popular
> Wikipedia: [The Ancient One] [Whitewashing in film]
> Tibet links: [History of Tibet (1950-present)] [Tibetan independence movement] [Tibetan sovereignty debate] [Human rights in Tibet] [Free Tibet]

[2 May 02016]

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Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday 7 May! [1 May 02016]

Doctor Strange #7 and Last Days of Magic are out!

Updating reviews as found: [Comicosity]

[28 April 02016]

Doctor Strange first teaser trailer!

Update: Awesome teaser trailer mashup with the Doc 70's TV movie!

[13 April 02016]

The Spider-Man newspaper comic strip since 21 February has featured Dr. Strange and Xandu [29 March 02016]

Dr. Strange uberfan Howard Hallis has a new website for his collection! [23 March 02016]

Marvel's June 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #9
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC continues!
Stripped of all of his magic, Stephen Strange scours the globe for any weapon he can use against the Empirikul.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99 [22 March 02016]

MoCCA Fest is 2-3 April in NYC! 11am-6pm [Official Tumblr] [Programming; located at Ink48 Hotel] [Exhibitors; located at Metropolitan West] [Directions/Map; everything's near the Intrepid] [12 March 02016]

Doctor Strange #6 is out! [The Last Days of Magic begin] [preview]

Updating reviews as found: [CBR] [Comicosity]

[11 March 02016]

It's Stan Lee's Universe: Why Is His Legacy In Question? [25 February 02016]

Marvel's May 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #8
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
AGE OF APOCALYPSE VARIANT COVER BY TBA
THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC STORY CONTINUES!
All of Doctor Strange's magic has been destroyed and our world is on the edge of disaster.
What on Earth can Stephen do?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Also: Deadpool: Last Days Of Magic #1 ["From the pages of Doctor Strange... the Empirikul are waging a war on magic with the goal of wiping the fantastical from the pages of existence. This concerns Deadpool, because some of his best friends are magic. As the Empirikul forces batter the defenses of the Monster Metropolis ruled by his demonic wife, Deadpool wades into battle alongside his most spell-casting-est friends. And you know the old saying 'Nothing ever goes wrong in a war.' That's a saying, right?"]

Also: Doctor Strange Omnibus Volume 1
The complete Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange run in hardcover color goodness: STRANGE TALES #110-111 and #114-146, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2.
Direct market variant uses Ditko's Strange Tales #146 cover as its cover. (Bumped up from original 4 October release date?)

[20 February 02016]

Doctor Strange #5 is out!

Updating reviews as found: [Geeked Out Nation] [Comicosity]

[6 February 02016]

Marvel's April 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #7
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A)
CIVIL WAR VARIANT COVER BY TBA
LAST DAYS OF MAGIC, PART 2
As all of his magic dissipates, Doctor Strange is at the mercy of THE IMPERATOR!
The powerless sorcerer is no longer supreme and can't possibly best a super-powered foe hell-bent on his destruction.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Also: Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic #1
JASON AARON, GERRY DUGGAN & JAMES ROBINSON (W)
MIKE PERKINS, DANILO BEYRUTH and AFU CHAN (A)
Cover by MIKE PERKINS
VARIANT COVER BY KEVIN MAGUIRE
VARIANT COVER BY SHANE DAVIS
"This companion to the LAST DAYS OF MAGIC epic! THE EMPIRIKUL, led by The Imperator, are destroying all magic and magic users in the Marvel Universe. Jason Aaron brings you Doctor Strange and Wong's secret history and the ultimate sacrifice that Wong makes! Gerry Duggan shows Brother Voodoo's stand against the evil magic-eaters. James Robinson introduces a new magic figure in the Marvel U just in time for her last stand!"
56 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ $5.99

Also: All-New X-Men #8; cover and story
"As young Beast continues to struggle with his new life in the present day Marvel Universe, he turns to another man of science for guidance- former surgeon and present day sorcerer supreme, Doctor Strange!"

Also: Doctor Strange Omnibus (and "Prelude"), collecting 450 pages of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Doctor Strange pages from the very beginning for $75, out on October 4th just ahead of the movie.

