Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Strange Clothes Make the Man... STRANGE

For those who recall the advanced look at the cover to the upcoming DEFENDERS # 1, as previewed during the San Diego Comic-Con (as I blogged about [HERE]), there was a fleeting glimpse of a NEW COSTUME for DOCTOR STRANGE...

As seen here in a cover by Terry Dodson, Strange has donned scarlet gauntlets and a new red and black color scheme for his costume.

Eager to see any new renderings of this new sorcerer's garb, I was intrigued by the appearance of a gauntleted Stephen Strange in NEW AVENGERS v2 ANNUAL # 1.

 From NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL v2 # 1, as drawn by Gabrielle Dell’Otto, Strange has incorporated some kind of gauntlets into his apparel. 

Are they some kind of power-enhanced mystical items? Something to help counter-act the damage to Doctor Strange's hands (something with which only Brian Bendis continually hinders the character.)? Or perhaps just some sweet bling for Strange to use to look awesome?

Whatever their usage, these gauntlets look similar to a never-used-but-for-covers-and-a-cool-promo-image costume also designed by Gabrielle Dell’Otto. If only Dell'Otto was able to incorporate more of this fabulous design into the new look.

But now, there are two new previews from Marvel's December 2011 solicitations that show Doctor Strange's new uniform complete.

The first, by Leniel Yu, is the cover to DEFENDERS : STRANGE HEROES # 1, a Marvel Handbook style biography volume that details the whereabouts of most of the major players in the Defenders' history.

And the second, a new variant for DEFENDERS # 1 by Terry Dodson.

Personally, while I LOVE Doctor Strange's classic garb, designed by Steve Ditko, and seen in over 40 years of appearances, he hasn't worn it in the past few years.

Instead, after losing the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme he has been seen wearing plain clothes of a brown trench coat and a black turtleneck sweater, with either black slacks or khakis.

But now, since he is to be a headliner in at least one new title (DEFENDERS) while also putting in double duty as an AVENGER, and with a motion picture being hammered out, it would seem that Marvel is ready to put some flash into their Master of the Mystic Arts.

However, with a look that appears more Matador than Mystic, I have to ask:
If clothes make the man, then what do these new duds make of Doctor Strange?


H said...

My suspicion on the gauntlets is that this is going to be a more physical Strange -- more form-fitting all over, and the top looks like it might be armored. The cape/longcoat is now just a short drape in the back which can still billow around but won't get in the way.

They never do agree on his body type, do they?

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

that's so awesome! not just the Torpedo appearance in that group shot for that Defenders "where are they now" hand book cover but also that Dr. Strange illustration just above it. the intensisty in his posture as well as the mystical energy discharge makes the dark side lighting used by Sith lords look like a common static shock. thanks for the heads up on this Defenders book i just took a quick look online but i can't seem to find a release date. i'm not crazy about the black costume by the way.

Anonymous said...

Leniel Yu's and Terry Dodson's costumes seem to be slightly different. Yu's has a square tail and Dodson's has what would be known on a lounge suit as a cuttaway. Yu's sash belt seems to be tucked out of the way, while Dodsons not only hangs down in front, but also when it's not flying out sideways, seems to be of a foot tripping length. And finally Yu has strange with bare hands while Dodson's version has covered hands. I do hope those aren't gauntlets on Dodson's. As Terry Dodson is drawing the comic his version will be the standard one.


Lee K. Seitz said...

Strange, Shmange. It's the Torpedo!!!


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

cmon now Lee don't go dissin the good Dr. in his own Sanctum. i'm gonna make a run to my local shop today so i'll probably ask about this book but does anybody have any info. on when it comes out? i'm not 100% sure i'll buy it but i at least want to have a look at it when it hits the shelves. a man has to pick his books carefully these days when it comes to Marvel cause unlike DC they haven't drawn the line at $2.99. i'm still sore from having taken it from Marvel for four months with the Annihilators mini-series. $5 for a book that had a bigger back story which i hated and gave me only 20 pgs of what i wanted to read freakin sucked! by the way ~P~ i included something about this on my most recent post on the ROM blog and made a link to this posting.

