Wednesday, May 23, 2012

FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH FOR DOCTOR STRANGE!
DEATH #3: “STEPHEN STRANGE is a CONTEMORARY MAN.”


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As detailed in the prelude to this series [HERE], I listed 5 fatal errors that modern Marvel has crossed in their portrayal (a betrayal?) of Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts.

Previously, I shed a light on the erroneous memes:
Error # 1: Dr. Strange is the "Chosen One" [HERE].
Error # 2: Dr. Strange is/was an Alcoholic. [HERE].
Now, I delve into the third of these fatal missteps:
ERROR # 3: 
“STEPHEN STRANGE IS A CONTEMPORARY MAN.”


Doctor Strange has (or had) one of the greatest, purest, most apropos origins ever to grace any fictional character. It was poetic. It was karmic. It was darkly ironic. Yet, it showed how someone could truly rise above themselves and become something far greater.
That is, until someone decided to screw it up (multiple times and in ever worsening ways).
PART III : A MAN OUT OF TIME
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One of the problems with fictional literature whose creation spans continual decades is that time needs to be elastic. Malleable. Liquid. To prevent the characters from aging in real-time, fictional worlds rely upon the ability to stretch and truncate time-spans between stories, so that the characters within stay in their own Status Quo. Like a fly caught in amber, these artificial entities can be permitted to stay outside of time, and as such, remain preserved for untold ages to come.

Thus does the Marvel Universe utilize their famed “10-year sliding time-scale”.

That means that no matter what year you are reading a new issue of a comic NOW, it has only been 10 Years since the Fantastic Four first gained their powers. The usage of the Fantastic Four is important as they have been accepted as being the “first” superheroes of the “Modern” age (on Marvel Earth). That is not to say that there weren’t heroes BEFORE them; the heroes of World War II (Captain America and the Invaders are always set as originating within that 1940’s timeframe) and a few others in the span between 1940’s and the arrival of the FF. But, as time goes by, more and more years are placed between the end of the BIG WAR and the start of the “Modern” age (with Fantastic Four # 1). When Fantastic Four # 1 hit the stands in 1961 it had only been about 15 years since the end of the war. But now, with the sliding time-scale in effect, if it is 2012 now, then the FF gained their powers in 2002 and it has been about 60 years – 4X the original span! - since the end of WWII.

To fill that gap of time, Marvel has created numerous heroes to fill the void left within. Every so often, a new ret-con will be offered to help explain how Marvel Earth was, in fact not without superheroes for decades. Writer Roger Stern and fellow like-minded conspirator; John Byrne, took it upon themselves (coincidentally enough, about a decade ago) to create a maxi-series (‘The Lost Generation’) featuring the “First Wave”, a team of heroes that spanned the time-frame between Captain America’s being frozen on ice and the rocket trip which gave 4 adventurers cosmic-ray-spawned powers.
More recently, Brian Bendis and Howard Chaykin introduced the 1950’s version of the Avengers. Marvel has just announced the revelation that Wolverine, Magneto and Sabretooth were the “First X-Men”, existing as a team while Charles Xavier was still young and not yet involved in mutant affairs.

And what does this all have to do with Doctor Strange? Simple. Even with that sliding scale in place, it is accepted within the editorial halls at Marvel that there are a few characters who stand outside of it – unaffected by it – existing in spite of it. Those characters are your long-lived, immortal or in some way mysterious ones; ‘Gods’ like Thor and Hercules, long-lived medical experiments like Captain America and Nick Fury, the slowly-aging like Wolverine – and those mystically standing outside of time’s normal flow; like Doctor Strange.

In that aforementioned “Lost Generation” maxi-series, Roger Stern had Doctor Strange be an already-practicing sorcerer.
Strange was shown to have been active during that time-frame, even teaming-up with some of the members of that team on several occasions throughout the decades.

Long before the Fantastic Four - heck, before Reed Richards and Ben Grimm ever left college, Stephen Strange had already been a world-class physician, wrecked his hands, ruined his career, journeyed off to Tibet in search of a wise-man to heal his wounds and eventually became a master of the mystic arts.

