A Doctor Strange Fansite
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11 Is A Palindromic Number, and,
Alpha News Surf
DOCTOR STRANGE #22
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #9
DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 2: THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC TPB
DOCTOR STRANGE #20
DOCTOR STRANGE #21
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #8
SPIDER-MAN/DOCTOR STRANGE: THE WAY TO DUSTY DEATH TPB
SECRET EMPIRE #2 (of 9)
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.
Doctor Strange Releases/Appearances (updating)
Last Week 1 Mar:
Last Week 28 Feb:
Direct Market looking newly doomish: prices low, costs up, customers fickle, creditors knocking
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.
Invisibly Black: A Life of George Herriman, Creator of 'Krazy Kat' [passed for white his entire adult life]
Doctor Strange Releases/Appearances (updating)
Next Week 22 Feb:
Deleted Scenes! and DVD/Blu-Ray extras/special features as found:
DOCTOR STRANGE #19
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #7
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME VOL. 1: OUT OF TIME TPB reprints #1-5
SPIDER-MAN: THE LIFELINE TABLET SAGA TPB
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.
Doctor Strange Releases
DOCTOR STRANGE #18
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #6
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS #4 (of 4)
Also: GUIDEBOOK TO THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE: MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE
Also: DOCTOR STRANGE, SORCERER SUPREME OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC [collecting Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #1-40! [and Ghost Rider #12 (01990)]
DOCTOR STRANGE #17
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #5
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS #3 (OF 4)
DOCTOR STRANGE #1.MU
Also: MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR #16: "Marvel's mighty mystic Doctor Stephen Strange stops by to see what's so magical about this little girl from Yancy Street."
Doctor Strange #15 is out! [last week]
Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #3 is out this week!
Also: Doctor Strange/Punisher: Magic Bullets #1-4 Infinite Comics have been released digitally, and #1 in print is out!
Doctor Strange Movie Braindump
Will live here. Neilalien doesn't control Time as well as Dr. Strange in the MCU does...
(Damn, Neilalien is relieved it didn't flop... And that it was good- it's not just a crappy movie that made a lot of money...)
Howard Hallis is selling his massive Dr. Strange collection! One of the world's largest! $110,000!
Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #2 is out! [23 November 02016]
Doctor Strange #14 is out!
Reviews as found: [Comicbook Round Up]
We've lost Sanctum: "I'm sorry, but I just can't take it anymore! JasonAaron,Your "DoctorSTRANGE" SUCKS! It's just you trying 2Bweird, but it fails 2B even THAT."
Storage space for 'Doctor Strange' negative reviews and think pieces:
Negative 'Doctor Strange' review by Angelica Jade Bastien [RogerEbert.com] [White savior narrative; Strange proves too right and capable about far too much to grow as a character or feel tension; too little "interiority" to the characters]
The Broken Hands of Doctor Strange [Christianity Today]
Update: 'Doctor Strange' and the Trump Presidency [Los Angeles Review of Books]
Blake Bell: "It's pretty appalling that lazy people still whip out JD Salinger/reclusive references 4 Steve Ditko. (Only validates his world view.) Just b/c Steve Ditko doesn't like to talk to YOU (or share your views on the cult of celebrity) doesn't make him "reclusive"."
The Creator of Doctor Strange Will Not See You Now [standard Ditko history piece; nothing new or insightful for the knowledgeable; another jerk pesters Ditko at his studio]
Update: Zack Soto: "Can you guys leave old Steve Ditko alone and stop trying to build your brand off telling the story of how you bothered him?"
