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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things That Go Bump in the Night, 24 April 2012
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Bakc in the early sixties MARVEL used failing antholgy titles as show cases for the then up and coming new breed of superheroes when the bosses would allow them to appear in titles of their own. Dr Strange made his debut in Strange Tales.

Excellantly drawn by Steve Ditko (who also drew Spiderman at this point). Ditko was the master of light and shade and his depictions of supernatural nether worlds and dimensions still stand up today.

Penned by Stan Lee gthere is more than a passing nod to H.P. Lovecraft as well as eastern mystercism that was just finding it's way into popular western culture. The first story had Strange dealing with aman haunted by a nightmare and was rested for a while until readers demande more. Man y of the stoires were stadn alone adventures, but had a continuity running through and in time stories ran across several issues.

In the nienties Marvel published their Masterworks and this is one of those. Unlike other previous favourites from my childhood this one stands the test of time more so that Thor. The Fantastic Four and othe heroes.

Dr Strange demands to be given the screen treatment, though I would suggest the stories be adapted for television.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Strange but oddly brilliant, 22 April 2009
By 
Greywolf (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Masterworks: Doctor Strange (Strange Tales #110-111 & #114-141) (Hardcover)
I love Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange, which introduced me to a lot of occult concepts at the tender age of nine that stood me in good stead when I started seriously exploring ritual magic years later.
Ditko's rendering of magical realities is surreal, bizarre and, to my mind, utterly inspired. I wasn't the only one who thought so at the time. Such was the appeal of these early Doctor Strange strips to hippies and college kids in the 60s that rumour spread that Ditko must be taking regular LSD trips. In fact, you could hardly meet a more puritanical opponent of illicit drug use than Ditko. He just happened to be blessed with an extraordinary visual imagination.
Personally, I think his graphical portrayal of magic has never been surpassed. One of Ditko's signature traits is drawing hands with the fingers bent into extreme positions. Thus, when Doc Strange casts spells, his hands look like they're twisting into mystic gestures. Perfect. And weird when you know that Ditko regards all magic and religion as superstitious nonsense. Which makes it even more curious that the last few issues of Doc Strange that Ditko plotted and drew are some of the most cosmic comics ever printed. The final showdown between the Dread Dormammu and the Awesome Eternity are just pure, mind-blowing, breath-taking spectacle. Wow!!!
Sadly, the meanies at Marvel have chosen not to include these key issues in this compilation, almost tempting me to knock another star off. The best way to get these issues in reprint form is to buy the Marvel Visionaries: Steve Ditko hardcover. That way you also get a load of other stuff, including the Spider-Man vs Doctor Octopus story that was another key element in Ditko's redefinition of what a comic book could be.
I would have given this volume a full five stars had it not been for the shiny paper and garish colours Marvel insist on using for their reprints. Get it together, guys!
For those who are interested in such things, Doc Strange originated in an earlier character called Doctor Droom, later incarnated as Doctor Druid. Droom, like Strange, travelled to the Himalayas in search of enlightenment, represented in both cases by an ageing mystic living on a mountain. Strange and Droom both wear cloaks and exercise similar occult powers. The Doctor Droom stories were plotted and drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic tales ahead of their time, 29 Mar 2012
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This Masterwork reprints all the early 1960s Dr. Strange stories from Strange Tales, starting with issue #110, the very first Dr. Strange story by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Most of these tales have a very psychedelic feel to them, due largely to Ditko's artwork, which draws you in and transports you to other dimensions.

I remember being completely awestruck by these stories when I first read them, and they still hold your attention to this day. Easily the greatest Dr. Strange stories ever produced, nothing since has come close to the brilliance of these tales.

