Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

PALINDROME

NEILALIEN

A Doctor Strange Fansite
A Comic Book Weblog/Portal
A Steve Ditko Fansite
A Mysterious Palindrome

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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

Stan Lee "Feeling Great" After Brief Hospitalization

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Out this week: Doctor Strange #385

Donny Cates brings the thunder on Doctor Strange and Thanos

A Fan Found An Undiscovered Doctor Strange Easter Egg At The Perfect Time [in the movie, Stephen Strange's accident occurred on February 2nd, Groundhog Day, another reference to time and time loops, as shown with his broken watch]

Black Panther Is a Beautiful Showcase for Natural Hair

Man Prefers Comic Books That Don't Insert Politics Into Stories About Government-Engineered Agents Of War

How Much Would It Cost to Be Batman in Real Life? [over $682 million; link is from 02012, not adjusted for inflation since]

[12 February 02018]

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Marvel's April 02018 solicits conclude big Doctor Strange Damnation event [Newsarama]

The #389 solicit says "first act back as Sorcerer Supreme" and "a new magical landscape".

Go Behind The Scenes of Doctor Strange: Damnation

DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #4 (OF 4)
DONNY CATES & NICK SPENCER (W) ROD REIS (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
CONNECTING VARIANT COVER BY GREG SMALLWOOD (4 OF 4)
It's DAMNATION NATION! Mephisto's on a hot streak that won't stop! Every team that's faced him has fallen, while more of the country falls under his influence. There's just one card left to play: Wong versus MephistoALONE! Who escapes alive, who escapes undead and who doesn't escape at all? DAMNATION is going out in a blaze of glory, and you GOTTA see who gets burned!
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #388
DONNY CATES (W)
NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
VENOM 30TH VARIANT COVER BY TBA
DAMNATION TIE-IN!
Doctor Strange has tried playing it straight and he's tried cheating- is the only way to win Mephisto's game not to play? While he tries to check out of the Hotel Inferno, Wong and the Midnight Sons try to break in! With the souls of the living and the dead on the line, is the Sorcerer Supreme willing to follow his former assistant's lead?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #389
DONNY CATES (W)
NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
DAMNATION TIE-IN!
Stephen Strange's first act back as Sorcerer Supreme backfired catastrophically! Maybe the Vishanti were right about him... Will the world trust him to clean up his mess?
There's a new magical landscape after DAMNATION, and a long journey back to the Sanctum Sanctorum!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

WEAPON H #2
GREG PAK (W) CORY SMITH (A)
Cover by LEINIL FRANCIS YU
Variant Cover by SKAN
VENOM 30TH VARIANT COVER BY TBA
BEAST MODE!
AWOL Part 2
Hiding out in the Canadian wilderness from greedy corporate warmongers, Clay (A.K.A. WEAPON H) searches for peace and solitude... But a series of grisly murders in a local mining town stand in his way! GUEST-STARRING THE MASTER OF MYSTIC ARTS, DOCTOR STRANGE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

[27 January 02018]

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Can't unsee the penis on the front of Wasp's costume in Ant-Man and the Wasp

Journalists Offered Reward To Ask Trump About US-Wakanda Relations

Black Female Journalist Talks About Being Unfairly Treated By Lupita N'yongo And Marvel

Stan Lee accused of grabbing more than creator credits these days

[24 January 02018]

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Out today: Doctor Strange #384 [17 January 02018]

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Marvel closes out a tough 02017 comics-wise of public-relations stumbles, Secret Empire, and sales slump; cancels over 10 titles selling in the 10-15K/month range as no mercy shown to Legacy relaunch's long tail of diversity gimmicks

> Marvel Comics Cancellation Bloodbath

> On the Victims of the Marvel Cancellation Bloodbath

> Marvel's Brevoort Reminds Readers Even 'X-Men Was Canceled Once'

> Frequently Asked Quesada: Joe Q. takes to twitter to quiet the waters
Fanboy Rampage: Joe Quesada Defends Marvel Cancellation Bloodbath on Twitter
Marvel exec insists wave of cancellations not motivated by books' diversity; readers 'ultimately decide what survives'

Update: 2017: The Year Almost Everything Went Wrong For Marvel Comics

[Doctor Strange has been selling in the 20Ks; #381 new Legacy numbering/creative team/story arc saw a significant sales boost to the upper 40Ks]

[29 December 02017]

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Happy 95th Birthday to Stan Lee! [Wikipedia] [Twitter] [28 December 02017]

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Marvel's March 02018 solicits continue big Doctor Strange Damnation event; Midnight Sons

