Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

PALINDROME

NEILALIEN

A Doctor Strange Fansite
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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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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 February 01963, as quoted in Steve Ditko's 32-Page Package v.5 Tsk! Tsk!

"I'm telling you, the only reason that Neilalien has lasted so long is because he kills younger, more innocent, bloggers and drinks their blood in some twisted Ditko-inspired mystical ceremony."
- Fanboy Rampage

"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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Out today 5 Aug: Doctor Strange Surgeon Supreme #6

Aaaand... it includes a note in the back from Mark Waid that the comic is coming to a close.

Marvel Cancels Doctor Strange With Today's #6

Marvel Surprise-Cancels Dr. Strange Title

Update: There was a #7 in the original June solicits put out back in March. "This comic will not be released."

[5 August 02020]

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Updated: Catching up with Marvel's original non-Covid solicitations: Marvel June 02020 solicits

THE DARKHOLD ALPHA #1
STEVE ORLANDO (W)
CIAN TORMEY (A)
Cover by GREG SMALLWOOD
TEASER VARIANT BY GREG SMALLWOOD
Variant cover by AARON KUDER
ENTER THE PAGES OF THE DARKHOLD... IF YOU DARE!
Critically acclaimed writer Steve Orlando (Martian Manhunter, Batman, Wonder Woman) makes his Marvel debut with a story that will delight and terrify! For hundreds of years, scholars and heroes alike have searched for the complete text of the Darkhold - A.K.A. the Book of the Damned, written by the elder god Chthon. Now one of the greatest sorcerers in the Multiverse has found it - and Chthon has found him. To save them all, the Scarlet Witch must gather the world's greatest heroes... and unleash their inner darkness. Witness the Marvel Universe's descent into chaos!
40 PGS./ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ $4.99

'Darkhold: Alpha' Charts A Magical Future For Marvel

As of July 27th, still no idea if/when this comic is coming out.

DR. STRANGE #7
MARK WAID (W)
TOM REILLY (A)
Cover by MAX FIUMARA
LIVING VAMPIRE VARIANT COVER
BY MIRKA ANDOLFO
Are YOU Doctor Strange's biggest fan?
Would you jump at the chance to join the Sorcerer Supreme on an epic magical adventure- no matter the danger???
Those are the questions that Kermit, Stephen's office assistant and #1 Strange fan, will have to answer, as he gets swept up in Doctor Strange's latest mystical maelstrom!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Doctor Strange #6 set for release August 5th

Update: It seems that Doctor Strange Surgeon Supreme has been canceled with #6, so we'll never see this #7.

STRANGE ACADEMY #4
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY TBA
CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT VARIANT COVER BY ART ADAMS
TAG, YOU'RE IT!
The students at the Strange Academy blow off their homework for the craziest game of tag ever.
Every door of Strange Academy holds a surprise - one takes you to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, another to Weirdworld, another to Asgard; and some doors' destinations are unknown even to Strange himself.
The students plan on stepping through every door, and at least one of the students will bear some significant consequences of their actions.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

Strange Academy #2 came out July 8th.

Strange Academy #3 set for release September 30th; check out this sweet Alex Ross Timeless variant cover!

Update: Strange Academy #4 resolicited for October

MARVEL #4 (of 6)
ALEX ROSS, STEVE DARNALL, DANIEL ACUNA, DOUG RICE & MARK WAID (W)
ALEX ROSS, DANIEL ACUNA, LUCIO PARRILLO & HILARY BARTA (A)
Cover by ALEX ROSS
VARIANT COVER BY Daniel ACUNA
As Doctor Strange continues to contend with the machinations of Nightmare in the framing story by Alex Ross and Steve Darnall, a bevy of other creators lend their talents to stories from all across the Marvel Universe: Daniel Acuna spins a saga of the Deviants in the world of the future; Doug Rice and Hilary Barta explore the earliest adventures of Doctor Droom during the time of the Marvel monsters; and Mark Waid and Lucio Parillo pit the Hulk against a fighting mad Wolverine in a brutal painted saga!
40 PGS./Rated T $4.99

Marvel #1 came out March 4th; nothing since

Update: New Marvel October 02020 solicits:

SAVAGE AVENGERS #13
GERRY DUGGAN (W)
Patch Zircher (A)
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
VARIANT COVER by BOSSLOGIC
The Savage Avengers assemble! Wolverine, Conan, Dr. Strange, Elektra, Black Widow, Hellstrom, Voodoo, Magik... and more. The heroes draw up a battle plan against Kulan Gath, and you'll be thrilled as Conan wields a most unexpected weapon in the fight against darkness.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99
Order using MAR201013

Savage Avengers #12 set to be released September 30th [#12 was originally part of April solicits] [#13 was originally part of May solicits]

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #51
NICK SPENCER (W)
PATRICK GLEASON (A/C)
[lovely Patrick Gleason cover!]
VARIANT COVER BY INHYUK LEE
'LAST REMAINS' CONTINUES!
'LAST REMAINS' continues as Spider-Man seeks help from Doctor Strange. SPOILER ALERT it's not going to be enough.
Spider-Man does what many would find unthinkable to take the fight to Kindred.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

[31 July 02020]

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Inside The Comic Book Industry's Sexual Misconduct Crisis- And The Ugly, Exploitative History That Got It Here [Daily Beast] ["The storm of allegations against writers including Warren Ellis and Jason Latour is not a sign that the comics industry is broken. It's a sign it's running precisely as designed."]

