Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Review of Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Spoilers)

The Straczynski/Romita Jr. run continues its excellence with this issue.

Neilalien really wishes there was more Dr. Strange. Granted, in a team-up story the title character of the book is going to be the primary day-saver, and that's fine. But Doc didn't even actually adventure with Spidey. In fact, sending Spidey alone and clueless into the astral plane was downright irresponsible of Doc. Spidey was a fish out of water there alone and it didn't make for a great Spider-Man story. This was a fantastic opportunity for a talented creator like JMS to add a nice moment in the Doc canon, but we just got more of the recent dark, diseased, aloof, unheroic Doc. Doc should have been out there saving people's lives. Doc-Spidey team-ups are the best in the business, and we wuz robbed.

Doc would have creamed The Shade with an after-thought- so to include Doc, Neilalien would've had Spidey fight Shade while Doc perhaps fought a large creature feeding on the people in the hole. Spider-Man still could have had his dawdle moment at the end (maybe when Doc creates a portal to return home, Doc goes in first and Spidey is bringing up the rear shepherding the people into the portal mouth when he gets distracted) and a meaningful miss of Mary Jane.

One cool thing: Seeing an alternate dimension in the Ditko style again.

A blurb about the Hand of the Vishanti would have been nice. Doc could have imparted a little occult knowledge in a dramatic one-panel story. Instead, he just goes to a cramped cupboard and pulls out a monkey's paw.

The Mary Jane part at the end felt a little over-the-top, in the love-hokey and Spidey-hard-luck departments. Shouldn't have wandered off the path, Peter...

Posted 30 June 02002 - Permalink

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The Aquaman Parody [at Spoil Sports via LinkMachineGo]
Hopefully Neilalien's good friend and "ocean problem" denier at In Sequence has the Flash Plug-In! :)
PS- The Wonder Woman one is a riot too. Includes: I'd take my best shot but her bracelets deflect it / I'd leave on her plane if I could only detect it. Batman is next. Hopefully they'll get to Dr. Strange someday!

Posted 28 June 02002 - Permalink

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CrossGen is creating an incredible opportunity for indy and alt comics! Impressive! [Newsarama]

Rich Johnston of All The Rage now does a Lying In The Gutters column for Comic Book Resources [Preview here about the above CrossGen news]

Sounds like Kevin Smith didn't get to plug his Spider-Man comic book on the Tonight Show as much as some fans (including himself) would have liked [Newsarama]

Diamond Creates Bookstore Division [Newsarama]

Marvel is looking to fill a Children's Book Editor position [Slush Factory]
Neilalien didn't even know Marvel did children's books.

Posted 27 June 02002 - Permalink

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New Doctor Strange Mini-Series Revealed! Happy Day!

First look at Amazing Spider-Man #42 [Mile High Comics]
But that Page Four is a kicker! An appointment with Death!? The Hand of Vishanti?! And a new Doctor Strange mini-series called The Other Side of Darkness announced in one of the editorial boxes! It looks like Doc isn't going to be actually adventuring with Spidey, which is a bummer.

Props to fellow Doc uber-fan SanctumSanctorumComix [Defenders Message Board #1; #2]

First look at Infinity Abyss #2 [Mile High Comics]
The Defenders make an appearance! Something bad happens to them on Page Three.

Coverage of this weekend's successful MOCCA Art Festival [Splash]

Posted 26 June 02002 - Permalink

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Flyer received at MOCCA: Superheroes In The 60's: Comics & Counterculture. A multimedia lecture series by Arlen Schumer. At the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Avenue at 34th Street in NYC. Four consecutive Tuesday nights, 6:30 - 8:30pm, beginning October 29, 2002. $25 each, $90 for all four. To register call (212) 817-8215 or continuinged AT Doctor Strange mentioned in the flyer as a "counterculture liberal."

Creators weigh in on the wave of 80's nostalgia [Newsarama]

Kevin Smith will be on the Tonight Show tonight to promote a comic book! [Newsarama]

Posted 25 June 02002 - Permalink

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Spidey Tag Sale [ via Splash]
More on Stan Lee auctioning off all his stuff.
Here's Stan's file copy of Strange Tales #110 [Heritage Comics]

Stan Lee Doesn't Write Spider-Man Anymore [current Savant essay]

Monkey Town is complete! [Scott McCloud's Morning Improv]
Scott has received 3,000 title submissions? Yikes.