Update: Mark Evanier: The Reclusive Mr. Ditko
'Doctor Strange' leads second US weekend with $43 million take; dropped 49%, but 49% second weekend drop is the best second weekend hold among the last ten Marvel Cinematic Universe titles; worldwide take approaches $500 million; non-US take is $339 million, blasting past many MCU titles; China take is $83.5 million in 10 days; IMAX take is $54 million [Box Office Mojo] [11-13 November 02016 Weekend Box Office] [Deadline] [Hollywood Reporter] [14 November 02016]
'Doctor Strange' Director Scott Derrickson on Calibrating Dickishness and How to Woo Marvel [and magic more about organic movements, gestures, and finger-tutting, rather than verbal spells] [Vulture]
'Doctor Strange' Resuscitates Fall Box Office With $85M Opening ["When you have 51% of the weekend driven by PLF, Imax and 3D, movie theaters exist for a movie like Doctor Strange. It's a testament to the real artistry here, as the movie uses every ounce of available technology to introduce something that hasn't been seen."]
'Doctor Strange' Poised for Magical, $80+ Million Opening [the film has already made $140 million via last weekend's international take plus Thursday night previews in the US]
Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme #1 is out!
Review: Neilalien is reserving judgment until he sees more issues.
Doctor Strange: Mystic Apprentice is out!
Review: An unneeded, actionless story about Doc struggling with astral projection during his early training.
Also: Doc's in Civil War II #6, weak and apologetic, and a facial hair bro again. Sigh.
Strange Ways, Here We Come: Marvel's Dr. Strange And His Psychedelic Secrets [by John Naughton] [Bigmouth] [also: all of the Strange Tales comic book covers in this article featuring Dr. Strange- the #110 and in the slideshow- are not the real covers but Howard Hallis fan-made alternative Strange Tales custom covers; you'd be surprised how often Howard's awesome covers are taken for real and used without research nor attribution] [also: the article implies Ditko drew "The Search", the double-page spread from Doctor Strange #171 that became the famous Third Eye black light poster, but Tom Palmer/Dan Adkins drew that; the article says Brunner drew the In-Betweener double-page spread from Doctor Strange #27, but Tom Sutton drew that] [update: the article has been corrected re: the above items] [27 October 02016]
Doctor Strange movie reviews are coming in!
Reviews are generally extremely positive, although it sounds like one of Neilalien's main concerns has materialized: since they went 'all in' with an origin story, it follows an origin story's well-worn formula. Updating as found:
'Doctor Strange' on Rotten Tomatoes; reviews collected [update: settling at 90%/90%]
Early Buzz: 'Doctor Strange' Has Some Of The Best Action Sequences In Marvel History; tons of reviews collected here
Entertainment Weekly: B+ ["formulaic Marvel origin story... heady in a way most Marvel movies don't dare to be... couldn't be further removed from the usual Marvel spandexapaloozas"]
Variety: Film Review: 'Doctor Strange' ["boasts an underlying originality and freshness missing from the increasingly cookie-cutter comic-book realm of late... staggering visual effects innovation"]
Update: Mark Hughes/Forbes: Review: 'Doctor Strange' Is Pure Magic ["one of the top-5 best of the MCU"]
Update: Wired: Review: Doctor Strange Might Just Be the Future of Marvel Movies [note: the movie fails the Bechdel Test]
Doctor Strange #13 is out!
DOCTOR STRANGE #16
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS #2 (of 4)
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #4
MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DOCTOR STRANGE VOL. 8 HC
Video storage dump:
> DOCTOR STRANGE - Official Trailer #1
> DOCTOR STRANGE Featurette - Open Your Mind
> DOCTOR STRANGE TV Spot #20 - Change Your Destiny
Update: Sanctum's Preview Review
We Finally Know How Doctor Strange Fits Into the MCU [IMAX preview event clues: While Doc was a surgeon, he may have gotten a referral for someone with a spine broken during Iron Man 2; car accident during Phase 1, trained with Ancient One during Phase 2? Hydra Winter Soldier mention meant they kept tabs on him while he was training?]
NYCC: Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell Animated Film Teams Up Hulk & Doctor Strange [Bleeding Cool] [ComicMix] [with The Howling Commandos vs. Nightmare] [shown at NYCC; Digital HD release on 21 October] [10 October 02016]
Doctor Strange #12 is out!