Jog: "Daily Beast summary piece on harassment in comics astutely foregrounds the economic precarity of virtually everyone working (and the necessity of building personal connections to get literally anywhere) as that which binds all of these incidents"

[14 July 02020]

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Doctor Strange star Chiwetel Ejiofor confirms return as Mordo in Multiverse of Madness [Digital Spy]

[10 July 02020]

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New comics with Doctor Strange (and Doc-adjacent) return to comic shops today!

Out 8 Jul:
Doctor Strange Surgeon Supreme #5
Strange Academy #2
Ghost Rider #7

A little slice of joy, distraction, and back-to-normal in our new virus world.

[8 July 02020]

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Legendary creator Denny O'Neil has died; credited with Julie Schwartz and Neal Adams for creating the "Dark Knight" modern version of Batman; namer of Optimus Prime; age 81 of natural causes

Newsarama

New York Times

Variety

Wikipedia

He wrote Doctor Strange in Strange Tales #145-149.

[19 June 02020]

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'Doctor Strange 2' Pushed Back Four Months To March 2022

Covid-19-caused production delays have pushed the entire MCU Phase 4 release schedule back

Now 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness' will be released only six weeks apart from Thor: Love And Thunder

But still no projections when MCU filming/production can resume

But WandaVision has finished shooting- great! and Disney+ needs content- but unfortunately they can't show it too far ahead of 'Doctor Strange 2' since they're related

Rumors persist: With its "multiverse" premise (or at least title), 'Doctor Strange 2' is the perfect vehicle for introducing the Disney-acquired-from-Fox properties like X-Men and Fantastic Four into the MCU

"Roger Wardell" rumor tweets:

Doctor Strange 2 will lead to Midnight Sons. Nightmare IS NOT a villain of the movie.

Return of the Darkhold will be fundamental for upcoming WandaVision. Captain Britain and Ghost Rider in Doctor Strange 2. Events of both the show and movie will prepare the ground for Doctor Doom's debut.

MCU's Fantastic Four and X-Men will be primarily based on their Earth-1610 counterparts. John Krasinski and Giancarlo Esposito in talks to portray the leading roles. Ultimatum WILL NOT be adapted to the MCU.

[30 May 02020]

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Marvel Reveals Updated Release Schedule

July 8th: Doctor Strange #5 and Strange Academy #2

Update: Also July 8th: Ghost Rider #7 [Dr. Strange was in #6, out 11 March]

July 29th: Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #5

Doctor Strange #6, Savage Avengers #12 not yet rescheduled

[29 May 02020]

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Brian Hibbs: Tilting at Windmills #279: The Plague Diaries- How Comics Retailing Moves Forward [a retailer shares his current reality; how do we reopen?- with an unaffordable print-product "catch-up" dump? with print comics that have already been released digitally? with fans who have had the weekly habit nuked out of them due to the virus shutdown?; Marvel/DC tease "digital only" and "trade only" and play Russian roulette with the print Direct Market; the DM amortizes the production costs and lowers prices of digital and trades for viability in other book markets; no one outside of the DM can sell fragile expensive atomized singles- no more newsstand market; "one of the very first questions that was asked by AT&T when they had their first post-takeover meeting at DC, in the pre-plague past, was 'Why are we still printing these?'"]

Your latest "a single-issue-based brick-mortar Direct Market is not long for this world" essay, coronavirus-finally-making-it-a-reality edition [note: the two biggest Diamond accounts are mail order/online]

Haven't seen one of these in a while: Your latest "the anthology format will save comics" essay [but having the content available first digitally a-la-carte style kills it before it starts]

[28 May 02020]

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Doctor Strange: Five Story Retcons That Fans Liked (And Five That They Hated)

FANS LOVED: The Fate of Casey Kinmont
FANS HATED: Clea's Affair With Ben Franklin Was An Illusion
FANS LOVED: Doctor Druid Was The Ancient One's Placeholder For Doctor Strange
FANS HATED: Ghosts Have No Sense Of Human Morality
FANS LOVED: Agamotto Saved Strange's Magical Items
FANS HATED: Doctor Strange Has A Brother
FANS LOVED: Doctor Strange Secretly Saved The Fantastic Four From Rama-Tut
FANS HATED: Doctor Strange Crashed His Car On Purpose
FANS LOVED: The Tribunals Were A Hoax
FANS HATED: Chaos Magic Was Fake

[27 May 02020]

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Collected COVID-19/coronavirus links as found; updating:

Alt Free Comic Day will be streaming live to Facebook, Twitch, and Youtube on Fri-Sat 1-2 May with panels and AMAs [CBR]

San Diego Comic-Con [0]2020 Is Canceled [io9 4/17/20]

Marvel Comics Halves Its Staff Due To COVID-19 [CBR 4/25/20]
Marvel Comics Furloughs Staff This Weekend [Bleeding Cool 4/24/20]
Disney Furloughs Reach 100,000 [Deadline 4/20/20]