The 1989 epic, original graphic novel; ‘Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom : Triumph & Torment’ also shows Strange to have finished his years of mystic studies and begin his journey back to America even as a young, newly scarred, Victor Von Doom wandered the mountains of Asia in search of his destiny.
(This is not to say that Doctor Strange was even the oldest of the “regular” non-powered characters, as the now-deceased Dr. Druid was transformed via a similar origin years earlier than Strange. It was later revealed that Druid was a “test-run” by the Ancient One whilst awaiting the arrival of “the chosen one”; Stephen Strange.) *
*Hopefully, you didn’t miss the first entry of this blog-post series wherein I railed against the “chosen one” meme. It can be found [HERE].

It is important for writers to remember, Doctor Strange is a man out of time. As his official Marvel biography has him born in 1930, Doctor Strange (like Captain America and Namor, the Sub-Mariner before him,) is truly alone – standing outside of time – with nearly no one from his former life either active – or alive.  Yet, sadly, in the comics, there have been too many “associates”, colleagues and other people who knew / worked with Stephen Strange before his accident. This should be highly unlikely and has rarely been handled properly.

However, because of either, short memories, or writers’ not fully grasping (or most likely not even knowing of) Strange’s true longevity, more often than not, some person(s) from Stephen Strange’s past have made appearances in his modern stories.
Of course, in the earlier stories, the ones penned in the 1960’s, it was still a short enough time between Strange’s apparent birth to the then present-day, so it would not be out of the question for former associates to be found cropping up. That would have to change as the years passed and greater spans of time came between then and “the now”.
Still, the dilemma of Strange’s “official” birth year as being 1930 also presents itself as a problem when looking at the stories that were written in the 1960’s. The problem is: If Strange were born in 1930, then why is he, at the age of merely 30-something, a white-templed mystic, who had studied for years in Tibet, after all the years of medical school and practice?
 The answer is: Lee and Ditko obviously thought he was born much earlier.
Even in Strange’s earliest appearances, it is written that his name, half-believed as myth, half as legend, is “spoken in whispers”. Such a mysterious background would take years to cultivate.

But, for modern chronology, Strange’s accident is now supposed to take place in 1963 (the year of his first published appearance).
Since there was obviously no need for the “10-year sliding scale”, the time-stamp of Doc being born in 1930 only makes sense from the modern era. However, the 1963 accident date, which makes Strange 33 years old at the time, works well enough, it unfortunately truncates Strange’s history and throws a wrench into the wheel of time, since as we discussed just a few paragraphs earlier, the “Lost Generation” stories show Strange as being active as a sorcerer earlier than that.

In one of his earlier forays into Doc’s mythos, Roger Stern makes sure that we know that he believes Strange to be of an earlier pedigree. In Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 56. While seen in flashback, the clothing that is worn by both Strange and the real-estate agent who sells him the Sanctum bears a dated look – to those worn in the 1940’s.
The same scene is expanded in the much more recent; Doctor Strange – From the Marvel Vault # 1, and again, Stern makes sure that the artist draws the clothing as of the 1940’s era.

(Several years ago, I composed a time-line that posited Strange’s birth year as 1900. Obviously, it isn’t official, but it does help to keep a better time-frame for his life and activities. For the edification of anyone who might wish to peruse it, I will add it to the end of this post as a postscript.)

These are characters for whom a “modern” appearance should be highly improbable, if not totally impossible. Most, but not all, are former colleagues; other doctors, with whom Stephen Strange associated.

List of characters:

• DOCTOR BENTON - Doctor (Doctor Strange: Master of Black Magic – # 169 & 175-178)
Benton was a former doctor who worked with Strange prior to Stephen’s accident, and via some unknown barter with Satannish became Asmodeus, leader of the Sons of Satannish. As mentioned above, Benton was written into the mythos while Strange’s history was still of a fairly normal time span.  However, with the sliding 10-year scale in effect, other explanations are required to justify the appearance. Easily, as a powerful sorcerer and mystic, he may have gained some similar slow-aging magic as did Strange, so this one can get a pass (IF some dialogue is ignored).