Considering the cost involved in obtaining the original comics, and the quality of the material included, this volume is a real bargain. One of the best Marvel creations from the 60s - Buy it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, 25 Oct 2004
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Masterworks: Doctor Strange (Strange Tales #110-111 & #114-141) (Hardcover)
When I first started reading Doctor Strange the Master of the Mystic Arts had his own comic book and had stopped sharing "Strange Tales" with Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., at which point he was being drawn by Gene Colan one of my favorite artists. By that point in the history of the Marvel Universe the original Doctor Strange artist, Steve Ditko, was working for Charlton Comics, which was below even Archie Comics on the comic book scale as far as my friends and I were concerned. Having already formed a negative opinion of Ditko's artwork it was rather strange, for lack of a better word, to see Ditko was the original artist on Spider-Man when I went back to the pre-John Romita (Sr.) days. But for years I continued to totally dismiss Ditko's art and writer Stan Lee's bombastic prose on "Doctor Strange." But now I am rethinking my position.
When Marvel put out its "Essential" volumes of the first several years of "The Amazing Spider-Man," reproducing the comics in black & white, I noticed that Steve Ditko was a master of composition. When Jim Steranko was doing the art for the "Nick Fury" half of "Strange Tales" he was the hottest comic artist on the planet, but his exotic artwork did not show the complete command of composition exhibited by Ditko. His best work was "Spider-Man," but with "Doctor Strange" there was an added dimension to his drawings as he had to create visual representations for the spells that Strange and his enemies were hurling back and forth at each other.
Volume 1 of "Doctor Strange" in the Marvel Masterworks series collects the Master of the Mystic Art's half of issues #110, #111, and #114-142 of "Strange Tales." In fact, when Dr. Strange was first introduced by Lee and Ditko he was a "Master of Black Magic." In his first adventure (#110) he enters a man's dream and combats his ancient foe Nightmare. His next pair of battles are both against the magic of Baron Mordo and it is not until his fourth appearance (#115) that we finally get to "The Origin of Dr. Strange." Once upon a time Dr. Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon who suffered nerve damage to his hands after an auto accident. Told he would never be able to perform an operation again, the desperate Strange travels to a remote mountain top in India in search of the legendary Ancient One. Convinced that there are more important things to do in this world than make money off of surgery, Strange becomes a disciple of the Ancient One and begins to learn the long-dead mystic arts.
In the beginning Dr. Strange was sharing "Strange Tales" with the Human Torch, and it was not until issue #121 that he finally got the bottom third of the cover. The rest of the Marvel Universe rarely intruded on Dr. Strange's world, although there was a fight against Loki (#123) from "The Mighty Thor." Baron Mordo and Nightmare were recurring villains, and while the Dread Dormammu was usually invoked by Mordo at just about every opportunity, Strange did not have his first fight with his greatest foe until issue #126. Dormammu was one of the coolest Marvel villains, dressed up in his funky costume while his face is basically living flame. Once he appears he starts popping up a lot, along with Clea, a young woman of Dormammu's alien dimension who risks here life to help the noble strange who dares to challenge the powerful being.
Strange uses his amulet to help Dormammu defend his dimension from the Mindless Ones, which puts the dread one (temporarily) in Strange's debt (#127). As a result Strange gets a new cape and a more wondrous amulet from the Ancient One, which makes the comic seem a bit like a computer game where you get neat new powers as you ascend levels. With the almost constant battles between Dr. Strange and either Dormammu or Mordo (or both) things get a bit repetitious and redundant, but sometimes someone new shows up, such as Eternity (#138). Still, it is clear that Doctor Strange was a second-class citizen in the Marvel Universe, even though he had a great house in Greenwich Village and his faithful servant, Wong. It could be that Lee was laying on the weird names in the mystic spells a bit much or that Ditko's drawing of magic was a tad hokey. Or it could be that he was just so insulated from the rest of the Marvel superheroes during this period. Whatever the reason, what we have here is good, but not great. However, the character does get there for a while down the mystic road, around what should be Volume 3 in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Ditko: the Psychedelic Years, 30 Mar 2013
By 
Gareth Simon (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Masterworks: Doctor Strange (Strange Tales #110-111 & #114-141) (Hardcover)
This volume reprints the Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales issues #110, 111, 114-141, published monthly from July 1963 to February 1966, and Spider-Man Annual #2 from 1965. The stories are scripted by Stan Lee (apart from #129 by Don Rico) and drawn by Steve Ditko, who also co-plots. George Roussos inks #114 and #122-125. There are 31 stories reprinted here, starting with 6-pagers from the beginning of the feature and ending with 10 pages as the good Doctor became an equal partner in the magazine he shared with his co-features. The Spider-Man Annual gives us a 20-page story.