Diamond Announces May 20th Return Of New Single-Issue Comics [Beat 4/28/20]

'This Is Beyond The Great Depression': Will Comic Books Survive Coronavirus? [Guardian UK 4/20/20]

Diamond's Steve Geppi Dishes: 'I Don't Think You Can Destroy The Industry In Two Months.' [Beat 4/29/20] [restaurants will never get back the meals, but a comic shop can still sell Batman #92 and its debut of new Joker-babe Punchline]

- -

DC had, no longer has, the option to buy Diamond [neat comics history item resolved; why newsstands don't work; the fateful decision, when paper prices went up, to reduce the number of comic-book pages rather than raise prices, turning magazines into floppies]

- -

Shocker: DC Announces Return To Shipping Comics For April 27th With Alternative Distributors [Beat 4/17/20]

Why DC Didn't Wait For Diamond To Begin Shipping New Comics [CBR 4/27/20]

Retailers Have Poor Reaction To DC's New Distribution Plan [Beat 4/20/20]

Initial Retailer Reaction To DC Distribution Plan Is Mixed [Newsarama 4/17/20]

Retailers, with stores under virus shutdown orders, and loyal to Diamond, mostly balk at DC plan to skirt Diamond's own virus shutdown and distribute "a tiny slate of garbage" comics via Midtown Comics and DCBS, "two already large mail order retailers who most brick and mortar stores see as direct competition"

Alan Gill Boycotts New DC Comics Distributors In Favour Of Diamond [Bleeding Cool 4/23/20]

Brian Hibbs Holds Jim Lee Responsible For DC Distribution Decision [Bleeding Cool 4/18/20]

Art In Quarantine: Gary Groth [Fantagraphics 4/28/20]

[29 April 02020]

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Comic book shops, already precarious, looking vulnerable in our new virus world

Collected COVID-19/coronavirus links as found; updating:

Diamond Halts Shipments Of All New Comics Due To Coronavirus Pandemic [CBR 3/23/20]

Diamond CEO Steve Geppi Addresses Coronavirus Effect On Distribution

Diamond Allows Stores To Pause Accounts During Coronavirus Shutdown [CBR 3/18/20]

Free Comic Book Day [0]2020 Postponed [was to be Saturday May 2nd]

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Support Your Local Comic Shop During The COVID-19 Crisis

Comic Book Retailer COVID-19 Relief Fund Launched On GoFundMe [GoFundMe] [Newsarama 3/19/20]

AKA Morgan Twitter thread of comic shops world-wide that offer mail subscription services

Marvel Offering Deep Discounts On Comics To Help Retailers Through Coronavirus [Newsarama 3/20/20]

BOOM! Studios Announces Full Returnability And More Retailer COVID-19 Relief Programs [CBR 3/23/20]

Dark Horse Makes All Comics Returnable For Three Months, Reduces Schedule [Bleeding Cool 3/25/20]

Final Crisis? Diamond Comic Distributors Halts Shipments Of New Comics In Response To COVID-19 Shutdowns [Forbes 3/24/20]

Comics Retailers Are Facing A Catastrophe- And Here Are Some Steps We Can Take To Help Avoid It [Beat 3/23/20]

Comics Retailers React To Diamond Ceasing Shipments Of New Comics [Beat 3/24/20]

Comics Pros React To The Diamond Comic Shutdown [CBR 3/24/20]

Here's What Comic Book Stores Are Doing To Help Combat Covid-19 [curbside service; local delivery] [Gizmodo 3/18/20]

Fan Conventions Are Being Postponed Amid Covid-19 Concerns- But Comic-Con Is Still A Go [Washington Post 3/13/20]

Comic Con Spaces Being Repurposed Over Coronavirus Pandemic [Javits, home of NYCC, now a 2,000-bed hospital] [Bleeding Cool 3/24/20]

Brian Hibbs: "I am going to REMEMBER who stood up for the kinds of relief a closed-by-government store NEEDS (Image, Boom!, Dynamite, ETC) and REMEMBER who hasn't (Marvel, DC, Diamond)." [Facebook post 3/22/20]

The State Of The Comics Industry Under Coronavirus- On Tuesday [publisher and retailer closings expected; bookstores have already closed; Marvel and DC creators still working; big comics printer shut down; any move to get comics out digitally is stuck, seen as hurting the direct market shops; working around Diamond?; creator wallets haven't factored in surprise returnability on their creator-owned titles; Marvel/DC or other major crossover/event/combination seen as a savior move] [Bleeding Cool 3/24/20]

Virus tags on comics news sites: [Comic Book Resources] [Bleeding Cool] [Comics Beat]

Retailer Mike Sterling has been blogging about his store and the virus

[25 March 02020]

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Today marks TWENTY YEARS of comic book/Doctor Strange/Steve Ditko/weblog goodies from Neilalien at this website! Excelsior!

