Monday, August 17, 2009

Titans Three & more!
This week's Auctions!
An Idol Pursuits / 6-Dimensions of Dr. Strange entry.

While busily working, scanning in some (hopefully) truly cool items, for a big upcoming blog post, it came time for yet another batch of collector's items to leave my possession to go
UP FOR SALE on the eBay!.

So, allow me the opportunity to showcase a few items that WERE a part of my collection, but are now, available to YOU
(auctions ending Sunday, 08-23-09).

As with ALL of my posts, clicking pics make them larger for easier viewing.

First up... a trio of some items that I bought new in 1996 - 1997:

Marvel Comic Book Heroes
Pewter statuettes.

Limited edition, Pewter statues highlighting characters from the
GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE ages of comics.



In nifty windowed display box, complete with replica comic of a 1940's era issue.

(Certificate of Authenticity)

The Incredible HULK

(Complete with Certificate of Authenticity)
and a crazy-low production number:
N - 046


* Seriously, how stupid was it for them NOT to have made
the SILVER Surfer as a SILVER Age item?
I mean, REALLY?

(The Surfer has been bequeathed to a very close friend who is a big Surfer fan and thus, is not available.)


The reason I even HAVE these three statuettes is that when they were released (1996 - 1997), the line was in it's infancy, and I was hoping that if there was enough support for the product, that eventually DOCTOR STRANGE would receive similar treatment.

Yet one in a long line of such pie-in-the-sky hopes wherein I put my money on the line for a dream.

Sadly, the line was eventually discontinued and these items vanished into the realm of rare collectible.

Still, these three ARE indeed founding members of the DEFENDERS.
Ostensibly, starting the line-up by first forming as the TITANS THREE in two issues of NAMOR's old mag (Sub-Mariner 35 & 36).
It was their earlier teaming, that led Namor to suggest these fellow heroes as allies when Dr. Strange first sought to form the team that would be known as the Defenders.


However, fret not, I put a Dr. Strange item up for auction as well. If for no other reason than to make the Defenders motif complete (in MY mind, anyway).

Marvel Legends DR STRANGE figure
mint in pack.


Let's see... what else did I have added to the auctions?
Ah... as I started digging out old Action Figures to go up for sale in the next few weeks, I came across the

X-MEN : Evolution

Truthfully, there really is no true tie for why this was in my collection.
I DO have a few Nightcrawler figures, purchased over the years, but that is merely because he (and Cyclops) has always been my favorite X-Man.
There IS a small link between Nightcrawler and Doctor Strange, but mostly stemming from Uncanny X-Men Annual # 4, where the X-Men have Strange guide them into a replica of Dante's Inferno to rescue Kurt Wagner's soul from Margali Szardos.

However, this incarnation of Nightcrawler is from the fairly well done animated series; X-Men Evolution. All in all, not a bad series, really, and a hip, teen-age looking version of my favorite blue mutant.

That's about it for this week.
There are a LOT more items being prepped for next week.


OH, I guess I'll plug a few non-comic items that are up there as well:

Woodstock - Yasgur's Farm - A Day In The Garden

These are items that my wife obtained when she was working as an organizer at one of the concerts being held 10 years ago, during the 30th Anniversary of Woodstock, being held on Max Yasgur's farm (the site of the Original Woodstock festival).
We were living fairly close by to the site at the time.

These were only available AT the 30th Anniversary concerts on the Yasgur's Farm site.
To that end, they are indeed a small piece of Woodstock history, of a sort.

There are a bunch of them up for sale (or Best Offer). They're not on auction. Just a straight up deal.

So, celebrate the 40th Anniversary with your very own (because I can guarantee you, we're not holding onto these for another ten years).

Yes... there IS a Dr. Strange link there too, but I'll get to the Woodstock / Strange stuff eventually.
(It's more a Haight Ashbury link anyway, but Woodstock does factor in as well.)


Thanks for indulging my sales pitch here.

Those are the items up for auction this week.
Remember, the link for eBay sales is on the right side of the blog on the sidebar.
But what the heck...for your convenience
HERE is the link to these eBay auctions.

I'll have the next installment (featuring some interesting Dr Strange goodness) on the blog as soon as I can scan all the original artwork in.

Original Artwork? Hmmmmmmmm...... curious.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strange as it may seem...
deja Voodoo?
150th Post!

Three bits of exciting news.
(one a month old, one brand new and one...well... self-aggrandizing)

First up...
This is my 150th POST!
(Really not a lot to crow about. I'd have hit this mark LONG before now, but well... y'know.)

I also had wanted to have something more splendiferous stand as my 150th post, but this news isn't so bad, really.

I'll get the other really good stuff up here soon enough though.

Anyway, back to the comic news:

First, I'm sure you've heard by now about the new series featuring BROTHER VOODOO; (aka the NEW Sorcerer Supreme)?

