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"Doctor Strange: The Oath" Mini-Series Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Ed Liu, Oct 4, 2006.

  1. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    On stands today!

    DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH #1

    [​IMG]

    Written by Brian K. Vaughan
    Art by Marcos Martin


    THE STORY:
    Doctor Stephen Strange embarks on the most important paranormal investigation of his career, as he sets out to solve an attempted murder... his own! And with his most trusted friend also at death’s door, Strange turns to an unexpected corner of the Marvel Universe to recruit a new ally. Eisner Award-winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (Runaways, Y: The Last Man) and red-hot artist Marcos Martin (Captain America, Batgirl: Year One) join forces for an adventure that will take the Sorcerer Supreme from the underworld of New York City to the deadliest dimensions on the outskirts of reality.
    This limited series will firmly establish Doctor Strange in the current Marvel Universe as well as setting him up to join a surprising new team!
    32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

    I'm actually waiting for the trade for this one, but others may not be. The preview pages I've seen so far are also sorely testing my resolve in not buying this as it comes out and THEN buying the trade.

    Interviews with the creators:

    Brian K. Vaughan about Dr. Strange: The Oath
    Marcos Martin about Dr. Strange: The Oath

    The interview with BKV led me to discover that Bendis resurrected Night Nurse during his run on Daredevil and gave her a real role in the Marvel Universe. I knew the character from an aborted mini-series that Gail Simone was supposed to write. Still, this version looks pretty cool and she's getting some real panel time in this mini-series.

    Comments?

    -- Ed
     
  2. Stuckey

    Stuckey Shutter Buggin'

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    I picked it up today, but haven't read it. Normally, I'd wait for the trade too as I don't like buying minis. But, the fact that I've always wanted to read some Dr Strange stories and the increased use of Dr Orpheus on VENTURE BROS made it impossible to resist.
     
  3. Stuckey

    Stuckey Shutter Buggin'

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    I just finished it. Like I said in my last post this is my first real exposure to the Dr Strange character and I really enjoyed it. Given BKV's post on another forum I was thinking this would be more of a introduction to the character(s) but other than a brief two page flashback it was all "in the now". I'm definately looking forward to how this plays out.

    One minor complaint, though, is the art.

    Edited because I've learned that maybe this title is somewhat humorous (even though I don't see it).
     
    #3 Stuckey, Oct 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2006
  4. En Sabah Nur

    En Sabah Nur Apocalypse, The First One

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    A very nice issue, and should be a good mini.
    I loved the beginning with Arana and Iron Fist conversation. Very nice opening. The issue itself was very good as well. Although I would have preferred the same rich colors and animation that they used in Witches, the story compensated for that.
     
  5. Terminatah

    Terminatah Badass Cyborg

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    Exactly how much of the backstory provided is Vaughan and how much was already part of the character's continuity? I am referring in particular to Dr. Strange being a failed surgeon. I thought this was a masterful way of giving limitations to a character that I've heard has been criticized for being too conveniently powerful.

    -Terminatah
     
  6. IDistractedYou

    IDistractedYou Perky Prince of Painful Puns

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    I haven't read this series yet. But if I remember correctly Stephen Strange was a failed surgeon in his original orgin story.
     
  7. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    The "failed surgeon" bit has always been there. I think the only real change over time is the status of Wong, who I believe was really just a houseboy when he was introduced and has since graduated to more of an apprentice.

    -- Ed
     
  8. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    There's so much to love about Dr. Strange, and yet so much about the character to roll your eyes in dismay. The good includes the mystical powers, the battles with otherworldly, cosmic entities, the classic origin story, (an arrogant, rich surgeon becomes crippled, finds humility, and in redemption becomes a guardian sorcerer)...but then you have to take the bad with the good:

    For starters, there's that revolting costume: It seems like Dr. Strange is the only character to not get an updated costume since the 1960's! And then there's Wong, who's still the sore spot with most people's interest in Dr. Strange...how stereotypical is it having a minority being the servant of a rich white man?

    Thus, we turn to "Dr. Strange: The Oath", a miniseries which takes the good with the bad, and instead of trying to reimagine and modernize the character, (like the failed "Strange" miniseries from a couple years back), it simply wants to tell a good ol' fashioned Dr. Strange tale.

    It's important to note that Wong is the REAL star of this miniseries. Writer Brian K. Vaughan cuts right to the heart of the character, with him slowly dying of cancer, (yet facing his end with courage). Wong's relationship with Dr. Strange, as shown here, is more of a partnership, then of a master and his student, (more along the lines of "Batman and Robin", rather than "Batman and Alfred"). Wong even gets to perform some martial arts action this issue, showing he's just as capable in a fight as his master!

    Wong's sickness cuts to the heart of what Dr. Strange is all about: Helping people with his abilities! At one time, he might've been able to perform surgery on Wong, to remove the tumor, but now he seeks other, more mystical means of curing those who are sick. And thus we come to the real question of this miniseries: What if Dr. Strange can find a mystical cure for cancer? Should he use it, and at what cost?

    This is going to be another thought provoking masterpiece by Brian K. Vaughan, isn't it? I am so going to miss him when he leaves Runaways... :sad: Obviously, this cure won't last, (Marvel's not going to allow Vaughan to boldly change a "real world" dynamic, having cancer wiped out...yes, Vaughan did change a "real world" dynamic with the World Trade Center surviving in "Ex Machina", but that's a creator owned project), but will Vaughan actually get to use this cure on Wong??? I kinda doubt that Vaughan would go to all this trouble to make Wong interesting again, just to have him killed off by the end of the miniseries...But what type of message does it send to cancer victims if Wong is cured, yet others continue to suffer?