[25 February 02020]

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Marvel's April 02020 and May 02020 solicits include Dr. Strange, Savage Avengers, Strange Academy; big Empyre event

DR. STRANGE #5
MARK WAID (W)
KEV WALKER (A)
Cover by PHIL NOTO
MARVEL ZOMBIES VARIANT COVER BY LUKE ROSS
THE SORCERER SUPREME ROBBED!
Someone is stealing magical artifacts from Dr. Strange!
With the help of Dr. Druid, Strange must go undercover to discover a magical black-market arms dealing ring...
...but is Strange walking into battle with an ally or another enemy at his back?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DR. STRANGE #6
MARK WAID (W)
KEV WALKER (A)
Cover by PHIL NOTO
DARK MARVEL VARIANT COVER BY DAVE JOHNSON
Doctor Strange is hot on the trail of the magical thief infiltrating the Sanctum Machina!
But as his investigation leads him deeper into a magical black arms-dealing market, the danger of being discovered mounts higher and higher...
...and what he discovers will leave him reeling!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #12
GERRY DUGGAN (W)
ADAM GORHAM (A)
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
Something is killing the Shuma Goraths! That's usually great news, but Kulan Gath thinks he's finally figured out how to consume the elder god, and it's BAD NEWS for our plane of existence. Dr. Strange and Elektra recruit Conan for their plan to kill Kulan Gath. Now that is some GREAT NEWS.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #13
GERRY DUGGAN (W)
Patch Zircher (A)
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
The Savage Avengers assemble! Wolverine, Conan, Dr. Strange, Elektra, Black Widow, Hellstrom, Voodoo, Magik... and more.
The heroes draw up a battle plan against Kulan Gath, and you'll be thrilled as Conan wields a most unexpected weapon in the fight against darkness.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

STRANGE ACADEMY #2
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT VARIANT COVER BY TBA
VARIANT COVER BY TBA
Go to class with the students at STRANGE ACADEMY! Your class schedule:
8:159:15 HISTORY OF MAGICAL OBJECTS with THE ANCIENT ONE
9:2510:25 ELEMENTS OF CHAOS MAGIC with SCARLET WITCH
10:3511:35 GYM with COACH TAYLOR
11:4012:10 LUNCH (cooked by MINDFULL ONE)
12:201:20 INTRODUCTION TO THE UNDEAD with BROTHER VOODOO
1:302:30 INFERNO 101 with MAGIK
2:403:20 (Pending survival) STUDY HALL
3:304:30 MAGICAL PLANTS AND THE CARE THEREOF with PROFESSOR MANTHING
32 PGS./Rated T $3.99

STRANGE ACADEMY #3
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT VARIANT COVER BY TBA
VARIANT COVER BY RYAN OTTLEY
DOYLE DORMAMMU, HEAD OF THE CLASS?
Anyone who has been to New Orleans knows that it's a magical place, but the students of STRANGE ACADEMY are about to see it firsthand.
Their first field trip as a class shows them a city (and the stakes of what they're living) in ways that light a fuse that is going to blow up in a big way.
32 PGS./Rated T $3.99

"Empyre": Marvel's next big event: Kree-Skrull hybrid Hulkling unites the two alien races and invades Earth. Mostly an Avengers/Fantastic Four event, with the usual slew of tie-ins. Marvel can't win with Neilalien: If he's not lamenting Doc's exclusion from the big Marvel events, he's breathing relief-sighs when Doc fans and collectors are spared his inclusion from crappy-sounding money grabs.

[22 February 02020]

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Updating: Tracking recent Dr. Strange appearances; adding braindumps/reviews/links/more as time permits...

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Update: Out 12 Feb: Doctor Strange (Surgeon Supreme) #3
Out 29 Jan: Doctor Strange (Surgeon Supreme) #2
Out 25 Dec: Doctor Strange (Surgeon Surpeme) #1

The new series is basically business as usual- which is fine considering that's not as bad as whatever absurd medical procedural Neilalien was picturing/dreading when "Surgeon" was announced. 'Doc in a hospital' makes a lot more sense than the 'Doc in outer space' that started the previous series.

Neilalien doesn't mind if Doc's a House-like consultant on weirder medical mysteries, or if that's the jumping-off point for stories, in the way Superman gets the jump on situations by being a reporter. It should have been that way all along.

But still- the fewer comic panels in the hospital, about the hospital, the paperwork in the hospital, surgeries without a magickal aspect, etc., probably the better. We don't read Doctor Strange comics for that.

Dr. Druid's re-appearance is welcome, but desperately needs something more here to distinguish himself from Baron Mordo. Non-standard-for-Doc villain Wrecker was enjoyed here in an 'Acts of Vengeance' way.

The 'mystic forge'/'Sanctum Machina'- Neilalien's still not convinced re: Doc using weapons- but it's about time that Doc's reached a high-enough D&D level to finally make magic items. Someone in the campaign has to be making all these purple gems and sling rings and swords +1! But who would even know the forge exists already to steal something from it?

Still undecided about Doc restoring his hands. Aren't the car-crash-damaged hands akin to his Uncle Ben or Bruce Wayne's parents- they can't come back from the dead or the motivation to dress up is weakened. One could argue Doc was very reckless to risk this dimension's protection to save one child. There's maybe only two story payoffs for restoring the hands: Doc gains new abilities, perhaps he can cast new spells that require more intricate movements- or the other shoe drops- perhaps he gets problematically arrogant again.

