If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have already seen this one. Here, however, is a nice hi-res scan whereas the shots featured on Instagram and Facebook were a simple pic taken with my phone.
This is, as far as I can remember, my very first Doctor Strange. The Sorcerer Supreme and I have had only a passing acquaintanceship. As a kid, I just wasn’t very big into magicians. I know it sounds pretty arbitrary but while I can swallow super-powered super heroes, I had a hard time buying into magic users. To me, magic was just too ill-defined as a super power. It didn’t make sense. It could be anything. I need rules! Maybe I had some undiagnosed OCD as a kid, but I needed powers with set boundaries. The Human Torch controlled fire. Superman could fly and was super-strong. Doctor Strange had… magic spells. It seemed like he could pull a new one out whenever the story needed it. It was too easy. Too convenient.
My aversion to Doctor Strange changed when I read a reprint of his origin story as drawn by the immortal Steve Ditko in the back of an issue of Marvel Tales. The story was great. It was a perfect redemption story. Even though I enjoyed it, it still wasn’t enough to make me a reader of the regular Doctor Strange series.
I think my next exposure to Doctor Strange came in the pages of The Defenders. I started late with The Defenders. I remember well that my first issue of Marvel’s non-team was #112, the beginning of a new story arc featuring the Squadron Supreme that would lead directly into the classic Squadron Supreme mini-series, which is one of my all-time favorite comic book stories by the way! By this time, Doctor Strange was largely absent from the team he’d founded. He was for the most part relegated to an occasional guest star in this book. Still, this was probably the most regular dosage of the Master Of The Mystic Arts that I’d ever read.
I won’t say I actively disliked Doctor Strange. He just didn’t excite me and demand that I read his stories the way Spider-Man, the X-Men and other characters did. Having said all this, I have the Doctor Strange Essentials sitting unread right on my shelf. This volume reprints all of those early legendary Ditko stories I’ve always heard about but never read. One day, I’m going to have to sit down and crack that one open and see what all the fuss is about. I have a feeling I’m really missing out!
This piece, like some of the others I’ve posted recently, is a reward sketch done for one of the supporters of our most recent Die Kitty Die Kickstarter. Keep your eyes out for news of our next Kickstarter. Dan Parent and I will surely offer this reward as an incentive again. It seems to be one of our most popular options. I love all the different requests I get.
What other characters and comic book runs would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!