Doctor Strange: Damnation issue checklist

DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #2 (OF 4)
NICK SPENCER & DONNY CATES (W) SZYMON KUDRANSKI (A)
Cover by ROD REIS
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
MIGHTY THOR VARIANT COVER BY EMA LUPACCHINO
MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ROAD TO 100 VARIANT COVER BY TBA
Connecting Variant Cover by Greg Smallwood (2 OF 4)
Mephisto has taken up some major real estate in Las Vegas, but he's not going to stop there. He's got the rest of Earth on his "TO GET" list and only Doctor Strange can stop him. The only downside? Strange went into Mephisto's Hotel Inferno to confront him and has not been seen since. Add the fact that the devilish villain has already corrupted several Avengers, and Wong and his rag-tag group of mystical heroes look like they're in serious trouble.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #3 (OF 4)
DONNY CATES & NICK SPENCER (W) SZYMON KUDRANSKI (A)
Cover by ROD REIS
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
NEW MUTANTS VARIANT COVER BY LEINIL YU
Connecting Variant Cover by Greg Smallwood (3 OF 4)
Wong's makeshift Midnight Sons (Iron Fist! Blade! Moon Knight! The Scarlet Spider?!) stand against a whole platoon of Ghost Riders!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #387
DONNY CATES (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
DAMNATION TIE-IN!
Strange is captive in Mephisto's HOTEL INFERNO! His only chance to get out? Winning on the casino floor. But remember, the house ALWAYS wins.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME #41-59 and ANNUAL #2-3; SPIDER-MAN/DOCTOR STRANGE: THE WAY TO DUSTY DEATH; SILVER SURFER (1987) #67; MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE (1992) #9; SECRET DEFENDERS #1-11; and material from INCREDIBLE HULK ANNUAL #18, NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER ANNUAL #2 and SILVER SURFER ANNUAL #5.
1,056 PGS./Rated T+ $125.00

[27 December 02017]

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Big congrats to Mark Evanier for his 17-year blogiversary! [Neilalien can relate re: blogging by hand, eschewing monetization, resisting "editorial controls and assurances"]

[23 December 02017]

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Out 6 Dec: Doctor Strange #382

Out 20 Dec: Doctor Strange #383

[21 December 02017]

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Lots of Dr. Strange in the great-looking Avengers Infinity War Official Trailer [50 million views on YouTube in one day] [really hope Doc's not the hero death everyone's expecting... Thanos gets the Time Stone from him somehow...] [30 November 02017]

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Marvel's February 02018 solicits ushers Loki finale and big Doctor Strange event "Damnation"!

Marvel Announces 'Doctor Strange: Damnation'

Doctor Strange vs. Mephisto & Secret Empire Fallout In New Damnation Title

Doctor Strange Wants to Try and Fix One of Secret Empire's Most Horrendous Moments

While Neilalien is of course excited about a new Dr. Strange event, this announcement already sets him off. The entire premise of the story is Doc's poor judgment and incompetence! First, why is Doc trying to resurrect Las Vegas, destroyed by Captain America and Hydra helicarriers in Secret Empire #1 [links updated]? That kind of reality alteration is never something a wise Doc could, would, or should do. Second, Doc fucks up the magic and brings Mephisto to Earth. And assuming a Third, the usual Marvel event cash-in, many underwhelming comics and tie-ins to buy to get the entire story. But we shall see.

DOCTOR STRANGE #385
DONNY CATES (W) GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
HULK VARIANT COVER BY MIKE DEODATO JR.
LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME PART 5
Get ready for a super-powered wizard's duel in the Mighty Marvel Manner! Loki, Lord of Liars, versus Stephen Strange, the former Sorcerer Supreme! And this time, way more is on the line than the title. Will Loki gain the spell so dangerous, Stephen even hid it from himself? And how will Strange pay for the magic he'll need to defeat a god?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: DAMNATION #1 (OF 5)
DONNY CATES & Nick Spencer (W) ROD REIS (A/C)
Variant Cover by RON LIM
Variant Cover by TBA
CONNECTING VARIANT COVER by GREG SMALLWOOD
Trading Card Variant Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
The city of sin gets its biggest sinner yet. When Doctor Strange raises Las Vegas up from its destruction during SECRET EMPIRE, he inadvertently opens a big door for the embodiment of evil, MEPHISTO! The devilish villain takes the city for himself and sets his sights on the rest of the world. It's going to take heroes from all over the Marvel Universe to defeat him, but there's nothing simple about fighting the lord of Hell.
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #386
DONNY CATES (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A/C)
A DAMNATION TIE-IN!
Doctor Strange bet on his ability to restore Las Vegas and got his prize- with some satanic strings attached! Now he's going double or nothing to set things right. How did he get back to full power? And will it be enough when hes gambling for his life?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #795
DAN SLOTT (W) MIKE HAWTHORNE (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
Hulk Variant Cover by Dale Keown
THREAT LEVEL RED Part 2
IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?!
Spidey pays the Sanctum Sanctorum a visit looking for a consult from the Master of the Mystic arts, Doctor Stephen Strange... but finds himself face-to-face with the Master of Mischief and new Sorcerer Supreme- LOKI LAUFEYSON! And he's even MORE charming than in the movies! Don't believe us? Read this one and find out for yourself!
32 PGS./Rated T $3.99

[26 November 02017]

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> Out this week 15 Nov: Doctor Strange #381 [new legacy numbering; Loki: Sorcerer Supreme story arc]

> Update/Reminder: Variant covers ugh! But one of the #381 variants is lenticular!

> Marvel prints money again with comedic Thor: Ragnarok; $652 million worldwide so far after two #1 weekends [Box Office Mojo] [Doctor Strange cameo summary; "I have been falling for 30 minutes!"]

> Disney sought to punish the LA Times for revealing their shady dealings with Anaheim by withholding a Thor: Ragnarok advance screening for a review but faced a fierce backlash

> Robert Kirkman's new comic book documentary series Secret History of Comics debuted last night on AMC re: Marvel/Stan Lee/Jack Kirby origins
[Official Website]
[New Series From The Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman Reveals Top Comics Characters' Real-Life Origin Stories]
[Secret History of Comics Docuseries Surprised Even Robert Kirkman]
["I really wanted to do a Steve Ditko episode, for instance, but that's very problematic, because he is so extremely press shy. We couldn't really figure out a way into that that wouldn't have been just copying Jonathan Ross's brilliant In Search of Steve Ditko piece that he did for the BBC."]

