Sunday, February 8, 2009

The "Magic" of Video: redux
Why can't Dr. Strange get the same respect?

Small rant here:
Over the years, there have been times when Dr. Strange has made appearances in other character's cartoon series;

  • Spider-Man & his Amazing Friends
  • Spider-Man (the 1990's series)
  • Hulk
  • X-Men

And in each of them, he's been... meh. Not great. Barely a Sorcerer of any strength or ability.
And what's worse, is that his world; the world of magicks and dimensional whatnot, has barely been shown. When it has, it's been a watered-down version, at best.

Dormammu and Baron Mordo were a part of the 01990's Spider-Man cartoon as well, but they far outshone Dr. Strange in the magic department. Even Madam Web, a Spider-Man background character was purported to be more powerful than Strange!

Heck, Dormammu and the Mindless Ones showed up in the old Spider-Woman cartoon, and that showed a darker, more magical world than what is usually allowed for Dr. Strange himself.
One might say that "well... Dormammu and the Mindless Ones should dwell in a (dare I say) 'Dark Dimension' ". Yes. That's very true, but Dr. Strange should stride that world as well.
For Spider-Woman to be allowed in and for Dr. Strange to (mostly) be relegated to the earth-bound adventures that he's been allotted... well... it strikes me as just wrong.

Even in his own recent "direct-to-DVD" animated "feature", Strange is watered down and his world (again, with Dormammu) is fairly tame and more "sword" than "sorcery". Much of the action taking place on the streets of New York.

Jump over to the DC / Warner end of things, and Dr. Fate has appeared in several cartoons as well:

  • Batman Adventures
  • Superman Adventures
  • Justice League
  • J.L.U.
and now
  • Batman : The Brave and the Bold

However, in ALL of those appearances, Fate is a Sorcerer of no small ability and his otherworldly exploits have been vivid and faithfully portrayed. In many instances... his world is a scary one, filled with demons and hellfire.

Even in the newest episode of Batman : The Brave and the Bold, which is ostensibly a "kiddie" version of the characters (or at least the chunky-fun animation tends that way)... he is given DR STRANGE's world in which to play.

This episode was written by long-time comics (and cartoon) scribe (and one of this blogger's favorite writers); J.M. DeMatteis.

Here are some screen grabs:

Fate's tower has a familiarly designed window.


The other-dimensional playground where Fate works his magic also looks quite familiar!
The interdimensional FANGED Mouth that forms some sort of doorway!
(That I like to ascribe as manifestations of the spell; "The FANGS of Farallah"!)

The fanged doorway, surrounding a winding mystic pathway has been seen MANY times in Dr. Strange's stories - as seen here:


Shown for the first time - in Strange Tales # 116
As illustrated and created by Steve Ditko.



A close-up look at Fate appearing within the Fangs.


Here's the clip - check it out for yourself:



See? If those weren't Steve Ditko-inspired rip-offs homages, then I don't know WHAT...

Still...pretty hardcore for a kiddie show, am I right?



WHY can't Strange get his own PROPER treatment on Saturday mornings?

I'm going to have to pre-empt the current blog-post subjects ("Magic Rings & Mystic Bling") and go back to the "Magic of Video" (Dr. Strange in other motion media) series that I had originally meant to continue (before the "Rings & Bling" spun out of that) so I can showcase the many instances of Doctor Strange on TV, thus proving my point.
I'll ALSO be showcasing Dr. Fate's appearances as well (for comparison purposes).

Hey. But before I get to that, if you liked the clip... check out the entire episode HERE.

Hrm... I was wondering how I was going to get back to that post-series, and then I saw this Batman clip.
Serendipity? Coincidence? No... it was the hand of FATE!

3 comments:

Cully said...

That window is Strange's, and that fanged pathway was definitely Ditko's. I'm with you. Where's the love? As a kid I would've got sucked into a cartoon as weird as the early Strange Tales. As an adult I'd have to own it as it was collected to DVD. I bought the Dr. Strange DVD that came out. It was O.K. but I was a little disappointed. With the wealth of material to draw upon I guess I expected something different. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to have any Dr. Strange cartoon, but I think I was hoping for something in another dimension. You know...other worldly. You go there with a Saturday morning cartoon, and I think you'd snag some viewers. I'd like to see something that breaks the mold compared to the usual superhero action being broadcast. I got your back. Cully

Rich said...

"Strange is watered down and his world (again, with Dormammu) is fairly tame and more "sword" than "sorcery"."

Ugh. I'm still trying to live that down. My spouse is all "ooh, look, your lame Dr. Strange needs to fight with a sword" and I hang my head in shame.

*sigh*

Holly said...

Wow, I can't believe how similar (ripped off) that is! Also, didn't that random villain sort of look like Mordo, too? In a weird Dracula-esque way?

And did batman just pull a sword out of his utility belt......? lol

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