Posted 24 June 02002 - Permalink

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Neilalien's Favorites of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival 02002

Klaus Janson sketch of Doctor Strange Klaus Janson was doing sketches if you donated to the Museum. Neilalien got an awesome headshot of Dr. Strange! Click on the image for a larger, partial scan. Janson really got into drawing Doc- he was probably getting a little bored of all the Batman and Daredevil requests. He was the nicest guy, too. Seeing his sketch was the highlight of the day.
Gene Colan was a no-show Classic Doc creator Gene Colan cancelled, which was a major downer for Neilalien. Sigh. Well, hopefully he's okay and didn't cancel for a bad-news reason.
Visit Second 2 Some Studios Fade From Blue, by Myatt Murphy and Scott Dalrymple, is a great piece about four half-sisters. Neilalien is blown away by the excellent story, dialogue, characterization and humor. The art is also excellent- neat, clear with great facial expressions. Lots of talent here.
Visit Alternative Comics Titans of Finance, by R. Walker and Josh Neufeld, relates the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tales of Corporate America, including Ron Perelman's fiasco at Marvel [Amazon].
Visit Frayed Ends is a fun, original comic about a young man who is coping with loss and confronted with the reappearance of his childhood imaginary friend. By the extremely personable Jason Brightman. Check it out!
Visit Dark Echoes, by Damon Hurd and Matt Mason, is the interesting story of Owen, an angel who falls from grace for refusing to split up soulmates. The potential for this series of standalone-yet-linked stories crossing the genres of sci-fi, horror, etc. is sky-high. Unfortunately, the art isn't the clean minimalist style of a Ditko or Quitely like Neilalien favors, and the males looked too similar. Neat funky paneling like 70's Doc books. Recommended.

If Neilalien had to spew or give unsolicited advice to the many non-mainstream indy creators and self-publishing small-press dreamers out there (he's never done any of that, right? ;) ) it would be:

  1. More compelling cover images- and preferably color, of course, if you can afford it. The competition for eyeballs and attention is fierce.
  2. Better, neater, clearer, legible lettering with no misspellings or grammatical errors. It's like going to a movie and the audio's messed up.
  3. Stop trying to write the next Ghost World. Daniel Clowes you ain't. Table after table of people writing apparently "what they know"- "quaintly" drawn anecdotes about their crappy teenage lives. The dominant superhero genre leaves so many other genre needs wanting. Where is the imagination? The entertainment escape? Where is the actual constructed story with plot? Neilalien wants to see more sci fi, horror, fantasy, mystery, cowboy western, romance, blistering comedic social commentary, etc. etc.

Overall the event seemed very successful. The place was packed, many creators sold out of their materials, and the donation boxes looked stuffed. Excelsior!

Posted 23 June 02002 - Permalink

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Reminder: The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is having a Festival tomorrow in New York City. Classic Doc artist Gene Colan is scheduled to appear.

Wow. Columnist praises The Order, then the book gets eviscerated in the reader comments [Journey Into Comics: Looking At The Lesser Knowns]

The Science of Superheroes [BBC Science Hot Topics]
Includes a Stan Lee interview, the Spider-Goat, and lots of interesting trivia. Did you know the creator of Wonder Woman was an early proponent of the polygraph? That explains that lasso!

FBI Seizes Peter Paul Documents [Splash]

Posted 22 June 02002 - Permalink

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Neilalien Action Alert

Doctor Strange Fans, Activate! From the Neilalien Mailbag:

"Hey. Love your site, I have been a big Dr. Strange fan since I was a kid. I was wondering if you can help me: I am looking for some good samples of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak for reference for a tattoo I am designing for my arm...

I am designing a band for my arm that will have the Amulet of Agamotto as a center-piece (eye open with yellow ray coming out and spreading downward obscuring the bottom of the Amulet), exploding from behind the Amulet will be the Crimson Bands and they will form the actual band around my arm. Only big fans will probably recognize it, but I really like my design- I JUST CAN'T GET THOSE DARN BANDS RIGHT. After several hours of digging through my comics, I thought I would ask an expert. I'm looking for a large, visible example of the Bands. I want to get this done ASAP (translation- while I still have enough money to pay for it stuffed in my tatt fund box). Thanks! K."

Rock on! Fellow Doctor Strange fans, we need to help one of our own. Can anyone think of some great drawn examples of the Crimson Bands? What's your vote for the best manifestation of the Bands? Do you have an image of the Bands that would be perfect for this tattoo? Post your suggestions (issue, panel, link to an image) to the Neilalien Message Board (or email Neilalien if you're shy or have a scan). It's time again for Neilalien's cabal of Doc fans to mobilize and have some fun. Get out those collections!