[26 January 02016]

Doctor Strange #4 is out! [Deadpool hilariously crams brains into Mindless Ones and turns them into intelligent Mindful Ones (Spidey: "No. It does not work like that.") in Spider-Man/Deadpool #1] [6 January 02016]

The Pulp Magazine Archive [Internet Archive has started collecting pulps published from 01896 through the 01950s] [4 January 02016]

Entertainment Weekly's First Look issue this week has Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange on the cover
> Exclusive Photos of Marvel's Most Mystical, Magical Movie Ever
> Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige explains the powers of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange
> Benedict Cumberbatch says there is going to be 'crazy shit' in Doctor Strange
> Find out who Rachel McAdams plays in Doctor Strange; a fellow surgeon from Doc's pre-mystical days; possible Night Nurse
> Mads Mikkelsen is playing the main villain in Marvel's Doctor Strange; 'turncoat sorcerer' sounds like Mordo
> Doctor Strange Movie Won't Shy Away From The Hero's Magical Powers, Artifacts
> update: Tilda Swinton says her Doctor Strange character's gender is 'in the eye of the beholder'; she is The Ancient One
> update: Is Chiwetel Ejiofor's Doctor Strange character good or evil? He says...; he is Mordo
[29 December 02015]

Happy Birthday today to Stan Lee! [Wikipedia] [28 December 02015]

Marvel's March 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #6
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
STORY THUS FAR VARIANT COVER BY TBA
CLASSIC ARTIST VARIANT COVER BY TBA
"THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC" STARTS NOW!
The Emperikul have arrived, leaving universes purged of magic in their wake. Their next target? The Marvel Universe. And with Doctor Strange weakened beyond measure? We don't have a chance!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99 [27 December 02015]

Doctor Strange #3 is out! [previews: CBR; Continuum] [Midnight Sons variant cover!] [3 December 02015]

Doctor Strange movie announces start of production, confirms cast [Marvel] [ScreenCrush] [CNET] [Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton] [also hitting the web: a Neil Gaiman tweet that allows people to infer the idle chat from a few years back between Gaiman and Guillermo Del Toro about doing a Dr. Strange movie might have been a real pitch or offer to Marvel that Marvel passed on before the MCU got rolling; Bleeding Cool] [30 November 02015]

Steve Ditko's first published story in Daring Love #1, "Paper Romance", dated September-October 01953 [with Nick Caputo commentary] [25 November 02015]

Marvel's February 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #5
DOCTOR STRANGE #5
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A)
Cover by KEVIN NOWLAN
VARIANT COVER BY MICHAEL CHO
The Witchfinder Wolves are here and Doctor Strange is in trouble.
The Empirikul is coming, Magic's days are numbered and Strange is not ready!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99 [24 November 02015]

Strong sales for Doctor Strange #1 as one of the "unprecedented (at least in recent memory) 14 titles with direct market sales over 100,000 copies in October" [Marvel relaunches gobble up October sales] [ICv2] [Comichron] [Dr. Strange Historical Sales Numbers] [23 November 02015]

Jessica Jones dark 13-episode first season released on Netflix to rave reviews [Screen Rant] [David Tennant moves on from his great Doctor Who to play the Purple Man; "magic"] [6 Ways "Jessica Jones" Changed the Marvel Universe: Bendis' Alias was one of the titles that launched Marvel's 'R-rated' MAX imprint in 02001] [22 November 02015]

New TPB Dr. Strange: Don't Pay The Ferryman is out! [Amazon] [reprints some good stuff from 01986-87 Doctor Strange #75-81] [21 November 02015]

Doctor Strange #2 out today!

Doc also appears in Howard The Duck #1, and Invincible Iron Man #3 (as "facial hair bros", sigh).

Marvel's January 02016 solicits include Doctor Strange #4; guest app in All-New Wolverine #4
DOCTOR STRANGE #4
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A)
Cover by KEVIN NOWLAN
DEADPOOL VARIANT COVER BY TBA
Doctor Strange has gathered a circle of magic-using friends to try and best monitor magic in the Marvel Universe.
But this tactic is too late as forces are destroying all magical objects and beings in the multiverse and they are turning their sights on our dimension.
At least Strange won't have to die alone...
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99 [4 November 02015]

Happy 88th Birthday to Steve Ditko! [Wikipedia] [Javier Hernandez birthday wishes] [Arlen Schumer tribute] [2 November 02015]

