Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Something Old - Something New!
(In Search Of... Doctor Strange # 200!)

I'm in the middle of several series of posts this month so I really wasn't aware of the fact that I've now hit my...

200th POST !

However, I didn't want the occasion to pass without any notice...

and so, I am using this occasion for two things:

1) Showcase the new 3-column format for the blog.
(I DO plan on making it more cohesive and design-friendly, but for now, this will do.)

2) to commemorate what would have been Doctor Strange's 200th issue...
(as you may know, Doc had never actually had a 200th issue... heck, he never even made it to 100... but as Marvel does when it wants to pump up a character's/title's issue number count, we'll do a cumulative count of all the various volumes that Doctor Strange has had and add up the totals until we find what issue would have been # 200.)

Well, let's see... adding Doc's "titles" is a tricky bit of business, as he's popped all over the marvel landscape at one point or another - with his narrative being distributed fairly uniformly amongst the various titles with which he's been associated.

So, the question is...
"What constitutes an actual 'Dr. Strange' comic?"

Do we include ALL of his "sequential" issues?

  • Strange Tales v1 (#110, 111, 114 - 168)
  • Dr Strange v1 (# 169 - 183)
  • Marvel Premiere (# 3 - 14)
  • Dr Strange v2 (#1 - 81)
  • Strange Tales v2 (#1 - 19)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (#1 - 90)

Do we only count comics that bear his name - and/or do we omit anything that isn't a "full-issue" (where he shared the title with another);

  • Strange Tales V1
  • Marvel Premiere
  • Strange Tales v2

What do we do then with self-titled mini-series?

  • Doctor Strange : Flight of Bones
  • Strange v1
  • Doctor Strange : The Oath
  • Strange v2

What about issues of comics that are in sequence, but only a portion of the issue is "important"?

  • Marvel Feature # 1 (2nd story, "The Return" - wherein he regains his use of magic)
(although the primary story in that issue is the formation of The Defenders, and while "important" isn't a part of his true narrative)

But if we add the issue where he regains his magic, should we not include the issues wherein he forgoes his use of magic? Even if those issues were cross-overs with part of other character's titles - but where his narrative resumed after his 1st volume was canceled and before his return?

  • Sub-Mariner # 22
  • Hulk # 126

But if we do that then we would need to include issues where his comic crossed over with continuing stories, like:

  • Tomb of Dracula # 44
  • Man-Thing v2 # 4

So, no. We can't take those into consideration.

And then what about "special" cases, like his "Giant Size" or Annual issues?

  • Giant Size Dr. Strange # 1
  • Annuals # 1 - 4

And what about his own graphic novels - or special all-new content issues:

  • Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa
  • Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom : Triumph and Torment
  • Spider-Man & Dr. Strange : The Way to Dusty Death
  • Strange Tales (deluxe format, acetate cover) # 1
  • Doctor Strange: "What is it That Disturbs You, Stephen?"
  • Stan Lee Meets Dr. Strange # 1
  • Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange # 1

Obviously, we can't use mini-series where he might not be named in the title, but is truly a/the star of the show - can we?

  • Black Knight
  • Thor : Vikings
  • Witches
  • X-statiX presents : Dead Girl
  • (and the new) Spider-Man : Fever

And we certainly do not use reprint volumes:

  • Strange Tales v 1.2 (a 1973 "continuation" of the title) # 182 - 188
  • Doctor Strange -vs- Silver Dagger # 1
  • Doctor Strange Classics # 1 - 4
  • Dr. Strange / Ghost Rider Special # 1
  • Dr. Strange -vs- Dracula # 1
  • Marvel Watch # 0
  • Marvel Milestones : Strange Tales # 1
  • Marvel Milestones : Doctor Strange / Defenders # 1

And, there's no way we should count ash-can editions:

  • Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme ashcan
  • Dr. Strange: Sorcerer's Apprentice ashcan (came with limited editions of his animated DVD)

Heck, we certainly can't (but should) be able to count:

  • Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 2 (a truly awesome Spidey - Doc team-up special by Steve Ditko - although it was reprinted in dr. Strange v1 # 179, so... at least the story "counts".)


This undertaking will only allow for a possible two (or three) "true" results.

At best we should omit anything too extraneous, such as non-named minis, graphic novels (no matter how awesome. (And no collected volumes or books, as it should go without saying.)

Obviously we need to ignore things like 'Marvel Team-Up', 'Marvel Two-in-One', 'Marvel Fanfare', 'Marvel Comics Presents' and even the various incarnations of 'Defenders' or 'Midnight Sons' (or especially not the 'Illuminati'), and we can't even take into account comics or issues that feature Strange as a regular in a stable of rotating features, like "Over the Edge", or even treat him as a solo star like his issue of "Uncanny Origins" ... because we're not looking for his 200th appearance, but his 200th "published issue".

So, to this end we are left with either:

ONLY full stories of comic titles that bear his name...


ALL sequential comic runs.

Let's run it down:

IF ONLY full stories of comic titles that bear his name:
  • Doctor Strange v1 - (# 169 - 183)
  • Dr. Strange v2 (Master of the Mystic Arts) - (#1 - 81)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (Sorcerer Supreme) - (#1 - 90)
... but that only leads up to 196 issues?!?!

So. then we need to add what is considered to be Dr Strange v4

(at least according to checklists and price guides)
  • Dr. Strange : Flight of Bones (mini-series) - (# 1 - 4)

Which would make FLIGHT OF BONES # 4 ...

Doctor Strange # 200!

However, if we take into account ALL sequential comic runs:

  • Strange Tales v1 (#110, 111, 114 - 168)
  • Dr Strange v1 (# 169 - 183)
  • Marvel Feature (# 1) * (do we count this or not?)
  • Marvel Premiere (# 3 - 14)
  • Dr Strange v2 (#1 - 81)
  • Strange Tales v2 (#1 - 19)
  • Dr. Strange v3 (#1 - 90)

We would find that either

Doctor Strange v3 (Sorcerer Supreme)

# 16

* or *

(if we do not include Feature # 1 into the count)

to be...

Dr. Strange # 200!


This entire enterprise should confirm what we die-hard Doc-fans have known all along...

... it isn't easy being a Dr Strange fan.

Sadly, he may never get an issue #200... but as a "Founding Father" he most certainly deserves one, so I'm giving him MINE.

Happy # 200, Doc!

(Hey! Did I do the math right on this? Any Doc fans out there want to posit an argument or counter? LMK)


Predabot said...

I think Feature #1 shouldn't be taken into account, since it's one issue, and the rest of the series didn't really feature the Doc in the same way.

So, the second counting is the way to go.

Cheers for taking the time to do the list, mate! :)

Diabolu Frank said...

* Strange Tales v1 (#110, 111, 114 - 168)
* Dr Strange v1 (# 169 - 183)
* Marvel Premiere (# 3 - 14)
* Dr Strange v2 (#1 - 81)
* Strange Tales v2 (#1 - 19)
* Dr. Strange v3 (#1 - 90)
274 issues.

So you're right, it's the third chapter of "The Vampire Verses." But hey, at least you don't run a Martian Manhunter page like me. God only knows which books I should count, but I doubt I could reach #200 with the kitchen sink.

Post a Comment