Posted 21 June 02002 - Permalink

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Art treat from Order #6 [Defenders Message Board]
It's actually by Matt Haley. Cool!

Neilalien's got just the thing to mess with your mood today: classic Hulk artist Herb Trimpe's heartbreaking journal after being fired from Marvel [via this week's Answer Man]

Hilarious Fake Memo about Superman's Vision [old McSweeney's via LinkMachineGo]

Posted 20 June 02002 - Permalink

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<whine>They're giving Aquaman his own series again? Aquaman?</whine> [Newsarama]
That sigh you hear is legions of Doctor Strange fans. (Actually, the interview's pretty good, and talks about the "ocean problem.")

The New York City Comic Book Museum names Stan Lee to honorary board of trustees [Comic Book Resources]

It's time once again to link to the comic books segment on Talk of the Nation from a few months ago [National Public Radio (Real Audio)]
Why, you ask?

Posted 19 June 02002 - Permalink

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Here's all that news about Stuart Moore's exit from Marvel, and the fate of Marvel Knights and MAX [Newsarama]
Best of luck to Mr. Moore. Hopefully the new Marvel Knights editor can get more Doctor Strange in our hands. Just put out a #5 that continues from Flight of Bones. That would be a popular move around here!

Pamela Anderson Joins With Stan Lee to Launch Animated Striperella [Silver Bullet]

Marvel For Sale? More buzz, good discussion [Splash]

Order #5 reviews [Silver Bullet (positive)]

Neilalien makes it onto the latest incarnation of Blog Elements! Yay! [Fairvue Central Feature]
Neilalien shudders to think how many blogs died to make room for him. :/

Posted 18 June 02002 - Permalink

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Doctor Strange In Recent Comics: Quickie Reviews (Spoilers)

The Order #5
The mini-series is back on track and headed for the finale! So the violence generated by the Order is getting channeled into the core of the planet Yann, and the unleashed energy of that planet when destroyed will bounce back to Earth and Yandroth will be reborn with godlike power. The first reaction is, "Um... yeah... okay... whatever..." But this is exactly Yandroth's kind of scheme (don't forget the Omegatron!), and the Curse makes sense. Great to see Yandroth's world, the sonic snail thing, and the Scientist Supreme title again (held by... Adam Strange?). Hopefully the finale will have a good helping of battle royale before the non-violent resolution.

Infinty Abyss #1
Starlin has an uphill battle to make Thanos, Pip The Troll, Gamora and Adam Warlock interesting again, if they ever were. This first issue is a little wild and loose, with good pacing and enough hooks for the curious to keep reading. Art and lettering feel a little rough though. Did AIM soldiers always wear Charlie Brown shirts?

Amazing Spider-Man #41
JMS' Spider-Man has been great. The wise-cracking wall-crawler is back. His internal monologue is fun again. Peter and Aunt May's interaction now that she knows has been solid. A good story-arc is afoot- even if it's only moving at a snail's pace and Doc only has a one-panel cameo at the end of this particular issue.

Paradise X: Xen
There are a couple good alternate/potential-world tidbits between Doc and Clea here- but it's not a Doc one-shot, it's more an Odin-Thor-Loki story. The whole X concept was a great idea, and fuel for a fun Alex Ross design-fest- but it played out long ago, and you'll have to plunk down a hefty $4.50 for this issue.

Let's see, what else is in the pile... Powers #20, Black Panther #45, Transformers G1 #3, Authority #29...

Posted 13 June 02002 - Permalink

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Rand Scheme of Things: The movie 'Spider-Man' nimbly sidesteps the cranky objectivism of co-creator Steve Ditko [Metroactive Books]
Peter Bagge's Megalomanical Spider-Man "gratifies on several levels."

Eyes of Light: The Fantasy Drawings of Frank Brunner is back on Neilalien's radar [Vanguard Productions]
Via this positive review on the Defenders Message Board. Sounds like some Doc and Clea goodness.

Posted 13 June 02002 - Permalink

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Today's Diamond Comics Shipping List includes an item for "Classic Dr. Strange T-Shirt." Is this something new? Anyone know anything? Must just be a reissue of this Doc shirt. Doubt it's a brand-new shirt design, or the two Doc shirts on this page.

While surfing for info, Neilalien found ECW wrestler Raven wearing a Doc shirt in the ring. Cool!

Update: It's a reissue of the classic Ditko shirt above.

Posted 12 June 02002 - Permalink

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The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is having a festival on Sunday 23 June in NYC! [Comic Book Resources]

Battle of the Planets Tops 150K [Newsarama]
There was a time when orders of 150K wasn't a headline, and nostalgia was an industry death-knell, not a savior. Sigh. Oh well. Good news for Top Cow. Neilalien is happily buying his Transformers, too.

