I’ve mentioned so many times on this blog that Doctor Strangeis my favoriteMarvel character. I spent some time this morning playing around on Amazon for some cool Doctor Strange merch (I like to virtually window shop when I’m bored) and wanted to share some of the stuff I found with you guys.
Note: I am an Amazon affiliate, which means that if you purchase these items through the links provided, I make a small percentage at no additional cost to you. It helps to keep the website up and running.
Why most of this list will be items based on the comic books rather than the recent Marvel film, I had to include this. While a little on the pricy side, this is one of the best Doctor Strange action figures based on the film that I’ve ever seen. The quality is wonderful and I love the hand prop. This is one that I would definitely add to my collection.
Doctor Strange has been my favorite Marvel character since my boyfriend first introduced me to the comic book world. It’s no surprise really, as I love magic and the occult and trippy 60s/70s art, all of which Doctor Strange comics contain.
Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality is a collection of Doctor Strange comics from 1974 – Marvel Premiere Vol. 1 #9-14 and Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #1-5. In this collection, Doctor Strange, along with help from Clea and Wong, fight against the dark forces of Sise-Neg and Silver Dagger.
While I’m pretty up to date on modern Doctor Strange comics (with the exception of the currently-running Mark Waid series, because as much as I adore Doctor Strange, I’m really not a fan of Waid’s writing), I still have so much to read when it comes to the older comics.
This collection has some important moments in the overall life of Doctor Strange, and as such is a must-read for any fan of his. I’m not going to say too much as to the plot, because I went into this blind and I think it’s the best way to do so. What I will say is that this collection contains both Doctor Strange becoming Sorcerer Supreme and achieving immortality.
The stories contained in A Separate Reality are really fantastic. Steve Englehart did a fabulous job of showing all sides of a complicated character and pacing the story in such a way that it is incredibly enjoyable and deep at the same time. That’s something that is not always easy in comic books since each issue is usually less than thirty pages. There is so much contained in these pages that it’s damn impressive how much story Englehart managed to write.
And then we have the art, which is so amazing. Before reading this collection, I wasn’t really familiar with the name Frank Brunner, but I will be searching out some of his other work for sure! It’s colorful and trippy and the perfect example of why I love Doctor Strange comics so much. Here are a few examples:
If you’re already a Doctor Strange fan or if you’re new to his character and want a great example of why he’s one of the best Marvel heroes, A Separate Reality will be a great place to start.
Have you read Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
While I knew that DC Comics had published various novels based on their iconic comic book characters (such as Catwoman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), I wasn’t aware that Marvel had done this as well until I happened upon this novel at my favorite comic book shop, Trilogy Comics.
Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character, as well as my favorite superhero. While I’m not a fan of the MCU movie (there were no incantations and it wasn’t campy enough!), I’m always excited when I see a new Doctor Strange story, and I added this novel to my much-too-large pile of comics.
The Fate of Dreams follows Doctor Strange as he tries to discover what’s causing people to fight one another on the streets and carry out wild ideas, which seems to be creating unease in the magical community.
Working alongside Sharanya Misra, a dream researcher, and an Inhuman named Jane Bailey, Doctor Strange creates a shocking alliance with his classic nemesis, Nightmare, the ruler of one of the dream dimensions. Together they travel into the dream dimension to try to find and fix the problem.
While I had some issues with the novel, I generally enjoyed it. It was interesting to get more backstory about Doctor Strange’s life than what you would normally find in a comic book, especially when it delved into his early life and the death of his sister. I’m not sure how canon this history was, because I haven’t seen the same specific details anywhere else, but they certainly added an extra dimension to his history, and even explained his reasons for becoming a doctor.
I found the character of Sharanya irrelevant to the story. Despite being a dream researcher traveling through the dream dimension, she didn’t do much to advance the story and seemed to be written into the narrative simply to add another character. Her presence didn’t annoy or bother me, but I truly feel that nothing would have changed had she not been in the story. Perhaps this can be attributed to the lack of character development. If there’s one huge fault in this novel, it’s that the readers are expected to have some pre-existing knowledge of the Marvel characters and that the new characters (Jane and Sharanya) aren’t given enough backstory and personality for us to grow attached to them.