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Update: Out 12 Feb: Savage Avengers #10
Out 8 Jan: Savage Avengers #9

Enjoying! Neilalien's favorite book right now. This Conan/Strange/Doom team-up versus evil sorcerer Kulan Gath is a great hot mess. Fun crazy page-turning action and interaction among all four of them.

Doom saves a mortally-poisoned Strange by putting him inside a suit of armor sent from orbit in the best Doctor-Strange-transformed final splash page since Dr. StrangeZom in World War Hulk #3.

Doctor Strange Just Became... The Infamous Iron Man?

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Out 5 Feb: Savage Avengers #0

All this issue does is contrast just how dense Claremont X-Men comics were with just how much less than that we get for our comics buck these days.

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Out 29 Jan: Doctor Strange: The End

This story did nothing for Neilalien. He enjoyed the What If Magik Became Sorcerer Supreme? one-shot from this same creative team more.

Doctor Strange: The End Reveals The Fate Of Marvel's Magical World

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Out 29 Jan: Tarot #2
Out 1 Jan: Tarot #1

Positive review at AIPT ["the kind of Avengers/Defenders book that'll make you go back to your long boxes thirsty for more... Alan Davis has solidified himself as one of the greatest Marvel Comics creators ever"]

Enjoying! Neilalien has almost always liked Alan Davis's story and design sensibilties- and he's loving that apparently Davis is just doing any old-school characterizations, costumes, combinations, etc., here that he damn-well wants. Did NOT like that Avengers Mansion is home to mystical artifacts Doctor Strange does not know about. Neilalien has often mused that the alchemist Diablo would have made a good Dr. Strange villain. And Oberfuhrer Okkulte would make an excellent Dr. Strange villain!

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Update: Out 12 Feb: Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #3
Out 8 Jan: Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #2

Enjoying! Peter David writing; clean crisp Greg Land art. Good Doc and Spidey team-ups always have a "children of Ditko" charm, contrasting their powers and personalities. Lots of magical goodies here- Baron Mordo too. A bummer that Doc is powerless in this tableau, but the story kind of requires it, and at least he hasn't been useless.

Spidey not only outruns the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak that Hobgoblin casts- he also redirects them onto the caster! Neilalien is always wary of seeing the Bands trifled with, easily cast, easily broken, easily outrun- but maybe Hobgobby's not skilled with magic enough yet, the Bands do have a "seeking/lasso" element to them, and not sure what different spell could have been used here to be avoided/redirected, so it's fine.

It appeared for an issue that one of Neilalien's biggest pet peeves was going to manifest- Spidey was about to learn Doctor Strange's decades-long hard-fought magickal skills in five minutes- but they ended up training in Kamar-Taj for a year where time doesn't pass, and only defensive spells.

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Out 19 Feb: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8
Out 15 Jan: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #7
Out 11 Dec: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #6
Out 27 Nov: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #5
Out 23 Oct: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #4

Warning: Neilalien triggered: Not a fan of Dr. Strange during this run. One big thrill: seeing Mordo's Minions again- Kaecilius, Adria, and Demonicus- and freed from their Purple Gem prison from Doctor Strange #56. [+4!] Hope to see them active in Doc's rogues' gallery going forward. And maybe Doc's clothes and pimp hat in #4. [+1] But his watch is slow? [-1] Astral form with the Cloak? [-1] Didn't mind the Minions looking good via having the element of surprise and getting power-ups in the Purple Dimension. The Sorcerer Supreme the Aunt-May prop to be rescued? [meh] Doc enjoying his restored hands with card tricks. [cute] We get Night Nurse back (love her haircut) [+1], as part of the Mighty Medics, but her and Doc are on the outs? [likely, but boo] Knowing Yazz? [-1] Blurting out like a novice, "What am I seeing?" [-1] Excalibur being rashly right when Doc advised caution instead? [-1] The Sorcerer Supreme punked by a guy with a taser stick? [-2] The canvases show how Death has touched each of them- something more creative could have been done instead of having Doc's canvas be nothingness-blank because he's seen the death of reality. [-2] Shouldn't Doc's canvas be more soul-crushingly full than anyone else's then, rather than empty? Perhaps Doc having faced the Test of Death and how he doesn't age should have been mentioned somewhere in this close interaction with Death (at least Doc wasn't shown with a "death ball" via Valkyr-Eyes). Liked the philosophical ending with the Death of Death convinced to not let this plane go Cancerverse. [+1] Except for opening Death's gate, Doc does nothing. [-2] And continuing in #8: Doc does nothing against the monsters; can't contain them; Valkyrie 'advising' Doc not to do something magickal? [-1] The monsters are an ancient magic of a sort he's not familiar with (complete with sad face)? [-1] Calling Thor "Sparkles"? [-1]

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Out 29 Jan: Jessica Jones (Blind Spot) #2 [this is a digital comic from 02018 getting a paper-print run]

Didn't need this Jessica-Jones-verse douchebag version of Doctor Strange. The Snakes fit in wonderfully though, naturally.

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Magnificent Ms. Marvel #9, #10, #12

Not much for Doc fans. Doc cameos in his new role as mostly-mundane surgeon. Might as well be Night Nurse here.