KENNETH WARD – Philanthropist and explorer (Doctor Strange: Master of Black Magic - 183)
Kenneth Ward was an old friend of Stephen Strange, and although it was never revealed how they met, it was stated that Ward sponsored Stephen’s medical education. That would place Ward as being one of the oldest friends in Stephen’s life. When, many years after Strange became a Master of the Mystic Arts, Ward was made to contact Dr. Strange in order to help battle against the menace of the Undying Ones.
Ward, like Benton above is a by-product of Roy Thomas’ early attempts at expanding and expounding upon Strange’s past. A past that was still a more “recent” vintage than what it has become today.
So, unless it was the Ward family who sponsored Strange’s education, and Kenneth was merely seeking him out as a former beneficiary recipient from an old family trust, or Kenneth was in some way a youthful prodigy at the time of their first meeting, there should be no reasonable explanation for Ward to have still been alive. I can’t even give a nod to the mystic idol of the Undying Ones, which Ward unearthed on one of his expeditions as being a source for magical longevity, since Ward himself stated that he only had it for a matter of days.
Of course, at the time he said this, he was being tortured and under the sway of demons, so perhaps he had lost track of the many years that had passed – as a demon’s prisoner. But, that still doesn’t account for the fact that Strange himself makes no mention of it being more than a matter of years since he has seen Ward. “A seeming lifetime” he states, but not a literal one.

• DOCTOR JAMES WYNTER – Doctor (Giant Size Defenders # 4)
Dr. Wynter was a former colleague and contemporary of Stephen’s during his surgical years. A normal mortal man. With the 10-year sliding scale now in effect, there is no way for him to still be vibrant of heath and skills. Still, this is without accounting for the fact that the story was written in the 1970’s when Strange’s former associates could still reasonably be expected to be active.

• MADELEINE de St. GERMAINE (appearances in Dr Strange v2 # 39, 40, 41 & Man-Thing v2 # 4)
A former love of Stephen’s from his earliest years as a medical resident, Madeleine would need to be portrayed as an older woman, and luckily she is. Perhaps she was not shown to be as aged as she should probably have been, but perhaps she merely looked younger than she truly was. Certainly, it is not polite to ask a woman her true age.
Levity aside, Madeleine has shown to possess latent mystic abilities, so perhaps some manner of magical longevity can be the answer. (See my loves list of Doc’s loves [HERE])


• DOCTOR DARRYL BERENSON - Doctor (Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts – # 76)
Dr. Berenson, like Dr. Wynter was an associate of Strange during the latter’s surgical years, and was also a normal, mortal man. Written and drawn as a middle-aged gentleman, only the fact that he was written into being during the mid-1980’s can possibly excuse his existence.

• DOCTOR ROBINSON – Surgeon (Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts – # 77)
Doctor Robinson’s history is much like that of Berenson and Wynter. A mortal physician. Unfortunately, rendered as looking only early-middle-aged, he appears to young to truly be a former associate. But due to the timeframe, he is the last of those for whom a “modern” appearance would then have been acceptable.

• RANDOM GUY from early in issue (Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts – # 80)
When the comatose form of Stephen Strange is wheeled into the ER, a random guy running alongside the gurney (a doctor?, a reporter?) recognizes him and recounts a truncated version of Doc’s origin (“… a rich Surgeon, went nuts and became a guru or something. He lost a million dollar practice in a car accident and then went to Tibet.”)
This guy only knows of Strange in passing, and as such, could just have possibly read up on Strange’s history as a matter of trivia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem shocked to see such an elderly man (Strange) looking so well (his gaping chest wound notwithstanding).