[13 November 02017]

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Happy 90th Birthday to Steve Ditko! [Wikipedia] [2 November 02017]

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Happy Halloween! [31 October 02017]

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Out this week 18 Oct: Doctor Strange #26

Marvel's January 02018 solicits include Doctor Strange #384

DOCTOR STRANGE #384
DONNY CATES (W) GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
Avengers Variant Cover by Kamome Shirahama
LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME Part 4
Doctor Strange has acquired the biggest weapon he could imagine to finally take back his Sorcerer Supreme title from Loki. But will it be enough? The life of someone Stephen cares about lies in the balance, and where Loki goes, innocent life doesn't always stay safe...
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

[21 October 02017]

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Man jumps through second-floor window at Midtown Comics [Man slapped with charges after jumping from Midtown Comics window] [11 October 02017]

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Donny Cates Says Don't Ask How Loki's The Sorcerer Supreme- Ask Why [CBR interview and preview art]

"This is a story about Stephen laid low and having everything taken away from him, and the spiritual and physical journey he has to go on to reclaim those things. It's also about getting him to a place psychologically where he can wrap his head around what's happened to him and start to chart a new path to get back what he's lost."

It feels like every Dr. Strange story arc of the past 10-20 years has been "Stephen laid low". Will we ever actually see him getting it back and coming out better on the other side? Not to Ditko-like parse language, but "start to chart a new path" is not being on the actual path.

This is the "hype", what we're expected to share the writer's enthusiasm for: Doc's current "tormented and haunted" "job taken away" "midlife crisis", the surprising reason why Loki became SS, Zelma Stanton's "upsetting" new role, "heartbreaking, dire, desperate moments in this series". Not sold on the art yet either at first glance, but the artists come highly recommended. Dreading what the huge event/twist "no one will see it coming" is.

To clarify: Putting the hero ~through~ the crapper is what every story in the universe is. This sounds like just more of the same for Doctor Strange comics: turning a hero ~into~ crap. But we shall see.

[9 October 02017]

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Worst Team-Up ever as Marvel cancels controversial Northrop Grumman presentation at NYCC following backlash [Marvel Entertainment announcement tweet inundated with comments] [Marvel realizes/somehow forgot that it can't partner with defense contractors after raising all of its fans on Iron Man comics and movies] [7 October 02017]

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New York Comic-Con this weekend! [All Panels, Screenings & Special Events] [Bleeding Cool's Massive Party List] [Reddit] [5 October 02017]

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'Doctor Strange' Stage Show Coming To Disney Cruise's 'Marvel Day At Sea' [Disney Cruise Line's Marvel Day At Sea Conjures Doctor Strange] [Meet the Super Heroes of Marvel Day at Sea: Doctor Strange] [2 October 02017]

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Marvel's December 02017 solicits continue Marvel Legacy, Loki Sorcerer Supreme [Newsarama]

DOCTOR STRANGE #382
DONNY CATES (W)
GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
Loki: Sorcerer Supreme Part 2
Loki continues to protect the world from magical threats, but... that can't be all that he's after, can it?
Stephen Strange certainly doesn't trust the God of Lies and Mischief.
The play that Strange makes at the end of this issue will shake the Marvel U to its core!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #383
DONNY CATES (W)
GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
Loki: Sorcerer Supreme Part 3
Doctor Strange isn't getting anywhere taking Loki on by himself, so he's changing the venue.
The former Sorcerer Supreme goes to Asgard for help, and they aren't exactly welcoming.
But don't worry, Strange didn't come alone...
YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHO GUEST-STARS IN THIS ISSUE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: LORDS OF FEAR TPB
Written by STAN LEE, GERRY CONWAY, SCOTT EDELMAN, CHRIS CLAREMONT, AL MILGROM, ROY THOMAS, DANN THOMAS & MORE
Penciled by STEVE DITKO, JACK KIRBY, RICH BUCKLER, RICO RIVAL, RUBEN YANDOC, RON WILSON, JOHN BYRNE, AL MILGROM, LARRY ALEXANDER & GEOF ISHERWOOD
Cover by GEOF ISHERWOOD
Meet the Fear Lords - Doctor Strange's most diabolical foes - as they spread terror across the Marvel Universe! The nefarious Nightmare will haunt your dreams - literally! The Lurking Unknown raises questions for Thor, and the Dweller in Darkness casts his shadow over Hercules and the Thunder God! The maniacal Scarecrow spreads terror wherever he goes - including a run-in with the Thing! The demonic D'Spayre plagues Spider-Man and Man-Thing! And when Kkallakku and Nox join the fray, the Fear Lords come together to raise hell for Daredevil and Doctor Strange! Collecting THOR (1966) #229-230; DEAD OF NIGHT #11; MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (1971) #26; MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE (1974) #18; MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #68; DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME #31-33 (B stories) and #38-40; and material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #110 and #116, THOR (1966) #136 and MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #1-4.
264 PGS./Rated T $29.99

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #27
"This sounds like a job for the Sorcerer Supreme! I'm sure Doctor Strange will be happy to he - I'm sorry, what's that? Doctor Strange is gone and now LOKI is Earth's Sorcerer Supreme? Oh. Well, I'm sure he'll do his best."