The first story is almost a 'traditional' Lee-Ditko mystery/horror story from the non-superhero titles - which Strange Tales was, before the Human Torch brought the age of heroes to its pages; though it manages to fit in Wong, the Ancient One, the Eye of Agamotto and Nightmare and the Dream Dimension into the six pages. The second story featured Baron Mordo, and the third introduced Victoria Bentley. The fourh was an origin story. On his sixth appearance, in #117, he got his name on the cover, and #118 saw his picture finally appear. The stories gradualy build in complexity and become a serial, climaxing in a duel with the Dread Dormammu whose shadow has been building up during the series. There is a victory of sorts, but Clea is lost a a result. However, volume 2 is a direct continuation, so don't despair.

Steve Ditko's artwork, while generally excellent, actually gets better as the series progreses, and in the subsequent volume reaches even new heights. This is an excellent volume of the stories that made the early days of Marvel Comics so exciting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Ditko: the Psychedelic Years, 30 Mar 2013
By 
Gareth Simon (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This volume reprints the Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales issues #110, 111, 114-141, published monthly from July 1963 to February 1966, and Spider-Man Annual #2 from 1965. The stories are scripted by Stan Lee (apart from #129 by Don Rico) and drawn by Steve Ditko, who also co-plots. George Roussos inks #114 and #122-125. There are 31 stories reprinted here, starting with 6-pagers from the beginning of the feature and ending with 10 pages as the good Doctor became an equal partner in the magazine he shared with his co-features. The Spider-Man Annual gives us a 20-page story.

The first story is almost a 'traditional' Lee-Ditko mystery/horror story from the non-superhero titles - which Strange Tales was, before the Human Torch brought the age of heroes to its pages; though it manages to fit in Wong, the Ancient One, the Eye of Agamotto and Nightmare and the Dream Dimension into the six pages. The second story featured Baron Mordo, and the third introduced Victoria Bentley. The fourh was an origin story. On his sixth appearance, in #117, he got his name on the cover, and #118 saw his picture finally appear. The stories gradualy build in complexity and become a serial, climaxing in a duel with the Dread Dormammu whose shadow has been building up during the series. There is a victory of sorts, but Clea is lost a a result. However, volume 2 is a direct continuation, so don't despair.

Steve Ditko's artwork, while generally excellent, actually gets better as the series progreses, and in the subsequent volume reaches even new heights. This is an excellent volume of the stories that made the early days of Marvel Comics so exciting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rediscovery of the world of Dr Strange, 9 Mar 2013
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A first rate edition of the colourful originals allowing the reader to rediscover the initial excitement of the adventures of Dr Strange from years ago, or to experience this for the first time as a 21st century reader. This edition was everything I expected it to be. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great artwork but odd colouring ?, 3 Feb 2014
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This paperback edition of Doctor Strange masterwork volume one is great value. It covers the beginning of the Sorcerer Supreme's run. Steve Ditko's art is wonderful in these stories and you could easily say it is ahead of it's it's time. Another way of looking at it is to say they have stood the test of time in a way that early Fantastic Four art , for example hasn't. The artwork gets better and better and by the time our hero meets eternity in issue 138 the story has become very gripping.
I have never read these before, except that is the origin story which was I think in Stan Lee's Origin of Marvel book from the seventies. (I remember going to Dark They Were And Golden Eyed book shop in Soho(i think it was)and getting ithat book signed by Stan himself when I was about eleven years old in about 1977). I have also just checked my Treasury Edition number 6 and the second story is in there.
There is no intro here from either writer or artist but I don't know why.
One point I would make though is about the colouring. Compare issue 138 in this volume with the colouring on the Marvel Unlimited app for the same issue.. The colouring in the latter is far superior. I don't know which version corresponds to the original comics because I don't have them.
I have no doubt there will be an omnibus of Doctor Strange including this material in the future which I cannot wait for but when they do get round to releasing it I hope they use the colouring used in the Marvel Unlimited app and not the colouring used here. However that is a small gripe and this is a superb and well priced book nevertheless.
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Masterworks: Doctor Strange (Strange Tales #110-111 & #114-141)
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