Neilalien : A Doctor Strange Fansite : A Comic Book Weblog  

Happy Belated Birthday to Stan Lee!

A special holiday message from Stan [YouTube]:

Neilalien thanks all readers of and linkers to this humble weblog, and wishes all a Happy New Year! Excelsior!

Posted 31 December 02008 - Permalink

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The Far Side Reenactments Flickr Pool

Doctor Strange Harlancore Boxpunx Harlancore Boxpunx: downloadable foldable paper fan art of Marvel characters, including Doctor Strange [via Super Punch]

Ditko co-creation Squirrel Girl on list of 7 More Superpowers The World Can Do Without [Mental Floss]

For reference only!: Comprehensive, daunting Secret Invasion timeline/checklist [Tom Brevoort's Blog]

Bloggin' will likely be light to nonexistent over the next week. Happy Holidays!

Posted 22 December 02008 - Permalink

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Marvel solicitations for March 02009 include New Avengers #51 and "Who is the New Sorcerer Supreme?" storyline [Comic Book Resources]
Also Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9; massive recap of all Doctor Strange and related appearances for the month [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

Will Howard Hallis' shameless begging move Neil Gaiman to write the Doctor Strange movie? [Wrong Dimension Boy]

All those great geeknerd t-shirts Sheldon wears on The Big Bang Theory, for sale in one place []

Video tribute to Doctor Strange nemesis Shuma-Gorath [YouTube]

Posted 17 December 02008 - Permalink

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Massive list of superhero comic book genre tropes [Television Tropes & Idioms]

Lonely Gods: Social Minorities in American Superhero Comic Books

Quick analysis of panel tilting in Akira [Consequentialart's Sequential Art Class] [via Madinkbeard]

Become a Master of the Internet infomercial from 01994 spoof [YouTube] [via Mediation]

Posted 16 December 02008 - Permalink

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That Marvel 01987 Thanksgiving Parade float video, now set to Yakety Sax
Neilalien just found the perfect thing that makes any YouTube video more entertaining: The BennyHillifier: Add Yakety Sax To Anything.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine HD trailer

Posted 15 December 02008 - Permalink

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Rose McGowan as Clea Rose McGowan's IMDb page currently has her cast as Clea in the Doctor Strange movie [via Defenders Message Board]
There seems to be absolutely nothing else online about it.

Why is there original Steve Ditko Artwork Listed on eBay? [Project Child Murdering Robot]

Doctor Strange #81 thrillingly recapped in French [Comic Box] [Google translation]

Nine-page preview of Incognito #1, by Brubaker/Phillips (Sleeper), about a supervillain bored in the Witness Protection Program [Comic Book Resources] [Blog@Newsarama]
Definitely on Neilalien's radar.

Captain Britain and MI:13 gets better every month [Comic Book Resources review of #8]

New Avengers Volume 2 utterly destroyed [Sporadic Sequential]

Roger Stern is back writing Amazing Spider-Man [Comic Book Resources]
Could Doctor Strange be next? Because that could be good.

Alan Moore combs his beard [Flickr] [via LinkMachineGo]

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This year's permutations of that annual recurrence, The Best-Of List Hubbub:

Comics in 02008 were dreary suckage [Permanent Damage]

Nuh-uh! I will defend comics to my last! [Comics Reporter]

Best-Of Lists are never objective or omniscient enough to be useful [Kleefeld on Comics]

Superhero enjoyer offended: superheroless year-end Best-Of-Comics lists are pretentious, gratuitously shunning the popular, lacking full comics diversity [Blog@Newsarama]

Posted 14 December 02008 - Permalink

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Uncle Stan says There's Money In Comics! Posts tagged with Doctor Strange on the Pencil Ink weblog

Superheroes Who Can't Have Sex [io9]

Mark Waid [at Kung Fu Monkey] [via The Beat]:

The single most important difference between a screenplay and a comic book script is that a comic story is made up of frozen moments. Screen stills. Snapshots.

