Tag Archives: Stephen Strange
New York, NY—June 22nd, 2015— The Sorcerer Supreme returns for his first ongoing series in nearly twenty years! And he’s making house calls! Today, Marvel is pleased to announce DOCTOR STRANGE #1 – a new ongoing series from blockbuster creators Jason Aaron (Star Wars, Thor) and Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men, Avengers)!
Prepare for a side of the Marvel Universe you’ve never seen before as the magical, mystical and all things weird lie at every turn. And if it’s bizarre enough, and you don’t know where to turn – call the Doctor. From inside his Sanctum Sanctorum – the strangest place in this or any universe, the Master of the Mystic Arts protects this realm from the supernatural.
“Get ready for a brand new Doctor Strange for a brand new Marvel Universe,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have rebuilt Marvel’s ’Sorcerer Supreme’ from the ground up with an excitingly original take that redefines the character going forward.”
A dark new power is rising. One that will have repercussions for all magic users. The threat is growing, and Strange knows he won’t be powerful enough to stop it. If he is to have any kind of hope, it will take a different kind of Sorcerer Supreme. Because all magic comes with a price, and it’s high time Stephen Strange balanced the scales.
“None of Marvel’s other heavy hitters walk the same beat as Dr. Strange,” says Jason Aaron in an upcoming interview with Marvel.com. “None of them have to face the same sorts of repercussions whenever they use their powers. Being the Sorcerer Supreme is a unique responsibility. And it’s one that Stephen Strange embraces. Even though there’s no doubt that his job is one day going to leave him dead, damned or insane. So I want to celebrate all the weirdness that is Dr. Strange, while having him face a challenge unlike anything he’s ever faced before. One that rewrites the rulebook for what it means to be the Sorcerer Supreme.”
The epic adventure begins this Fall as the Marvel’s mightiest magician takes a battle axe straight to evil in DOCTOR STRANGE #1!
This June, the Sorcerer Supreme faces his greatest challenge yet in NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 – from rising-star writer Frank J. Barbiere (Five Ghosts, The White Suits) and acclaimed artist Marco Rudy (Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, Swamp Thing)! Spinning directly out of the pages of New Avengers comes an all-new tale of the Sorcerer Supreme full of suspense, intrigue and horror.
The Incursions are not the only horrors threatening to end the world as we know it. There are darker, more ancient forces at work. Forces more powerful than Stephen Strange could possibly imagine. Now, stretched beyond his limits, Doctor Strange and an enclave of techno-monks high in the Himalayas must stand against the coming darkness. Though even together they may not be enough – and a bid for more power could cost Doctor Strange everything. No fan can afford to miss a Doctor Strange tale for the ages when the oversized NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 hits comic shops and digital devices this June!
Two-issue story arcs are starting to become a trend in Ultimate Spider-Man, a change of pace from a comic book that had been hitting the racks with long arcs (sometimes buffered with stand-alone issues). Whether or not this trend intrigues or disappoints, is up to the reader. To this faithful reader, it disappoints.
I think what was intriguing about the Ultimate universe was that Marvel was taking characters with convoluted continuity (specifically the X-Men and Spidey) and breaking them down to the core of what a) made them interesting and b) made them popular. It’s worked for a long time. But take a look at recent issues of both titles and you’ll find a slow, creeping trend of what exactly went wrong in the 616 universe: overkill. (While this was more a problem with the 101 Dalmutants, there are certainly some examples in the Spideyverse where things become a bit out of hand.)
While the Ultimate X-Men continue to recruit new members so that each new writer can give his take on an obscure old favorite (i.e. Dazzler, dressed like a reject from early 80’s English punk), Ultimate Spidey has exhausted all of his villians and now does team-ups. (Wasn’t that title cancelled?) After story arcs with Wolverine and the Human Torch, Spidey not only teams up with the Ultimates, but presumably is going to team up with Dr. Strange at some point (he for whom the title of said arc is named).
Or is he? Admittedly, I’m not familiar with Dr. Stephen Strange’s history in the 616 universe but Ultimate Spider-Man #70 speaks of two Stranges…a Dr. Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, and his son, Stephen Strange, Jr, “the sorcerer to the stars.” Most of the background for Strange is provided via a TV biography interspersed between scenes of Peter telling MJ about his exploits in flashback. Peter and Ben Urich are charged with interviewing Strange for the Daily Bugle and, as you would expect, chaos ensues.
The climax of the story is rather textbook. It’s almost anti-Bendis in nature…utilizing conventions typical of 616 Spider-Man issues from decades ago. But stepping back to my biggest argument with the issue, as well as the Ultimate universe: Ultimate Spider-Man seems to be treading water. They hit us with a great deal of big stories, origins, deaths, and epic twists in the first 60 issues. Now you get the sense that the title has become a way to promote the universe. (Despite knowing a highly anticipated grand Hobgoblin arc is upcoming.) Perhaps if the arcs were expanded to four issues and fleshed out, they would be excecuted better. The Human Torch crossover had a great pulse to it and could easily have acted as not only a Bendisian statement on adolesence and romance but also a great duo caper. Here, I’m already a bit confused with what’s going on with the Dr. Stranges and there’s only one more issue left (and a good amount to explain).
Bendis does get a few hits with some of his at bats. The scenes with Jonah, Ben and Peter are priceless, tapping into some vibes masterfully delivered by the movie version of the Daily Bugle chief. The conversation between MJ and Peter in the beginning is playful, mysterious, and akward, easily hinting at something more going on. There’s also a fun cameo by Deathlok. Bagley has a few great panels, as well, despite having a lot pushed off the page due to heavy exposition. (I counted at least three pages that are half art, half text.) While the last page spread is a rather silly comic book ending, it’s still wonderfully illustrated by Bags.
It’s not a terrible issue, but it does feel pieced together. I haven’t even commented on the appearance by the Ultimates, which at times is funny but for the most part feels forced. At the heart of any Ultimate Spider-Man issue by Bendis is Peter Parker, who he still does a great job of writing, even in a substandard storyline. But it’s his interaction with HIS family, HIS friends, HIS enemies that makes a Spider-Man title work so well. And while there’s nothing wrong with playing in other people’s sandboxes, unless it’s fully explored and explained, I’d rather stick to what we know.
Reviewer: Jason Grasso, Desperad07@aol.com
Quick Rating: Above Average
Story Title: “Strange”
People are Strange, when you’re a stranger…
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciller: Mark Bagley
Inker: Scott Hanna
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor: Nick Lowe
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Editor in Chief: Joe Quesada
Publisher: Dan Buckley