Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Big Shake Up at Marvel

Joe Quesada is now Editor In Chief, replacing Bob Harras. Marvel has almost gone out of business, the suits want to move away from comic books, and the quality of the books have been in the tank for years. Joe Q has done a great job with the successful and generally well-done Marvel Knights imprint, and I think he was the one who got us Flight of Bones (and a great guest appearance in Daredevil). I wish Joe all the best. His priority is fixing Spider-Man, who is definitely broken at the present time. I don't know what this move will mean for Dr. Strange, but maybe he'll get us some good books soon!
Marvel's press release at The Comic Reader.
Complete press conference transcript at Fandom.
Joey's own Usenet post (link since updated from defunct Deja News to Google Groups).

Posted 31 August 02000 - Permalink

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Universe X #1 (Spoilers)

As a Marvel boy and an R.F.O. (Real Frantic One, a buyer of at least 3 Marvel mags a month (from the now-ancient Hallowed Ranks of Marveldom)), I enjoyed the Earth X series, and now I'm picking up Universe X. Doctor Strange finally gets the "X" treatment in this issue, origin and all. As a core Marvel character, he should have been covered already in the Earth X series with the rest of the Marvel inner circle- even if he was pre-killed-off. No respect, as usual. At least Doc competently saved the planet from the Mindless Ones before he died. But things are looking up. It appears that The Orb of Agamotto plays a role in the Universe X story, and a mystery about the fascinating betrayal of Doc by Clea and Loki has presented itself.

Posted 31 August 02000 - Permalink

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Officially, Marvel Knights just missed passing my three-issue test. It's not horrible. The ideas and the action have been fine, but it hasn't delivered on all the characterization potential yet (with Black Widow and Dagger bonding, Daredevil vs. Punisher; and Shang-Chi's just phoning it in), and the dialogue has been lousy (I realize quiet loners don't say much- but when they do finally open their mouths, it should be quality). But with more Cloak and Dagger, Moon Knight and Dr. Strange on the horizon, I picked up #4 today and will continue to buy. I'll re-evaluate after Doc's guest appearance.

Posted 30 August 02000 - Permalink

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Acquisition: Hulk Annual #6 (1977) (Spoilers)

Picked up a reading copy of this Doc guest appearance in the cheap bins. The Beehive has returned, again trying to create the perfect being and servitor after failing the first time in Fantastic Four #66-67, when they spawned an angry Him (Adam Warlock) out of their cocoon. But this time, they enlist Dr. Stephen Strange to do laser surgery on the being's brain before birth so it won't be insane. Doc knows something is afoot, but he goes along with it, to uncover the true evil. (I've noticed that this is part of Doc's modus operandi. He often will do some questionable things while going along to discover the bigger evil behind a plan.) Meanwhile, he's mentally summoning his buddy the Hulk to his location for muscle backup, and the Hulk gets into all his usual misadventures while traveling across the planet to answer the call.

So Paragon, as in the Paragon of Mankind, emerges from the cocoon, ready to chew bubble gum and take names, and he's all out of bubble gum. Combat ensues, first with Doc and the Hulk, and then with the Beehive too. It seems that Paragon was aware of everything while in the cocoon- of the past Him incident, of the brain surgery by Stephen, etc.- and it's clobberin' time. The Beehive is destroyed, Doc and Hulk barely escape, and Paragon returns to his cocoon, now lying on the bottom of the ocean, to meditate on the purpose of his new existence.

Doc Combat Actions Summary:

  1. Messes with Paragon's mind, trying to free him from the Beehive's control: "Flashes-- erupting in my head! Can't think!"
  2. Doc absorbs some nasty punches and energy blasts from Paragon.
  3. Doc saves himself from an air circulator ceiling fan that will cut him to ribbons, in the process causing it to fall on Paragon.
  4. Doc wastes his moment to shine. While the Hulk distracts Paragon, he casts one of his big ass rhyming spells... which immobilizes Paragon's legs. Dumb! (a) The big ass spells should do more than that. (b) Paragon can still do plenty while not walking, like his energy blasts. (c) On the very next page, Paragon is walking around normally.
  5. At the end of the story, after this measly effort, Doc says he's "too greatly weakened" to transport himself and the Hulk out of the collapsing Beehive base. Pathetic!

Posted 26 August 02000 - Permalink

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Doc in Marvel Knights #7 in November

Fantastic! A little pre-Defenders peek. The story involves Cloak of Cloak & Dagger, who seemed pretty messed up in MK #2, as I recall. From Comics Continuum.