Reviews as found: [Comicosity 10/10]
Also out: Archie Meets Ramones
Jack Kirby's unpublished adaptation of 'The Prisoner' [Dangerous Minds] [Flashbak] [Redux: Once Upon A Time: Kirby's Prisoner (from Jack Kirby Collector #11)] [5 October 02016]
Doctor Strange Annual #1 is out! Clea returns!
Update: Review: Liked seeing Clea again. Liked the relationship being discussed. Liked the art. Liked the magical usage of the vacation bliss. Liked that Doc seemed to manipulate the situation. Doc must have felt, through his connection with Clea, that she had cast a powerful "contract-breaker" spell, and so "accidentally" contracted with the demon Xycorax for house repairs to have another contract that needed breaking more urgently. However, Doc's pissiness was so out of character as to distract and almost negate all of the above.
DOCTOR STRANGE #15
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #3
DOCTOR STRANGE/PUNISHER: MAGIC BULLETS #1 (of 4)
DEADPOOL: TOO SOON? #3 (of 4)
In Civil War II #5, The Heroes Finally Fight (Review) ["It reads as if all of your Marvel superhero action figures had a war in your bedroom when you were a kid, and it doesn't rise above that level of storytelling. It makes very little sense for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, and other superheroes who sat out of the last Civil War to throw themselves into the newest conflict. Nor does Bendis go out of his way to justify those character turns."]
In Civil War II #5, Dr. Strange appears out of nowhere. At least he's on the right side with Iron Man. He casts the Crimson Bands on Storm, who escapes with lightning bolts- sigh. Then he gets pwned by Iceman. Yet another completely crappy Dr. Strange appearance by Bendis.
The Beat with a new State Of The Industry roundup [defending far-from-perfect Diamond and the Direct Market; overall numbers in general uptrend and non-Marvel/DC succeeding; "I just don't believe the evidence suggests that we've developed a horrific system that is choking the life out of comics."]
Brian Hibbs Tilting At Windmills #254: Given current mass market challenges, values, and not really wanting comics, if we didn't have the direct market we'd be wishing we did; cancellations of crappy D-list rip-offs like Nighthawk do not particularly reveal DM flaws
Die, Industry, Die! (Or Why Letting Comics Fail is the "Real" Only Way to Save the Industry) [Bendis tweeting the non-starter shibboleth that we need to pre-order comics sight-unseen months in advance inspires new wave of ranting against the broken direct market system] ["The belief that fans need to support books by consuming them in the way most convenient for the publisher has been around for decades, but it is now, and always has been, complete bullshit."]
Does Trade-Waiting "Hurt" a Comic? ["But don't let anyone shame you for how you buy comics... You've just dipped a toe into an industry with an archaic and broken distribution model."]
Who's To Blame When a Good Comic Gets Cancelled? [good read] [item: expanding returnability on new titles so publisher and retailer share the risk]
Doctor Strange #11 is out!
It's The Old Testament Again
Alas, Neilalien has turned against this new Doctor Strange monthly series.
Issue #1 held so much promise, but now at eleven issues printed and published, and this major "Last Days of Magic" storyline finished, we can speak from real data and not hopes and prejudgments.
This series has been just another depowering. Just another teardown.
Asking for the hundredth time: Why can't we just get straightforward Dr. Strange stories like Roger Stern's run anymore?
What is Marvel's obsession the past 25 years with constantly depowering, disassembling, deconstructing, rebooting, reducing, and redefining Dr. Strange? Trying to fix, or "break down", what isn't broken, if they'd just tell good stories with Doc using interesting magic at a reasonable power level. It's as if Marvel has decided the only stories they can tell or are interesting to tell about Doctor Strange is to take away the magic and give him existential crises about what fundamentally makes him Doctor Strange. It feels like a long tiresome time of depowerings and loss of ability, needing to do something about magic on a meta level like reduce or deplete or redefine it or give it rules and structure and consequences to pay, loss of Sorcerer Supreme status over and over, loss of his items and talismans, Pyrrhic victories, sad-sack-ification, etc.
