Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Doctor Strange sighting: New Avengers #59, doing astral plane recon with Doctor Voodoo, each redundant to the other
Credit where due: Love that Immonen art as always, the grey/black longcoat look for Doc isn't horrible, and Neilalien is curious enough to check in again to see if Osborn has someone interesting on his side to counter Strange and Voodoo mystically. The Marvel Magic Rogue's Gallery could use a bump.

Comic strip character dons his "gay apparel"- the Cloak of Levitation- to battle Santa Claus [today's PVP] [thanks Roger!]

Building A List: The Best Superhero Projects Of The Decade We're Leaving [Comics Reporter]
If you read this blog, your to-read list just doubled in length.

"The Ever Unreachable", long Ditko rant [Big Hollywood] [is follow-up to "Toyland"]
We're reaching a point where Neilalien is not that interested in being a soapbox-by-link for Ditko's Objectivist spoutings- but there's just enough about comics, the comics industry, and thoughts on 'the hero' here for now. For those much more interested in what's on the comic book page, you should be following BobH's Daily Ditko Twitter and Ditko Comics, both on a big content roll of Ditko art lately.

Posted 30 November 02009 - Permalink

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Depowering/Sorcerer-Supreme-Mantle-Losing Moments In Dr. Strange History

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #49

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #49 (January 01993), by Len Kaminski and Geof Isherwood. "No More..."

Previously in DSSS #48, Doctor Strange's long-time benefactors the Vishanti demanded that Doc fight for them in the Seven Spheres War against the Trinity of Ashes. Time and location of service: Five thousand years (it would be a simple matter to extend his lifespan (and he's got that thing when he defeated Death too)), on a far-away designated plane of combat. Unwilling to be drafted and leave the Earth plane unprotected for so long, Doc ballsily refuses.

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #49

But soon after, many Powers and Principalities (the Vishanti again, Cyttorak, Watoomb, etc.) come out of the woodwork demanding Doc's service in the War. So Doc recites the Emancipation Proclamation, and frees himself from their association.

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #49

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #50 panel

Panel from the start of DSSS #50: Doc telling the Defenders the consequences of his actions: he can no longer call upon the Powers and Principalities in spells (so no more Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, Winds of Watoomb, etc.), so he is at vastly reduced power now, only able to employ mystic energies that he can directly manipulate.

Epilogue: Oops, the Vishanti in their eternal wisdom forgot (or maybe they didn't tell Doc to test him, to see if he would obey without knowing) (or maybe they sweetened the offer later) (or thank the Vishanti for a Warren Ellis retcon) to tell Doc that only about three months of Earth time would pass while he was 5,000 years away at the War, so his Earth-defense duties weren't ever really at risk. Doc eventually served in the War (for 5,000 years), and then later, his status quo in the Vishanti's good graces became apparent again.

But before all that happened: Doc's depowered state after DSSS #49 was too juicy for the bad guys to resist challenging, and he lost the Sorcerer Supreme mantle to Salome. We'll save that for the next installment in this series.

If the diagnosis to "the Doctor Strange Problem" is that he's too powerful, or if the natural evolution of the character is to gradually grow in power as writer after writer must top what came before until Doc requires occasional special depowering, or if his magic is too undefined or Stan Lee's incantation-prose no longer casts the spell it once did for readers- then there is a great idea here for depowering Doc and changing his magical system. But unfortunately, in Neilalien's opinion with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't implemented as well as it could have. Neilalien is glad that Doc rebelled- that's the correct path- but the decision should have been shown as much tougher for Doc to make, he should have been shown as more torn. Both Doc and the Vishanti come off as needlessly ungrateful to each other and impulsive in a half-issue for the connection they were supposed to have. The Trinity of Ashes should have made a push to recruit Doc- or show Clea aligned with the Trinity- mix the chess pieces up, shake up the Marvel Magic Universe, make the Powers and Principalities less monolithic. Mine this idea for more stories. Neilalien would have avoided the whole Emancipation Proclamation brouhaha and "being no man or god's servant"- the Sorcerer Supreme mantle should be all about Service, to one's duties, protecting the innocent, etc. Eventually, Neilalien might have led Doc to a choice: either go fight in the War, or the Powers and Principalities will go off to fight it without him, which means their spells will not be available to Doc while they're gone. Doc chooses the latter, which leads to a depowered Doc looking for a new magical system- now you can have all the clean-slate magical-system and power-level changes you want. If your changes don't work out, if sales tank, then, Hey! The Vishanti are back from the War, it didn't take as long as we all thought it would, presto, Doc is back to his original status quo.

Earlier posts in the Depowering/Mantle-Losing Series: [Doctor Strange #19]

A Happy Thanksgiving to all if Neilalien is unable to post over the next week!

Posted 22 November 02009 - Permalink

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Blue Hat Man Brother Voodoo's ascension to the role of Sorcerer Supreme was Bendis's idea, but was ratified by a vote [Bendis answered fan questions on Twitter] [via Robot 6]
Wonder if the vote was close.

Australian fashion designer Kym Ellery's new Autumn/Winter 02010 collection is called "A Tribute To Doctor Strange" [Pedestrian.tv]

Pinups from Doctor Strange Classics #1 [Giant Size Marvel Comics]

Nobody's Favorites: Failed Dr. Strange prototype Dr. Droom/Druid [Armagideon Time]

The Invincible Gene Colan, "a visual biography of one of the most brilliant, sublime and influential comic artists in the history of the genre" [Clifford Meth] [Aardwolf Publishing]

The superhero genre as expression of genuine creativity is pretty much dead [Permanent Damage]
Neilalien wrote a brilliant counter-essay, but then Lady Stilt-Man happened and made PD's point undeniable.

