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Essential Doctor Strange, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) Paperback – July 23, 2008

16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (July 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785133070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785133070
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Stan Lee is a man who needs no introduction. Nevertheless: Having begun his career with wartime Timely Comics and staying the course throughout the Atlas era, Stan the Man made comic-book history with Fantastic Four #1, harbinger of a bold new perspective in story writing that endures to this day. With some of the industry's greatest artists, he introduced hero after hero in Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, X-Men and more -- forming a shared universe for rival publishers to measure themselves against. After an almost literal lifetime of writing and editing, Lee entered new entertainment fields and earned Marvel one opportunity after another. He remains one of Marvel's best-known public representatives.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By shaxper on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Chances are, you already realize that there are sacrifices involved with reading Essential editions. Lack of color and the absence of letter columns and bullpen editorials are the kinds of things you're no doubt willing to trade for an inexpensive reprint volume. However, having read this entire run in its original form, I can tell you that something far bigger has been lost in this particular translation to the trade paperback format. In most cases with Marvel Essentials, it makes no difference where the original stories came from. However, when it comes to the early Doctor Strange stories, you absolutely cannot ignore their original context.

When Doctor Strange first began as a backup feature in Strange Tales, the title was utterly direction-less. The Human Torch, which had recently become the magazine's primary feature, had little to do with either the magazine's title or Doctor Strange. They were two seemingly unrelated features thrown together into one arbitrary magazine, and reading the two, back to back each month, was jarring. They had entirely unrelated moods, themes, concepts, and characterizations. Looking at Doctor Strange's first twenty four appearances, all paired with The Human Torch, the original context of the magazine seems entirely irrelevant and unimportant for this reprint edition.

However, a fundamental shift occurred with Strange Tales #135. Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. replaced the Human Torch as the magazine's primary feature. At first glance, this ongoing feature seemed just as jarring and unrelated to Doctor Strange as its predecessor, but there was a subtle genius at play with the pairing of these two features. To begin with, both features explored the opposite ends of the spectrum of "Strange Tales.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Noga on May 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Plenty has been said about the good Doctor, and I only have a bit to add myself. He's a fun part of the Marvel 60's scene and his books are worth reading just for that reason alone. There was a freshness and sense of inovation to Marvel's yarns from that era that you just can't find anywhere else. These books are a little like taking a vacation to a different time.
But Dr. Strange is also an interesting character. Some of my friends have compared him to the Green Arrow, saying that he solves his problems with a convenient spell rather than a wacky trick arrow. Sometimes that's true, and for much the same reason. Strange's early stories were not very long and sometimes a quick resolution was necessary. bu that's for the individual story,sometimes. If you read them together, even over time, you get a better picture of the stories. They are almost operatic in scale, definitley every issue is part of an unfolding epic. It was uncommon back then for story arcs to stretch out over many issues, bu that's what Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did with Dr. Strange. He is locked in deadly battle with arch-nemisis Baron Mordo(often the catspaw of the Dread Dormammu)for quite a few issues. He battles Dormammu's more lethal sister, Umar as the Earth trembles,and loses the love of his life, the fair Clea. Strange watches as power mad Dormammu later defies Eternity, the Embodiment of All Existence. Stepehn Strange even finds himself desperately spell-casting against the Living Tribunal. The stories all have a sweeping scope to them, and in some ways Dr. Strange seems like a more mystical version of the Silver Surfer. Philosophical, deep, brooding characters, one is wed to science and one to sorcery. But there are small moments too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Picardfan007 on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Since the early sixties, artists and writers attempt to dulicate the style and class of Steve Ditko's version. In this inexpensive volume, you can experience the entire run of Dr. Strange through Steve Ditko's vision. Dan Akins and Bill (Sub-Mariner creator)Everett; attmept to fill the gap left with mixed results. If you love the sixties era of Marvel, this book is a must buy.

Steve's cartoon style was distinct. No one could duplicate it. Many illustrators used a realistic illustration style. It didn't work in the universe Ditko established.

Since Ditko's departure; the title went by the wayside of many of the horror magazines. Dr. Strange would make a good TV series or movie; if the producers removed the blue tights from the character. If you look at Charmed or Buffy on the airwaves, Dr. Strange could be just as contemporary and entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tovelle Mckiver on March 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
Essential Doctor Strange, Volume 1 (Marvel Essentials) is a wonderful comic book. Doctor Strange is a master of the mystic arts and encounters many mythical adventures. The stories featuring Dr. Strange offer stories with lots of adventure, excitement and entertainment. The illustrations are wonderful. I fully recommend Doctor Strange!
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By F. W. Hill on July 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
The main attraction of this collection is Ditko's art & stories. The best was the ongoing conflict involving Dormammu and Baron Mordo, wherein Dr. Strange really had to learn rely on himself, as the Ancient One was in a coma for most of the run, and to use his wits, even when his hands and lips were immobilized so he couldn't weave his typical magic spells. In the earliest stories, Dr. Strange is still clearly a student, very adept but still occasionally needing assistance from his teacher. However, by the end of Ditko' run, Dr. Strange has become a more confident and responsible man, just as Spider-Man grew from a shallow, irresponsible youth, inclined to quit when the going seemed to tough, as after his initial encounter with Dr. Octopus, into a wiser young hero who wouldn't give up no matter how difficult the odds seemed, as in the classic issue #33.
I love Stan's wit and I'm not inclined to jump on the bandwagon claiming his input on his collaborations with Ditko & Kirby was very limited. However, the decline in the quality of both story and art is very pronounced after Ditko left. Bill Everett, his immediate successor as artist, was one of the best from the dawn of superhero comics, but his work just pales in comparison to Ditko's surreal expressionism and Lee seems at a bit of a loss at coming up with really compelling tales for the good Doctor. The Living Tribunal story didn't really work well as L.T. seemed to have a programming error forcing him to talk overly long (even by the standards of would-be world destroyers) about what it was going to do rather than actually doing anything. Of course, this was just the sort of cliche Alan Moore spun on its head in Watchmen ("I already did it 30 minutes ago.
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