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  1. #1
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Default The Doctor Strange Readathon

    With the release of the new Aaron / Bachalo Doctor Strange title, it's come to my attention that there's a lot of readers who aren't familiar with Marvel's Master of Mysticism. Understandable, since he hasn't had an ongoing in almost twenty years.

    This readathon of Doctor Strange's ongoing books hopes to rectify that. He has other appearances, notably The Defenders, but I would like to keep the focus on the series that focused on Stephen Strange, with perhaps a foray into some pertinent graphic novels or mini-series. Here are the series I would like to read. I think most of them, except for Sorcerer Supreme have been reprinted in collections such as Essentials or Marvel Masterworks or trade paperbacks.

    Strange Tales (1951)
    Doctor Strange (1968)
    Marvel Premiere (1972)
    Doctor Strange Master of the Mystic Arts (1974)
    Strange Tales (1987)
    Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme (1988)

    Feel free to comment or join the Doctor Strange Readathon at any point. If you have a favorite issue you'd like to review just let me know. Please. Let me know. As I've a few other Readathon threads that take time and I'd like to make this more of a collaborative effort.
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  2. #2
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    THE READING LIST

    THE ISSUES


    Strange Tales (1951) #110

    Strange Tales (1951) #111
    Strange Tales (1951) #114
    Strange Tales (1951) #115
    Strange Tales (1951) #116
    Strange Tales (1951) #117
    Strange Tales (1951) #118
    Strange Tales (1951) #119
    Strange Tales (1951) #120
    Strange Tales (1951) #121
    Strange Tales (1951) #122
    Strange Tales (1951) #123
    Strange Tales (1951) #124
    Strange Tales (1951) #125
    Strange Tales (1951) #126
    Strange Tales (1951) #127
    Strange Tales (1951) #128
    Strange Tales (1951) #129
    Strange Tales (1951) #130
    Last edited by Reviresco; 11-10-2015 at 03:17 AM.
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  3. #3
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    More to come ...
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  4. #4
    The One Above All 616MarvelYear is LeapYear's Avatar
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    Thank you Reviresco!

    AWESOME thread!
    Also, last week was the birthday of the man who gave us Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts...
    http://community.comicbookresources....36#post1581136
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  5. #5
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    I've been reading (well rereading) my way through the Doc stuff for a while now, and I am in the middle of '74 series just after Englehart left in the middle of the Occult History of America storyline, so I am a but ahead of you, but moving slowly. I look forward to seeing what people have to say about the early stuff. For me the Lee/Ditko run on Dr. Strange is the best run of Silver Age Marvel (better than Lee/Ditko on Spidey and Lee/Kirby on FF, though those 2 runs are no slouches) in terms of sheer character development, majesty, imagination, visual storytelling and plotting. The series stumbles a bit after Ditko leaves and doesn't really find its footing until Thomas and Colan take over but poor sales doomed the '68 series. The Marvel Premiere run is uneven until Englehart and Brunner take over and hit their stride starting a phenomenal run that leads into the new solo series in '74, maintains its quality when Brunner leaves and Colan takes over but dies when editorial squabbles drove Englehart from the book and Wolfman took over-which is where I am at now. If memory serves, the Starlin issues were a brief bright spot but the book struggled until Stern took over and found his groove after that, but that is what I have coming up to reread in the next few weeks.

    -M

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Abe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 616MarvelYear is LeapYear View Post
    AWESOME thread!
    Also, last week was the birthday of the man who gave us Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts...
    http://community.comicbookresources....36#post1581136
    I'm kinda disappointed... I won't be able to be a part of that great thread, because of my lack of Dr Strange stories.... I've enjoyed so much the few Ditko's ones which wad published in France - but I will have to wait for the announced omnibus to read them again. And I've just made also a difficult choice because if I'm really thankful for all the recommendations many posters gave me yesterday on another thread, my wallet had to bleed for Ditko for a time... All those precious advices will have to wait... So check the link posted by 616MarvelYear is LeapYear - and never forget that the genius that created - not only - the design of Spider Man, still so fresh 53 years after ! is still active, even if a week ago that was his 88th anniversary...