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Out 15 Jan: Ruins Of Ravencroft: Sabretooth has a flashback-glimpse of Shuma-Gorath

[5 February 02020]

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Scott Derrickson out as director of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness!

Update: Sam Raimi In Talks To Direct 'Doctor Strange 2'

'Doctor Strange 2' Director Scott Derrickson Drops Out [Variety]

Director Scott Derrickson Has Left 'Doctor Strange 2' [Vulture]

Why Did Scott Derrickson Leave Doctor Strange 2? Marvel Fans Dig Up Past Tweets For Hints

Tweet: Derrickson will stay on as Executive Producer

Given how well he did with Doctor Strange- and not knowing his replacement nor seeing the final product- this feels like terrible news right now. The main theories re: "creative differences": Derrickson wanted to go in a riskier, darker, full-on horror direction (which had most Doc fans drooling in anticipation) while Disney wants PG-13- or being forced to shoehorn Disney+ shows like WandaVision.

Marvel Reportedly Eyeing Two Horror Directors For Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Jade Halley Bartlett To Write 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness' [IMDb]

Surprise New Characters Will Debut In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness [Dr. Strange visiting a number of alternate universes on his journey through the multiverse: is that how they get the Fox properties like X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four into the MCU?!]

Backstage: UK casting call!: "After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Dr. Stephen Strange continues his research on the Time Stone. But an old friend-turned-enemy [Mordo?] puts an end to his plans and causes Strange to unleash unspeakable evil."

WandaVision Ties Directly Into 'Doctor Strange 2' [with lots of Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch in the movie- and possibly be the villain?]

Update: Brother Voodoo to make MCU debut in 'Doctor Strange 2'

Murphy's Multiverse Rumors:

Nightmare is the villain of WandaVision

Benedict Cumberbatch will be on set for the last week of filming for WandaVision [Doc to appear in the series?]

Update: Emily Blunt met with Marvel Studios for a Clea role?

[14 January 02020]

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Marvel's March 02020 solicits include new series Strange Academy; Dr. Druid

STRANGE ACADEMY #1
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W) HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT VARIANT COVER BY TBA
DESIGN VARIANT COVER BY HUMBERTO RAMOS
VARIANT COVER BY J. SCOTT CAMPBELL
VARIANT COVER BY HUMBERTO RAMOS
VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
VARIANT COVER BY JEROME OPENA
A SORCERER SCHOOL FOR THE MARVEL UNIVERSE!
The Marvel Universe has mysteriously changed in such an alarming way that Doctor Strange has done what he's avoided for decades; he's opened a school for young sorcerers. Young people from around the world with aptitude in magic have been brought together in New Orleans to study the Mystic Arts under Strange, Brother Voodoo, the Ancient One, the Scarlet Witch, Magik, Hellstrom and ALL your favorite Marvel magicians. But with all the new magical threats, is it too late?!
40 PGS./Rated T $4.99

DR. STRANGE #4
MARK WAID (W) KEV WALKER (A)
Cover by PHIL NOTO
The return of Dr. Druid!
What has brought Doctor Strange's fellow sorcerer back from the dead, and has he truly renounced all magic as he claims?
Or is something more sinister brewing in the halls of the McCarthy Medical Institute? 32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #11
GERRY DUGGAN (W) BUTCH GUICE (A)
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
The horrific secret of Kulan Gath's power is revealed. Steel yourself, True Believers, this one is a bummer for the ages.
Plus, Dr. Strange & Elektra did what last night?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

Elektra And Doctor Strange Hook Up In Savage Avengers

Also: MARVELS X #3 (OF 6), GHOST RIDER #6.

Also: TAROT #4 (OF 4)
ALAN DAVIS (W) PAUL RENAUD (A/C)
Variant Cover by ALAN DAVIS
VARIANT COVER BY STEPHEN MOONEY
Merged into a single amalgamated band, the combined heroes of the amalgamated Avengers and Defenders race against the clock to put everything right- as the final card begins to turn.
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

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Also: Out 5 Feb: Savage Avengers: Doctor Strange Enlists Magik's Help In Issue #0

Solicit: The looming threat of Kulan Gath reunites Dr. Strange and Magik on Krakoa. The fate of the world will rest in what they discover. Re-presenting a pair of classics, UNCANNY X-MEN 190 & 191 by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr, in the context of a great new sequence illustrated by the impeccable Greg Smallwood.

[12 January 02020]

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Stan Lee would have had his 97th birthday today! [Wikipedia]

Update: Kim O'Connor: "Still just absolutely blown away by how Marvel has built the myth of this man to obscure its long history of exploiting creators. The most important and lucrative character in the Marvel Universe by a mile."

[28 December 02019]

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Brian Hibbs Tilting at Windmills: A Leak, A Rosetta Stone, And One Path Forward [a leaked Diamond document reveals a peek into the size and dynamics of the Direct Market for Marvel Comics]

[15 December 02019]

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The Decade Comic Book Nerds Became Our Cultural Overlords [observing the fan backlash against Martin Scorsese's "the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not cinema" comment: fans of Rambo may have always seen Scorsese as an out-of-touch snob egghead, but unlike before, fans of today demand that Rambo be treated in the same art-breath as The Killing Fields; superhero movies can make you cry too!; Scorsese in no way threatens superhero dollars the way superheroes threaten indie-art-movies; "the response to Scorsese is a populist groundswell in service of the status quo, of corporations, and of power. In the case of Marvel Stans vs. Marty it's the expression of a vestigial inferiority complex and hypersensitivity to gatekeeping left over from the days when the culture at large couldn't look at anything comics-related that wasn't Maus or Watchmen without making jokes about Adam West's tights, but functionally it's a mass movement rising up to defend a Goliath against the impertinence of a David."]

