Friday, November 14, 2008

Gaze into the Future. 11-14-08 (updated)

"Greetings, my friends.
We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to
spend the rest of our lives..." *
... reading comics.
"doctored" image from the cover to Strange Tales # 156
(original art by Marie Severin)

While inhaling my lunch (chewing? there's no time for that), I whipped up this little image-header and blog-entry. So, while I get back to work, you can enjoy this "glimpse into the future".
I'll see you there.

-----------------

Here's a brief news-flash on upcoming Doctor Strange (Man-Thing and other "6-dimensions" characters) appearances:

- Avengers / Invaders # 6 - (preview here) - shipping Wed, November 19th, 2008.
Doc finally seems to be taking a more active role - other than that of "mystic chauffeur" or "guy who floats around filling in the loose plot points".
Story: Alex Ross, Jim Krueger
Art: Steve Sadowski, Patrick Berkenkotter
Colors: Dynamite - Inlight
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover: Olivier Coipel, Alex Ross
----------------------------------

- “What If? House of M” - (preview & interview here) - on sale in December 2008.

A "powerless" and plain-clothes Stephen Strange is seen in at least one scene with the ILLUMINATI.

Written
by Brian Reed and Jim McCann.
Artwork by newcomer Paolo Pantalena.

Take a look at the preview art and you decide, but to me, while the art is dynamic, it's a MESS of similar line-weights and burdensome hatching. Everything blends together and everyone (male and female) have the same facial features and structure (edgy and angular).

There's a scene with someone (the new S.H.I.E.L.D. director?) and she is harsh-looking.
And another scene with a male and female set of characters, watching a melee on a monitor screen, but I have no idea who they are.
There's a button on the wall in the shape of the X-MEN "X" logo, so I'm guessing it's Cyclops & Emma Frost, but I can't be sure. (Can Cyclops remove his ruby-quartz glasses safely now without instantly pulping loved ones into goo and performing major household reconstruction in the process? I'll admit I'm no longer "up" on the mutant hijynx.)

As an artist myself, I rather be reticent than give a negative critique on another man's work.
However, I was only able to ascertain that Strange was present in one scene when I saw that the others in the scene were the other members of the Illuminati (Black Bolt, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Professor Xavier). Namor looks more like a "Street Fighter" character or VEGETA, than himself, and in a later page, Reed Richards, with a kneecap blown off, seems to be debating which is more painful; the missing knee or the indignity of looking the way he does.

Pantalena's work seems to be a hybrid of styles. Lots of manga-like pointy hair, and angry faces. While it first struck me of a mash-up of (the worst of) Bart Sears & Tim Vigil, the interview says it's: "really hyper-kinetic and reminds me of an amalgam of J. Scot Campbell, Joe Madureira, and Harvey Tolibao".
I can probably agree with that as well. Sadly, that doesn't sing as a "selling point" to my ears.
It could just be me, as I'm sure that all of those gents (as well as Paolo) have more than their share of fans.

Paolo DOES have a lot of talent, and a style that is interesting, but it seems like a style best fit for a single-hero title. These big crowd scenes are just a cluster##@% of lines.
Still, that said, his Red Skull is bad-ass.
I can only state that in time, and experience, he'll be fantastic. But now, he's just shooting the whole wad at once. No subtlety or differentiation.

The general gist of the story
is that on "M-day" instead of merely wishing for "No More Mutants", the Scarlet Witch utters; "No more POWERS".
That wipes out anyone who has powers (be they mutant, mutated or magic). Tech-based abilities are still functional.
So, Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube run amok.

I'm hoping Strange is more than just a powerless guy in one big-wig meeting.
But if he straps on some armor, like everyone else is shown doing, I think I'd rather just have him in the brain-trust and sit this one out.


-------------UPDATE-------------

Doc's also in:

"What If? Newer Fantastic Four" (preview art and info HERE)
Deals with the first Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet story, so Doc and Adam Warlock appear.

-------------end update-------------

------------- FAST FOWARD FUTURE FACTS -------------

Here's the quick 411 from some recent Marvel listings:


Doc's to be found in:

- NEW AVENGERS VOL. 3 HC there are two covers (mass market and Direct market) The cover on the Direct edition has a better shot of DOC.

- INFINITY CRUSADE vol2 tpb - reprinting the
"stomping-into-the-ground-and-salting-the-earth-so-nothing-will-ever- grow-again"
of the Infinity Gauntlet saga.

- DR. DOOM AND THE MASTERS OF EVIL #1
(an ALL AGES book)
Dr. Strange & Iron Man battle DOOM & the Sinister 6

- AVENGERS / INVADERS # 8 (well, he PROBABLY is.)