Doctor Strange #1 Braindump

  1. -19: Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #90 has a cover date of June 01996. It has been over 19 years since the last issue of a Dr. Strange ongoing series.
  2. +1 for this book not being an origin retelling, updating, rebooting, reimagining, etc.
  3. +1 for starting right off with a house call, invoking Doc's first story (Strange Tales #110) helping a normal person in the trenches (it feels like a very long time since we saw that- it's been a lot of meta superhero drama, Illuminati, Sorcerer Supreme/Brother Voodoo, Secret Wars, etc.). While there's nothing new under the sun and nothing wrong with what we got- maybe the decision was made to make an accessible introduction- we could have gotten a slightly more creative idea than the standard 'exorcising a small child'.
  4. -1 for a child's life being on the line, and in the heat of battle, Doc casts Detect Flirt? Too cutesy. Didn't work for Neilalien. It minimized the seriousness of the situation too much. There are better ways to establish Doc as a 'dog' if that's the direction. Plus, if Doc is a 'dog', he wouldn't need to cast a spell to detect interest.
  5. -2 for the transmogrifying fire spell. While it's great to hear the Powers and Principalities and old-school spellcasting again- the Icy Tendrils of Ikthalon are used here against fire (reminding of the way the Flames of the Faltine were used to melt them in Doctor Strange #33)- these paragraph-long poems in the heat of battle just don't fly anymore. They bring the pacing to a screeching halt. Neilalien would have preferred if Doc had just said "The Icy Tendrils of Ikthalon!", or "Fire to Flowers!" in the spellcasting style used in Flight of Bones. Getting the Moons of Munnopor, or any spell, wrong? Did not work for Neilalien. Too cutesy. And then the spell still works? We're assuming magic takes discipline and focus, not stumbling through the words and cowering one's head.
  6. -1: Of course, no bleeding heart for child murderers here, but Doc should know better and be more heroic than to send the soul-eaters to Riker's Island. He shouldn't want the soul-eaters being strengthened by feeding on any souls, no matter who they are. He protects everyone on Earth. He wouldn't clean up a mystically-infested prison? He knows the Constitution's against cruel and unusual punishment. But maybe the soul-eaters have to feed on something, and no one's drowning rabbits anymore.
  7. 0: Black-and-white striped tentacles remind Neilalien of Beetlejuice.
  8. +1 for the payment. Neilalien wishes his own neighbors would bake their local despondent recluse a cake...
  9. +1 for the art choice during the passage of how Doc sees the world, with the mundane world black and white, and the mystical world in color. Very They Live. One of the women was in chains, again reminding of Doc's first story in Strange Tales #110.
  10. +1 for the soul parasites, interdimensional bacteria, soul eaters, psyche leeches, etc. Good stuff. Puts the doctor in Doctor Strange.
  11. +1 for the tweaks to Doc's look. It feels a little busier and less elegant than previous cleaner looks- but this Doc is a man of action with his dagger at his belt, chunky boots, and lots of steampunk pouches, perhaps filled with the material components of spells. Why keep all your goodies locked away in the Sanctum? The Cloak of Levitation really shines here. Used as steps, a scarf, etc. Really liking the draped-over look and not missing the large collar at all.
  12. Is the battle with the Free Rovers taking place on the astral plane? In the child's mind? Doc's body is obviously in the bedroom doing his astral thing, and the conflict is happening in some odd place where the bedroom is being incorporated into it. It looks like we have an art choice here to not do a ghostly astral form, include the Cloak, etc. Or at least the decision to not have the first sight of Dr. Strange be in his ghostly astral form, since that's how the story opens, which might be confusing to new readers.
  13. +1 overall for The Bar With No Doors and meetup group. +1 loved the tiki bar ambiance. +1 for the Algonquin Round Table social group idea. +1 that Doc's not an alcoholic here. -1 for including Scarlet Witch and not The Blue Hat Man. -1: The Sorcerer Supreme's body language in the bar is too schlubby, hunched over, head down. Even when Doc is depressed, pensive, burdened, etc., he's still a commanding presence (for examples, see Brunner's art run).
  14. +1 for the excellent "humanizing" part in front of the Sanctum with Zelma before she knew she was speaking to Doc.
  15. The Empirikul. Get it? The Empirical: scientists, anti-magic types. Perhaps lead by a new Scientist Supreme?