One of the most interesting aspects of the novel for me was watching Nightmare work alongside Doctor Strange, and witness Nightmare’s fondness for Jane, the Inhuman character. Nightmare is one of my favorite Doctor Strange villains, and reading about him holding hands with a character (Jane) and being practically friendly with Doctor Strange was bizarre, although slightly enjoyable at the same time.
Another thing I’d like to point out is this interesting description of spells that Doctor Strange gives to Sharanya:
“The magical arts have a long literary tradition. Words are powerful. So powerful, in fact, that when we first started writing them down, we ‘spelled’ them. … Spells have to be crafted, and using rhyming or alliteration is one way of channeling power and intent through them.”
One of my favorite aspects of Doctor Strange comics has always been the use of slightly campy incantations, and I was thrilled that those were included in the novelization.
If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable novel about Doctor Strange, I’d recommend checking this out from your local library. It’s not the kind of thing a person might read multiple times, but it is fun.
The Oath is a five-part comic series that was released in 2007 and was written by Brian K. Vaughn (most recently known for his work on Saga), with art by Marcos Martin.
Doctor Strange discovers that his faithful assistant and best friend, Wong, has a very rare and untreatable brain tumor, and is determined to use every resource at his disposal to find a cure. During his quest, he discovers a powerful, magical potion, known as Otkid’s Elixir.
Before he can administer the potion to Wong, Doctor Strange is shot and the potion is stolen. Wong drags Doctor Strange to the office of Night Nurse, who is actually a doctor, where she works to save Strange’s life while being pestered by his astral form.
Brigand is the name of the petty criminal-for-hire who shot Strange and stole the elixir, but Doctor Strange can sense that something’s not quite right. He shouldn’t have been taken down by someone as weak as Brigand, so who’s helping him? Mephisto, Nightmare, Mordo, Dormammu… there are so many people that could be behind this.
Doctor Strange, Wong, and Night Nurse team up to try to get the elixir back, discovering it’s true nature, and being forced to make a life-or-death decision.
Doctor Strange is my favorite Marvel character, and since discovering Marvel Unlimited (which is amazing), I’ve been catching up on his backstory. I’m disappointed that it took me so long to get to this particular series because I really enjoyed it.
This series is one of the prime examples of what I love so much about Doctor Strange. He’s brilliant but rash and has learned from the mistakes of his past. There are plenty of quirky, funny moments, and Doctor Strange easily makes a name for himself as one of the most powerful figures in the Marvel universe.
The art by Marcos Martin is wonderful, and below are a few of my favorite panels. I particularly love the way Nightmare is drawn in this series:
One aspect of the story that I liked was the commentary on the evils of the pharmaceutical industry. Much of the story is Doctor Strange fighting a representative of Timely Pharmaceuticals, who may have a bit more up his sleeve than just a medical degree.
Most comic books, especially those published by Marvel, start with a general introduction to the story, summarizing the previous few issues and a very brief biography of the character. Much of the time, it’s basically the same page in each individual issue, with a few minor adjustments made here and there as the story unfolds, but I really appreciated that in The Oath each issue has a unique introduction page. In most comic series I actually skip over that page, especially if I’ve been following the story since issue 1, but for this one, I ended up reading and enjoying the introductions.
My favorite thing about this series is that it’s a story of the friendship between Doctor Strange and Wong, and Strange’s promises to his friends and patients. Wong has always been an integral part of every Doctor Strange series, but this particular one does a great job of showing that.
I’m giving this series a 5 out of 5 stars. I loved so much about it, and since it’s only five issues, it’s short enough to re-read frequently. This is a wonderful place to start if you’re new to Doctor Strange comics.
Are you a Doctor Strange fan? What’s your favorite issue or series?