The cover of Uncanny Avengers #30 has Doctor Voodoo and Scarlet Witch kissing.

[1 October 02017]

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Legendary comics creator Len Wein has died [co-creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing] [NY Times] [CBR] [Deadline] [TCJ] [CNet] [21 September 02017]

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There was some fake news that Stan Lee got Jennifer Lawrence fired from her gig playing Mystique in the X-Men movies for disrespecting Trump [12 September 02017]

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In last week's Generations: Iron Man & Ironheart "Generationsverse", an aged future Tony Stark is nonsensically Sorcerer Supreme [because anyone can be SS, right?] [just please keep Bendis away from Dr. Strange canon]

Out 13 Sept: Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #12 finale

Update: Out 20 Sept: Doctor Strange #25

Update: Out 27 Sept: Marvel Legacy #1; Infamous Iron Man #12

[11 September 02017]

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George R.R. Martin Reads His First Published Work: A Fan Letter To Marvel Comics About Fantastic Four #17 [from the History Channel documentary series Superheroes Decoded]

[3 September 02017]

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Yesterday was the first annual Letterer Appreciation Day

1 Sept was the birthday of the legendary letterer and logo designer Gaspar Saladino

Letterer Appreciation Day: An All-Star Lettering Roundtable

A Brief Appreciation of Comics Lettering ["the bass players of the comics world"]

The Invisible Artists Behind Your Favorite Comics [The Atlantic's props to letterers and colorists] [via LMG]

Nate Piekos Blambot better lettering infographics

What Is Music's Comic Book Superpower? ["This is the third in a short series of essays about how sound is inscribed."; includes sound sample from Michel Fiffe's Copra with Dr. Strange and Clea homage]

[2 September 02017]

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Longtime Master of the Mystic Arts: Doctor Strange Appreciation CBR Forums thread lively lately:

Strangefan:

It has been a difficult trudge for an old Doctor Strange fan during Aaron's reign, and I hope to see some actual magic in the next writer's take. I can see a story being done on the destruction of magic, but too much time was spent in that aspect, and far, far too little on the recovery of magic. There should have been more repercussions shown in my opinion. Magic is like art, the absence of it in the world should have been noticeable to everyone. It should have been missed, not just by its users. Aaron just wanted to deconstruct Strange, forgetting the purpose of deconstructing is to rebuild.

Frontier:

I'm looking at the latest solicits "Dr. Strange de-powered for the umpteenth time" and the premise of the new arc "Strange replaced as Sorcerer Supreme yet again," and I just have to sigh

Tulku:

WE DON'T WANT [BLEEP]ING POWER LOSS STORIES!!!!

Morsoth:

I wish the writers could write new stories dealing with dark creatures or unknown dimensions, like a Lovecraftian story arc or anything dealing with cosmic-horror entities instead of playing the "de-powering and out-of-shape" game.

matt levin:

they created a character so powerful, they didn't know what to do... honestly, that is hard to write, month after month.

Strangefan:

The amazing thing is that they keep depowering Strange, but never "repower" him... There was a long period of time that Strange was written with power, but there was still tension and drama. Is that really so hard to do anymore?

Doctor Strange's endless series of depowerings, like a Zeno paradox.

[1 September 02017]

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Marvel's November 02017 solicits include Legacy-renumbered Doctor Strange #381, Loki Sorcerer Supreme

Cates And Walta's 'Doctor Strange' Has "One Of The Craziest Reveals In Marvel History"

Doctor Strange #381 Starts a Battle With Loki for Marvel Legacy That 'Goes Beyond Good And Evil'

Marvel Legacy's New Doctor Strange Creative Team For #381 - And New Exclusive Creator

DOCTOR STRANGE #381
DONNY CATES (W) GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA (A)
Cover by MIKE DEL MUNDO
Lenticular Homage (LH) Variant Cover by MIKE DEODATO JR.
Legacy Headshot Variant Cover by MIKE MCKONE
Variant Cover by GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA
TRADING CARD VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
1965 T-SHIRT VARIANT COVER BY STEVE DITKO
LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME Part 1
Evil is everywhere and the world needs the Sorcerer Supreme more than ever. But is the world ready for LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME? He has the cloak, the spells - he's even got Zelma Stanton as his assistant (and possibly more?) - but is this the chance he needed to become a hero, or is the god of lies dangerously close to unlimited power? And what happened to STEPHEN STRANGE? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

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How did they come up with #381?

  • Doctor Strange (01968) titled books based on Strange Tales (01951) numbering started #169 and ended #183
  • Doctor Strange (01974) #1-81 (183 + 81 = 264)
  • Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (01988) #1-90 (264 + 90 = 354)
  • Doctor Strange (02015) #1-26 (354 + 26 = 380)

Hat Tip: CBR Forum thread

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Out last week 23 Aug: Doctor Strange #24

Out this week 30 Aug:

  • Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #11
  • Jean Grey #6 [Doc on the cover, and totally useless inside]
  • True Believers: Kirby 100th: Iron Man #1 [with a different Dr. Strange ;) reprinting Tales of Suspense #41 for $1]
  • Update: Infamous Iron Man #11 [a Dr. Strange "psychologist to the stars" appearance with bad one-liners; with Dr. Doom, refers back to Triumph And Torment; Strange not mentioned in the August solicits: "Doom finally confronts his mother about the impossible truth of her resurrection and the Maker unveils his plans to destroy Victor Von Doom inside and out!"; The Maker (alt-universe Ultimate Reed Richards) revealed here to be Mephisto, hell-bent on preventing Doom from redeeming his soul with more heroic pursuits under the Iron Man mantle]

[27 August 02017]

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Doctor Strange: A Hero of the Mind [long philosophical essay by Tristan Garcia] ["the Doctor is a pure creature of the comic medium"]

[in the footnotes: Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal by Jeffrey J. Kripal]

[26 July 02017]

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Neilalien Meta Linkdump

Tumblr's Unclear Future Shows That There's No Money in Internet Culture
There goes the monetization Neilalien never tried! Get a ton of traffic with a website full of lolcats and pr0n gifs? Good for you! But hosting is expensive, and apparently advertisers don't like not knowing what content their ads will appear next to, nor knowing anything about your users without data-mining.