MARJORIE BRINK - Librarian (Marvel Comics Presents  - # 61 – later seen in Wolverine; Best There Is # 1-12)
A former lover of Stephen’s while in medical school. But, she IS supposedly immortal, so…ok.
(see my loves list of Doc’s loves [HERE])


• AMANDA PAYNE – Single Mother (Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme – # 86)
Supposedly a younger sibling of a former childhood friend of Stephen Strange. She would later turn into a contemporary romance (see my loves list of Doc’s loves [HERE])
This entry is perhaps one of the most troubling and worse instances on the list.
First of all, in Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme: #84,  JM DeMatteis gives the year 1953 for Stephen to be a kid. By doing so, he is trying to make his story’s timeline make sense, but it tosses earlier history out the window. This is all because of the 10-year sliding timescale, with which DeMatteis forgot that Strange need not conform.

In # 86 – Amanda says she and her ex-husband bought Doc’s childhood home from his Dad a few years ago. But Doc’s dad died when Strange was a Doctor (as told in Sorcerer Supreme # 11) – All Wrong!
(In an instance of absolute ignorance to previous canon, writer (otherwise beloved by this blogger) J.M. DeMatteis had conceived of a storyline wherein Stephen’s father was alive (or had recently died) which was to have tied into this arc. This is besides the fact that Strange’s father dying while Stephen was still a greedy Doctor had already been established. Luckily, the planned appearance of the elder Strange was rewritten, and did not come to pass – but not before the cover for that issue was commissioned – showing Strange holding the unmoving form of his father.)

The issue ALSO mentions an “old man Cazakoff” – who was seemingly old when Strange was a boy - who is still alive – “barely”.
It would seem that DeMatteis truly did not get the memo of Strange’s longevity – since he had so many people from Stephen’s young life still among the living.)

• DOCTOR RICHARD YOUNG – PSYCHIATRIST   (X-StatiX Presents: Dead Girl # 1)
Dr. Young is yet another former associate of Strange’s. Dr. Young’s apparent age is in keeping with his name, and as such, is in error.


DOCTOR JONAS HILT – Medical Researcher (Doctor Strange; The Oath # 2)
 Dr. Hilt was a friend of Stephen Strange since Med School, and while he remained a loyal friend all throughout Strange’s life, Jonas, however, was shown having significantly aged! He is elderly when we see him, present day, in the story (but unfortunately, shot dead).


• DOCTOR NICODEMUS WEST – Former Surgeon turned Mystic turned Pharmaceutical Executive (Doctor Strange; The Oath # 2)
Dr. West was the surgeon that first operated on Stephen Strange’s hands after Strange’s car wreck.
But, West, while searching for Strange also found the Ancient One and became a disciple, so he must have learned similar slow-aging magic.



There have been instances where writers have been able to cast knowledge of Strange among Doctors and laymen without resorting to having them ever know him in the past.



DOCTOR SUSAN MONTGOMERY – Ship’s Doctor (Doctor Strange; Master of the Mystic Arts # 58)
Dr. Montgomery is enamored to learn that Stephen IS the same “Dr. Strange” she heard about so much in med school, but she states that he doesn’t look as if he could truly be that old.

DOCTOR KEITH WILMOTT- NeuroSurgeon (Dr. Strange; Flight of Bones # 1)
Dr Wilmott recalls another Doctor named Strange from “years ago”. So, could be in his memory or a memory of general knowledge of Strange’s history. Either way, Strange eases that memory from out of Wilmott’s mind, to ensure his anonymity.


Good writers utilize Strange’s history to better accentuate his history and the fact that he has been Earth’s protector for decades. Even if merely to show that he has been around for longer than most “contemporary” heroes.

While not a prime example, in “The Oath” # 2, Strange tells Night Nurse; “I was roaming the streets of New York City when Spider-Man was still in diapers.”
Spider-Man makes for a poor example because (since due to the sliding scale Peter Parker is a mere 20-something years old) being a city-dweller while Peter Parker was a baby doesn’t truly exemplify Strange’s lifespan.