POW! What types of panels and phenomena can be replaced by panels that are just "action stars" (like a big Pow! or a scream) and when? [Visual Linguist]

Miracleman Explains the Financial Crisis [Parkerspace]

Monthly comics headed up to $3.99 price point during a recession: that oughta fix things [Lying In The Gutters]

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed (seems to have been recently rebranded without the "Urban") book in April! [The Beat]
Congrats to fellow NYC-comics-event gadabout Brian Cronin.

Posted 13 December 02008 - Permalink

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Last week's What If? House of M #1, in which the writers ask "What if Scarlet Witch had said 'No more powers' instead of 'No more mutants?'"; Dr. Strange shown unable to work his mojo [Comic Book Resources preview has the Doc page] [negative IGN review]
The sound-bite vagueness of "powers" here has launched an intriguing mini-debate if this should really render Doctor Strange powerless: isn't Doc without superpowers, possessing simply the knowledge of how to manipulate the natural magical force around us? [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

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Blue Beetle cancelled. Which comicbook-industry meta-problem better answers Why?

A. Format, IP business model, distribution? Series writer John Rogers rethinking the 22-pager, creator ownership, digital distribution [Kung Fu Monkey]

B. Content? Blistering Blue Beetle postmortem, and how DC launches series that are allegedly new and for young adults [Abhay Khosla at Savage Critics]

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Top 10 Animal-Friendly Superheroes [The PETA Files]

PSA Classics: Superman For the Animals [Polite Dissent]
That time Ballser, Charlie, Donuts, and Eightball killed the teacher's pet squirrel.

Posted 12 December 02008 - Permalink

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The odds are on Doctor Doom being the new "Sorcerer Supreme" in Doctor Strange's current absence re: the upcoming Bendis storyline [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]

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On Rintrah's Current Status
And now, gentle reader, you are invited (run away! run away!) to briefly wade into one of the great Neilalien/Sanctum Doctor-Strange-scholarship debates of the age, like the time-frame of the Seven Spheres War (Warren Ellis himself has let us put our hands in his wounds, yet Sanctum still doubts), how many astral forms can dance on the head of a pin- and Rintrah's current status. In the above post, Neilalien's good friend Sanctum describes that status as "quasi-dead". For the record, Rintrah's current status is Deceased. Maybe this is merely semantics defining the "quasi-dead" state- in Neilalien's view, at the very least, the term feels like it adds a lot of baggage that simply isn't in the comic book record. But surely the word "remains" (used in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #52, the issue after Rintrah's death) means "a dead body; corpse"! We don't call someone in a coma "remains". Perhaps that status has only recently been upgraded to Deceased*- an added asterisk referring to the delightful "cow-terpillar cow-coon" hint, in last year's Marvel Tarot now in the official comic book record, that Rintrah is somehow not presently a doorknob (those faeries are admittedly in crazy (blind?) love with Rintrah and thus not reliable sources ;) ). But heck, we are talking about comicbook death and magic here. This is not to say that the lovable green minotaur cannot return, since only origin-spawning deaths like Uncle Ben and Bruce Wayne's parents are the only permanent meaningful deaths in comics- "Dead, but maybe not!" is an acceptable and assumed status for any other comic death- or that a comic book cannot be written tomorrow showing Rintrah in long cap yawning and scratching his balls remarking, "Well that was a great nap- what'd I miss?" (If you were to then tell Rintrah that he missed Siege of Darkness, the 90's industry crunch, Illuminati, Civil War, and Secret Invasion, would he not happily again grab the talisman that incinerated him?) For all we know, Rintrah returns in the next ish of New Avengers. This is not to say that Neilalien takes joy in Rintrah's demise or how it happened (it fills Tasha Yar's death in "Skin of Evil" with gravitas, by comparison- at least we got a commercial break after Rintrah died) or doesn't want the ol' weaver to return under good well-written circumstances. Please note that since the word 'remains' was used, it better be damn well written- almost any return that does not use the word 'resurrection' is a retcon- some foolish Doctor Strange misdiagnosis re: the R'Vaalian physiology and death process seems likely. Also please note that Rintrah's return would not mean Neilalien was wrong and Sanctum was right: this is an argument about how the comicbook record that exists today is being described today. Any other term that describes anything- "quasi-dead", "mostly dead" (ah, The Princess Bride, great flick), "partially alive", a Xandu-wife "sleep unto death or death unto sleep", "half-pregnant", etc.,- is pure speculation at the present time. There is nothing in the comic book record that suggests that Rintrah is in a "magically induced coma-state"- it is fan fiction- so it should not be stated as simple fact, lest one irresponsibly risk leading astray the two annual Googlers for such Rintrah information-truth.

