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Brian K. Vaughan is the Eisner Award-winning writer of Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA, RUNAWAYS, and PRIDE OF BAGHDAD. His newest work, with artist/co-creator Fiona Staples, is SAGA, an ongoing sci-fi/fantasy series from Image Comics that The Onion's A.V. Club called, "the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make." Vaughan lives in Los Angeles, where he works as a writer and producer on various film and tv projects, including three seasons on the hit series LOST.
Wonderful blend of Doctor Strange's early medical career/Hippocratic Oath with his magical destiny as the Sorceror Supreme. 'The Oath' was so engaging that I believe that it could make for a great animated DVD. I was very impressed with Brian K. Vaughan's writing. Since this is my first exposure to him, I will definitely try out some of his other projects. Hope he does another Doctor Strange mini... or better yet, and ongoing series!
Dr Strange discovers an elixir than can cure every disease known to man. But when a pharmaceutical company attempts to steal the magic potion, all but a drop is destroyed, leaving Strange with an ethical dilemma: should he fulfill his Hippocratic Oath by using the remaining drop to manufacture more, or administer the drop to a dear friend under immediate threat of death from a crippling brain tumor.
Under less capable hands, the story might have been a dour fable of friendship and the greater good dressed up in pseudo-Eastern mysticism. Writer Brian K. Vaughan, though, has tongue firmly planted in cheek, spicing up a fairly mediocre story with some wonderful one-liners. Brought into an emergency medical clinic after having been shot, Strange goes through an abbreviated version of his origin story, revealing himself as the Sorcerer Supreme, to which the attending physician reacts: "You're serious? You call yourself the "Sorcerer Supreme"? And you say you _used_ to be arrogant?" When Strange observes that the physician has an unusually strong interest in superheroes, she replies in reference to Strange's servant Wong: "I'm not sure anyone with his personal slave boy should be talking about other people's fetishes." Later Strange recites from a book of incantations a spell written in Latin and ending with - "Abracadabra." And these examples are just a few of the gags found in the first chapter alone.
This book reprints all five issues first published in booklet form in 2006 and features the art of Marcos Martin, a man who obviously enjoyed reading the early Dr Strange stories. In many of Strange's poses, in the framing and layout of panels, and in his depiction of the spirit worlds, Marcos lovingly evokes the charm of Steve Ditko.Read more ›
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Dr. Strange used to be a fairly prominent superhero - not one of the "greats" like Spider-Man, but a reasonably popular, second-rung guy. Alas, in recent years, Strange's star has faded; he used to have a regular monthly comic, but lately he's been reduced to appearing in other people's comics and the occasional mini-series, like "The Oath."
To me, this is a sad state of affairs, because I think Strange is by far the most interesting superhero of all. Unlike his brawny brethren, Strange does not rely on brute force to save the day, and instead defeats far more powerful foes through clever uses of magic. Strange also inhabits a totally unique universe, inspired by psychedelia and the works of Salvador Dalí. In short, the dude is an original, miles apart from the typical superhero who beats up thugs in dark alleys.
But, for whatever reason, Marvel Comics does not know what to do with Dr. Strange. Many Marvel writers today seem to think that Strange is overpowered, with ill-defined abilities, and they joke about his allegedly effeminate costume and uncool personality. I disagree on virtually all counts - Strange's magical abilities (and limits) were clearly defined by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and the character certainly has the potential to be considered cool (and popular) in the era of Harry Potter.
"The Oath" was an honest attempt to recast Dr. Strange as a "cool" character, with the help of a suitably trendy writer, Brian K. Vaughan. The results, to me, are mixed. Vaughan clearly respects some aspects of the Dr.Read more ›
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I have not been an avid reader of Doctor Strange, but when I saw that Brian K. Vaughn was behind this project, I HAD to pick it up!
The Oath is a wonderful play on Doctor Strange's Hippocratic oath as a Doctor and the oath made to protect those around him.
The pacing of this book is fun and it's a great introductory read for this character. Funny, Good Action, and cool plot twists in this one! No prior knowledge is needed and the story wraps up really nicely. So if you're just looking for your one and only Doctor Strange book to check out, The Oath is the way to go.
As other fans of the good Doctor have pointed out, he's a character that Marvel hasn't known what to do with since the early 90s. "The Oath" was perhaps the most notable attempt to "redefine" the character in the last decade, but it does so primarily by trying to disparage rather than reinterpret the character. The story glosses over and makes fun of Strange's strengths as a fantastical hero with the ability to leave the grim cityscape so many countless others are grounded in. All while trying to make his personality more macho instead of enlightened. The basic idea behind the premise could have been interesting, the conflict of Stephen Strange the physician and man of science vs. the master of the mystic arts, and the ways each side of Strange should uphold their respective pledges to help humanity. But the possibilities of that premise are wasted here in favor of cracking jokes about Strange's supposed over-poweredness (he casually refers to an off-screen battle with an alien entity we only see the start of as the greatest struggle he's ever had) and swearing at seeing robots. He certainly doesn't act like the Stephen Strange who saw the beginning of the world and at one point saw what he thought was its death and rebirth. When you've spent years traveling to many dimensions which have no sense of causality to their geometry to battle malignant ancient gods, unexpectedly running into some robots seems like an odd time to start dropping f-bombs.Read more ›
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