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Non-Superman Diversion...Dr. Strange!

Entry posted by tomo · - 467 views

Aside from The Avengers, there is one Marvel title that I still collect, and that is Dr. Strange!

I'm an old school D&D player from back in the day (started playing in 1982), and among my friends, no one ever wanted to play the Magic-User character.  That usually left me to play that character class by default as I was the only one who didn't mind the inherent weakness at the beginning.  So naturally, when I started reading comics I found myself gravitating to the magic side of the universe.

His original self-titled series had just about ended right when I started reading comics, so it would be a few years before I really became a fan of the character with the Sorcerer Supreme title that started up in '88.  I finished up the volume one run in the early to mid '90's with no problem, as most of those issue were pretty cheap and readily available.

I never really went any earlier than that until recently, however, as my collecting focus drifted a bit as the '90's went on.  I've since started filling out those runs, but it's moving at a snail's pace.  I'm not holding out for pristine copies at this point, so I pick up nice looking beaters as they present themselves.  I had the opportunity to pick up a Strange Tales #110 last year, but there was someone who wanted it more than me at the auction who was willing to pay above current market value.  This was also about 6 months before the movie, so the price was already inflated.

Dr. Strange is also the only Marvel title that I still currently read on a monthly basis.  Marvel pretty much killed whatever interest I had left in continuing to follow their universe with Civil War and the advent of the $4 comic book.  I still refuse to pay $4 for a new book, so it's a good thing discounted mail order services are a thing.

Enough words, let's look at some kickass covers.

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Strange Tales #150 from November 1966 has one of my favorite covers by Bill Everett.

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You gotta love that classic 1960's stance from Dan Adkins on Strange Tales #160 from September 1967.

My copy of Dr. Strange #169 from June 1968, featuring the first solo title for the doctor came rather recently, well after the price for these jumped dramatically.  My copy only cost me $20, and it looks it!

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It actually presents well for a $20 book, but it does have this arts and crafts project happening on the inside...

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It looks like the original owner had carefully clipped this picture of Dr. Strange from out of the letters column in the back and put it in a scrap book of some kind.  You can see where the adhesive he/she used discolored the corners of the picture.  I'm fascinated that they then carefully taped the picture back into the book, albeit without the missing right hand side margin.  That just makes me appreciate this copy even more, after getting a glimpse of how well loved this book was back in the day!

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I could look at Frank Brunner Dr. Strange covers all day long, and the cover for Dr. Strange #1 from June 1974 is one of his best.  I picked this copy up at the Motor City Comic-Con in the mid-to-late 90's for a ten spot, and it was the last issue that I needed to complete the run.

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Brunner doesn't get much better than this, with the cover for Dr. Strange #4 from October 1974.  It's too bad he didn't have a longer run on this title, but I treasure these and the Marvel Premiere issues just the same.

Gene Colan was a good follow up to Brunner, and had some killer covers himself.  The cover for Dr. Strange #14 from May 1976 is probably my favorite.

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Probably my favorite Dr. Strange artist of all time is Jackson "Butch" Guice, as his run is the one that I started reading Dr. Strange with, so I'm sure it has that emotional attachment going for it.  He had a nice, long 20-some issue run with Roy Thomas that pretty much turned me into a lifelong Dr. Strange fan.  Plus, he had some great covers himself...

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I'm sure the fact that he also drew a fine looking female form didn't hurt either!

 


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