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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NEILALIEN STATUS
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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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Email Neilalien:
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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 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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PURPLE GEMS

Mark Evanier: A List Of Things I've Learned About The Comic Book Industry Since I Got Into It In [0]1970, Many But Not All Of Which Still Apply [via LMG]

[12 October 02020]

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Punisher Creator Gerry Conway: "Cancel Every Existing Superhero Comic"
[your latest "save comics from its aging-out hardcore-fan specialty-shop dead end by making them for kids again and putting them in supermarkets again"] [via Progressive Ruin]

Alan Moore Gives Rare Interview: 'Watchmen' Creator Talks New Project 'The Show', How Superhero Movies Have 'Blighted Culture' And Why He Wants Nothing To Do With Comics
[your latest Alan Moore interview, evidently not rare enough, or it's the same questions/answers: he understandably doesn't want to do comics again after 40 years and crappy treatment by the industry; superheroes went from being for working-class-child escapism to grotesque middle-class-adult escapism; they now blight the culture and meaningfully coincide with things like white supremacy, Trump, and Brexit; his own grotesque adult-oriented supercomics were supposed to inspire better, but he had to quickly disown them, because superheroes were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys and can never be anything more]

[11 October 02020]

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Benedict Cumberbatch Joins 'Spider-Man 3' As Doctor Strange [Hollywood Reporter] [Doc in Tom-Holland-Spidey mentor role Part 3 after Stark and Fury?]

It's sounding like all of the fun multiverse cameo whispers for DSitMOM [Pre-Disney Marvel Movie Cameos Reportedly In Play For Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness] are being moved to 'Spider-Man 3' for a bigger Sony payday and so DSitMOM isn't bogged down with 'cameos for the sake of cameos' (but how multiversy can DSitMOM be now without that?) [Spider-Man 3 Reportedly Features Lots Of Cameos]. And DC's 'The Flash', coming out within months of DSitMOM, may also be very alternateversy [if attempting to adapt the Flashpoint story] with Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck Batmen!?

[10 October 02020]

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New York Comic-Con 02020 is an online/virtual affair this year!
> Schedule
> YouTube Channel
> Twitter @NY_Comic_Con

[9 October 02020]

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Dr. Strange probable/possible/related scheduled to be in comic shops tomorrow 30 Sept:

Savage Avengers #12
Strange Academy #3

Ditko Is Strange King-Size Hardcover (collecting material from Strange Tales (01951) #110-111 and #114-146)
[update: please note this is 14" by 21", and 12 pounds; Sanctum pic]

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Marvel November 02020 solicits include:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #52.LR
NICK SPENCER & MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) FEDERICO VICENTINI (A)
Cover by MARCELO FERREIRA
Variant Cover by Marco Checchetto
LAST REMAINS TIE-IN!
Doctor Strange is now bound to this Kindred problem and he recruits someone to help.
Even with Strange and his recruit, the Order of the Web will be lucky if they survive!
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

STRANGE ACADEMY #5
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
REMOTE LEARNING VARIANT COVER BY Humberto Ramos
CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT VARIANT COVER by ARTHUR ADAMS
The founding of the Strange Academy came with some gigantic risks. So far the students and teachers haven't felt the sting of those risks. That changes this issue.
Something horrible is bubbling up in the bayous outside New Orleans and the students of Strange Academy are going to have to wade in and uncover an evil that they are not ready to handle.
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #14
GERRY DUGGAN (W)
Patch Zircher (A)
Cover by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
VARIANT COVER BY MARCO CHECCHETTO
Conan leads a team of Savage Avengers against an Asgardian dragon in a quest for treasure. Get out your twenty-sided dice and roll to attack with Conan, Magik and new Savage recruits the Black Knight and Juggernaut!
32 PGS./Parental Advisory $3.99

Marvel December 02020 solicits include:

STRANGE ACADEMY #6
SKOTTIE YOUNG (W)
HUMBERTO RAMOS (A/C)
Variant COVER by SARA PICHELLI
Character Variant by ARTHUR ADAMS
BATTLE IN THE BAYOU!
What happens when the students of Strange Academy face the ancient evil order called THE HOLLOW in the swamps of New Orleans?
Nothing good, that's for sure! The students have stepped too far out of their element- now what price must they pay?
32 PGS./Rated T+ $3.99

