When I heard last year that they were bringing Dr. Strange back with his own monthly issues, I was stoked as hell and to finally have the graphic noveWhen I heard last year that they were bringing Dr. Strange back with his own monthly issues, I was stoked as hell and to finally have the graphic novel in my hands, certainly feels like one long overdue homecoming.
Dr. Strange was one of the few titles that introduced me to comics and the magic of art and great storytelling combined. But the Sorcerer Supreme we knew then is slightly different from what old and new readers would be encountering from one who wields magic in our dimension.
For starters, he's a little younger this time, no characteristic grey streaks on the side, also gone are the odd yellow gloves and in replacement he wears Doc Martens-looking boots and is a lot more hip to begin with. Inspite of being a Master, he conducts himself rather more like an experienced student who will just roll with the punches and not fuss about the mess he makes. He's still got his faithful manservant Wong, to clean up after him. A conscious effort to make him more relatable to the youth rather than the Doctor we all knew who was very refined, stately and would conduct himself like he knew everything. (even if he didn't)
Along with that, they made him deal with the consequences of practicing magic, one that was clearly taught to Stephen by the Ancient One when he was being taught in the Himalayas. In one of the panels, it showed his mentor, the Ancient One urging Stephen to punch him, in spite of his damaged hands. Needless to say it was painful and the lesson was brought home. Punching someone hurts the one giving the punches as well. What more for one who wields magic and casts spells. This take on the after effects of magic, I liked and if past incarnations of the Doctor have touched up on the consequences of magic, this new version certainly highlights it and isn't afraid to use it as a limitation on the character, to make him more human. No one person can have that much unlimited power; even if one wields it for the good of all.
(Geoff Johns did it with Green Lantern so why not Jason Aaron with magic)
The whole graphic novel does away with the origin story which is good, and just gives new audiences a brief one page panel of how he came to be, while at the same time highlighting the brilliant art of Steve Ditko from the early days. And since the early days, magic has always been around to protect Strange and the ones he love, but this time, Magic is in peril as the Magic hunters, called the Empirikul have been murdering Sorcerer Surpremes of different dimensions for the purpose of eradicating magic. Now that they have come to our Dimension, its up to the good doctor and other wielders of magic to fight this incursion.
The story line by Jason Aaron sets up the Big Bad nicely and teases the big battle when the head of the Empirikul dukes it out with our Doctor, of which we will see more of in the next volume. (Can't wait)
All in all, a good return for our beloved doctor at the hands of Aaron and Chris Bachalo. But I am still missing the late 80's and 90's drawn treatment of the character. Good thing they've included the variant covers of the issues and the ones who nailed it the way I've always envisioned Doctor Strange to be. And these were the brilliant covers by Kevin Nowlan and the great, Alex Ross.
Waiting on baited breath for October when Vol.2 comes out.
I usually stay away from prequel stories leading into the cinematic versions but given that this copy was on sale, I figured why the heck not. Plus thI usually stay away from prequel stories leading into the cinematic versions but given that this copy was on sale, I figured why the heck not. Plus this is all about Fury and all the background scenario that happens from Iron Man 2 up to the beginning of the Avengers.
All this is told from Fury's point of view, from monitoring the progress of Tony Stark following his offer about the Avengers Initiative at the end of Iron Man to Stark's drunken fit from his condo in Iron Man 2 to the recruitment of Clint Barton, aka. Hawkeye in Thor as well as Natasha Romanov's confrontation of Dr. Samuel Sterns in his lab in Hulk 2 after Banner storms thru the streets of New York battling the abomination General Ross has created.
As not everything can be told or divulged in the movie versions or even in the bonus scenes, the comics are the best medium to provide additional material that will complement and enhance once's knowledge of the Marvel cinematic Universe and equally provide a little more character insight into our favorite heroes.
Fury has got his hands full with keeping the peace and he doesn't need a man like General Ross on his hands either who remarked the best line of this graphic novel for me.
Ross - "The World needs people like us Fury. I'm out on the battlefield killing our enemies and you're safe behind a wall protecting all the secrets that everyday citizens can't handle. You're the SHIELD and I'm the SWORD."
Fury - "You're not sharp enough to be a SWORD, General."
This may be an Avengers Prequel graphic novel but most of the solo films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are a way of building up to the Avengers itself and so its only natural that the flow of 4-issue graphic novel be of the same vein.
So is there Continuity in this graphic novel? YES
Is there a fair amount of exposition for our characters? YES
Do other secondary but equally important characters like Coulson, Sitwell, Selvig and others make an apperance? YES
What a fortuitous event to have found this at Book Sale yesterday after coming out of the cinema following my first day viewing of Captain America 2:What a fortuitous event to have found this at Book Sale yesterday after coming out of the cinema following my first day viewing of Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier.
While the movie deserves more than a two thumbs up and certainly ups the ante for Marvel in terms of their Cinematic Universe, reading this volume as a part of a bigger and collective work pertaining to the ever unfolding events of the Winter Soldier himself, make me regard the book as something that is best read in its entirety along with the other volumes. This being Volume 4, after all.
But it certainly makes me even more curious for the other compilations and henceforth with this volume, I will certainly be on the lookout for more.
Winter Soldier, or he who I will not name (don't want to spoil Muggles), has gone thru a lot and I wait for more compilations to turn up to further enhance my history of this tragic and broker character.
Redemption is indeed possible. That is is if one is aware on how to tread the road for it and if one is brave enough to get on it....more
A collection of 3 different stories. Nothing to do with the film and the epic stories by Strazynski. It was his writing in Thor that brought me in toA collection of 3 different stories. Nothing to do with the film and the epic stories by Strazynski. It was his writing in Thor that brought me in to check on Asgard's favorite son. And it is also the lack of his writing in this collection that brings me out and in want of another Thor run penned only by him....more