Neil Gaiman interview [Slush Factory]

Quesada disappointed in comic media coverage of Call of Duty [rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe on Google Groups]
The newsgroup discussion starts off slow, but the backlash gets interesting later on. Everything from the book is crap, to exploiting 9-11, to it didn't really sell well, or it only sold out because of Marvel's printing policy, to Marvel's press conferences no longer being toll-free...

Posted 11 June 02002 - Permalink

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Peter Parker: Spider-Man bursts out of the page [Independent News via LinkMachineGo]
There's always room for one more Spidey item. Especially one with: "Aunt May has died four times, twice by foul play."

"Wonder Twins" Live Action Film? [Silver Bullet]
(Neilalien's link to Yahoo News about this item last week died so quickly, so here's something a little more perm if you missed it.)

Light at the end of the licensing tunnel [Splash]

Posted 10 June 02002 - Permalink

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Transformers! [1.5 MB mpg via Oliver Willis]

Posted 8 June 02002 - Permalink

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Grant Morrison says upcoming Marvel Boy 2 influenced by Brunner/Englehart Doctor Strange [Newsarama]
Lots of great info about New X-Men too, if you're still interested (Neilalien isn't- Kordey is no Quitely).

First Look at Infinity Abyss #1 [Mile High]
Order #5 is also due out next week, but no First Look to be found.

Posted 7 June 02002 - Permalink

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Multiple choice quiz: Last night at the NYC premiere party of Gene Simmons' new magazine Tongue at the legendary Studio 54, Neilalien saw:

  1. Gene Simmons.
  2. The symbiotic relationship of the celebrity and the parasites.
  3. Mini-KISS (four midgets in appropriate make-up lip-synching their tunes).
  4. Vanilla Coke (or VCoke) for the first time (pretty tasty).
  5. Lots of attractive women- his own girlfriend included (she made Neilalien write that :) ).
  6. A happy metalhead who got Gene to sign his KISS jacket.
  7. That Dr. Strange and Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee is in the debut issue (must keep this entry relevant to this weblog).
  8. A couple trying their hand at public sex (no pun intended).
  9. All of the above.

Posted 6 June 02002 - Permalink

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Dee Dee Ramone Found Dead in L.A. []
Neilalien loves the Ramones. Another sad day. It's like a death a year now.

Grant Morrison on memes, real-life superpowers, the comic book industry, and Geekonomics [Newsarama]

If you're an Immonen fan like Neilalien is, check out Hulk #44-49 [Newsarama]
Lots of righteous praise for Stuart in the discussion too.

Wonder Twins movie, activate! [Hollywood Reporter on Yahoo via Fark]
Dollars will get you donuts we'll see this one before a Doctor Strange movie.

An episode of the Incredible Hulk cartoon from the early 80's gets reviewed [X-Entertainment via Fark]

Posted 6 June 02002 - Permalink

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Stan Lee filming his cameo for The Hulk this week; his cameo in Daredevil is done; gives the Spider-Man flick thumbs-up [Comics Continuum]
Milk it, Stan!

Posted 5 June 02002 - Permalink

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PvP vs. Alternative Comics [Newsarama]
If you'd like to see a sacred cow wonderfully sized up for burgers, start here with the actual PvP comic strip storyline. Then read the discussion at the Newsarama link above, and Barbelith, Comicon and Comics Journal.

All of the G.I. Joe 'Knowing is half the battle' endings [Ultimate G.I. Joe Cartoon Site via Fark]

Posted 4 June 02002 - Permalink

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How superheroes took over the cinema [Guardian UK via LinkMachineGo]

Peter David on DC Price Hike [Newsarama]
Great stuff about how this isn't the same as Jemas' blowhard PR stunt with Captain Marvel. And: "The 22 page pamphlet-style of comics is a terminal format."

Posted 3 June 02002 - Permalink

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The music of Dr. Strangely Strange reviewed [Neilalien's good friend Sly at 21st Century Schizoid Man]

Great weblog Ghost in the Machine has a spiffy new address []
Update your bookmarks. It's now run on Movable Type with all the shiny latest features. Wow. Is the era of old-school hand-coded blogging coming to an end? Who's next among the hand-coders to move to a content management system? Kottke?

Posted 2 June 02002 - Permalink

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Yikes! Spider-Man body painting (warning: blue male woohoo) [via LinkMachineGo]

Posted 1 June 02002 - Permalink

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