    Of course, I'm reminded that Stan Lee had similar thoughts when he created Daredevil back in the early 60's, (he feared there would be a backlash from blind people for him creating a blind superhero, but disabled individuals quickly grew to love the character). I suspect Vaughan has another opportunity to raise awareness about physical afflictions with the topic of cancer in this miniseries, and that makes this comic even more special! An intriguing first issue, and I'm looking forward to seeing where things go from here!

    Grade: A
     
  9. ManicWebb

    ManicWebb You were cold as ice...

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    Really, it's just the cape. If you look at the scene where Strange finds out Wong has cancer, he's wearing regular black shoes, black slacks, and a fairly nice collared blue shirt over a black shirt. The Eye of Agamotto is a bit of an eyesore, but it's not bad overall. That Cloak of Levitation, however, is hideous. Oh, and the gloves have to go.

    Oddly, the redesign for Strange's costume is the only thing that horrible mini-series got right. Black shoes, pants, and shirt; a red vest with gold buttons & trim; the Eye of Agamotto still on his collar, and a long red coat. I should dress so nicely at parties.
     
  10. Stuckey

    Stuckey Shutter Buggin'

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    I'd completely forgotten about STRANGE. I was excited about that too, and then flipped through it at the shop and it turned me off the character until recently.

    And, for what it's worth, I absolutely LOVE Dr Strange's classic look.
     
  11. En Sabah Nur

    En Sabah Nur Apocalypse, The First One

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    STRANGE was not good, but Witches mini was very good.
     
  12. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    The latest issue arrives today!

    Dr. Strange: The Oath #3

    [​IMG]

    Written by Brian K. Vaughan
    Art by Marcos Martin

    The Story:

    As he searches every dimension of the Marvel Universe for a cure to save the life of his dying friend, Doctor Strange finally learns the shocking true identity of the shadowy villain who holds Wong’s life in his hands.

    Comments? What are your thoughts?
     
  13. ManicWebb

    ManicWebb You were cold as ice...

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    Strange cusses quite a bit under Vaughan's pen. The truth about who's behind the attack on Strange is a little weird, but it makes complete sense. Who has the most to lose if Strange finds the cure for cancer? God, I gotta keep remembering my mystery-solving mantra: "Follow the money."
     
  14. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    The artwork by Marcos Martin, (who I've never heard of till now) continues to grow on me...once again, you don't need to be a "hot" artist to prove you can present a tale in striking visual manner.

    There setting up some wonderful revelations with this miniseries. A patient that Dr. Strange wouldn't help years ago turned to the dark arts seeking revenge...and the doctor who operated on Strange's hands has also apparently turned to the dark arts. At first glance, this miniseries appeared to be little more than a "Day in the Life" type of tale, but it appears to be a re-examining of Strange's origins, and is making for a fantastic read! I can't wait to see what happens next... :)
     
  15. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Time for Dr. Strange to fight another giant monster from another dimension!!

    Dr. Strange: The Oath #4:

    [​IMG]

    Written by Brian K. Vaughan
    Artwork by Marcos Martin
    Cover by Marcos Martin


    THE STORY:
    Outside the hidden hospice of the vigilante caretaker known as Night Nurse, Doctor Strange takes on a terrifying new villain in the strangest battle of the Sorcerer Supreme’s career!

    Comments? What are your thoughts?
     
  16. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    A strangely "wordy" issue, (aside from the monster battle at the beginning of the issue, most of the time is spent with the villian explaining his "master plan" to us). Vaughan does a great job of inserting this new character's history into Dr. Strange's own complex history. There's a good strong moral message here, about the responsibilities of doctors, and that old message about the "road paved with good intentions". I'm excited to see how they wrap up this tale next issue.

    Is Wong really going to die?!? That would indeed be a bold change for the status quo of Dr. Strange, (though I fear that removing Wong is like taking Robin away from Batman: the character will no longer be "grounded" and become somewhat of a loose canon). Wait...maybe the reason Night Nurse is included in this tale is because she is being groomed to replace Wong, (and might make for a potential love interest for Strange)? I could live with that, if THAT'S the reason they would kill Wong...

    The solicitations for this miniseries told us that this was going to lead to Dr. Strange being a part of a team in 2007-we now know that the team he is joining is the New Avengers. Having been unimpressed with Bendis's "Dues Ex Machina" handling of Strange in the Dissassembled story, I'm dreading the worst. Also, I'm not so sure I see how this miniseries will lead to Strange wanting to join the Avengers. I really wish Vaughan was going to continue writing Dr. Strange, (it's time for a new ongoing title)!!
     
  17. Darking

    Darking Packing Heat

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    I idly wonder...
     
  18. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Will Strange's best friend Wong live or die?!? Is Brian K. Vaughan really going to change the status quo of Dr. Strange's world?!?

    Dr. Strange: The Oath #5

    [​IMG]
    (click to enlarge)

    Written by Brian K. Vaughan
    Art by Marcos Martin
    Cover by Marcos Martin

    The Story:

    In this shocking finale, Doctor Strange's new arch-enemy forces him to make an impossible choice between saving millions of lives or the life of Strange's best friend.

    Comments? What are your thoughts?!?
     
  19. Darking

    Darking Packing Heat

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  20. wonderfly

    wonderfly Shaking things up a bit
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    Just finished the final issue.

    I hereby proclaim "Dr. Strange: The Oath" to be the:

    Best. Damn. Dr. Strange. Story. Ever.

    That is all.
     

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