What if all the Green Lantern stories we ever got were to take his ring away, kick him out of the Corps, make his ring weaker and weaker, disruptions and depletions in the green lantern energy of the universe and having to search for a new power source for his ring, needing to constantly relearn how to make his ring work, he's unable to use his ring so he must use a baseball bat instead, put him sitting in a bar depressed and talking about what he can't do and his failures all the time, etc.- and the rare times his ring is working normally, unlimited by imagination and willpower, all he does is energy blasts.
And it wouldn't even be so bad but they don't even bother to ever give us the satisfying victory or the redemption or the rebuilding on the other side after tearing him down. If we get anything, it's a quick reset for the next depowering-metaphor story.
This isn't a dumb rant against Storytelling 101. Give the hero a challenge, a tough time, a setback. But what is the nature of the challenge? Is it a difficult villain with a great plan, or is it that the hero can't do anything because of some fundamental weakness all the time? Is it the same challenge all the time? How does the hero respond to the challenge? Change the status quo- we don't need a full-circle reset or rainbow happy endings- but there has to be some kind of competent character action and power use propelling the plot.
We've re-reached Bendisian proportions of "breaking (down) the character"- Doc moping in his mai tai, back in his boring Constantine anti-uniform tan trenchcoat, with no heroic competence, confidence, or redemption in sight. This 'death of all the magic in the multiverse' storyline is long in the tooth already, and it looks to be the theme for much longer. Sad sack Doc is back: it's "a lot harder than it used to be", "there was a time a thing like this would've been afraid of me", "I'm starting over from scratch", etc. Oh blecch!
Although the magic 'garden' that was 'mowed over' is 'starting to flower again'. We supposedly have a small binder of some new spells that work now. We say 'supposedly', since we haven't seen one sparkle of said spells.
When was the last time Doc fricking cast a spell anyway? We read Dr. Strange for the usage of magic. It was expected the axes and arrows would add some kind of steampunk-adventurer flavor, not replace. We're supposed to enjoy a year of Tony Stark techless after an electromagnetic pulse? If Neilalien wants to read about a magic-user who uses a bat as Doc does in #11, he'll read Matt Wagner's Mage. It's like it's not even Doctor Strange. Might as well read Deadpool or Punisher now that the power-set is the same. (Or perhaps read Doc teaming up with Punisher, shooting a sawed-off shotgun? But it's a magic shotgun...)
Depower the character and give him an axe. Is this Jason Aaron's favorite story pitch? Did it with Thor, and now Dr. Strange.
And the salt in the suture: In #11, we have the Ancient One saving Strange's life pre-Tibet. More "chosen one special snowflake destiny" stuff that subtracts so much more from his great "asshole works hard" origin than it adds. (The Mordo flashback was better.)
This reminds of Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme #80- we'll need that kind of reset all over again. Back then, we also had a storyline that overstayed its welcome (Siege of Darkness/Strangers Among Us/Last Rites). Magic had also gone done died: the magical power source Doc had been using, the Gaian Aura, had been depleted. (This was his power source after the previous depowering, when he renounced the Vishanti and the Powers and Principalities, his power source before that.) Poorly-executed new interpretations of the character which rendered him unrecognizable like "young again" (or using an axe) had to be undone; plots that messed the entire magical world like The Seven Spheres War (or the Empirikul) had to be resolved. So Warren Ellis comes in for an issue and recharges Earth or Doc taps into a new source of ("catastrophe") magic with a ritual at the planetary syzygy- but the blurb at the end of #80 warns us shrillily: Is Doc's new magic strong enough?
