Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dr. Strange: My Hero, My Self.

I didn’t really give much thought to Dr. Strange as a character until I turned 40. Back in the day, that of my High School days I was Captain America in the re-written World of Marvel we were doing. At the time I superficially identified with hum because I was on delayed entry for Naval service. That was it. It was the only connection I had to the character.

Having crossed over into my early winter as a full on costumer, I started looking or characters that were older. Besides portraying the Grandfather of any chosen anime character my options were pretty limited. Dr. Strange stood out though. The more I read about him the more I started looking at myself.

Short version of the similarities between the two of us. We were both at the top of our professions and we knew it. Then there was our falls from grace. We had to learn who we were beneath the ego, either to embrace it, or to change it. We both hooked up with a hottie, and we both grew distant from her. We are both currently looking at our lives once again and figuring out what we are going to do.

Marvel comics have take Dr. Strange on a long and twisted journey and now there is a new four part series concerning his adventures. He is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme having experienced another lapse in judgment and fall from grace. And he is no longer a doctor. He is just Stephen. Turns out in issue 1 of 4 he likes baseball! Amazing how I have nothing to do with the way his story is written that the similarities between us continue.

This series simply titled “Strange” starts as he is picking up the pieces of his life and moving on. Naturally he is a skilled practitioner of the mystical arts, but not THE practitioner. Stephen goes to a ball game and what at first appears that he is there to enjoy the game until the reveal. The game is cursed and possessed form beings of the mystical planes. The price the Yonkers Larks will pay is their souls if the lose the game.

He saves the game, and as it turns out everyone in the stadium, by playing ball himself. He is at the game in street clothes and not his normal colorful attire, but the artists have made a nice nod to his costume by keeping the colors of the Larks jerseys the red and yellow scheme o his Cloak of Levitation. A jersey Stephen is wearing to the park.

The battle scene between the Larks and the demonic possessed visiting team is brilliantly rendered psychodelia that we are accustomed to. In the end he may not be saving the entire world from the grander forces of the ethereal world, but he is saving a small part of it from something more intimate. You get the sense in the last panels that he is satisfied.

Steve… we are going to be alright.

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