Don't overlook the gem that is Atomic Robo [Newsarama]

Grant Morrison laid the groundwork for a whole new generation of X-Men comics; Marvel ran away screaming from it [4thletter]

Interview with Jay Potts, creator of new Neilalien fave webcomic World of Hurt [Newsarama]

Neat interview with Irene Vartanoff, creator long-involved with romance comics [Sequential Crush] [via Comics Reporter]
"Sequential Crush is a blog devoted to preserving the memory of romance comic books and the creative teams that published them throughout the [0]1960s and [0]1970s."

List of Wonder Woman's paraphernalia [Wonder of Wonders]
Did not know the Invisible Jet is an alien life form.

Red Torpedo is a new female android, and Red Tornado love interest (?), with two problems right off the bat: (1) large rack presumably not aero/aquadynamic
(2) A name which is slang for a used tampon.

Neilalien wonders if Blackest Night is the stock-market bubble-top for the death-as-storytelling/drama crutch in superhero comics [Bleeding Cool]

Marvel Q3 02009 numbers nuked as expected because of no movies right now; publishing down $2 million (6%: 34 million to $32 million) due to lower ad revenue, but book market up $1.6 million [ICv2] [Reuters]

Son of Satan experiencing a little renaissance/burst of appearances lately [The Cool Kids Table]

Clash of the Titans remake scheduled for March 02010 release [trailer on YouTube]

Reminder: New Prisoner miniseries starts tonight on AMC

Posted 15 November 02009 - Permalink

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12 Superheroes Who Should Be On '70s Vans [Maxim] [thanks readers!]

Doctor Strange Van

Posted 14 November 02009 - Permalink

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Doc uberfan Sanctum Sanctorum Comix's unbelievable collection of Doctor Strange apparel on display!

Part 1: Caps and Ties
Part 2: T-Shirts (Doc alone)
Part 3: T-Shirts (Doc with others)
Part 4: Related T-Shirts
Part 5: Marvel Boxers (with awesome Photoshop wish for Doctor Strange Underoos
Extra: Sanctum's own Doc Halloween costume wins 01997 Wizard contest!

Doctor Strange fake Underoos

Posted 13 November 02009 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange uberfan Sanctum Sanctorum Comix emails re: Troublemakin' Doctor Strange Cover: Doctor Strange #180:

The story of that cover: According to one version of the story, Gene Colan had drawn a different cover for the issue, but that it must have gotten lost in the mail for a while. Another story I read was that Colan thought he left it in a cab.
Whatever the case, it wasn't on hand when the "dreaded Deadline Doom" came about. Thus, they slapped together a composite, using Eternity as drawn by Ditko (the splash page from Strange Tales #146- Neil Editori-Al-ien) and a Colan Doc (the splash page from Strange Tales #178 - Neil Editori-Al-ien again) superimposed over a New York City skyline photo.
The cover that Colan had drawn eventually surfaced and was used much later for the cover to Alter Ego #6:

Alter Ego #6

Posted 11 November 02009 - Permalink

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Mark Waid and Emma Rios' Strange out tomorrow! [First Look at Comics Continuum (scroll down)] [Diamond is listing a Super Hero Squad variant?] [update: Super Hero Squad variant cover art [thanks Rex!]]

Posted 10 November 02009 - Permalink

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Troublemakin' Doctor Strange Covers

Doctor Strange #5

Doctor Strange #5, art by Frank Brunner. The Clea Bondage Cover.

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #15

Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #15, art by Jackson Guice. The Unauthorized Amy Grant Cover. [Comics Should Be Good recap]

Strange Tales #139

Strange Tales #139, Doc art by Marie Severin (Nick Fury image is the panel of the first page within, by Kirby). It always bothered Neilalien that (a) Doc is passively watching the action, and (b) that he's not viewing that action via mystical means, like the Orb.

Doctor Strange #180

Updated! Doctor Strange #180, art by... well, we're not really sure who put this art together, but "put it together" is what they did. Neilalien loves that photo NYC skyline, but the two figures are images just thrown in from previous books, no? And all that white space to get marked, or aged into yellowness or transparency: so hard to find this issue in peppermint mint! More update: The strange tale of Doctor Strange #180's cover.

Posted 9 November 02009 - Permalink

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Brendan McCarthy's Spider-Man/Doctor Strange miniseries is named Fever and scheduled for April; cool rejected promo image is out [Bleeding Cool] [Bad Librarianship] [thanks readers!]

Brendan McCarthy rejected Fever promo

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FYI: Either it was moved, or previous info was erroneous, but Mark Waid's Strange #1 is now out next week, 11 November, not this week [Marvel.com]

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This weekend in Brooklyn: King Con! Cool new con skews Brooklynite, indie, webcomic [King Con Brooklyn official website] [panel schedule] [at Brooklyn Lyceum]
Update: More info, party info: [The Beat]

Posted 3 November 02009 - Permalink

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Happy Birthday to Steve Ditko!

Steve Ditko

From "How Stan Lee And Steve Ditko Create Spider-Man!" in Spider-Man Annual #1 (01964).

Posted 2 November 02009 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange learns Magic The Gathering

When they said that Doctor Strange had to learn the basics of Magic again after losing the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, Neilalien didn't think they meant this... [source]

Posted 1 November 02009 - Permalink

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