H said...

At least he's got his 'devil' symbol back. Maybe it's a sign he's working his way back towards the office of Sorcerer Supreme.

And...ah... *cough* who's Torpedo?

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

he's the blue guy with the red visor at the top of the preview art for the cover to DEFENDERS: STRANGE HEROES # 1. even though he first appeared in the Marvel Universe the before the ROM spaceknight series he would be best known for having been ROM's unofficial side kick. after having been a regular character in ROM for about two years he was eventually killed by ROM's arch enemies the Dire Wraiths. he was struck in the back of the head by a barbed tongue which penetrated his skull and literally sucked had his brains out. not a good way to go. i recently blogged about him as it turns out so here's my shameless plug: http://romspaceknightart.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Even though I prefer his to Yu's, Dodson's version of Doctor strange's costume doesn't seem fully resolved. His sash belt seems to have three ends, the third being just under his buckle. Unless it's part of his deamon symbol. But if it is, it must be in the form of a tag as it goes past the 'cuttaway'. Unless it's a short stripe on the top of his pants, either way the whole effect isn't a very elegant piece of design. Dodson's Strange has bare hands in his first cover and gloves in his second variant. So he's probably still working this through.

Personally I don't like the red, I'd rather see those parts a light steely blue.
Over all, I think I prefer the version he had in that BKV mini with Night Nurse.
While we're about it, what happened to Strange's cloak?


~P~ said...

I, too, am happy to see the return of the "demon" insignia, and RED is perfectly fine color for it (there IS a good basis for it being red, as I wrote about in an old post - oddly enough, that was in one of my entries for my t-shirt collection - here:


Check it out.)

As for the Dodson -vs- Yu art differences, I too am concerned.
I prefer it to be gauntlets without gloves, and a tame sash.

I'm also not really all that thrilled with the long tails look of Doc's topcoat.
He looks a bit to much like Captain Nemo for my tastes.

Dodson seems to be trying a few different things., but I hope he doesn't go too far from the specs and then every other artist also screws it up.

As for TORPEDO, yeah, I alerted some of my fellow ROM SPACEKNIGHT fans to the existence of his portrayal on that Defenders Handbook and they are all stoked.

As one of the three cornerstones of my love of comics anything pertaining to ROM is welcome on this blog!

~P~ said...

Oh, and Steven.
I too liked the look from BKV's mini (The Oath).
It was classy looking, with touches of Doc's old look with an overall style of plain clothes.
Best of all possible worlds.

The Cloak of Levitation was last seen in Doctor Voodoo's sanctum. Now, it is probably back at Strange's, being cared for until a successor is found.

But, I do get the feeling that Marvel would rather it went away, since capes seem to be passe' and especially with a movie in the works... unless you're Superman or Batman, a cape is unessessary.

Mario Di Giacomo said...

My problem is that he doesn't look like a sorcerer anymore. Looking at all those pics, I see the same basic idea. Repeat after me, children:

"...the cool magician with kung-fu skills."

Seriously. He looks more like a martial artist than Danny does.

Arachne Solara said...

Just some random comments...

I've decided that, based on these covers, I'm not really crazy about the new costume look. It makes the Doc look like a ninja swashbuckler. :-(

Still, hopefully the new storylines will make up for the rather cheesy costume. I guess the old 70's "yoga tights" look wouldn't play well to modern audiences.

The gauntlets the Doc was sporting in NA Annual, I'm sure, are some of the weapons made by Tony Stark during Fear Itself, as part of the upcoming "the Mighty" epilogue arc, and we're getting a little preview there. Presumably, they won't be permanently bestowed upon him, either, since they aren't present in the "future" costume sketches.

