Friday, January 05, 2007

The Doctor is IN

Well, a happy new year to all readers of Tales from the Kryptonian.

It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Which means for this blog more problems because we switched the internet provider which was not without problems and left us without telephone and internet connection for more than one week.

Which gave me some time to write and read although I didn´t catch up with my reading as much as I had hoped which means that for the foreseeable future you will not find the latest and hippest and newest reviews of comics. But that´s not why you come here anyway. You can find better and more up - to - date news on newsarama or comicbookresources. Since this blog is going more in the direction of particular storyarcs and away from the monthliy reading material I have decided to place the names of the creative teams on top of my comments as part pf the reader service. I hope it helps some. And I will try to post more often even if it means getting shorter posts. I´m thinking about doing one post purely with clips found on you tube and such but I´m still undecided. So let´s get right to today´s reading material :

Dr Strange The Oath 1 to 2

Story : Brian K. Vaughan, Art : Marcos Martin, Inks : Alvaro Lopez

Dr. Strange is one of the most popular and interesting characters in the Marvel Universe but it seems that most writers have problems writing him. It´s been ages since the sorcerer supreme has had a decent miniseries. There was one under the Marvel Knights banner with art by Tony Harris ( the last issues were done by Paul Chadwick ) that started good but fizzled at the end. The hope of comicfans was sparked when JMS announced a new miniseries who apparently was a big fan of the character judging by the many guest apperances he gave him during his Spider - Man run but the end result was a total failure almost as bad as Spider - Man : Chapter One. Despite the great art by Brandon Peterson all the series did was try to reimaging the origin of Dr. Strange and delivering a total carwreck of a story which was more complicated than the original - and less dramatic. Because let´s face it : the one thing that´s so great about the characters of the Marvel Universe is they have timeless origins that don´t need to be updated. In the case of Dr. Strange : the country´s greatest surgeon ( who is also an arrogant moneygrubbing bastard ) has a car accident that destroys his ability to operate forever. His life in shambles he tries every doctor, vodoo witch or quack on the planet to find a cure. When he finally hits bottom he follows the whispered rumor of the ancient one who supposedly lives in Tibet. What he finds instead is a new meaning for his life when he becomes the ancient one´s apprentice and finally the sorcerer supreme of this reality. Now that´s not exactly brain surgery, is it ?

The tricky part is when it comes to an ongoing series or miniseries. For the most part Dr. Strange´s role in the Marvel Universe is to be the specialist for anything magic or as a deux ex maquina who arrives at the last moment and saves the day. Or he suddenly turns up at the Avengers door declaring that there is no such thing as Chaos Magic contradicting years of continuity and himself in the process. But what the heck, all´s fair if it helps us kill Hawkeye. With all the movies that are made now about Marvel Heroes I always wondered why there is not a DR. STRANGE - THE MOVIE being made. I mean if BUFFY, ANGEL or BEWITCHED has shown us something it is that today´s tv viewers like magic - or like it is called today : mystery. A Dr. Strange movie or tv series could be the biggest thing ever.

Like I said Dr. Strange seems to suffer from the Superman syndrome - because he can do almost everything most writers don´t know what to do with him. Not so Brian K. Vaughan, who not only seems to be a connoiseur of Dr. Strange but who also has come up with an interesting story idea. He manage to write an appealing and entertaining story and additionally delivers the best Dr. Strange I´ve read in a long time - by concentrating on the man and not on the magician. And he manages to show the cool side of Wong who for most writers is more of a butler and servant but here turns into the Green Hornet´s Kato. Did I mention the comic has Night Nurse in it ? Seems she is popping up in more comic books lately after her appearance in Daredevil. Maybe Marvel HAS learned a thing or two in the last year and is not only spotlighting the most popular characters but also the ones with most potential.

On the art we have Marcos Martin. The last series I read of him was BATGIRL : YEAR ONE one of the most brilliant miniseries of the last few years....despite the fact that Batgirl who was always bigger than Robin suddenly is to short to become a police officer - which may be okay for comic readers who have never read a Batman comic before. But if you´re a longtime reader it´s like the Joker getting a tan or Batman revealing he is Tim Taylor of home improvement. Wait, wasn´t that the punchline of NO MAN´S LAND ? Anyway, I like to call that series " The little Batgirl that could ". Despite this one little flaw it´s really one of the best series of the last few years featuring the OB ( original Batgirl ) and not this sorry excuse for a sidekick Cassandra that has been getting on everyones nerves. Marcos showed a great level of craftmanship and a real knack for solid and dynamic design paired with a good feeling for storytelling. And it seems he has improved since then.

In this series Marcos manages to give the comic a contemporary look while keeping classic elements of the Dr. Strange comics by Steve Ditko and Gene Colan. He´s as good at drawing the magical, strange dimensions of magic than at depicting the suburban streetstyle underbelly of Greenwich Village. At least that´s what I think since I haven´t really been there myself.

If you are a fan of Dr. Strange you should give this series a try. And if this is your first encounter with the good doctor you couldn´t have come to a better place.

  • Dr.Strange 1

  • Dr Strange 2

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