Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

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“We have a new character in the works for Strange Adventures, just a five-page filler named Dr. Strange. Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a Black Magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him! Twas Steve’s idea..!”         Stan Lee- Comics Reader Interview 1963

“When like minded bloggers come together to write on a singular topic on a singular day the blogosphere bends at their mercy….they are called Super-Blog Team Up. Their mission is to provide a “Magical”blogging experience to our readers and share the words from the edges of the blogging universe under one banner. Welcome to the mighty SBTU…for our older fans…welcome back!!”

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From the moment I saw David Copperfield make the statue of liberty disappear I knew I loved Magic. I was always the “How did they do that?” Kid. The secrets however most times were better as secrets as sometimes the belief in the trick is what makes it fun. When it came to “Magic” in comics most of what I had read came from DC in the very early 80s. Whether it was the Golden helmet of DC’s own wizard of the Supernatural Dr. Fate or the Top Hat and Fishnets of Zatanna. If I really wanted more  I also had the likes of The Phantom Stranger and Deadman.The DC is where I lived as a kid!
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While I was an ardent DC fan none of those characters ever struck a real emotional chord with me. There are stories of the infamous Marvel bullpen and all the creative inspirations that resulted from the recreational activities of Stan Lee and company. During the 60s and 70s Marvel were banging out plenty of new concepts and titles. Lee met with Spider-Man power artist Steve Ditko and proposed a new concept that played into his strengths as an artist…one that Stan Lee would actually NOT take credit for!
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Steve Ditko’s tale of a self-centered , materialistic Surgeon who is involved in a career ending car accident and reflects on a life takes to the Mountains of India to find himself. What he finds is the Ancient One who opens his eyes to the world the Mystic Arts making him into the eternal Earths defender from the evils of Black Magic!! Hence is born Dr. Strange! Strange was a classic product of the Marvel Method of making their Heroes “real” like normal people who happen to be living super heroic lives…The Doctor was no exception.

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What made Strange different was that could exist in other world dimensions. Ditko was a master of developing unique settings for his characters. His creator set Steven Strange in a bizarre geometric weirdo worlds beyond description. Ditko took simple circles, triangles and squares, mix them with moons, smoke and floating eyeballs and you have the multiple mystic dimensions in the mind of Steve Ditko and it was like nothing ever seen on the printed page before.

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Personally the character has always been a struggle for me. I loved the youthful energy in books like Spider-Man or the swagger of Millionaire Bruce Wayne and his many gadgets as Batman. Strange was always ..well..Strange to me. The middle-aged, moustached man in pajamas who was able to harness magic. He was not the Super Heroic looking enough for my 9-year-old mind. I always wondered what it would be like I drew a new Dr. Strange and what he would look like? I would do away with the pajamas and sash and by god he would be cool. Well others felt the same way I did. The Doctors title was in serious jeopardy of cancellation and the new creative team headed by master horror artist Gene Colon decided the good Doctor needed an update!

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In Doctor Strange #177 Doc’s classic costume was replaced with a flashy skin-tight unitard some slick new boots and gloves! The most glaring change was that he was also masked!!?? Roy Thomas the famous Marvel scribe penned a reason for the change where Strange’s nemesis  Asmodeushad literally taken the place of Steven Strange’s identity on Earth, while trapping  the real Doctor in another dimension.  The only escape, the Doctor needed to transform himself to free himself from his dimensional trap!

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Colon did his best to make this work and actually did a fine job of switching the character out of his geometric Ditkonian dimensions to a more realistic looking alternate universe.though as with every major costume change it would eventually revert to his original garb in issue #183. I realized after reading these issues many years later that some characters are not cut from the typical mold and intended to stay that way!! So as much as I hated the baggy panted middle-aged magician look it is one of those iconic looks that simply defies age. So if you have never picked up a comic book in your life..or just a fan of the supernatural genre pick up some classic  Strange books in the quarter bin and check out the big screen debut on Nov.4 2016!

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SBTU Continuess Below…be sure to check em all out!!

LongBox Graveyard: Doctor Strange vs. Dracula

Between The Pages: The Wondrous Worlds of Doctor Strange

DC In The 80sMagic edition: examining The Immortal Doctor Fate v1 (1985)

The Unspoken Decade:Nighttime Sunburn: Rise Of The Midnight Sons

Crapbox Son Of Chuthulu: The Makings of a Sorcerer Supreme: Optimism and Sacrifice

Chris Is On Infinite Earths Blog:Batman Visits the Sanctum Sanctorum

Coffee and Comics Blog:Review: Doctor Strange #84

The Daily Rios: Amalgam Dr Fate / Dr Strange

The Retroist: The OTHER Dr. Strange Film

The Super-Hero Satellite: You are here already!!