Adobe says it will stop updating and distributing Flash at the end of 02020
Neilalien classics Excite My Chicken and Ask The Mysterious Orb are in Flash; they will no longer work in browsers in a few years. [Equal Time: Flash Will Never Die]

Trump's Presidency Is Ruining My Personal Brand
It can be difficult to build an online identity when Trump sucks all the oxygen out of the room. It can be difficult to blog about comic books when so many more serious things are happening in the world right now.

Life Is About to Get a Whole Lot Harder for Websites Without HTTPS
All websites with input form fields served over HTTP will show a "Not secure" warning soon to the user in Chrome and Firefox. Your website may not be a banking or shopping site with logins and payment processing, but if it has a search box, or an "email me" form, expect "shaming".

[25 July 02017]

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Cates, Walta Introduce Loki as Marvel's New Sorcerer Supreme in November's Doctor Strange #27

Comment: Sigh, apparently the only Dr. Strange story pitches that exist involve weakening him, and/or treating the Sorcerer Supreme mantle like it's a pro-wrestling championship belt.

Marvel's October 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange #26, no Sorcerers Supreme [Newsarama]

DOCTOR STRANGE #26
JOHN BARBER (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by JAKUB REBELKA
Doctor Strange and Zelma make what may well be their last house-call! An evil unlike any youve seen puts Strange in his toughest spot yet, stripping him of his magic, leaving him only with his crippled fists to defend himself.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Comment: Sigh, see above point, another story of weakening Dr. Strange. What magick does he currently possibly have left to be stripped of?

[24 July 02017]

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Out last week 12 July: Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #10

Out this week 19 July: Doctor Strange #23

[16 July 02017]

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Marvel's September 02017 solicits include bigger Doctor Strange #25; Sorcerers Supreme possibly cancelled/finale with #12? [Newsarama]

DOCTOR STRANGE #25
JOHN BARBER (W) KEVIN NOWLAN (A/C)
VENOMIZED DORMAMMU VARIANT COVER BY GUSTAVO DUARTE
EXTRA-SIZED 25TH ISSUE! Comic art legend KEVIN NOWLAN joins John Barber (DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER) for an incredibly special anniversary issue! A mysterious foe that Strange BARELY defeated in his past comes back to haunt Strange's present and finds him MUCH weaker. Uh-oh!
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #12
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) NATHAN STOCKMAN (A)
Cover by JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
It's time for the Sorcerers to go home! With their original mission finally complete, Doctor Strange must figure out a way to send everyone back to their original timelines.
Spoiler alert: Not everyone will make it home...
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE EPIC COLLECTION: AFTERLIFE TPB
Collecting STRANGE TALES (1994) #1; DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME #76-90 and ASHCAN EDITION; and DOCTOR STRANGE: WHAT IS IT THAT DISTURBS YOU, STEPHEN?.
496 PGS./Rated T+ $39.99

[29 June 02017]

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Out today: Doctor Strange #22

Update: Out 28 June: Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #9

Seen in the local comic shop: Dr. Strange Retro Playing Cards [Amazon] [Previews] [NMR Distribution] [there are also playing cards based on the Dr. Strange movie]

[21 June 02017]

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Marvel has its next plan to refresh the Titanic deck chairs: "Legacy" includes simultaneous stables of old and new, Agamotto, Marvel Value Stamps, possible Dr. Strange issue renumbering

Upcoming Secret Empire #10 establishes "The Vanishing Point", a "mysterious, continuity-free environment"

Upcoming Generations 10-issue series to team-up superhero traditional versions with their newer younger diversity counterparts

Marvel's Generations Series Starts at the Vanishing Point [Confirmed: Secret Empire #10's 'Vanishing Point' The Key to Generations]

Vanishing Point speculated to be a Cosmic-Cude-created reality where the old Steve Rogers is trapped in Secret Empire [Bleeding Cool] [Movie Plot]

Several of the characters shown to be in Generations [Banner; Logan] are currently dead in Marvel continuity but come back in an "ingenious" way without time travel, alternate reality, or other fakeout

Generations covers and creative teams; "Marvel heroes are offered a gift: to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who came before them where time has no meaning"

Thankfully there's no Doctor Strange/Wiccan thing involved with this...

September's Marvel Legacy #1 50-page one-shot by writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic features "1,000,000 BC Avengers" including Odin and Agamotto, "startling new origin tale reveals how it's all connected" [Marvel Legacy #1 to Introduce Avengers From 1,000,000 BC] [also versions of Iron Fist, Star Brand, Ghost Rider, Phoenix, and Black Panther] [doesn't hinge on a major character death]

Legacy to involve the "Earth-shattering return of a beloved Marvel mainstay"; much speculation it's the Fantastic Four, but Perlmutter's ban on FF comics to spite Fox Studios is still in place

After Legacy, Marvel Comics returning to original issue numbering on longstanding ongoing series [Will Doctor Strange's series get legacy numbering? What number would it be?]