Alan Moore: "Primarily, mass-market superhero movies seem to be abetting an audience who do not wish to relinquish their grip on (a) their relatively reassuring childhoods, or (b) the relatively reassuring 20th century... The superheroes themselves- largely written and drawn by creators who have never stood up for their own rights against the companies that employ them, much less the rights of a Jack Kirby or Jerry Siegel or Joe Schuster... are still very much white supremacist dreams... I think that a good argument can be made for D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks."

[14 December 02019]

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Marvel TV Division Folded Into Studio Unit, Layoffs Expected [the wall between Marvel's film and TV units knocked down; the new Disney+ TV shows are under Feige/films; Marvel's Netflix shows, now ended to stop giving content to a competitor, were under Loeb/TV]

Marvel Comics Closes Its New York Office And Moves... [A Few Hundred Meters] East

[13 December 02019]

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Out 11 Dec: Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #1 [Preview]

It looks like Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality will have a lot of Doctor Strange and his accoutrements [including Hobgoblin in Eye and Cloak casting the Crimson Bands] [cover to #3 with Spidey in Eye and Cloak]

A "President Electro" story (what Neilalien calls it when they mix and mashup and What-If and Earth-X the characters in different combinations because no one wants to create new IP/characters under work-for-hire) but #1 was enjoyed

Update: Positive review: ComicBookMovie.com

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Update: Also out 11 Dec: Doctor Strange in Valkyrie: Jane Foster #6

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Update: Also out 11 Dec: A Cancerverse version of Doctor Strange is the bad guy in Annihilation-Scourge: Beta Ray Bill

Cancerverse?
Earth-10011 at Marvel Database Fandom Wiki
Cancerverse at Comic Vine
Cancerverse at H.P. Lovecraft Fandom Wiki
Many-Angled One at H.P. Lovecraft Fandom Wiki
Instead of Captain Mar-Vell dying of cancer as he did in Earth-616, in this reality he was seduced by the Old Ones and Shuma-Gorath to defeat Death. Without death to keep life in check, the living became a cancerous growth, a corrupted undeath.

[12 December 02019]

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Rene Auberjonois, 'Star Trek' [Odo] And 'Boston Legal' Actor, Dies At 79

'Star Trek' Writer Dorothy Catherine 'D.C.' Fontana Dies At 80

[11 December 02019]

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Hulk Hogan Versus Marvel Comics: The Fight For His Name

Marvel Comics And The Money They Made Off Hulk Hogan

[10 December 02019]

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Marvel teases a Doctor-Strange-related magical-school comic coming in March?

Update: Or an election?

[4 December 02019]

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Out tomorrow 4 Dec: Sword Master #6 [preview]

Sword Master #5 [was out 6 Nov] and #6 involve Dr. Strange and Baron Mordo with Doc covers

What the heck is Sword Master? Part of a Marvel bid to build its brand in East Asia with Chinese partnerships, creators, and characters

Marvel Launches Sword Master And Aero Comics In July By Greg Pak

Marvel Talks Bringing New Heroes Aero And Sword Master Into The Comics

Chinese state news: Chinese Internet giant NetEase [Nasdaq: NTES] has reached a deal with Disney to publish 12 Marvel comics on NetEase's comic platform 163.com (including what looks like Sorcerers Supreme); the deal will also see new Chinese superheroes created to join the Marvel Universe

An Interview With Greg Pak About Marvel's New All-Asian Superhero Team 'Agents of Atlas' [Luna Snow and Crescent and Io, original Korean superheroes created for the Marvel Future Fight game... Aero and Sword Master, original Chinese super heroes created with NetEase for Chinese webcomics... the great Filipino artist Leinil Yu and I co-created Wave, Marvel's new Filipina super hero [with] water-based powers... "Oh, and just to clarify, Wong isn't in this particular story. But someday..."]

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Out tomorrow 4 Dec: Savage Avengers #8 [preview]

Savage Avengers has been involving Kulan Gath, many magical- and Doc-themed elements, "the Third Eye of Agamotto", Shuma-Gorath; Doc appeared in #7 [was out 6 Nov]

What the heck is Savage Avengers? A Marvel-license-reacquired Conan The Barbarian in the in-canon modern-day 616 Marvel Universe somehow (Avengers: No Road Home stranded him in the Savage Land) with stabby team Wolverine, Venom, Punisher, Elektra, and Brother Voodoo (Darth Vader to join soon? /s)

Conan The Barbarian Will Star In A New Avengers Comic Series

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Out 13 Nov: Marvel Tales: Doctor Strange [reprints only]

[3 December 02019]

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Marvel's February 02020 solicits include a Strange/Doom/Conan team-up vs. Kulan Gath