As to the Cloak of Levitation...Wasn't Voodoo wearing it when Agamotto vaped him in NA 06? I thought it was destroyed with Voodoo, and that there is no more office of the Sorcerer Supreme now that the Vishanti are apparently disbanded and at war with each other. I thought dissolving the Sorcerer Supreme function in the MU was the whole point of that whole first arc of NA Volume 2.

Also, I wonder if Strange's crippled hands (more recently re-injured by the Hulk in WWH) will just be ignored or retconned away by writers, or dealt with in some way by coming events.

Mario Di Giacomo said...

Maybe the gauntlets are to restore his hands?

Looking at the Dodson cover, I wonder if the "gloves" are a coloring error? If the hands were flesh-toned, the rest looks similar.

I also wonder if the red coloring was inspired by "Flight Of Bones", more than Doc Magus....

Anonymous said...

Arachne as far as I know, I don't think Dr Voodoo ever wore the Cloak of Levitation. He just wore some other red cloak instead.


Anonymous said...

Mario, I've seen a larger blow-up of both Dodson's versions in one, he has visible fingernails, in the other glove seams on the sides of the fingers and some other detailing on the inside base of his right thumb.


Arachne Solara said...

Anonymous Steven,

How did Voodoo fly if not with the Cloak? I don't recall that flight was ever one of his powers prior to him becoming SS.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how Voodoo flew without the Cloak. Heh, it's just magic, heh... no?

OK, if we don't want to blame the writers, artists and editors, then maybe it was the Cloak of Levitation Voodoo was wearing and the Cloak has the power to dramatically change it's collar and detailing.

Except that I seem to recall that one of the artists showed the Cloak standing in a corner either when Voodoo was wearing the other one or already dead. I can't remember which. Maybe Sanctum can help out here.


~P~ said...

Brother/ Doctor VOODOO has NEVER worn the Cloak of Levitation (in an in-continuity tale, although he DID wear it in a What-If? issue).

To be honest, I don't recall him doing any actual FLYING.

Although, I'll confess that he may have and I forgot about it.

If anyone is referring to "flight" in another dimension, like when he went up against "Agamotto", I don't think other dimensions have the same restrictions of gravity and/or difficulty translating "levitation" (an ability which a Master mystic does possess) into "flight".

However, I DO know that the new bag of tricks that Voodoo possesses include the STAFF of LEGBA.
That wooden stick with the shrunken heads on it.

With that, Voodoo is able to summon all sorts of assistance from the Loa and other spirits.
I believe flight may be one of them.

I'll dig through his appearances for a reference, but I'll bet one American Dollar that I am correct.

As for the whereabouts of the CLOAK...
it was last seen, unused, standing in the corner of Voodoo's magical retreat; his "HounFour" (and NOT his "Sanctum Sanctorum" as Bendis constantly erroneously referred to it).

It can be found in a scan from THIS old post HERE:



~P~ said...

OK. I just re-read the DOCTOR VOODOO mini AND all 6 issues of NEW AVENGERS v2, as well as the arc of New Avengers v1 when Voodoo gets the Eye (well... looked at all the pages and only read the pages with Voodoo on them - and a few Spider-Man quips. I DO like Bendis' writing of 616 Spider-Man).

Doctor Voodoo does not fly.

He levitates a bit.
Jumps around A LOT.
Teleports via dimensional openings and smoke.

But no terrestrial flying.

He DOES FLY around a lot in OTHER dimensions.
And the ONLY time he is seen doing flying on Earth is when it is overrun by NIGHTMARE and the basic rules that seem to govern the planet are voided by the unreality of Nightmare's hold.

It would also seem that some writers (and readers) MAY not know that Voodoo isn't wearing the Cloak of Levitation, when he is seen wearing a similar red cloak.
I was almost fooled at first as well (in the last few issues of N.A. when he first gets the Sorcerer Supreme gig, he showed up in the red cloak and I just assumed that it was being drawn incorrectly - as happens more often than I'd like).

If anyone can point to a specific issue where he does fly - ON EARTH - let me know and i'll take a look.