"As part of the Legacy initiative, the publisher is also bringing back such classics as the Marvel Value Stamp, the 1970s fan magazine FOOM, and cover corner-box art."

Update: Stan Lee endorses Marvel Legacy- but have fans *really* demanded this?

[18 June 02017]

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Future Doctor Strange apprentice and Sorcerer Supreme, the red serpentine Lem-ian Krugarr, was in a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie mid-credits scene with the Ravagers, conjuring two thumbs up in the MCU-magickal-sparkler way [image] [8 June 02017]

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Out today: Doctor Strange #21

Issue #20 will be out 7 June WTF?

Out last week 24 May: Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #8

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Marvel's August 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange #24, Secret Empire, Jean Grey

DOCTOR STRANGE #24
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A/C)
Marvel vs. Capcom Variant Cover by TBA
SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN!
Doctor Strange and his strange crew of allies make their final push on Baron Mordo, and it doesn't look good for them. But even if they win, are they ready for the Hydra-occupied America waiting outside of the dark-domed Manhattan?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #11
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) NATHAN STOCKMAN (A)
Cover by JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
The Sorcerers Supreme travel through the future and into Hell to save one of their own! But who rules the Underworld of Tomorrow? The answer is not who you'd expect!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

JEAN GREY #6
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) Paul Davidson (A)
Cover by DAVID YARDIN
When you're a mutant telepath, you get used to hearing voices in your head. But what happens when one voice keeps you up at night and refuses to leave? Desperate for help, Jean seeks out a physician to diagnose her problem Only under these circumstances, the only qualified clinician is the Master of Mystic Arts himself, DOCTOR STRANGE!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 4: MR. MISERY PREMIERE HC
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #17-20 and ANNUAL #1.
136 PGS. Rated T+ $24.99 Trim size: standard

DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 1 HC
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #1-10 and DOCTOR STRANGE: LAST DAYS OF MAGIC #1.
280 PGS. Rated T+ $34.99 Trim size: oversized

[31 May 02017]

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Free Comic Book Day is today 6 May! [6 May 02017]

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Marvel comics currently not selling that well; blaming recent initiative for more creators and characters of color becomes convenient new way to willfully ignore overwhelming systemic problems with the comics industry

Marvel Comics on 02016 sales drop: 'Diversity doesn't sell' [to the current white-male hardcore customer fanbase/retailers remaining?]

Marvel's Senior Vice President of Sales, Print & Marketing David Gabriel ICv2 interview on the 02016 market shift

Marvel executive says emphasis on diversity may have alienated readers

Marvel Exec Clarifies Comments That 'People Didn't Want Any More Diversity'

Black Panther and Ms. Marvel Nominated for Hugo Awards Days After Marvel VP Blamed Them for Sales Slump

The outrage over Marvel's alleged diversity blaming, explained

Brian Hibbs: Marvel is injudiciously publishing too many titles

No, Diversity Didn't Kill Marvel's Comic Sales ["Blaming "diversity" only goes so far when it is series about white men and teams of white men that have been dropping the furthest... There are many potential explanations for why Marvel's sales have declined since 'Secret Wars' - the decision to relaunch titles that were already selling well, a weak slate of new series, reader fatigue with the seemingly unending string of events and crossovers, a desire for more escapist stories at a time when Marvel was prepping for an event about fascism, steep competition from DC's Rebirth relaunch, poor marketing outside of the direct market, etc. - but the publisher's current focus with "diversity" is not among them."]

Orbital: A retailers perspective on diversity in the news [the books sell, especially as trades; the notion that Marvel has really actually tried diversity doesn't hold; pricing, variant covers, events, crossovers, tie-ins and reboot saturation]

Beyond The Pale (Male): Marvel, Diversity And A Changing Comics Readership

It's Not Diversity Marvel, It's Poor Implementation [if Marvel was serious about diversity, it would build up new IP characters who stand on their own, rather than render its core iconic universe unrecognizable with one-note sake-of-change gender/racial/sexual preference replacements/stunts]

On Marvel and Diversity and Sales and Such [Comic Reviews by Walt]

Marvel exec blames lackluster comic sales on diversity; all evidence says otherwise

Is social justice ruining Marvel Comics?

How are retailers reacting to Marvel's next huge event, Secret Empire, i.e., Captain America(!) and Magneto (Holocaust survivor!?) as Hydra Nazis? "cautious to actively negative"

Open Letter To Marvel Comics re: Secret Empire & Diversity

Marvel remove X-Men artwork after cartoonist hides anti-Semitic and anti-Christian references in work [Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf made numerous references to the protests in Jakarta]

> Marvel to start advertising comics before movies and on TV

Hickman: "Marvel and DC basically have static IP because none of us are stupid enough to create new IP. Until the deal changes, it is what it is."

Marvel can only do faux diversity- few want an Iron Man who is black/female/gay/not Tony Stark, but they have to use "Iron Man"- it's part of the same dynamic why Marvel has to keep re-using, re-arranging, re-imagining, and re-hashing its IP: because no creator in her right mind is going to make really new intellectual property/characters for Marvel-Disney under the work-for-hire regime.

