A big thank you again to my uncle Jim who has passed on even more bound copies of 60s and 70s Marvel comics to me.
This time I thought I’d take a look at an old favourite of mine, Dr Strange. I remember the stories being a bit different in Doc Strange mags when I was a kid, a bit more involved, a bit more mystical than the normal run-of-the-mill masked man/busty chick socking it to the bad guys formula. Looking at this clutch of comics from 1972/3 I’m not so sure they were. Okay so they were set outside the normal American cityscapes but reading them as a cynical adult the stories are pretty rote. It’s mostly the old classic man-meets-girl, girl-summons-unspeakable-evil-from the-dimensions-beyond-the-stars, man-socks-it-to-’em-both, girl-gets-dragged-off-to meet-unspeakable-fate-in-another-dimension story.
But you know what? when they are illustrated as well as this by Frank Brunner, Jim Starlin, Sal Buscema and Irv Wesley that’s not too much of an issue. I’m especially taken that in almost every single paragraph someone shouts something along the lines of, ‘No! she has the Gandrinian Gauntlets!‘, or ‘Behold, mortal! Tremble at the sight of the dread portal of Nagrin-Dia!’. Happy days.
Now the good doctor, unlike me, does not seem to have a winning way with well-endowed ladies of the opposite sex, in fact they all want to kill him:
I am also very impressed that Dr Strange appears to be able to fart his way out of dangerous situations. I myself have often summoned the dread Vapors of Valtorr, although I do find their ‘hidden lightnings’ a bit embarrassing on the train in to work.
There was also, apparently a ghastly quest that took place entirely in the mind of Gene Simmons:
There are many really beautiful panels in these comics, I really love their colours too – these are my two favourites:
Thank you again Uncle Jim!
704 Down (still).