DR. STRANGE #3
MARK WAID (W) KEV WALKER (A)
Cover by PHIL NOTO
VARIANT COVER BY KEV WALKER
Tattoo removal isn't in a surgeon's job description, but when one man's heavy metal tattoos begin coming to life Doctor Strange will have to make an exception!
With the clock ticking down rapidly, will Doctor Strange be able to save his patient- or himself?
Find out as Doctor Strange gets drawn into the diagnosis- literally!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

TAROT #3 (of 4)
ALAN DAVIS (W) PAUL RENAUD (A/C)
VARIANT COVER BY ALAN DAVIS
VARIANT COVER BY KEVIN NOWLAN
As the chaos and madness continues to spread, the Avengers and the Defenders find themselves confronted by the most unlikely characters in Marvel history! Would you believe- THE UNBELIEVABLES?
40 PGS./Rated T+ $4.99

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN: ALIEN REALITY #3 (OF 5)
PETER DAVID (W) GREG LAND (A/C) [Cover]
VARIANT COVER BY RON LIM
VARIANT COVER BY ALEX SAVIUK
GWEN STACY VARIANT COVER BY PHIL NOTO
VARIANT COVER BY GERARDO SANDOVAL
CONNECTING CHINESE NEW YEAR VARIANT COVER (2 of 3) BY JIE YUAN
PETER PARKER: THE SPIDER SUPREME?!
After reliving one of the most horrible moments of his life, Peter Parker turns to one of his oldest allies for a magical helping hand. Don't miss the next history-shaking adventure of Peter David and Greg Land's landmark SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN Series!
32 PGS./Rated T $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #10
GERRY DUGGAN (W) PATCH ZIRCHER (A)
Cover by Valerio Giangiordano
Dr. Strange, Dr. Doom and Conan the Barbarian set out to kill Kulan Gath before he grows stronger! The team-up you never knew you couldn't live without concludes. We hope you'll be okay.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #0: "The looming threat of Kulan Gath reunites Dr. Strange and Magik on Krakoa. The fate of the world will rest in what they discover. Re-presenting a pair of classics, UNCANNY X-MEN 190 & 191 by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr, in the context of a great new sequence"

FANTASTIC FOUR: GRIMM NOIR #1: "What is Dr. Strange's nemesis D'Spayre doing on Yancy Street?"

DITKO IS... STRANGE! KING-SIZE HC
Collecting material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #110-111 and #114-146.
328 PGS./All Ages $100.00

[2 December 02019]

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Marvel's January 02020 solicits include Doctor Strange: The End, Alan Davis Avengers/Defenders

DR. STRANGE #2
MARK WAID (W) KEV WALKER (A)
Cover by MAX FIUMARA
Variant Cover by MIKE HUDDLESTON
MARVELS X VARIANT COVER BY OLIVIER VATINE
Enter: The Wrecker... of reality!
After being beaten, broken and at the end of his rope, how will Strange keep the Wrecker from tearing apart reality?
Plus, a familiar face from Strange's past makes a surprise return!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

DOCTOR STRANGE: THE END #1
LEAH WILLIAMS (W) FILIPE ANDRADE (A)
Cover by RAHZZAH
Variant cover by FILIPE ANDRADE
THE FINAL DOCTOR STRANGE STORY!
The Sorcerer Supreme makes his final journey through a cyberpunk sprawl that forgot about magic! Reteaming the critically-acclaimed creative team of LEAH WILLIAMS (GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK) and FILIPE ANDRADE (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE: IMMORTAL HULK)!
40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+ $4.99

TAROT #1 and #2 (OF 4) by Alan Davis!
Tarot: Alan Davis Pens Marvel's Next Avengers/Defenders Story

JESSICA JONES #2 (OF 6)
After being brutally attacked in her office, Jessica turns to Doctor Strange to help her find the target. But he may discover more than Jessica bargained for...

SAVAGE AVENGERS #9
GERRY DUGGAN (W) PATCH ZIRCHER (A)
Cover by Valerio Giangiordano
The Quest to Kill Kulan Gath Part 1
Folks, we won't mince words. Kulan Gath has got to go. If Conan The Barbarian, Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom can't do it, then it can't be done. Plus, what is the fate of Kulan Gath's guest, Doctor Voodoo?
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN: ALIEN REALITY #2 (OF 5)
"GUEST STARRING DOCTOR STRANGE!"

VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #7 "teams up with Marvel's Mightiest Medics to save the life of the ultimate patient- Death herself!" [Doc shown on cover]

[1 December 02019]

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Tom Spurgeon, beloved Comics Reporter, has died; respected journalist, historian, and advocate for art; age 50

Comics Reporter website

Update: Douglas Wolk [obit]

Update: The Comics Journal [obit]

The Comics Journal [links]

Bleeding Cool [links]

Comic Book Resources [obit]

Progressive Ruin

Update: High-Low

Updating: More links as found...

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Just some of the many kindnesses Comics Reporter showed Neilalien over the years:

21 Things I Like About Dr. Strange

Neilalien Retires From Near-Daily Blogging After 11 Years

[14 November 02019]

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Steve Ditko would have had his 92nd birthday today! [Wikipedia]

[2 November 02019]

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