[12 October 02015]

Doctor Strange #1 is out to positive reviews (adding as found)
> CBR: "a perfect launching point for a bold new era"
> IGN: "It's high time Doctor Strange had his own comic again, and this new series certainly doesn't disappoint."
> Graphic Policy: "a really fun debut that exudes energy"; 8.5/10
> Comicosity: an introduction but not an origin-retelling; Bachalo's art sells the weird and differentiates the comic from the rest; 8.0/10
> Newsarama: "solid, if imperfect"
> Hannibal Tabu: "A pleasant surprise."
> ComicVine: "a strong start"
> Kotaku: "A Sorcerer Supreme Who's a Lot More Human"
> Bam Smack Pow: "the most fun, enchanting, just out and out enjoyable first issues I've ever read"
> Longbox Graveyard: "can't imagine a better reintroduction"

[8 October 02015]

Marvel's "We make girl comics!" besieged on all sides
> With A Growing Female Audience, Marvel Hopes To Invite Everyone In
> More: How the Success of Marvel's Female Superheroes Heralds a More Inclusive Age of Comics
> Update: Marvel at NYCC: We've never been more diverse
> Harvard professor looks down her nose at girl-comic A-Force in The New Yorker: Looking at Female Superheroes with Ten-Year-Old Boys
> A-Force writer defends her book: Dr. Lepore's Lament
> Woman comic shop manager responds to The New Yorker piece: An Open Letter to Jill Lepore About A-Force
> Overview: Female Superheroes: A Historical Perspective
> Industry/Direct Market/Comic Prices Meta: Now dollar-voting supporting Marvel comics about or made by women is potentially a $70/month commitment
> Industry/Harassment Meta: Alex de Campi: "I am sick to death of corporate comics telling me they caaare about me and my lady-dollar as a reader, and then continuing to employ/protect known harassers"] [she writes Grindhouse and My Little Pony comics!]
> The Beat: New writer on Red Wolf is perfect storm of all of today's comics issues
> The worst comics industry in the world: The Beat: How a toxic history of harassment has damaged the comics industry
> Update: Harassment Meta/a different angle from March 02015: Progressive Comics Can Leave Me Behind: "Making a man in this industry look bad is nearly impossible."; harassers get nuance and a narrative-dominating rehab so we can all Move On (except the victim); lots of comments

[6 October 02015]

Ta-Nehisi Coates Writing Black Panther Is The Year's Biggest Comics News [Vulture; "the awful few months that Marvel has been having with regard to diversity"] [more big press: NY Times; Wired]
> On Marvel and Magical Thinking: Marvel's hiring of Ta-Nehisi Coates to write Black Panther doesn't magically fix a diversity problem Marvel doesn't acknowledge it has
> The Guardian: Marvel's hip-hop tribute embraces black metaphors but excludes black people
> Controversy clouds excitement for Marvel's 'All New, All Different' relaunch: failing to hire more writers and artists of color, more women, excluding LGBTQ
> The millionth Marvel boycott: until they can break Dwayne McDuffie's Rule of Three (three members of a marginalized community represented)

[5 October 02015]

New York Comic-Con is next weekend! [sold out] [Panels & Screenings] [Floor Plan] [Comic Guests] [Artist Alley] [party list by Bleeding Cool] [update: party list by Flavorpill] [4 October 02015]

Doctor Strange #1 preview [with all variant covers] [out this coming Wednesday 7 October] [2 October 02015]

Marvel's December 02015 solicitations include Doctor Strange #3
DOCTOR STRANGE #3
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY TIM SALE
MARVEL '92 VARIANT BY MARK TEXEIRA
Dr. Strange wakes up, nearly naked with none of his magical tools or spellbooks and no memory of how he got there. Nor does he know where all the monsters chasing him came from.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99
[and Fred Hembeck variant Secret Wars #9 cover] [1 October 02015]

MODOK: Assassin #5 series finale out today [far and away Neilalien's favorite of the Secret Wars event] [main Secret Wars event books getting very late] [30 September 02015]

A Problem For The Comics Snob is that superhero comics today have some more polish, more openness to different art styles, less earnestness, and more Matt Fraction, than they have had in the past (but you still gotta read a boatload of shit to be qualified to discuss the few too good to ignore) [enjoyable new R. Fiore (less earnest than usual himself with this essay)] ["It's the absurdity of saying, 'I don't read any of that superhero crap, what I like is Donald Duck.'"] [via CR] [a recent love-note meme-burst has been kinder to Fraction: 6 Reasons Why Matt Fraction's Hawkeye Is One of Marvel's Greatest Comics; Farewell, Bro: How Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye Changed Marvel Comics] [4 September 02015]

50 Summers Ago: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 [lovenote to "The Wondrous Worlds of Dr. Strange!" by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, with lots of info and trivia] [26 August 02015]