Posted 24 August 02000 - Permalink

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Attention Fans and Artists!

Will has announced that he will pay at least $50 for a new graphical image for his website that shows Doctor Strange as the eerie Master of the Black Arts (the proper interpretation of the Doc character in his eyes, methinks).
His original usenet newsgroup post via

Posted 21 August 02000 - Permalink

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Marvel Stops Selling Itself Short []
Marvel getting into wireless and ISP ventures. Also mentioned: Stan Lee Media receives $5 million more funding this week from Venture Soft.

Posted 20 August 02000 - Permalink

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How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with the Opposite Sex and Still Collect Comics [IGN]

Posted 18 August 02000 - Permalink

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A Gene Colan interview at Comic Book Resources.

Posted 17 August 02000 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange Sighting: Gambit Annual (No Spoilers)

Don't bother. Doc only has a very tiny cameo in the end pages. He's back to being the distant overseer of the mystical side of the Marvel Universe. He's basically a Watcher now. Yawn.

Posted 16 August 02000 - Permalink

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Hollywood Hits Strike Zone. The entertainment industry is gearing up for further strikes by actors, writers and directors next year. Two unofficial deadlines have emerged: feature films must be greenlighted by January 1 and into production by March 15...
(Yes, Neilalien lives in his own little alternate dimension where a big Dr. Strange theatrical release is more than a fantasy. Every news item he encounters is filtered in terms of the Dr. Strange movie.)

Posted 8 August 02000 - Permalink

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What About Stan Lee For President?

Stan Lee is hosting a huge fund-raiser for Hillary/send-off for Bill Clinton party in Los Angeles during the Democratic National Convention. He's come a long way from writing "Beware Tiboro, The Tyrant of The Sixth Dimension!", eh?
First sighting: Neal Travis on Page Six of the New York Post from last week.
Another link: AP Story.
Update/Epilogue: Stan helped raise $4 million for the Clintons, way over the estimated $1 million. He is so The Man!

Posted 7 August 02000 - Permalink

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Dan Jolley, the writer of the Doctor Strange Flight of Bones mini-series, has posted the scripts on his personal website.

Doctor Strange Throughout The World: Auctioned on eBay: a classic Doctor Strange comic in Spanish from Mexico. Also, a French essay about the grand Ditko years. I think...

Posted 2 August 02000 - Permalink

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The Marvel Dark Lore Fanfic Group. Fans of some of Marvel's darker and more neglected characters, including Doctor Strange, have turned to writing their own stories.

The Crossover Universe. Looks like the last update for this site was February 01999, but it remains a repository of tons of intelligent fun essays about comic books and science fiction. Including Spawn vs. Doctor Strange. You bet your ass Doc would win that fight!

Send an image of Doctor Strange as an e-card to someone you love. Like me!

Posted 31 July 02000 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange Pop Culture Sighting: In the song Mambo Sun on the album Electric Warrior, T. Rex sings, "On a mountain range/ I'm Dr. Strange/ for you."

Posted 24 July 02000 - Permalink

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In support of the Spidey fans: a Down With Organic Webshooters website. Like me, Spider-Man fans have been waiting a long time for a movie of their favorite comic book hero- and then dreading how the movie-makers will ruin said comic book hero.

Posted 23 July 02000 - Permalink

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Defenders in December

Big article at The Comic Reader Online about the big Defenders announcement at Comic-Con 2000 in San Diego. I can trust Busiek to do a good job- the jury's out on Larsen's art. It's a major comic book release and series, and Doc is front-and-center, so I'm happy and hopeful. But I can no longer avoid it: I must admit for the first time in this Dr. Strange weblog that I'm not much of a Defenders fan. My major hesitations:

Related blurb at IGN.

Posted 23 July 02000 - Permalink

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Stan Lee Interview Transcript Found

At long last, this humble site has a link to the transcript of Stan Lee on Larry King Live Weekend 08 July 02000.

Erik Larsen drew a hint of the upcoming new Defenders series for the Marvel booth at the Comic Book Expo. Via Comic Book Resources' Comic Wire.

Today's Another Universe Daily Buzz refers to a Hollywood Reporter article about how the success of the X-Men movie is helping all comic book movies. The article lists that Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers) is working on a movie version of Dr. Strange.