Remember another time when Doc was depowered, another Pyrrhic victory, he lost all his books and goodies in Doctor Strange #81 when he had to destroy them so Urthona couldn't use them for evil? And then we find out in Sorcerer Supreme #7 that they weren't all destroyed, but Agamotto had spirited them away? Dare we hope the Empirikul didn't actually destroy everything too and leave Doc with only a boring nonsensical weapons rack of swords and halberds?
Perhaps it is darkest before the light. We shall see. We have Mordo soon, Clea soon (are you expecting to see any of the "stud Doc" with Clea that we saw in #1 with the Free Rovers lady? Neilalien neither), the new Sorcerers Supreme title soon. Supposedly in the next storyline, "Blood In The Aether", Doc's rogues gallery comes out one by one, "gunning for him in his weakened state" (quote from the interview above) (you know, like in Sorcerer Supreme #49, when Dormammu shows up right after a Doc depowering) (hey shouldn't his magical rogues gallery be depowered too?).
Some competent victories using actual magic, the moping ends, an upward climb begins, the mowed-over garden continues to flower, interesting new magic and ideas, and what we've gotten so far in this series can be squinted into table-setting, as simply the Storytelling 101 of putting the hero through the grinder. The question isn't Is Doc's new magic strong enough? It's which of Kurt Vonnegut's Story Shapes are we going to get? Man In Hole, time to start the upward climb, or did we just get Old Testament fall-from-grace yet again?
Doctor Strange movie prelude comic #2 of 2 is out! [preview]
Doctor Strange View-Master reels from 01979 on the radar [Scott Derrickson tweet with partial close-up of one reel's images] [image of cover sleeve] [full package of sleeve, three reels, story booklet] [close-up of one reel from EBay]
Starcher Trek: Archer/Star Trek The Animated Series mashups
Marvel's November solicits include Doctor Strange #14, TPB of #1-5, Sorcerers Supreme #2; Gerry Conway writing Spider-Man again!
DOCTOR STRANGE #14
DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #2
Doctor Strange #10 is out! [preview]
Meet Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme [with commentary by artist Javier Rodriguez] [Young Ancient One (plucked from the timeline?), Isaac Newton (with prism), Kushala (new; Apache), Nina (pulp adventurer), and Merlin; original solicits said Wiccan too?] [apologies for the ad-revenue-boosting slideshow-type article]
New Doctor Strange/The Punisher: Magic Bullets miniseries announced at SDCC "Marvel Download: Digital House of Ideas" panel [series will be Infinite-Comics-first]
Funko Summons Adorable "Doctor Strange" Figures [Coming Soon: Doctor Strange Pops and Dorbz!] ["Doctor Strange will be available in three different poses: heroic, without his cape in spellcasting pose (exclusive to Walmart), and in astral projection form (exclusively at Target)."]
There is a Dr. Strange 10K run at Disneyland in California on Sunday 12 November 02016!? [some of our more rabid collectors will want the Finisher Medal]
Strange miniseries writer and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski moving on from comics [to other media like novels and plays] [Newsarama] [reveals having a terrible eye problem and good news: a successful surgery!]
DC Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio interview at ICv2 [Part 2] [newsstand price is $1 more; Rebirth experiment at $2.99 and returnable; 300 titles a month selling under 18,000 copies is "not a sustainable or viable business"]
DOCTOR STRANGE #12 & #13
DOCTOR STRANGE & THE SORCERERS SUPREME #1
DOCTOR STRANGE: MYSTIC APPRENTICE #1
DOCTOR STRANGE: WHAT IS IT THAT DISTURBS YOU, STEPHEN? TPB
MARVEL'S DOCTOR STRANGE: THE ART OF THE MOVIE HC SLIPCASE
DOCTOR STRANGE & THE SORCERERS SUPREME #1 BY ALBUQUERQUE POSTER
Doctor Strange movie prelude comic #1 is out! [preview]
Mads Mikkelsen is rumored to play Kaecilius [now confirmed- Ed.]