By the Eye of Agamotto! Strange Days, Indeed


Obviously designed by a fan of the old Flash Gordon serials of the 1930's.
Obviously designed by a fan of the old Flash Gordon serials of the 1930’s.

   Dr. Strange was a 1978 TV film pilot based on the Marvel’s Dr. Stephen Strange, created by Steve Ditko. Directed by Philip DeGuere, authored by him as well, it was specifically written for television. It seems that the production suffered from being over conservative and under funded.  Stan Lee served as a consultant on the film, but that couldn’t save this proposed pilot for a series. In a day and age where VFX were not up to snuff (until one George Lucas pushed them beyond their limits), and removing the more “comic booky” elements from the property.  The show aired on 6 Sept, 1978 on CBS. That network also aired The Amazing Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk. Out of the three, only the Hulk proved to have any staying power.

   I remember staying up to watch Dr. Strange but it failed to hold my interest. I tried watching it again, and it failed to hold my interest. Some may still like it and there is nothing wrong with that. To each their own. It didn’t/doesn’t work for me. Having said this, I dig the character’s concept and a few executions of this concept really worked for me in the books. I think Ditko’s version was the best but I am biased 😉

   So now the new movie is going to be made with Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange. I cannot wait to see what crazy shit Marvel Studios has in store for us!

That Moment when I became a #Comics Collector

Image   Back in 1978-79 my Mom surprised me with two subscriptions to Marvel comics. One was for the Amazing Spider-Man and the other was for the Incredible Hulk. ImageMy first issues were Spider-Man #212, the first appearance of Hydro-Man and Hulk #254, the first appearance of the U-Foes. I remember these issues vividly. Now years before this epic moment in my life, well it seemed epic at the time, my Dad worked at a paper recycling place and would bring tones of comics home for me all of the time. They only made one move with us then my Mom tossed them all out. No big deal and she more than made up for it since then, I assure you. Did my new subscriptions make me a collector? Not yet. 


Image   I met a kid, Tony, in 1979 who introduced me to the X-Men. I was captivated by these young heroes. Sure I was always a fan of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and anybody else from the comics who you could view on TV once a week but not one of them had ever really captured my imagination like the X-Men. These were the original X-Men that I was reading in reprints. Then I got into the “All New, All Different, UncannyX-Men. My first issue that stared this new team was actually Uncanny X-Men Annual #4, focusing on retrieving Kurt Wagner from Hell and co-starring Dr. Strange. Just after I got this issue I discovered a shop in my area called Comics & Comix. This place was a nerd mecca and I would have my parents drive me there on a weekly pilgrimage for the new books and even Japanese toys (which I’ll leave for another post).  So, was I collecting? Nope.


Image   My collecting days didn’t really begin until I was in Junior High and I picked up my first issue of The New Teen Titans #4. I then went all out to get the three issues before that and then every one after. This is when I considered myself a collector. When I 12 years old, I was taken to my first Comic Book Convention at a Red Lion in Sacramento, CA, given my first Overstreet Price Guide, received a copy of the original X-Men #1 as a birthday present, and I was a die-hard collector for many, many years after. DC and Marvel, then Mirage. It was all in my collection. Long box after long box. Big name books to the less popular titles like the Micronauts and Blue Devil


Image   In 2006, I dropped the collecting because I felt like the industry was selling me more expensive books with more ads. Now I picked up a book or three every now and then but not on a regular basis. I even sold off a few hundred of my later Uncanny X-Men and that was a HUGE step for me. 

   So this brings us to today. I collect comics again. Not in a traditional matter but in digital format (see: I’ve replaced every book that I ever had, lost, sold or given away. Now I have them on several of my devices and can read them when and where I want. Having to NOT lug around thousands of books over the years is a sweet deal and I will never look back. 

Marvel wants Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Dr. Strange?

   Marvel wants Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Dr. Strange? That is what Latino-Review is claiming. I hope that this rumor pans out. I have to admit that I am a bit tardy to the party by having seen The Dark Knight Rises just a few days ago. I really enjoyed JGL’s performance and was looking forward to seeing more of his exploration of the Bat-Cave. Alas that never came to pass. Perhaps there will be more opportunities to explore Gotham at night in the future but until then we may be seeing him discover his magical potential.