Easter Marvels

Origins Of Marvel Comics Made For Easter Marvels

Ghoul Mourning Maniacs!

It’s almost Easter and I’m organizing some of my collection. I unearthed my copy of “Origins of Marvel Comics” by Stan Lee. As I touched the cover, I was immediately awash in some fun Easter memories from 1977. What’s the connection? Well, read on…

When I was a little monster, my Godmother/Aunt Mary brought me a pad of drawing paper and pastels, with a most amazing book, called “Origins of Marvel Comics” for Easter. This is the first in a series of Marvel Fireside books, which includes “Son of Marvel Origins,” “Bring on the Bad Guys,” “The Superhero Women” and more.
Easter Marvels

“Origins of Marvel Comics” was a great introduction to the first wave of Marvel heroes for a younger reader. The book includes reprints of the Silver Age debuts of The Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk , Doctor Strange and The Mighty Thor. Then, fast forwards to some tasty Bronze Age material.

Read with delight as the FF first gain their cosmic powers and battle Mole Man, to the issue 55 showdown between the Thing and Silver Surfer.

Can the Fantastic Four withstand the might of the Submariner?

The Hulk gets his turn in his first tale and tangle with the Gargoyle. He then goes swimming against Prince Namor, the Sub Mariner in issue 118.

Listen to the Hulk attempt to thwart an assassin!

Swing on a web to Spider-Man’s debut in “Amazing Fantasy” 15, and get a jolt from his battle with the Shocker in Amazing Spider-Man 72. Thor gets introduced in “Journey into Mystery” 83, against Stone Men from Saturn. He comes back in the Bronze Age offering of “The Mighty Thor ” 143. He teams up with Balder the Brave and Lady Sif against the Enchanters! Doctor Strange has his origin laid out for you in “Strange Tales” 115, then POOF! there he is in a strip from 155. The sorcerer didn’t get his own mag until a little later and had to share his first comic book home with Nick Fury. Wonder who the goldbrick was?

This was an “EGG-scelent ” Easter treat, and as you can see from the photo of Aunt Mary and I, I have the book in my grubby little hands! The photo was taken in front of Grandma Kaizer’s house and there are many more photos like it of my sisters and I, our cousins and more. It was an Easter family tradition to go to Grandma’s where she cooked her “Dupa”and Babushka off and fed the waves of family all day on Easter Sunday. All the Polish food you could think of. Grandpa would play jazz on the piano and smoke cigars. Then, we’d head outside and pose at that exact same spot for photos. That tradition carried on for at least three or four decades and Easter Sunday at Grandma’s was always a great time and now a great memory.

I Hope Peter Cottontail brings you chocolate and something to make you say, ” EGGcelsior!!”

(Apologies to Stan Lee).

Strange - Blu Ray

Embrace The Strange With Dr. Strange On Blu-Ray!

When it comes to the many comic book heroes and villians that Marvel Comics have produced over the years. Dr. Strange is certainly one of my favorite characters. I think that is pretty evident in the light of how many Super Blog Team-Up articles I’ve written over the years.
Strange

But what makes Dr. Strange such a personal favorite of mine? My go to answer is that he is a deeply flawed character. This is evident in the works of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee back in 1963, with the origin story in issue Strange Tales #115. Which as a matter of fact was his fourth appearance in the comic series.

Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon. Earning large sums of money for his skills and combined with his equally impressive egotism – frequently turned a blind eye to the needy.
Strange

Stephen Strange learns how the other shoe fits when he loses control of his car and crashes. While his life is indeed saved, his hands are ruined and his career as a surgeon is over. Strange’s ego refuses to let himself give up on the notion his hands might be fixed. Burning through his resources, chasing down any procedure that might heal him. To no avail. Which eventually leads him to travel to Tibet where he becomes the pupil to the Ancient One.
Strange - The Ancient One

All things considered while on the negative side, Stephen can’t repair his hands. On the positive side however he does replace the Ancient One, donning the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. Becoming Dr. Strange – the Sorcerer Supreme!