Posted 20 July 02000 - Permalink

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Marvel issues a press release beaming about the success of the X-Men movie. Once again, Marvel's joint venture with Artisan Entertainment to develop 15 properties is touted, but the complete list is never given and Dr. Strange is never mentioned as one of the properties. I wonder if he is. Ant Man was on the list in a previous press release: Ant Man?! I couldn't find a full list of the 15 characters anywhere among Marvel's press releases.

Posted 19 July 02000 - Permalink

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Stan Lee Interviewed on Larry King

Stan Lee People in the Marvel Universe usenet newsgroup are referring to a recent interview Larry King did with Stan Lee. Drat! I missed it, a total whiff. A search of the internet (especially CNN) for a complete free transcript came up empty, but I'll keep looking. The newsgroup says that Larry was a jerk, but that the Great One was classy. That would be expected behavior from both.

To make up for missing this interview, here's another, from during my June absence: Huge five-part IGN interview with Stan Lee (link updated).

Posted 18 July 02000 - Permalink

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X-Men Movie Excellent!

I hope this translates into goodness for Marvel, comic books in general, and even Dr. Strange's movie chances. I still despise the suits at Marvel.
PS- Stan Lee, co-creator of Dr. Strange, cameos as a beach hot-dog vendor in the flick.

Posted 15 July 02000 - Permalink

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I posted to the Marvel Comics Usenet newsgroup about building an internet community around Doctor Strange, and it went over like a lead balloon, as expected. So did reaching out to some other Doc fansites. With this apathy, the comic business dying, and Doc's current absence in comics while his villains frolic without meaning around the Marvel Universe (another newsgroup post lead balloon, by the way)- I'm convinced that this site is needed, and I shall press on to stir up interest in Dr. Strange.

Posted 14 July 02000 - Permalink

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Dr. Strange Villains Everywhere, Dr. Strange and Neilalien AWOL!

I apologize to my readers for the hiatus, if I have any readers left now. I became a comic book blog, losing my regular blog readers- and then I disappear totally. Maybe I took that Marvel announcement about forsaking a "simple paper medium" for movies a little too hard and started to take the summer off. But today, I have been awakened. I walked into the comic book store this week, and there they were, two major Dr. Strange villains. Dormammu in Hellcat #1, and Nightmare in Black Panther #22. But where is Doctor Strange!? Absent. I am upset, and heart-broken.

Posted 13 July 02000 - Permalink

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Comics creators asked, "Why create comics?" [Warren Ellis' Come In Alone]

  1. "Comics are just words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures." (Harvey Pekar)
  2. Fascinating: Creators naturally valuing the more direct communication with the reader in comics: there are fewer idiots/morons/editors/executives/opinions/layers between the creators and the audience in comics than in other media like movies and television.

Posted 5 June 02000 - Permalink

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Good column easing my Marvel "abandoning the comics market" fears with rational thought; comic books in general and Marvel's characters in particular will survive while Marvel reaches for the Hollywood brass ring as it always has; interesting overview of part of Marvel's current state here too [Master of the Obvious column at Comic Book Resources]

Posted 17 May 02000 - Permalink

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Devastating News! Marvel To Turn Away From Comics!?

For those of you who haven't heard the news, the idiots who now run Marvel Comics have announced that the company is turning away from the "simple paper medium" of comic books for movies, video games and the internet. This is unbelievable! The same corporate suits who hate comics and have driven Marvel into the ground over the past several years, treating the fans and the talent like shit, killing their own industry and then blaming movies, video games and the internet for it, and destroying any chance for the company to reclaim its primacy in the comic book industry and properly expand into and exploit those new media formats, are now destroying the company for good. And for Doctor Strange fans, this basically means nothing less than: no more stories. Have I come to blog Doctor Strange- or the death of comic books? [Ain't It Cool News] [Another Universe]

Posted 10 May 02000 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange Sighting: Marvels Codename: X-Men

The Marvels one-shots came out this week, which if I understand the concept correctly, are supposed to be the comics sold within the Marvel Universe, and featuring fictionalised versions of the "real" superheroes based on what the public knows about them. Doctor Strange appears in Codename: X-Men. He's the arrogant leader of The Church of the Splitting Atom, an evil mutant group considering putting all normal humans into death camps. He's got hex powers a la The Scarlet Witch, and he's a cannibal. Maybe I don't understand the concept...

Posted 5 May 02000 - Permalink

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Interview with 90's Doctor Strange writer David Quinn [Comic Book Resources]
"One of the quintessential rebels of comics" says it's the best and worst of times for creators to do what they want in comics, whether creator-owned or Flash.