SAVAGE AVENGERS #15 & #16
GERRY DUGGAN (W)
Patch Zircher (A)
Covers by VALERIO GIANGIORDANO
ISSUE #15- VARIANT COVER BY ALEXANDER LOZANO
ISSUE #16- VARIANT COVER BY CARLOS PACHECO
ISSUE #15- While Conan's team is busy trying to take treasure from a dragon, Kulan Gath's forces are poisoning the world's drug supply to summon Shuma Gorath. Black Widow, Wolverine and Son of Satan take on the Priest of Sickles. Ain't no party like a Savage party, and you can't throw a poison drug caper without the Punisher crashing it.
ISSUE #16- LET'S GO TO LIMBO! Magik joins Conan with guest Avenger the Black Knight and... the Juggernaut. An Asgardian dragon with the second eye of Agamotto doesn't stand a chance. Or maybe he does. Either way, the Sweet Sixteenth of this comic is going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight that will punch you upside the head. Fair warning.
32 PGS.(EACH)/Parental Advisory $3.99 (EACH)

Doctor Strange possible in King In Black event? He's on one of the covers of #2.

A new Black Cat #1 says Doctor Strange is one of the guest stars.

[29 September 02020]

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Chadwick Boseman Dies: Black Panther Star Succumbs To Cancer At 43

[Hollywood reeling] [MCU tributes]
[All Deadline articles tagged 'Chadwick Boseman']

Washington Post obituary [portrayed Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and T'Challa]

Ryan Coogler Pays Emotional Tribute To Chadwick Boseman: What An Incredible Mark He's Left For Us

Saturday Night Live: Black Jeopardy with Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa [YouTube]

[31 August 02020]

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DC Implosion: 02020/AT&T/Covid Edition

DC Universe, DC Comics Staff See Layoffs Amid WarnerMedia Restructure [Variety]

DC Comics, DC Universe Hit By Major Layoffs [Hollywood Reporter]

DC's Jim Lee On The Company's Future: "We Are Still In The Business Of Publishing Comics" [Hollywood Reporter] [Lee in champion/justification/defense mode?: "I don't think they want to stop us from publishing comics. Comics serve a lot of different purposes and one of them is it's a great way to incubate ideas and creating the next great franchises. We want to continue that. Why would you want to stop that? Why would you want to stop creating great content that could be used across the greater enterprise?"]

DC's Future Isn't What It Used To Be- But At Least It Still Has One (For Now) [Rob Salkowitz on ICv2] [more young-adult, less supercomics, more global, more digital; AT&T doesn't hate you, they're just too big to care]

Superhero Comics May Have Finally Met Their Kryptonite [Rob Salkowitz on ICv2] [comics and graphic novel sales boomed 11% between 02018 and 02019, with a majority of the record $1.21 billion sales coming from graphic novels, particularly young-adult titles sold through bookstores, online retailers and online, while Marvel/DC supercomics in the Direct Market have Nero-fiddled chasing after hardcore fans]

DC, The Fate Of The Floppy, Hollywood And The Great Reckoning [The Beat]

New DC co-Editors-In-Chief are supercomics lifer Marie Javins [she reportedly was who brought Warren Ellis to work on Dr. Strange] [Bobbie Chase, who Ellis reportedly didn't want to work with, is one layoff] and young-adult superstar Michele Wells; more young-adult direction seen, with conflict built-in

Is AT&T Getting Ready To Kill DC Comics? [this was pre-Covid-shutdowns; DC's publishing unit is estimated to have generated about $300 million in revenue 02019, which would be just 0.2% of AT&T's annual revenue; continuing to publish comics seen as little more than trademark maintenance/harvesting for other media]

DC Comics Publishing Numbers Will Be Cut From 20-25%
After The Bloodbath- The Start Of A New Two-Year Plan For DC Comics?
[from the midlist/bottom of the line that was losing money and getting crushed by Covid]
[near-extinction events happen in comics from time to time, like Marvel's bankruptcy; biggest DC Comics layoff ever, though not as a percentage; layoffs are top-heavy with many editors remaining; current DC situation akin to the 01978 DC Implosion (that was attributed to blizzards, recession, paper costs) or when Marvel's 90's attempt at in-house distribution collapsed?]

AT&T, new owner of Warner and DC, is $196 BILLION in debt [Yahoo Finance page as of today]

AT&T has laid off 41,000 employees just since it received its 02017, $42 billion tax cut from the Trump Administration

Articles tagged "DC bloodbath" at Bleeding Cool

[23 August 02020]

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Out today 5 Aug: Doctor Strange Surgeon Supreme #6

And... 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]

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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]

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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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