Update: By the Warp and Woof of the Woven World [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix]
Sanctum's case that Rintrah is not "dead dead" (perhaps fallacious argumentum ex silentio that Doctor Strange and friends have been silent/too indirect/euphemistic re: Rintrah's status?).

Posted 11 December 02008 - Permalink

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Braindump: Recent Doctor Strange and Related Appearances

Doctor Strange in Marvel Zombies 3 #3 Plokta and the Mindless Ones in Captain Britain and MI13 #6-7
This is the only ongoing Marvel book Neilalien's picking up right now (Doc's still AWOL, and it feels like New Avengers hasn't had a fight in it in ages?), and he's enjoying it. Written by British Doctor Who scribe Paul Cornell [blog, Wikipedia], CBMI13 is full of action and wit and interesting characters and situations. And, Marvel Magic! In these issues, we are introduced to Plokta, the maker of the Mindless Ones (Plokta is the name of a British sci-fi fanzine, taken from the acronym for Press Lots Of Keys To Abort). He's a demon, a Duke of Hell, with a floating white mask for a face and a cloud/amoeba body with a planet/star field a bit like Eternity's, who can grant people illusions of their greatest desires, which renders them as Matrix-like batteries of soul/psychic energy with which he can generate more Mindless Ones. Now that Neilalien thinks about it, he probably would have preferred a "dimension-spanning-war obedient-military shock-troop gone-wrong" type official origin for the Mindless Ones that anyone mystically-inclined and powerful enough could create or summon, instead of getting too linked with this Mindful One (it's not entombed that Plokta is the *only* source (or even the creator) but he does call himself *the maker* of the Mindless Ones) (Mindful/Mindless is an interesting contrast but does it fit well?- while his victims sleep in their fantasies he destroys their real world?)- but a decent addition to Doctor Strange cosmology nonetheless. Competent, respected villains, too: the tricking of Captain Britain, the danger of the Mindless Ones loose on Earth treated seriously by the characters. Check it out.
[MI13: Facing Their Demons ( interview with Cornell and previews of upcoming)]

Doctor Strange in Marvel Zombies 3 #3
Some Doctor Strange fans were disappointed that he was eliminated quickly in the Marvel Zombie Universe, and once again not much a part of a crazy Marvel event for all the kids. So thanks to Fred Van Lente for getting Doc back, even if it's in the necessarily-limited capacity of casting interdimensional windows for Kingpin (only one of two spells he can still cast as a zombie, the other being useless-to-zombies manna from heaven). Just a taxi again, Doc fans! Marvel Zombies do nothing for Neilalien, but he enjoys the drooly meditative "Ooooohhhhhmmmmm".