In Doctor Strange; Sorcerer Supreme: # 72, writer David Quinn has Strange exclaim to an insolent child; “I was Manhattan’s highest paying surgeon when your father was chasing baseballs.”


One way to introduce someone from Strange’s past is to bring them back from the dead. That exhumation is precisely what Matt Fraction performed, albeit by mystic means, in the pages of DEFENDERS v4 # 4.
• MARTHA (last name: Unknown)
Martha was Stephen’s grad-student advisor, when he was a mere Med student. They fell in love, dated and then parted, as she left him for another man. She married, had children, eventually developed ovarian cancer – and died. However, while meditating in front of an arcane mechanism called the Concordance Engine, Doctor Strange’s lonely mind drifted and his desires activated the Concordance Engine which brought Martha back to life – as she was when Stephen Strange knew her as a young adult.
While she grew old and died, Strange went on as his mystically youthful self. Thus when she is resurrected, young again – as she had been – it was the perfect way to revive an old lost love.
(I won’t now go into how the choice of creating a new love out of whole-cloth was a poor decision since there were already previously existing ones to fit the bill. I’ll just point to a blog-post where I did all that – the review of that issue [HERE])

Another way to accurately showcase Strange’s longevity is via an alternate timeline – one where the events of that timeline proceed linearly. Such being the case of the 1998 FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL.
In the story, Doctor Strange, Thor, Wolverine and The Thing are all long-lived near-immortals due to their own unique power sets (mystic, godling, perpetual healer, and no-longer-quite-human).

For more on that story and on the subject as a whole, I discussed Doctor Strange’s immortality in that blog post, and as such have only summarized here, and will direct you there to read that post at your leisure. It can be found [HERE].


Doctor Strange should be as mysterious and timeless
 as the spells he casts... 
...and that is the perfect seque to the next installment of 
" THE 5 FINGERS OF DEATH FOR DOCTOR STRANGE" series.
Come back again for the next entry soon.

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Now, for anyone who cares… I’ll present my personal theorem for Doctor Strange’s timeline wherein I stipulate that his birth year is 1900. Enjoy the nerdity,

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I have found that it makes a little more sense and works much better overall if Doctor Strange were to have been born in 1900 (as opposed to Marvel’s officially-stated 1930).
Here’s how:
1900 – Stephen Strange born to Eugene & Beverly Strange, while the family was away from their Nebraska home and vacationing in Philadelphia, PA.
1917 - Stephen enters college at 17 years old

1921 - Add 4 years to complete undergraduate studies - that brings him to age 21

1925 – then, 4 years in Medical School – at the end of which now age of 25

1926 - 1 year internship – age 26

1927-1932 - Specialized training as a neurosurgeon, which typically takes about six years. He would therefore have entered private practice at about age 32.

1932-1937 – Now a practicing surgeon for ...let's say... 5 years (long enough to have a stellar rise of fame and ability) - leads us to about his driving off the road into a tree at 37.

1937-1939 - Physical therapy for a year (less perhaps) to regain movement and dexterity in shattered hands within the 2 or so years searching for cures and "second" opinions from doctors all around the world. He’s now washed up at 39.

1940 - The decline to derelict vagrant isn't a quick one either.
It would take at least a couple of years to exhaust his wealth in order for him to sink that low, but I’ll attribute that some of that time passed while he was still searching for cures.
40 years old now.

The rumor of "...The Ancient One.." is heard while he’s on the docks, at age 40.

1940 - How long does it take for the "slow boat to China" to arrive?... a few months?
Add some more weeks (possibly months) for hitchhiking and mountain-climbing to find the hidden (and possibly non-existent) temple of the (is he real or isn't he?) "mythical" ANCIENT ONE (you can't imagine his temple is on the tourist map, and the locals probably are wary to point the way (even if they know it) to a foreigner. (Although it is in canon that Strange was able to get a young guide to bring him to the base of the mountain where the lamasery is – as seen in Strange Tales v2 # 5, so perhaps the trip took less time than it might have otherwise.)