Posted 26 April 02000 - Permalink

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What people are saying about the chicken in the 5k contest!

"Neil is one sick chicken-lovin' fella!" - S.S.
"I checked out your website, and I have been exciting and relaxing the chicken for about an hour now!" - from Miami
"Neil, press my button and excite me too!" - S.H.
"I do hope that Neil will win." - F.B. from Indonesia
"Mmm... chicken..." - J.L.
"Tastes like a winner!" - R.D.
"Neil's chicken is really excited." - a Diva in NYC
"Does the chicken do anything?" - P.B.
"¡Soy una muy impressivo para el gallo incredile!" - I have no idea who sent this or what it even means... my apologies if it offends.

Updated 23 April 02000 - Permalink

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Neilalien Gets Haiku-ized By Firda!

He is Neilalien
He's an alien in New York
He excites chicken

Posted 18 April 02000 - Permalink

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Stan Lee Interview [IGN]

Mostly about the Spider-Man movie and Stan Lee Media. "Excelsior means 'Upward and onward to greater glory!'"

Posted 17 April 02000 - Permalink

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New Doctor Strange mini-series! [IGN]

Harlan Ellison will write and John Romita Jr. will draw- certainly can't complain about the talent level involved. I'm wary of the plot thread that's been announced: "Dormammu is dying," Romita explains. "If he dies, it throws the whole netherworld off, so Dr. Strange has to go inside him."

Posted 15 April 02000 - Permalink

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The Old Bastard's Manifesto [Warren Ellis' Come In Alone]

An eye-opening call to make comics a more adult medium, like novels and cinema, by telling complete stories in graphic novel form rather than ongoing monthly serialization, less superhero domination ("The notion that [superheroes] dominate an entire genre is absurd. It's like every bookstore in the planet having ninety percent of its shelves filled by nurse novels."), more focus on creators rather than characters (the way music is bought by band, not music publisher), and ending the wasted energy of trying to create comics for kids to sell in comic shops kids don't go into anymore.

Posted 3 April 02000 - Permalink

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Thanks Firda, for the link to the dictionary of comic book sound words. You make my heart go THUMPITTY THUMPITTY.

Posted 20 March 02000 - Permalink

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Sequential Tart article about comic book breasts. Via Gliff via Weblog Nation.

Posted 19 March 02000 - Permalink

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Writer-director Chuck Russell (Eraser) to develop a Dr. Strange movie for Columbia Pictures! [Sci Fi Wire]

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Happiness is filling a lingering gap in one's comic book collection. Purchased at a convention in NYC this morning: Giant-Size Doctor Strange, in condition so mint, it's spearmint.

Posted 16 March 02000 - Permalink

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Superfriends Wassup!
Hilarious! I realize I'm about a year late with checking this out and posting it, but I resist downloading every little damn thing.

Posted 15 March 02000 - Permalink

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A super-hero name generator! Found via Weblog Wannabe.

Posted 4 March 02000 - Permalink

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If you weren't already mourning the recent passing of legendary comic book artist/creator Gil Kane, a letter writer in the recent issue of Comics Buyer's Guide (#1373) mentions:

And how many artists... have used the tricks that Gil pioneered to render bodies in motion? (The figure running toward you with one leg extended fully, the other tucked neatly away at the knee, is one that comes to mind.)

Posted 1 March 02000 - Permalink

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Strange Tales #110, Doctor Strange's debut, reviewed [Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Index]

Dated 27 February 02000 - Permalink

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Neilalien has landed.

(I know, not nearly as clever a palindrome as, "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!")

Posted 25 February 02000 (This page is Y10K compliant.) - Permalink

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Neilalien Website Origin

Timeline: February 02000

Jumping on the weblogging and E/N bandwagon, and desiring to learn more about HTML and web design, I create the Neilalien identity and website, and start blogging and hyperlinking and spewing to my heart's content.

Timeline: March 02000

Okay, I've already had quite enough of this weblogging crap. Man that stunk.

Timeline: April 02000

The Neilalien website shrinks and evolves into The Doctor Strange Eye of Agamotto News Wire/Weblog.

A tighter vision. Less navel-gazing. Fewer parroted links and memes. A more unique voice and content. More fun for myself. Less demanding on my limited free time.

So I go topical and micro-niche, celebrating the art form known as the comic book, and tracking the sparse news of my favorite superhero, Doctor Strange. All non-comics weblog posts deleted.

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