Update: Franklin Harris, July 02016: Characters vs. Trademarks ["But with comic book creators not wanting to imagine wholly original superheroes only for Marvel and DC to claim ownership, and with Marvel and DC nevertheless desperate for new characters that might reach new, historically underserved audiences, it becomes a zero-sum game. The only solution is for Marvel and DC to reimagine the characters they already own... Recasting the Ghostbusters is easy. Coming up with new characters and concepts is hard... Is repurposing characters originally envisioned as white men the best way to get [more kick-ass female role models]?"]

Update: Related: And now a female Doctor Who announced.

[30 April 02017]

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Marvel's July 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange #23, Mordo in Secret Empire [Newsarama]

DOCTOR STRANGE #23
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A/C)
X-MEN TRADING CARD VARIANT COVER BY JIM LEE
SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN!
Strange, Fisk and company take the fight to the person running New York City... BARON MORDO!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

The cover has Dr. Strange back-to-back with Kingpin while holding a huge machine gun. Terrible.

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #10
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) NATHAN STOCKMAN (A)
Cover by JAVIER RODRIGUEZ
The Sorcerers go to the future to try to save Wiccan's life!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Also: DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS TPB
> SECRET EMPIRE #7 has a Baron Mordo variant cover.

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Doctor Strange Releases/Appearances (updating)

12 Apr: Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #7

Also 12 Apr: Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams GraphicAudio CD by Devin Grayson [TFAW] [book on Amazon]

19 Apr: Doctor Strange #19

[24 April 02017]

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MoCCA Fest is 1-2 April in NYC at Metropolitan West! [Official Tumblr] [Programming at Ink48 Hotel] [25 March 02017]

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Marvel's June 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange #22

DOCTOR STRANGE #22
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by CHRIS BACHALO
Variant Cover by NIKO HENRICHON
Mary Jane variant by Francisco Herrera & Fernanda Rizo
SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN! With the incredible current events in NYC, Strange must ally himself with some unsavory people. No, Spider-Woman isn't unsavory, though the Doctor is allying with her. It's Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. the Kingpin. That's who we're talking about.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #9
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A/C)
Sir Isaac Newton, Sorcerer Supreme of his day, has mastered an ancient, evil magic and has gone power-mad. It's up to the Sorcerers Supreme to stop him from sending the world - and all of their own individual timelines - into chaos. Unfortunately, even with the Avengers on their side, it seems like they are still no match for Newton.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2: THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC TPB
Collecting DOCTOR STRANGE (2015) #6-10 and DOCTOR STRANGE: LAST DAYS OF MAGIC #1.
168 PGS./Rated T+ $19.99

[24 March 02017]

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Without A Trace: 15 Missing Marvel Characters includes Doctor Strange supporting cast members Morgana Blessing and Sara Wolfe [23 March 02017]

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Bernie Wrightson has died; legendary horror comics artist, and Swamp Thing co-creator [Deadline Hollywood] [Wikipedia] [Progressive Ruin] [21 March 02017]

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Marvel's May 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange creative team transition, Dusty Death TPB, Secret Empire

DOCTOR STRANGE #20
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO, KEVIN NOWLAN, AND MORE! (A)
Cover by Chris Bachalo
Variant cover by Dan Mora
The culmination of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo's first three epic stories is here! Dormammu! Mordo! Mr. Misery! The Empirikul! Wong! Don't miss this remarkable issue!
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

DOCTOR STRANGE #21
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) NIKO HENRICHON (A)
Cover by CHRIS BACHALO
VARIANT COVER BY DAN MORA
SECRET EMPIRE TIE-IN!
New York City is under attack by dark forces, and only Doctor Strange has a shot at saving it. But it's quite a longshot!
And welcome new ongoing writer DENNIS HOPELESS (ALL-NEW X-MEN, SPIDER-WOMAN, JEAN GREY) and artist NIKO HENRICHON (Pride of Baghdad, NEW MUTANTS).
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #8
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A/C)
Sir Isaac Newton, scientific genius, pioneer and now nigh-omnipotent sorcerer, has come to the present-day Marvel Universe. First order of events? Take down the Avengers. The scary thing is, with his current power level, they don't stand a chance.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

SPIDER-MAN/DOCTOR STRANGE: THE WAY TO DUSTY DEATH TPB
Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 and #14; MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #21, #50-51, #76-77 and #80-81; SPIDER-MAN/DOCTOR STRANGE: THE WAY TO DUSTY DEATH; UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN: STRANGE ENCOUNTER; and material from MARVEL FANFARE (1982) #6.
336 PGS./Rated T+ $34.99

SECRET EMPIRE #2 (of 9)
NICK SPENCER (W) ANDREA SORRENTINO (A)
Cover by MARK BROOKS
Villain Variant Cover by Dan Mora
ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
VARIANT COVER BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
Hydra Hero VARIANT Cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
Enshrouded in darkness, plagued by the minions of Baron Mordo and cut off from all assistance, The Defenders and Doctor Strange struggle to save the lives of the innocent people consigned to this hell on Earth. Will Dagger prove to be the key to stopping this nightmare? Meanwhile, will the appearance of a new hero provide Iron Man with the key to Captain America's startling change? THE SECRET EMPIRE WILL DEFEND YOU!
48 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

[14 March 02017]

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Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo Doctor Strange run ending in May with issue #20; new team is writer Dennis Hopeless and artist Niko Henrichon (Pride of Baghdad) [CBR] [Newsarama] [Outhouse]

02016 was a year of extremes for Dr. Strange fans. At the same time an amazing live-action movie brought them to great heights, every monthly comic was a new low of Doc boringly swinging an axe. It's wonderful to have a Dr. Strange monthly book again, and Aaron's run had some great creativity in it- but it was essentially just another disappointing Dr. Strange depowering and continued schlubification.