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Satellite activate. Welcome back Satellite Subscribers. Grab your sword and shield heroes as we are about to  go waaaaay back in time to one of my fondest memories as a comic book kid. Comic book ads were always a sense of wonder for me and I scanned some of the ads more than some of the comics that they housed. One set of ads that always haunted me were TSRs Roleplaying game ads for the classic game Dungeons and Dragons. I played D&D twice in my life officially with actual gamers. The other times I do not count as the individuals I played with had no idea how to role play. This set of ads drew me in like the Death Star tractor beam, but I have never had them all in front of me at one time to actually read the story beginning to end. Thanks to the folks over at Crunchy Dice website (crunchydice.blogspot.ca/) who so lovingly preserved these ads. So if you have always wanted to read these things from start to finish in chronological order..the time is now. Seat belts secure..lets go back in time.

Transmission date: March 2 2013:

The first ad was admittedly a little rough. The art would improve in later ads but this is the official first appearance of Grimslade the Magician, Indel the Elf, and Valerius the Warrior as they use their cunning to defeat a slime monster and a castle full of green slime.

No questions the group is joined by Saren literally out of no where as poor Indel the Elf is devoured by the dripping green slime. Luckily the healing Cleric powers of Saren saves our Elven friend from certain doom! You never know when you will need a random Healer in your group!

That silly Elf Indel has gone missing clearly still dazed by his slime experience while the others run into a wave of Goblins who do not stand a chance against Grimslade the magician. Beginning to wonder does Valerius actually do anything with that sword? Hmmm. Mean while we see Indel fall into a pit only to go face to face with a Red Dragon! Easter egg: Check out Indels red lipstick as he falls. Hmmm.

Our mace wielding female healer Saren, apparently has abilities not only to heal but to see through doors and picks up Indels location long enough for the noble Valerius to burst through the heavy wooden door to stop the certain doom of Indel at the hands of the Red Dragon. The Dragon sees Valerius is sporting the Great Sword Naril and backs off. The group celebrates their victory as they round up Indel and head out of the slime, goblin and dragon filled castle to relax in the warmth of Gavins inn. The first adventure comes to a close. The art at this point has improved significantly and their use of panel layouts and even the lettering are up to standard by this time!

Forget relaxation our band of Dungeon thrill seekers are remembering how they came together after they were introduced by Grimslades Mentor Grindel, a fellow magician. We see some backstory with student and mentor as Grindel predicts Grimslade will one day be a great Wizard and shows how he bestowed on him the Fabulous Heart of Mekron. With all their memories set aside for the evening the group is suddenly visited by the ghost of Grindel. But what does this mean for our group?

The group deciding that they need to help their old friend Grindel after their ghostly visit at Gavins Inn set out to find Grindel and get him out of trouble. However in the dark forest has someone or something guarding it. Werewolves! The group is suddenly attacked and it looks like Indel and Saren are in some trouble! The art by this point was good enough to be in an indy book. The characters look more defined and all the way around the board we have us a good series.

Honestly I have never seen this particular ad before so this is actually my first read of this one. Loving it too! Anyways back to the story. The powerful Werewolf Oakthorn and his companion are handily defeated by the girl Saren and Elf Indel by simply moving out of the way casting a spell and slashing at them unsuccessfully! The Werewolves are run off and the group is alive no thanks to Grimslade and the powerful do nothing warrior Valerius. But wait what is that up ahead..as they move carefully through the Blackswamp of Lobella, Grimslade spots the Mountains of Ash..can Grindel be there? Spoiler alert. No!

Apparently Evil forces are at work in the mountains and suddenly….AVALANCHE!! Saren the female healer is down..possible exhausted dodging those pesky Werewolves. Never fear Valerius, who is well rested at this point carries her to safety. The situation is grim and Indel the Elf is not even in the picture, maybe buried in the Avalanche. Grimslade opens up a Dimensional door using his magic scroll and whisks the company to an ancient castle where they remain to this day as the series of ads came to a grinding halt unresolved.

So ends the series and this Satellite Transmission I just wish someone out there who has some artistic ability would publish at least one more page to wrap this story up! Any takers? Ill even publish it on the Superhero Satellite. So our mission ends again heroes with fond memories of reading stacks of books and just wishing I had some extra cash to order these wonderful items from the back of the comics. Till next time, The Charlton Hero has other worlds to save.

If you have enjoyed this blog post feel free to leave a comment as I will reply to them all. If you want to contact me directly catch me on Twitter as @charlton_hero, or join the conversation using #SuperHeroSatellite

Transmission Ended.