This origin of course is more or less covered in the excellent 2016 film adaptation of Dr. Strange. Which is available right this second on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere. With the movie debuting on Blu-Ray this coming Tuesday the 28th.
Strange - Blu Ray

For Marvel Studios first foray into the magic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe they chose their cast wisely. I mean can you truly say that Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t the perfect choice to play Dr. Strange?
Dr. Strange

Coupled with that you have the acting talents of the likes of Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Tilda Swinton (Adaptation.), Benedict Wong (The Martian) and of course Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale)!

Dr. Strange manages to blend humor, thrills, and more importantly – delivers on the psychedelic visuals of the original comic books. All the while opening the Marvel Cinematic Universe wider – ushering in the supernatural elements present in the comics.

Of course Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray manages to pack in the bonus extras:

  • A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
  • Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambition, imaginative films ever.
  • The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
  • Across Time and Space – Explore the endless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
  • The Score-cerer Supreme – Join composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
  • Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including MARVEL STUDIOS’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, THOR: RAGNAROK, BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.
  • Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
  • Audio commentary with Scott Derrickson.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • And Gag Reel

[Via] Disney Movies Anywhere

So forget everything you think you know and pick up Dr. Strange on Blu-Ray this Tuesday!

[Via] Marvel Entertainment

The Incredible Hulk

Retro Records: The Incredible Hulk (The Assassin)

The Incredible Hulk was a pretty big deal in 1978. The first season of the popular CBS television series had already aired. With Bill Bixby as Dr. David Bruce Banner and Lou Ferirgno portraying the Jade Giant. As a matter of fact the live-action show spawned a syndicated newspaper comic strip. In addition the strip was at the beginning of it’s run written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Larry Lieber. Which most of you might know is in fact Lee’s younger brother!

Image courtesy of the Big Glee! Blog.

Image courtesy of the Big Glee! Blog.

With ‘Ol Jade Jaws growing popularity thanks to the TV show it of course made sense to merchandise. In this case the myriad products that The Incredible Hulk spawned included clothing, bedding, toys, and records. More importantly in the case of Retro Records it allowed Peter Pan records to produce this 1978 album. Featuring four short stories of the adventures of everyone’s favorite gamma-irradiated rage monster.

Don’t feel too bad for that particular Ursus arctos, friends. I’m sure it can…bear it. Zing! Don’t forget to tip the wait staff and I look forward to seeing you for the next show.

Ahem.

The four stories on the LP were Black Chasm, Blind Alley, Monster From the Deep, and The Assassin. Which is the story we are sharing today. In it David Banner, using the name David Benson, hitchhikes into the small town of Pine Knot. Where a political rally is underway for Bob Hyatt, a man who promises to eradicated the underhandedness and corruption of the local politician. Someone obviously disagrees with this campaign promise as an assassin tries to silence Hyatt – permanently. David finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and faces the brutality of Chief Dunphy. Can Banner clear his name of the wrongful accusation of being the assassin? Or will Dunphy and the town of Pine Knot face the fury of The Incredible Hulk?
Hulk

Find out for yourself as you listen to The Assassin!

[Via] Doctor Del

A big thanks to the Big Glee! blog for the newspaper strip art used at the top of the post.

Now why don’t you listen to Stan Lee talk about The Incredible Hulk TV series?

[Via] TV Legends

You still want more info on that classic television show? You are totally in luck as that is the subject matter of Episode 073 of the Retroist Podcast !
Incroyable Hulk

Super-Blog Team Up: The Other Dr. Strange Film

Like a mystic summons to Dr. Strange the call has been sent out. Once again it is time for the myriad blogs relating to comics to join forces. The Super-Blog Team Up is here to educate and entertain the masses. This go around the subject is…Magic!

Dr. Strange is set to hit theaters this Friday, November 4th. For the most part it is Marvel’s salvo in opening wide the doors of a barrier they have kept closed. Chiefly the realms of Magic and their practitioners in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I realize that without having seen Dr. Strange for myself yet – my statement might be incorrect. They may in fact present a different way to look at magic from the comic books. For one thing, I would point out they followed that very path in Thor from 2011.

[Via] Marvel Grimm Girl

However if Marvel is indeed delivering movie goers their first glimpse of how magic works. I think they totally have chosen the right character to help make those introductions. Namely Dr. Stephen Victor Strange…the Sorcerer Supreme!
Dr. Strange

I am willing to bet honest money that Benedict Cumberbatch will be absolutely smashing as Stephen Strange. By and large I do realize that is a given. I also know it’s not a great secret but we shouldn’t forget that Benedict is not the first actor to portray Strange in a live action film.
Dr. Strange - TV Guide

How Peter Hooten became Dr. Strange!