So Stephen Strange is probably just about 40-41 when he enters the Ancient One's presence.
This would account for his near-obsessed, raving manner when he feels he's being given the run-around by the aged mystic.

He has lost SO much time! He practically states it in the dialogue.

Anyway, he wandered the temple for weeks-to-months waiting for the snow to melt even before he finally asked to be taught the ways of magic.
So he's CERTAINLY 41 by the time he takes up his lesson books...er...scrolls.

1941-1947 - His teachings lasted about 7 years (a mystical number) which put him at age 47 when he returns to the Western World and buys the house that would be his Sanctum Sanctorum (and thus also missed all of America's involvement in WWII).

1950’s – Strange travels the world meeting other mystics and participating in other adventures (such as with the “First Wave’s” ‘ Black Fox’) and building a mysterious reputation.

1960-something – Wong arrives at the Sanctum.

Anyway, that's why I've always thought of his birth year as being about 1900.
It really gives an accurate timeline with his life's events and the years that they were supposed to have happened.
i.e ; doctoring in the 1930's, becoming a sorcerer in the 40's, getting a reputation for same in the 1950's (so that by the time of the 1960's his is a name mentioned only in whisper).
There ARE other little hints here and there...but they are small and minor. Like DOC's 2nd series, # 56 and Strange’s Marvel Vault issue. Both he and his real estate agent are wearing the styles of the 1940's.
In that issue of "Marvel Vault", Stern has Strange state actual length of years (7 years having passed in his studying with the Ancient One, and once back in the USA, he states it has been 10 years since he tasted beef - ostensibly the time from first departing to search for the Ancient One until his return). 

Wong shows up in the '60's.
In DS:MotMA # 56, the scene where Wong first arrives shows passers-by wearing hippie styles.


So that's how I (after long deliberation and logical thought) have figured it to be.

-          Bear in mind that I make Strange go through his schooling in the typical length of time that is traditionally accepted. Being a driven academic, he may have completed his various terms at high school / college / med school at an accelerated rate. If so, you can certainly shave off a few years here and there.
You could also add a year or two here or there to certain sequences of life events. It still works out quite well.



I hope this proves helpful... and not seen as a "waste of... time."

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Return with us again as next we examine...

 ERROR # 4: “DOCTOR STRANGE HAS ‘MAGIC POWERS’.”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

No, he wouldn't miss World War II: He'd be trying to reach the Ancient One when Japan is already waging war on China and much of Asia. But he was desperate enough I believe he'd try it.
I wasn't sure neurosurgery was even a specialty that early but yes, it was well established. So I think your timeline works well. I'm not as bothered by the discontinuities with people bumping into him--comics are so rife with time glitches like that.
-Fraser

~P~ said...

Gah!
Yes... of course, he wouldn't miss WWII... I was thinking of America's involvement, and thus, his own potential call to fight.

Naturally, it was a "WORLD" War, and you are absolutely correct... he would have been wading into some very hazardous areas, wouldn't he?

Damn... typical American... I wasn't thinking globally.

Thanks for the kick to the noggin.
;-)

Anonymous said...

1)I too was thinking when I read your timeline that he was heading directly into ocupied China, on his "slow boat". While,not at that time at war with the US, the Japanese would not have stopped or arrested him, I doubt they would have let hime travel at will through the country. You might consider that if you update your timeline.
2)Dr. Benton: I don't think it is acceptable to say his mysticism kept him young. The Master of the Mystic Arts with his vast knowledge and experience (heck at this time he had already become the successor of the Ancient One before he came back to life and then took it back--you might go into that sometime since it wasn't very well explained)didn't notice during Dr. Benson's visits that Hey this guy's real young. He must have sold his soul to some cosmic entity like maybe Satannish.
--By the way,how can I sign on as other than anonymous? I don't have any of the chices listed.--

Tony said...