    Good readathon, guys ! Be sure I'll catch up the thread when I will be up to date ! I know it will be so useful already !
    Last edited by Abe; 11-10-2015 at 12:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Marvel's 1st Superhero Reviresco's Avatar
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    Working on the first review now!


    Quote Originally Posted by 616MarvelYear is LeapYear View Post
    AWESOME thread!
    Also, last week was the birthday of the man who gave us Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts...
    http://community.comicbookresources....36#post1581136
    Well, I hope it will be awesome. But thanks for the enthusiam.

    Will check out that thread, cause of course, Ditko was a genius!


    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    I've been reading (well rereading) my way through the Doc stuff for a while now, and I am in the middle of '74 series just after Englehart left in the middle of the Occult History of America storyline, so I am a but ahead of you, but moving slowly. I look forward to seeing what people have to say about the early stuff. For me the Lee/Ditko run on Dr. Strange is the best run of Silver Age Marvel (better than Lee/Ditko on Spidey and Lee/Kirby on FF, though those 2 runs are no slouches) in terms of sheer character development, majesty, imagination, visual storytelling and plotting. The series stumbles a bit after Ditko leaves and doesn't really find its footing until Thomas and Colan take over but poor sales doomed the '68 series. The Marvel Premiere run is uneven until Englehart and Brunner take over and hit their stride starting a phenomenal run that leads into the new solo series in '74, maintains its quality when Brunner leaves and Colan takes over but dies when editorial squabbles drove Englehart from the book and Wolfman took over-which is where I am at now. If memory serves, the Starlin issues were a brief bright spot but the book struggled until Stern took over and found his groove after that, but that is what I have coming up to reread in the next few weeks.

    -M
    Great! Definitely looking forward to your comments. Or if you'd like to review any favorites, just let me know.

    That's high praise for the Ditko run, indeed!

    I do have fond, fond memories of the Brunner run.
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reviresco View Post
    Working on the first review now!




    Well, I hope it will be awesome. But thanks for the enthusiam.

    Will check out that thread, cause of course, Ditko was a genius!




    Great! Definitely looking forward to your comments. Or if you'd like to review any favorites, just let me know.

    That's high praise for the Ditko run, indeed!

    I do have fond, fond memories of the Brunner run.
    This is my third time reading through the early Doc Stranges (first time was when I assembled the run in the mid 90s, a second time about ten years after that, and it's been about a decade since the last time so I decided to give it a go again with the movie coming up (I started before the Aaron series was announced). I haven't read the 2nd Strange Tales series or Sorcerer Supreme since they were coming out though-I bough them off the stands and read them new but haven't gone back and reread any of them.

    By comparison I've only read the Lee/Ditko/Romita Spidey run twice and the Lee/Kirby FF once (though I am rereading my way through it now too on Marvel Unlimited and am about 30 issues in).

    I'll certainly comment on issues as they are reviewed if I have something to say, but I have found over the years writing reviews makes reading comics feel more like a chore than fun for me, so I doubt I will be doing any reviews.

    -M

  9. #9
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    I'm reading through Englehart's run right now. Just finished Avengers-Defenders War and then Marvel Premier #12 last night.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    This is my third time reading through the early Doc Stranges (first time was when I assembled the run in the mid 90s, a second time about ten years after that, and it's been about a decade since the last time so I decided to give it a go again with the movie coming up (I started before the Aaron series was announced). I haven't read the 2nd Strange Tales series or Sorcerer Supreme since they were coming out though-I bough them off the stands and read them new but haven't gone back and reread any of them.

    By comparison I've only read the Lee/Ditko/Romita Spidey run twice and the Lee/Kirby FF once (though I am rereading my way through it now too on Marvel Unlimited and am about 30 issues in).

    I'll certainly comment on issues as they are reviewed if I have something to say, but I have found over the years writing reviews makes reading comics feel more like a chore than fun for me, so I doubt I will be doing any reviews.

    -M
    My hat is off to you -- that is dedication! Other than Namor's books, I don't think I've read full runs of anything, much less three times. My knowledge of Strange is mostly Bronze Age, and a bit murky with time.