[12 March 02017]

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Doctor Strange Releases/Appearances (updating)

Today:
Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #6

Last Week 1 Mar:
Doctor Strange #18

Last Week 28 Feb:
Doctor Strange on DVD and Blu-ray

22 Mar:
Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #4

[8 March 02017]

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Alan Moore And Grant Morrison Have Been In An Occult War For 25 Years

Steranko's Outland, comics adaptation of the movie in Heavy Metal [via LMG]

- -

Graphic novel and manga categories have been eliminated from the NY Times Bestseller lists

Direct Market looking newly doomish: prices low, costs up, customers fickle, creditors knocking

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Ever wonder why the Inhumans are getting a big push in the comics and Agents of SHIELD TV, and have basically become the new Mutants, while the Mutants have faded? Because Marvel doesn't own the X-Men movie rights.

If Film Rights Were Owned By Marvel, The X-Men Would Probably Still Be The Paramount Book In The Canon

Yes, Marvel Are Paying Chris Claremont Not To Write Comics

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Voodoo Brothers: Africana Religions in the Comics, Part 2 [Part 1]

Apotheosis of Marie Laveau, Hoodoo-Voodoo-Vodou Icon

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Invisibly Black: A Life of George Herriman, Creator of 'Krazy Kat' [passed for white his entire adult life]

The New York Review of Books go-to for a Black History Month essay on black identity was Chris Ware?

[16 February 02017]

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Doctor Strange Releases/Appearances (updating)

Today:
Doctor Strange #17
Doctor Strange #001.MU "Monsters Unleashed"

Last Week 8 Feb:
Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #5
Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #3
(this is up to its #8 finale in digital Infinite-Comic form)

Next Week 22 Feb:
Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #16

[15 February 02017]

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Doctor Strange Digital HD released today [Amazon]

Doctor Strange DVD and Blu-ray release date 28 February [IGN]

They actually shot a scene re: Stephen's sister drowning when they were young that almost made it into the final cut of the film [CinemaBlend] [Cosmic Book News]

Deleted Scenes! and DVD/Blu-Ray extras/special features as found:
> Kaecilius Kills Priest/Kaecilius Searches For Answers
> Nervous Zealot/Making Contact [EW]
> Lost In Kathmandu/Doc Helps A Dog
> Strange Meets Daniel Drumm
> Gag Reel Bloopers & Outtakes

[14 February 02017]

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Marvel's April 02017 solicits include Doctor Strange #19, Lifeline Tablet!

DOCTOR STRANGE #19
JASON AARON (W) CHRIS BACHALO (A)
Cover by KEVIN NOWLAN
RESURRXION VARIANT COVER BY CARLO BARBERI
Mister Misery has kidnapped Wong and is using everything Strange's friend and companion knows about the Sorcerer Supreme. A compromised Strange must find a way to defeat the sadistic entity without killing Wong!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #7
ROBBIE THOMPSON (W) JAVIER RODRIGUEZ (A/C)
Sir Isaac Newton betrayed the rest of the Sorcerers Supreme, and has come to the present-day... where he takes on the Avengers!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME VOL. 1: OUT OF TIME TPB reprints #1-5

SPIDER-MAN: THE LIFELINE TABLET SAGA TPB
Written by STAN LEE & FABIAN NICIEZA
Penciled by JOHN ROMITA SR., JIM MOONEY, JOHN BUSCEMA & STEVE RUDE
Cover by STEVE RUDE
Relive a Spidey epic decades in the telling! It all begins with a classic struggle over a petrified tablet said to hold the secret to eternal life! It's a priceless relic that a lot of dangerous folks want to get their hands on - like the Kingpin of Crime, the Shocker, Man Mountain Marko and Maggia boss Silvermane! Others are drawn into the fray - including Quicksilver and Dr. Curt Connors - but the tablet has a lesson to teach: Be careful what you wish for! Years later, Hammerhead sets his sights on the sought-after stone - and its full secrets are revealed in a free-for-all that draws in Boomerang, the Sub-Mariner and Connors' savage alter ego, the Lizard! Only a Spider-Man/Doctor Strange team-up can prevent the Lifeline Tablet from wreaking havoc!
Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (01963) #68-75 and SPIDER-MAN: LIFELINE #1-3.
248 PGS./Rated T $24.99

> Neilalien really enjoyed the Steve Rude Lifeline miniseries

SPIDER-MAN BY TODD DEZAGO & MIKE WIERINGO TPB includes SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN (01996) #22-23, when Doctor Strange's status quo was re-established post-Sorcerer Supreme, back in with the Vishanti, back in the old costume, Seven Spheres War over.

MARVEL UNIVERSE BY CHRIS CLAREMONT HARDCOVER includes his DOCTOR STRANGE (01974) #38-45 run.

[13 February 02017]

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Doctor Strange Releases

Last Week:
Doctor Strange Little Golden Book
U.S.Avengers #1 state variant: Dr. Strange is Pennsylvania

Tomorrow 11 January:
Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #4
Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #2

Next Week:
Doctor Strange #16
Update: Doc #16 is now 25 January

[10 January 02017]

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