----------------------------------

There's a decent chance he'll be shown in

- SECRET INVASION: WAR OF KINGS ONE-SHOT # 1
(Black Bolt is back and he's pissed)

- SUPER HERO SQUAD: HERO UP! ONE-SHOT # 1
(kiddie comic based on the diminutive toys.)
DORMAMMU is on the bad-guys cover and is a featured character inside.

----------------------------------

He MAY be in:

- NEW AVENGERS # 49
&
- DARK AVENGERS # 1
The solicits are "classified". Yeah. Thanks Marvel.

-------------- MAN-THING ALERT!!! ------------

There's also a Spider-Man/MAN-THING one-shot for you muck-head's out there!
- Spider-Man: FEAR ITSELF (one-shot)
FABULOUS artwork to be found HERE. (French language site)

Manny probably also in:
- Marvel Zombies 3 # 4

-------------- other 6-dimensions characters ------------

Black Knight in the always fantastic:
- Captain Britain & MI-13 # 9

as well as the cover art to:
- Marvel Zombies 3 # 4

------------

ROM : Spaceknight is to be featured in:

- BACK-ISSUE # 32 (by Two-Morrows Press)
&
- TOYFARE # 139 (an article about the toy and the comic)


-------END of FLASH FORWARD ------

So, I'll see you, my friends... in the future...

*all apologies to Criswell & Ed Wood (although, I don't think they'd really mind).

3 comments:

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plok said...

At least your spammers can spell their own names correctly, P-Tor! "D" -- that's hard to mess up. I've had spam from "Juesus IncarNaet". Selling me Viagkra.

That "What If" infuriates me. Not just because (as you've said) Doc doesn't have powers but simply knowledge...what, does Wanda's power trump Agamotto's now?...and not even because I don't see why technological knowhow should differ from mystical knowhow...and what about pharmacological knowhow, are Captain America and the Black Panther also "powerless" in this thing?...

But because for just a second I found myself thinking. "well, according to Englehart's FF, the Cosmic Cube's power is extradimensional...it comes from the lightless void of the Beyonders..."

And then I remembered, the Beyonder is "now" just another Inhuman, and none of those stories ever happened.

It really makes you just want to sum it up in a sentence: "there is no point having a special 'What If' comic when every story at Marvel has become an 'imaginary' story."

Defeats the purpose of What If!

I understand that you follow Doc, and will always follow Doc, and I can't help but commend you on that. But Doc is rapidly becoming the Eighth Doctor of the MU, don't you think? It's like the character's being sucked out of him.

And therefore I challenge you to post on your five greatest Doc stories, to educate the people.

Mine are as follows, and obviously I am not saying you can't duplicate me because my Number One is the same as your Number One:

1. Baron Mordo/Dormammu

It speaks for itself!

And I wouldn't be surprised if your Number Two was the same as mine either:

2. From "Doorways", to Dracula, to Satan

Surely one of the greatest extended Doc stories (and the greatest artists) ever. Or, are there any other kind of Doc stories but extended ones? But now we may begin to diverge:

3. Kaluu to Living Tribunal -- Mr. Bill Everett

4. Steve Gerber's Defenders

5. The Stern/Rogers run

I said to have only five, because #6 for me is obviously the PBG stuff -- and knowing it's your fave (and rightly so), this ensures a difference in our picks.

Also I'm going to say you can have an Honourable Mention that is not Doc, but "almost" Doc. I suspect yours will be Dr. Strangefate. Mine, however, is Johnny Beyond, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, and 1963 in general.

And, hey, Harvey Jerkwater told me you looked over his fan-fic Dr. Strange? What did you think of it? Email me privately and I'll send you my "Reasons Why I Should Write The Hulk".

Okay, now I go to write a meme.

~P~ said...

PLOK!

Love ya, man. You're right there in my head. SO much so that I HAD TO answer your big query in a blog-post all it's own.

http://tinyurl.com/6lwb9s

Check it out. I think you'll be pleased.

--------

As to your other points:

- Yes. Spam-bots. Only a day or two after my opening up to "anonymous" comments. Fabulous.

- Cosmic Cube / Beyonder = aneurysm
I can't get into it now (thank you very much BENDIS!)

- My top 5 Doc stories?
You are correct that the P.B.G. stuff is right up there.
I'd have to really take stock to determine if it is indeed the # 1 slot (that artwork just decimated an otherwise peerless arc).

But many of yours ARE similar to my own. That Mordo/Dormammu/Eternity thing was a bit of beauty. Decades before it's time.

Still, fret not. I'll get to that blog-point one day soon.

Glad that you're looking over in my little corner of the web.

I've been reading yours too, but haven't had my wits about me to reply to anything.
Plus getting used to THIS is taking some of my time and energies.

Catch ya later.

~P~

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