    Yes, the FF was another candidate for a Readathon, but I've got too many projects going right now -- and I want to see if this one works out.

    I more than understand about reviewing -- hence my begging. ;p It is a chore, but I think far more analytically and deeply about what I read, so I guess it's worth it. Sometimes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Pilotus View Post
    I'm reading through Englehart's run right now. Just finished Avengers-Defenders War and then Marvel Premier #12 last night.
    Great stuff! I'm going to have to review quicker to catch up with you guys.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abe View Post
    I'm kinda disappointed... I won't be able to be a part of that great thread, because of my lack of Dr Strange stories.... I've enjoyed so much the few Ditko's ones which wad published in France - but I will have to wait for the announced omnibus to read them again. And I've just made also a difficult choice because if I'm really thankful for all the recommendations many posters gave me yesterday on another thread, my wallet had to bleed for Ditko for a time... All those precious advices will have to wait... So check the link posted by 616MarvelYear is LeapYear - and never forget that the genius that created - not only - the design of Spider Man, still so fresh 53 years after ! is still active, even if a week ago that was his 88th anniversary...

    Good readathon, guys ! Be sure I'll catch up the thread when I will be up to date ! I know it will be so useful already !
    I know! There's so much good classic stuff out there. But I may have something for you. Will PM tomorrow, as I have totally gone overboard with this first review.
    Last edited by Reviresco; 11-10-2015 at 03:15 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Default Strange Tales 110

    Strange Tales 110
    July 1963


    “Dr. Strange Master of Black Magic!”

    Writer: Stan Lee
    Pencils: Steve Ditko
    Inker: Steve Ditko


    RATINGS
    Reviresco:
    CBR Readers:
    Supermegamonkey: 3.5 / 5
    Supermegamonkey Readers: 4.5 / 5
    Trajan23: 7 / 10

    REVIEWS / LINKS
    http://strangescribe.blogspot.com/20...master-of.html
    By StrangeScribe -I wish my synopsis was a quarter this good. Read this instead!

    http://chronologyproject.com/marvelouszone/?p=3277
    Chrissy from the Marvel Chronology Project, someone relatively new to comics, giving “A Modern Girl's View of Marvel's Silver Age"

    http://sanctumsanctorumcomix.blogspo...e-strange.html
    Ptor's celebration of this issue's 50th Anniversary – with some nice behind the scenes details.

    http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chron...s_110111.shtml
    SuperMegaMonkey's short, but illustrated, synopsis, placing the story in the MU chronology.

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...r-strange-run/
    Trajan23's short synopsis and ratings.

    http://goodcomics.comicbookresources...comics-day-96/
    CBR's Brian Cronin's spotlight on this run with lots of images.

    ##########

    “I’m not yet a student of Marvel Comics history, but if I had to guess, I would say the introduction of a hero the caliber of Dr. Strange indicates a maturing of the readership. This might also be one of the first indications that someday, Marvel Comics will be considered worthy of scholarly study." – Chrissy @ MU Chronology Project

    “Steve Ditko and Stan Lee’s run on Doctor Strange is one of the greatest single runs in comic book history” --Brian Cronin.


    And it starts here with Doctor Strange's first appearance -- in five page long story! But of course, it is packed full of plot and info and greatness!



    This has to be the first book in the history of Marvel Comics that is presented “quietly and without fanfare.” And this is true to some degree as Dr. Strange isn't even mentioned on the cover.



    SYNOPSIS SHORT
    spoilers:
    Man tormented by debilitating nightmares seeks help from Dr. Strange, who enters his dreams and encounters Nightmare, as well as the truth about his criminal client. Dr. Strange only escapes death with the help of his mentor and his magic amulet.
    end of spoilers

    SYNOPSIS LONG
    A man is experiencing torturing, re-occurring nightmares, that rob him of sleep. He has “heard a name, spoken in whispers, Dr. Strange! He dabbles in black magic,” and he seeks Strange out. Apparently he's also heard whispers of Strange's address.