Doctor Strange in Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #5
If only we got completely new, solo, in 616 primary continuity, imaginative, Doctor Strange stories, of an "adultness" level between "all-ages/kiddie" and rape-a-thons, in a mostly one-and-done/standalone format. Instead, we get everything but. MASH #5 hits a couple of those buttons, but not enough. It's new and standalone, but kiddie and a Spider-Man team-up (always a fave but feeling long in tooth). Definitely creative- kudos to Paul Tobin, who is clearly having fun and taking advantage of Doc's potential-rich canvas- a mix of classic and new spells/items, the many different realities, negotiating interdimensional travel rights, brains instead of energy blasts used to defeat the big baddie- Neilalien enjoys that one of Doc's duties is to ensure that no one's imagined Nisilette the Unimaginable. The confidence/drama angle (why Doc speaks and spells elaborately) is a perfectly fine magical meme, as long as it doesn't actually lead to (a) the full meaninglessness and phasing out of rhyming incantations (on powerful spells anyway; always a fan of the spellcasting in Flight of Bones) or (b) meaning any ol' brat can cast a spell now simply by being confident. A big minus for Neilalien: the zillionth origin of Doctor Strange is presented. Granted, this book isn't for we who have seen the other zillion-minus-one origins, but hopefully for miraculously introducing Doc to new demographics with a recap (and hey, "every comic is someone's first comic"), and Neilalien has no problem with that. But it brings the story to a colossally boring screeching halt. Doc was already introduced to the reader on the full first page as a magician type- nothing more is needed, certainly not three more pages of exposition. (And who is that on the first page? Umar The Unrelenting Reader of Cosmo? She looks like Veronica from Archie reading a magazine- another strong female in comics undone (btw Doc should not be able to observe someone so powerful undetected... or a-ha! it's a Doc-fooling illusion of Umar doing something vapid while she eats planets elsewhere!).) And the endless tired moving and tweaking of the origin's chess pieces as if in search of that one magic formula that will fix what isn't broken (a new Wong, the Ancient One is a live-in gramps, etc.- at least Doc isn't Neo this time). One almost comes to the conclusion that the problem with Doc isn't actually his origin, but that people keep retreading it instead of getting to new action. When Spidey asks, "Earth has a Sorcerer Supreme?", Doc should just deadpan, "Yeah, I'm awesome." Spidey: "It sounds like a pizza." Doc: "I can conjure good pizza." and continue with the adventure. Instead we get a life-story, and Spidey should have said, "Hey buddy, I didn't ask for your life story!" because neither did the readers!
[Sanctum Sanctorum Comix's mostly-positive review]

Nightmare in Hercules #118
Part of Secret Invasion was Sacred Invasion: Hercules and his merry band are tasked by Earth's gods to take on the Skrull pantheon. In this Part 2 of 4: To get to the Skrull gods, they must travel through Nightmare's realm and get bummed out by some bad dreams and memories. This isn't much praise, but it is one of the more entertaining and few Doctor-Strange-related bits of Secret Invasion. Nightmare's face-sucking hookah looked too machine-like for Nightmare- not weird or magical enough- it should have been a creature. Nightmare is portrayed better (less whiny) than usual (and he's not actually defeated, just tricked and escaped from), and including Amatsu-Mikaboshi and having his shadow selves fight while the real one sneaks around Nightmare's lair finding the map to the Skrulls is a great idea. The IRS man, chocolate bar, Rubik's cube and clown among the legion of night terrors are nice touches.

Secret Invasion
Doctor Strange wasn't a part of Marvel's big event this year at all. The usual disappointment with such a fact is balanced by the cash Doc uber-collectors saved not having to amass the underwhelming miniseries.

Posted 8 December 02008 - Permalink

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Happy Anniversary and Congratulations to Progressive Ruin on five years of fantastic daily comicbook blogging! [Progressive Ruin]
Excelsior! Or, as Winnie the Pooh once replied when asked why he was opening an omelet shop: Egg sells, Eeyore!

Posted 5 December 02008 - Permalink

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Massive historical overview of the many times Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum has been destroyed, threatened, moved, etc. [Sanctum Sanctorum Comix #1 [Part II]; #2 [Part III]; #3 [Part V]; #4 [Part VI]; #5 [Part VII, interior battles] [Sanctum OHOTMU entry] [The Sanctum was part of those infamous 80's Marvel Thanksgiving Day Parade floats]

Sad news: Tim Leong hath not the time to do Comic Foundry Magazine well, so not at all [Comic Foundry]

Douglas Wolk reviews the new Ditko comic Ditko, Etc. [Savage Critics]

P. Craig Russell Ditko-esque sketch when he was 15 years old

Independent comics publishing is a tough road- now with charts! [Publishers Weekly]

Posted 2 December 02008 - Permalink

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