On September 10th Marvel released the first glimpses of the soon-to-be released, post "Secret Wars," "Doctor Strange" title by writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo. This is a timely teaser as the Diamond Comic Distributors final order cutoff for the book at your local comic shop is (Monday) September 14th.
Aaron and Bachalo have worked together in the past (e.g. "Wolverine and the X-Men") and fans can look forward to some strange tales from these two creators.
"Chris has a sort of wild inventiveness that's perfect for Doctor Strange," Aaron told Marvel.com. "Not to mention that he draws the most amazing monsters. And if you thought our version of the Jean Grey School was weird, well, wait until you see what we're doing with the Sanctum Sanctorum."
Diehard fans of old-school Ditko-era Strange can rest easily knowing that Aaron has done his homework, spending time reading the pages of "Strange Tales" where Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first brought the occult into the Marvel Universe.
"I want to celebrate all the weirdness that is Doctor Strange, while having him face a challenge unlike anything he’s ever faced before," said Aaron. "One that rewrites the rulebook for what it means to be the Sorcerer Supreme."
Adding to rewriting the rules for Stephen Strange is a slight change in costume. As Bachalo strives to keep costumes practical, he's taken some minor liberties with good doctor's attire.
"Two of the adjustments I made had to do with the cloak—or as I like to refer to it as, the cape—and his ballerina tights," said Bachalo. "Jason and I envision Stephen as being more of hands-on character and it didn’t make sense that he’d have a huge cloak and huge collar surrounding his head—how does he see to his left and to his right?—and that he doesn’t wear shoes. The tights are nice for around-the-house, but what about in a street fight with battle axes?"
Bachalo has already proven himself capable of dark and weird landscapes perfect for Strange. His long-run on "Uncanny X-Men" with writer Brian Michael Bendis was a great place to flex his creative occult muscles with the character Magik, as she stepped into Limbo wielding her Soul Sword and casting spells.
"With 'Doctor Strange' our challenge is to create a unique environment for Stephen to exist in," Bachalo told Marvel.com. "Something beyond the norm that differentiates itself from other spaces. You should be able to view the locations and know that it’s a Doctor Strange book. One of the first things I expressed to Jason when joining was that I didn’t want to spend a bunch of time drawing cosmic battle scenes. That’s been done a million times and I had no interest in it. I think I was looking for something a little more down to earth, something a little more grounded in reality. I want to create a new cosmos to play in. Grab bits and pieces from what’s been done before but then throw in a few things for a different perspective. We’ll see how it turns out."
"Doctor Strange" #1 will be on the rack in your local comic shop on October 7th, though to guarantee your copy, final orders are on September 14th.
Trent Hunsaker is the owner/opperator of Death Ray Comics in Logan, Ut. He is the program director for the A Part of Him Podcast Network and cohost on NetHeads – a live, weekly geek/pop culture show, on Kevin Smith's SModcast Internet Radio.