Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

October 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
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]

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