Marvel's November 02015 solicitations include Doctor Strange #2
DOCTOR STRANGE #2
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A/C)
Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG
Variant Cover BY ALEX ROSS
VARIANT SKETCH COVER BY ALEX ROSS
Take a tour of Doctor Strange's home-- the Sancto Sanctorum. It's the weirdest and most dangerous place in the Marvel Universe! A place where opening the wrong door can unleash hell on Earth.
Unfortunately for you and your fellow visitor, Zelma, Strange's house is infested with something far worse than bed bugs!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99
[25 August 02015]

Superhero films are American pop culture's most sustained response to 9/11 [9 August 02015]

Is it unofficial policy at Marvel to not create new characters in the Spider-Man and X-Men orbits for whom Sony and Fox would have movie first dibs? [7 August 02015]

The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel, The Experiment That Changed Superheroes Forever [via LinkMachineGo] [6 August 02015]

Ultimate End #4, out today, has a Dr. Strange variant cover by Karmome Shirahama [please note that Dr. Strange has absolutely nothing to do with the contents of Ultimate End #4 and does not appear within- another increasingly-more-common reason to dislike variant covers, but blogged here as always as news-completism for the completist-collectors] [Ultimate End ends the Ultimate Marvel Universe] [5 August 02015]

Kickstarter for Steve Ditko's 40th Anniversary edition of Mr. A #4 [the issue numbering is not pitfall-free- this must be "Count Rogue" (16 pages) and "Brotherhood Of The Collective" (16 pages)- originally published by Bruce Hershenson in 01975] ["Steve Ditko in 01975" article from Ditkomania #75] [update after the fact: hopefully nobody pledging only $10 expected differently: one had to have pledged $15 or more to get an actual copy of the book being supported] [4 August 02015]

Marvel/DC/Image/North American comics and graphic novel sales hit new 20-year high in 02014
Yay! You might have also heard that other comics are for sale and selling well too. Or maybe you haven't...:
> What Our Failure To Cover Attack On Titan Says About The Comics Industry [Marvel/DC superheroes still called "the mainstream", and Star Wars' fake one million sales still dominate North American comics industry press, while dwarfed by manga, kids comics, girl comics, webcomics]
> Comics212: Shifts And Living History [Marvel/DC comics industry still marginalizing anything not aimed at males 18-49, but real progress has been made]
> Comics212: New. Now. Next. [the system's hype/publicity cycle is more broken/divorced from the sales cycle than ever; retailers getting less info than ever to order books farther in advance; longer time-spans (and consumer attention-spans needed) between announcements and when books are actually on shelves; still as difficult as ever to get people talking about non-Marvel/DC/Image books; fewer good critics/curators talking about good comics actually on shelves than ever] [3 August 02015]

Writer Tony Isabella reports some peace-pipe smoking with DC, and a new Black Lightning collection in early 02016 [Trouble With Comics with some collected industry reactions] [via Progressive Ruin] [Robot 6] [Isabella has felt long-term disrespect from DC re: his creation Black Lightning, one of the first major black superheroes to appear in DC Comics]

[Update on a very old hubbub: A major part of said disrespect is DC's apparent nefarious unilateral for-money/lawyer-reasons muddying of the non-work-for-hire deal and creator-credit waters by giving artist Trevor Von Eeden a co-creator credit via costume design, as you'll see on Black Lightning's current Wikipedia page and almost everywhere else (notable exception Toonopedia). Von Eeden has disavowed co-creator status, but he has claimed BL's original visual design (but not the removable Afro mask). Neilalien absolutely supports Isabella vs. DC- but a kind of 'Isabella vs. Von Eeden' won't get the same pass. As a Steve Ditko fan and comics-are-words-and-pictures folk, he's just too wary of artists not getting their due, especially for their superhero visual-costume designs which are critical to the medium and sell those Underoos. Isabella's "A character isn't his costume" sounds a lot like what Stan Lee used to claim ("the person who has the idea is the person who creates it") when he gobbled up every credit in sight. Further reading: 20th Century Danny Boy: Original Art Stories: The (Sad) Saga of Black Lightning's Creation; Tony Isabella's 'FAQ of Recurring Animosity']

[2 August 02015]

Riverdale Punks Up With "Archie Meets Ramones" [series is expected to arrive in 02016 to celebrate both Archie's 75th anniversary and the Ramones 40th] [1 August 02015]

- -

His own hero's journey was already over: The Lee/Ditko Doctor Strange was very different from other Marvel heroes at the time, and Marvel's heroes of today, and the Doctor Strange of today [20 Feb 02011]

The Avenging Page (In Excelsis Ditko): massive missive re: Ditko's self-published work of recent years, by Jog, at Comics Comics [15 Feb 02011]

- -