As the month draws closer to the end, so does my spotlight on Doctor Strange. One issue that I must talk about is this one, issue number sixty-eight. It features not only the Doc, but another one of my favorite characters, the Black Knight! Also, the lady named Victoria Bentley, and her relationship with both men. Dane Whitman (the current Black Knight and the one from this story), was just recently released from his curse that had entrapped him in stone, but he seems to now have some type of madness that is deadly for those around him! A duel between the Knight and the Sorcerer Supreme is upon us!
This story was during the fantastic run of Roger Stern. He also wrote the great story that featured the second war between Dr. Strange and Dracula! The artist, Paul Smith, had a brief run on the title, and did a solid job as well. Having a great inker like Terry Austin didn’t hurt either though, and we know all about his exploits with people like John Byrne, for example. Written by Roger Stern, pencils (and cover) by Paul Smith, inks by Terry Austin, colors by Bob Sharen, letters by Jim Novak, and edited by Carl Potts! Enjoy!
This issue holds a ton of sentimental value for me. It was the first Doctor Strange comic I bought back in the day, and it blew me away. I always thought the Fantastic Four was a good team, so when I saw them on the cover, that was enough to entice me into buying the issue. Marvel using guest appearances wasn’t new, but this story had a twist. The Doc traveled back in time to check something out, and wound up witnessing the FF battle the “Pharaoh from the Future,” Rama-Tut. Now today, we all know that Rama-Tut, Kang, and Immortus are all the same man, just at different points in his life. This character is one that I absolutely love, and for a myriad of reasons. First, he’s ruthless, and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Secondly, he’s taken Thor’s best shots, and still keeps coming back to get what he wants. And, well, you get the picture. I’m in love with rapacious conquerors!
The title had recently taken a turn with its creative direction, and who better than to usher in something new than Roger Stern (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Terry Austin (inks), Jim Novak (letters, and a hold-over from the last team), and Al Milgrom (editor)! This new group set out to do something totally different, and they sure made good on that! The first thing they did was to have Clea dump the Doc! Now, it’s time for you to enjoy some great work by the creators!
Thanks for all the cheers, high fives, fist bumps, etc., I know you missed me while I was on vacation! Now that I’m back, I want to get back in the groove with one of my all time favorite mash-ups! In the 1970’s, the horror scene went wild, and so did the psychedelic books like Warlock, Man-Thing, and Dr. Strange (Strange had been that way since the Ditko years, but it continued)! Two awesome things that dominated the 1970’s (and early 1980’s) were horror and sorcery. This is the subject of today’s “Mash-up”! The year was 1976, and it was time that Dracula, lord of all vampires, and this dimension’s (616) Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Strange had to meet!
Both books were selling well at the time (of their fist meeting), and a conflict seemed inevitable. Marvel had the incredible team of Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer on The Tomb of Dracula, but not to be outdone, Marvel super-scribe, Steve Englehart (and later, Roger Stern) was writing Dr. Strange at the time (along with Colan and Palmer on art duties – later Green, Leialoha, and others)! So, not only did this story make sense from a buyer’s perspective (most readers probably read both books), but also from an editorial angle as well. Now, without further interruption, here are a few of the great pages/panels from some of those early meetings between Dracula and Dr. Strange! Enjoy! For these stories check out Dr. Strange #14 & Tomb of Dracula #44 (their first meeting), & Dr. Strange #58-62 (The Montesi Formula).
In this, the last installment of my John Byrne tribute, we’ll see some of his spectacular work on Captain America (with collaborator Roger Stern), his brilliant X-Men (with partner Chris Claremont) work, and a couple of nuggets from the mid-1970’s, in Marvel Team-Up! Whether it was Josef Rubinstein or Terry Austin on inks, you cannot deny the power of Byrne’s pencils. He really knew how to grab the readers eyes, and have them glued to the panels! So, get ready and strap on your seat-belt, because we’re getting cosmic and crazy with this post! Enjoy!
The 1974 volume of Dr. Strange is nothing short of fantastic. When you look at all the creative titans on that series (Steve Englehart, Frank Brunner, Marshall Rogers, Jim Starlin, Paul Smith, Sal Buscema, Gene Colan, etc.) it cannot be denied. There are three specific runs though that really highlighted what Doctor Strange is really all about. The magic, mayhem, his relationship with Clea, the insane and arcane forces that he must deal with that others do not even know about or can’t even comprehend. The first one of them that I want to spotlight is the Roger Stern & Tom Sutton issues (#27- 30, 33-35)! These two gentlemen really show the qualities that a creative team must be able to relay to the readers. Sutton’s artwork is nothing short of unbelievable, and paired with Stern, the two really were a great follow-up to the previous direction. Kudos must also be given to Ernie Chan, for his great job inking as well! So, now, let’s get ready to check out some of the best stories that these two guys put forth! Enjoy!