In 1978, thanks to the popularity of CBS’ The Incredible Hulk television series. Producer Philip DeGuere was given the go ahead to create a TV movie pilot for the Sorcerer Supreme. I think it’s pretty evident that DeGuere was a fan of the character as he wrote and directed the film.
strange-tales-110-dr-strange

Of course he based the premise on the character created by Stan Lee and artist extraordinaire Steve Ditko. Strange made his first appearance fittingly enough in Strange Tales #110 which was published in July of 1963. In fact Lee has gone on record giving the lion’s share of credit to Strange’s creation to Ditko. However the writer has also pointed out the character’s flowery speech was due to the early 30s old time radio series Chandu the Magician.

Not to mention that Stan Lee served as a consultant on the 1978 film.

So what is the movie about?


In a nutshell the 1978 Dr. Strange introduces our protagonist who is now a successful psychiatrist instead of a surgeon. Strange (Peter Hooten) finds his world-view expanded when he becomes embroiled in ages old battle between good and evil. The Nameless One has tasked Morgan Le Fay (Jessica Walters) to destroy the current Sorcerer Supreme, Lindmer (John Mills). To accomplish this Morgan possesses Clea Lake (Eddie Benton) who attacks Lindmer but is unsuccessful in her attempt to kill the older man. Being Sorcerer Supreme has its advantages to be sure – not the least being able to call on his good friend and aide Wong (Clyde Kusatsu) to help heal him.

Clea though is having horrible psychic trauma from having been possessed. Which is how she becomes a patient to Dr. Stephen Strange. Lindmer contacts the young man and gives rather cryptic advice that medicine along won’t be able to cure Clea. Having exhausted all of his talents he decides to pat a visit to Lindmer. Which is how Strange learns he is destined to protect the Earth from numerous threats originating from places of darkness.

[Via] Video Detective

So how did the pilot do in the ratings?


I hate to say that it didn’t do well. At all. Perhaps the re-runs of the hugely popular Roots mini-series on ABC had something to do with it. At the same time the audiences of the day probably weren’t ready for the subject matter of Dr. Strange. Which is truly a shame because while it most certainly has that 70’s cheese it is well acted, well written, and quite frankly a lot of fun.

I might be in the minority with that viewpoint but at least you can find out for yourself. As it was released on DVD the other day – from our friends at Shout! Factory.
shout-factory-dr-strange
I want to point out that the release has been remastered from the original film elements!

By the eye of Agamotto! Make sure to check out the other SBTU contributors as well!

LongBox Graveyard: Doctor Strange vs. Dracula
DC In The 80s: Examining The Immortal Doctor Fate (1985)
Between The Pages: The Wondrous Worlds of Doctor Strange
Crapbox Son Of Cthulhu: The Makings of a Sorcerer Supreme: Optimism and Sacrifice
The Daily Rios: Amalgam Dr Fate / Dr Strange
Chris Is On Infinite Earths Blog: Batman Visits the Sanctum Sanctorum
The Unspoken Decade: Nighttime Sunburn: Rise Of The Midnight Sons
Coffee and Comics Blog: Review: Doctor Strange #84
The Superhero Satellite: Strange Magic

Stan Lee: Master of the Universe

Standor

Please forgive my tardiness with this post as it is probably old news to many of you. I just discovered today that Stan Lee, the big man at Marvel, has been turned into an Eternian called, wait for it, STANDOR!

The Masters of the Universe line of toys has seen a lot of unusual creations but surely this is one of the strangest? Standor, Cosmic Creator of Power, is actually referred to on the packaging as one of “the great Gods of the multiverse” who helped to bring all life to the universe. So there you have it.

Standor

I can’t say that this is a figure that I’d want to own but I do find it interesting that Stan Lee should be involved with MOTU at a time when DC has such close ties to the series. For more information, take a look at Comics Alliance and The Fwoosh.

And because the internet is awesome, artist jaeTanaka over at deviantArt has created this awesome first issue comic cover!

Standor Comic

Behold the power of infinite imagination!