But, I'll say he hasn't, and if he did, it's due to the Staff of Legba.

Now, THAT all said, it isn't as if Doctor Strange or Voodoo CAN NOT fly without the cloak.
Strange has been seen to do some minor flight and levitation without it. It's just that the strain of doing so makes it hard to do much else.

Recall how many times we've seen Strange levitating in the Lotus position while meditating in his Sanctum.

Many times, without the cloak. Or it was somewhere in the background.

In the graphic novel Triumph & Torment, he levitates in his sleep and says that he hadn't done so since he was a novice.

So, flight may be possible, but it's a real bitch to pull it off for long.

Thanks for all the comments, gang.

I've got more in store.
Just little time.

Drat it all.

~P~ said...

Arachne (and others),

I don't think that the gauntlets that Strange is wearing for DEFENDERS are from Tony Stark.

At least, inasmuch as they are not shown on that "THE MIGHTY" promo with all the other glowing swag.

Doc gets the Staff with the Caduceus (the two snakes entwined on a stick with wings).

Interestingly, the Caduceus was a magic wand of the Greek god Hermes (Roman Mercury), messenger of the gods, inventor of (magical) incantations.

DOCTOR's and MEDICINAL organizations, usually use the "correct" and traditional symbol of medicine, the staff of Asclepius, with a single serpent encircling a staff, classically a rough-hewn knotty tree limb. Asclepius was an ancient greek physician deified as the god of medicine.

But anyway, those gauntlets...? I know they're a design holdover from artist Del'Otto (as shown in the above post) and I guess something he wanted to incorporate into Doc's new look (or maybe an Editor liked them from Del'Otto's prior work and wanted them, even though the rest of the uber-cool warrior-sorcerer armored garb was nixed.

Not sure WHERE they will come from, but they aren't shown as any of the items that ODIN blesses in FEAR ITSELF # 6.

My guess? Marvel is going to give Doc an artifact or two (as it seems that part of the "new magic' revolves around magical items).
It may be to help "heal" Doc's "damaged hands" (which STILL drives me nuts, since it was his ASTRAL body that was attacked and not his physical one - during the "World War Hulk". But, hey. That's an old gripe.)

Anyway, all i can say is, I really DON'T know anything for sure, so I'll have to wait and see.

~P~ said...

Oh, and I, too, prefer them with NO GLOVES.

Just the gauntlets.

Wearing gloves with little ridges on them (as shown on the alternate cover to Defenders # 1) looks lame.

Just my 2cents.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the time spent fact checking. (I feel a pang of guilt about that) As I didn't preorder I only have the first two issues of Voodoo as the store stopped stocking it.


Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

thanks for leaving a comment albeit a bit of a pessimistic one. i was browsing through some back issue today and i saw Defenders #62. i know your not suppose to open up the plastic bags with out permission but i did so anyways. so indeed The Torpedo is in it but it's only for a handful of panels and he doesn't get much to say. but the issue ends with them about to ambush the HULK. i imagine there's a little more going on in that one especially since The Torpedo is on the cover.

Anonymous said...

I've been playing around in photoshop with Dodson's redesign of Strange's costume. removing gauntlets, adding spit cuff sleeves, making boot tops trouser cuffs; all well and good and improvements in my eyes at least. But I'm definitely having problems with the sash belt. remove it and his coat looks too much like a frock. If I shorten the coat to his waist with an inch or so of looseness it looks OK... except it reminds me of something.....Dam! it looks like he's wearing modern biker leathers!

One thing that's struck me, is that his sash belt in the past served a purpose of holding his loose top down in movement. Now it's just a piece of decoration.


~P~ said...

In an earlier comment, I pasted a link to an old post that showed a valid reason for the new "demon" design being colored red, and meant to ALSO link to THIS ONE as well.


In it is a look at the Doctor Strange red "demon" redesign from the 1998 "Flight of Bones" series.
Feel free to check that out too.

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