    A very confident and succinct Dr. Strange listens to his tale, and tells him he can help him by entering his dreams that night. After the man leaves, Dr. Strange visits his Master, by going into a trance and freeing his metaphysical spirit (now more commonly know as astral form) and finding the Master somewhere in the vastness of Asia. The Master calls Strange son and successor, and tells him he sees him surrounded by danger. He tells Strange to use the amulet to ask him for help if it is needed.





    Strange goes the haunted man's apartment, goes into a trance, and astrally enters his dream. There he learns the man has been embezzling from people and the bounded figure is his guilt, or the victims he's wronged. Suddenly Nightmare appears and threatens Dr. Strange. While they exchange words, the man wakes up with knowledge of Strange's conversations, and decides to shoot Strange to keep his crimes hidden. Trapped between Nightmare and the murder of his physical body, Strange mentally asks the Master for help. The Master opens the entranced Strange's magic amulet, which captures the gunman in a hypno ray, before he can harm Strange. Using that distraction, Strange escapes Nightmare and the dream. Back in his body, he's able to deal with the man, and tells him the only way to find relief is confessing to his crimes.
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  13. #13
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    Default Strange Tales 110

    THOUGHTS

    • Did this guy really think the Master of the Black Arts wasn't going to figure out he was criminal???

    • Also, in this very first story, we can see, that Dr. Strange is no deus ex machina super power.

    • Ditko stays with some form of the 9 panel grid for the most part, and the story doesn't venture into the surreal and psychedelic we see later. We see a hint of it in the dream world panels with the bleeding path leading to the figure in chains, and in the spooky design of Nightmare.

    • I also wonder who did the colors for this story. They are much brighter then I thought they would be – whilst some faces are underlit as if the panels were supposed to be darker or more shadowy. I also wonder why the nameless man's dreams are cotton candy pink.

    • This was definitely a proto or primitive Doctor Strange story with some elements introduced, but not entirely fully formed. I think it's clear that Ditko did the heavy lifting creating Strange and his world here – while Lee hasn't quite got his names and ideas completely nailed down. While one expects them in Silver Age stories, I think Lee went a little overboard with the captions, a good many which are unnecessary. All the captions are at the top of the panels, where Ditko seemed to have left space for text. But often we get both captions and word balloons, which crowds the panels – perhaps this is why Strange is so succinct on page 2.

    • Only half the characters are named in this story -- Strange, and only by his last name, Nightmare, and the victim, Mr. Crang, manifested as a tormenting chained dream figure. One assume that's Wong answering the door, and the Ancient One is referred to as Master, but the man Strange helps is nameless.

    • Strange's white streaks are on the top, instead of at the sides of his head. I prefer this, myself, so he looks less like Reed Richards. Which would have been even more confusing if Stan Lee had gone with his original name for the Master of Mystic Arts – Mister Strange! According to Strange Scholar Ptor.
      http://sanctumsanctorumcomix.blogspo...e-strange.html


    • Strange also looks very Asian here, with some odd extraneous upwards tufts on both his eyebrows and goatee. His amulet, obviously the Eye of Agamatto, is some seriously bling here. But other than that, this is the pretty much the classic, iconic costume for Dr. Strange, right down to his orange gloves with spots.


    • Strange's front door window and a window in the Master's (Ancient One) room has the same design as Strange's iconic Sanctum Sanctorum's roof window. Google says this the Seal of the Vishanti, a protection symbol? Also called the Window of Worlds?
      http://toylab.blogspot.com/2015/02/w...um-doctor.html


    • I like how Nightmare is more in shadow and not clearly seen. It makes him more mysterious and frightening.

    • We also get a few 'rules' of magic here. One, that entering a hostile dimension, sorcerers may pay with their life for doing so. Two, that astral project involves a trance and leaves the body unprotected.
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  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Abe's Avatar
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    OMG ! The gloves ! The Eye ! The four panels strip where it opens ! I can't believe it ! It's even better than in my memories !

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abe View Post
    OMG ! The gloves ! The Eye ! The four panels strip where it opens ! I can't believe it ! It's even better than in my memories !
    And it gets better!

    I'll try to get to the next issue tomorrow. Have been a bit under the weather today.
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