Our timelines are not so different, though mine starts about a decade later. Plus, I roll the "sliding timescale" back into the '60s and '70s, which solves the problem of Strange's old associates popping up periodically.

http://thewastebasket.blogspot.com/2005/01/omu-doctor-strange-year-one.html

I agree with the comment above that it doesn't work to just claim that anybody who dabbles in the mystic arts discovers the secret of anti-aging. That just throws believability out the window. If it were that easy, everybody would do it. (Or maybe they do--maybe that explains why Aunt May and Jarvis never age!)

Paul Smith's art in Doctor Strange v.2 #56 leaves plenty of wiggle room (men wore hats into the 1960s), but seems to suggest that the major events took place in the 1950s. The sportscar Strange is driving here looks like a 1953 Corvette more than anything else. Plus, the guy who says "Dig the crazy threads" when Wong shows up looks more like a Beat than a Hippie, which would place that scene more in the late 1950s. Of course those could be "topical" references, so you can't put too much stock in any single piece of evidence. I've tried to find a timeline that works best overall, including Strange's past associates. (Though I admit I have the luxury of rejecting everything after around 1990, which simplifies matters enormously. I certainly admire your fortitude in trying to reconcile all of Marvel's torturous and contradictory continuity.)

Doctor Strange's history is certainly open to interpretation, but you make some strong arguments.

Neurosurgery was a brand new field in the 1920s, plus the medical profession as a whole was not so codified then as it is now, so that's another way you could shave off a couple years and accelerate Strange's rise to prominence.

I don't really understand why Marvel would lock Strange's birth in 1930, rather than just saying it was 70-75 years ago, since they're so wedded to the idea of a sliding timescale. Not that I care about the "Quesadaverse."

~P~ said...

Thanks for the comments.
I truly appreciate the obvious thought that everyone devotes to their input.

I can't truly argue with any of anyone's personal thoughts on the timeline as it truly COULD be the 1950's that Wong shows up...
those clothes and dialogue indicators do tend to seem more "Beat" than "hip", and a few years to a decade either way really doesn't affect the overall concept that I am trying to parlay.

TONY and I have gone through this before (as anyone who follows his link can readily see). Neither of us really feeling as if ours is "THE" end-all, be-all timeline, but more of a general "Better-than-Marvel's" concept of Doctor Strange's history.

I first attempted this waaaay back on the now long-defunct "Defenders Message Board", which is when Tony and I first had our discussions.

In fact, I had to revisit HIS post to see MY old timeline (which I then tweaked more in keeping with his own, since I found his arguements to be sound).

My own desire for STrange to be born in 1900 is one more of symmetry and a sense that a "turn of the century" birth might be more in keeping with someone bridging the old ways with the new.
And loathe as I am to say it... it DOES match up better with Marvel's "Chosen One" concept than a 1930's birth year.

Another thing I agree with from all the comments (and truly hated using in my post) was the idea that magic users get some sort of slow-aging formula.
I didn't feel it was a good concept, but sadly, Marvel didn't leave much wiggle-room on that, since pretty much everyone of magical heritage that Strange knows seems to resist aging.

Asmodeus sold his soul to Satannish, so THAT one was an easy fix, but many of the others...? How else to explain it.

I just took Occam's Razor to the situation and cut out anything extraneous. Magic = slow aging. Whether is be that by using dark magics one might stave off the APPARENT visible signs of aging - while actually bearing a heavy toll for such usage (KALUU even states this in the STRANGE TALES v2 series), or that often magic might lead study in dimensions where time moves slower than it does here.
At least Tony sets his "ending" for Strange's "real" adventures long before now (it's a great post - go check it out).

http://thewastebasket.blogspot.com/2005/01/omu-doctor-strange-year-one.html

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Oh, and for anyone who wants to sign on as anything other than Anonymous, it's a sad limitation to many blog formats that you need to have at least ONE of the accounts listed in order to do so.
At least a GOOGLE account is easy and requires nothing of you except an email adress - which you could use a specially made Gmail address for that purpose.
Otherwise, even though you might log in as Anonymous, feel free to sign whatever name you wish to the end (or beginning) of your comment.

Thanks!

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