I swear by the hoary hosts of Hoggoth that the review shall
be found below!
Title: Essential Dr. Strange Vol. 1
Credited to: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko & Friends.
Original Publication Date: 2002 reprint of material first
Cover Price: $15.95 US, $23.95 Can
Buy from: Amazon.com
Stephen Strange’s career as a doctor is ruined, so he
help and finds a lot more than he expected.
The hero’s realistic behaviour. He’ll help people all that he
but if a crowd is blocking his path, he’ll knock them out of
He’s just far more believable, without going “over the top”
characters often do in Millar’s Ultimates.
Why is total world domination the goal of every villain? (I
to give the guys credit, though; this is the only 1960’s era
book I can think of that didn’t use communists for the
This contains the Dr. Strange portions of Strange Tales
This hero feels original; he didn’t stumble into
through a lab accident, nor did he stumble into heroism.
He was a
doctor by trade, and a callous one at that. An accident
hands, so he tried mysticism to restore them and get back
to his old
life. That failed, but he chose to spend years studying the
to become a hero. His origin was also told months after
appearance, which allowed Lee and Ditko to use an
as a key part of his origin. This may be one of the best
stories in Marvel comics. You don’t get the overwrought
don’t get the cheap villains, and the hero can make
mistakes. It’s a
great set that shows a maturity not present in many of the
Marvel titles of the era. It doesn’t feel like anything else
that period, nor does it feel a lot like what’s coming out
give it 5 out of 6.
The artwork suffers in the Gene Colan issues,
but that’s a
half a dozen issues out of the 57 reproduced here. Some
of this looks
fantastic, even in black and white. I give it 5 out of 6.
The stories told here are solid adventures.
mysticism, mystery, variety, suspence, and pacing. Early
one-shots, while the later issues take on a serial nature.
be blasphemy to some, but I believe that Stan Lee and
produced better material than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
writers and artists who follow their lead do so well, and
help to form a unique character. (There was only one
the main Marvel universe, in which Loki tried to manipulate
Dr. Strange into helping him defeat Thor.) I give it 5 out of
The characterization is excellent. Dr. Strange
is a hero
because he has the means, and because it’s the right thing
to do. He
doesn’t always like the people he saves, and he doesn’t go
too far out
of his way to save the lives of the villains he faces, but he’ll
anything to save an innocent. He has honour and nobility
soapbox of Captain America or Thor. Baron Mordo,
Dormammu, and the
other villains are still of the “I have the power to take over
world, but first I must defeat Dr. Strange!” variety. I give it
The emotional response this produced was
very positive. This
character is much more interesting than I had given him
and I am now eagerly awaiting the Dr. Strange miniseries
J. Michael Strazcynski wants to write. He’s got a lot of
and his more believable nature makes it much easier to
him and his plights. I give it 4 out of 6.
The flow within a story was always good,
although the flow
from one issue to the next was a bit choppy at first. When
nature came in, this was corrected. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, this is a great read, and one of the
Essential volumes. I’d very much like to see a volume 2. I
give it 5
out of 6.
In total, Essential Dr. Strange Vol 1 receives
32 out of 42.
Additional Notes and Comments
There’s been a request for Essential Howard the
Duck Vol. 1,
so that’ll be the next Essential I buy (unless Essential
Torch Vol. 1 arrives first, that being a new release