(I LOVE this variant cover - an homage to Doctor Strange # 1)


A supposedly ONGOING series
Penciled by JEFTE PALO

I don't know a heck of a lot about it, except that the big magical dangers that the Ancient One and the Eye of Agamotto were expecting is upon us and only Jericho Drumm can seemingly stop it.

I'm looking forward to reading it.
I've always been a big Brother Voodoo fan, and frankly a change of pace around the Magical corners of the MU is refreshing now and again.


Now, the NEW news...

The announcement of DOCTOR STRANGE's new mini-series has been made.

(Very cool looking cover. Very "Marvel Tarot"-esque)

STRANGE #1 (of 4)

All I know is what's been written about it before and in some interviews with the creative team.
Basically, Stephen Strange is no longer Sorcerer Supreme, he's having a hard time performing ANY major magic at all these days, and he's on some kind of road trip of sorts trying to sort things out.

Here's the solicit for the first issue:

Written by MARK WAID
Penciled by EMMA RIOS
Covers by TOMM COKER
No longer Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, Stephen Strange must discover a new path to fulfillment and enlightenment. Unfortunately, that path leads through a bizarre, terrifying gauntlet of magical menaces--and if the former Master of the Mystic Arts is going to survive the journey, he'll need some assistance--in the form of a brand-new student!

So... we'll see what's up with that.
Frankly, I'm in no frame of mind to be guessing the identities of students and whatnot.
I have my ideas, but frankly, I'm content to just sit back and read this as it's fed to me this time around.

With any luck, it'll be an enjoyable chapter in the life of Stephen Strange.

How long has it been since we could say THAT?

Monday, August 10, 2009

You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means.
or "Ultimate" Marvel? Really??

Not that this is a new thought to ANYONE, by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems to me that MARVEL really doesn't know what the word "ULTIMATE" really means.

It's like the scenes from The Princess Bride (sorry, I never read the book - I only have the movie to reference here) where Vizzini keeps using the word; "Inconceivable", and Inigo Montoya finally replies; "You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means."

Such has been my state of thinking with pretty much ANYTHING from the Ultimate Marvel Universe.

I don't want to be one of those comic fans / readers / bloggers who does nothing but complain about what I'm reading.
Honestly, that's not me (usually).

More often than not, I'll be the one guy who LIKES the stuff that others think is crappy.
I've always been that way.

MAN-THING was / is one of my all-time favorite titles / characters!

The "B"-side of most old 45-rpm singles usually caught my interest far more than the hit release "A" side.
(Those who have never seen/played a 45-rpm single have NO idea what the hell I'm talking about here. Damn kids.)

Heck, when I was following sports (as a lad, in the 1970's,) I was a NY METS fan!
(even though I've long since given up on caring about sports, I always feel the pain when the METS choke midway thru the season... it's hard not to care about someone you once loved.)

So, please understand that when I loathe something, it's only because I can find NO redeeming qualities to it. NONE. NOONKA. NADA. ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH.

*NOTE: Some MAJOR SPOILERS are in this post for anyone who hasn't yet read the Ultimatum storyline or the first issue of
Ultimate FF. Requiem.
(lookin' at YOU "waiting for the trade" guys out there).
This is your ONLY warning.*

Such is my loathing for the ULTIMATE "Ultimatum" storyline and it's fallout.
(bear in mind I'm only referring to the STORY. The ART on most of those issues was some truly good stuff. I mean... the rendition of how the Blob was cannibalizing the Wasp was sublime. Dr. Strange's head popping like a zit? Exquisite. Louvre-worthy.)

However, as a Doctor Strange fan - which means that I even have to check in on the post death situation of "Ultimate" Dr. Strange (remember that part where I mention loving stuff that most people don't?) I felt that I should check in on the follow-up wrap-up events in the subsequent "Requiem" storylines.

Thus, I read Ultimate Fantastic Four ; Requiem # 1.

The issue is written by Joe Pokaski, pencilled by Robert Adkins, with inks by Marc Morales & colors by Guru FX.

Let me first state that the artwork & coloring on the issue is quite good. No problems there.
Now, I know nothing of Pokaski, and he might be an otherwise fine writer, as the majority of the issue seems fairly well penned... BUT... the major story beats can't possibly be all his doing, as the Ultimatum event was written and arranged by Jeph Loeb.

So, I can only feel it safe to guess that Loeb set up much of what I found objectionable in this issue that expounds upon the story of "Ultimate Dormammu" and the death of "Ultimate" Dr. Strange Jr, and just how Johnny (Human Torch) Storm found his way into a magic amulet around Dormammu's neck.

First up, how does Johnny GET to the Dark Dimension (or should it be "Ultimate Dark Dimension" - as anyone who read my write up on the events of Stephen Strange Jr's demise [HERE] knows, I brought up the question of how an alternate DIMENSIONAL entity could be affected by an alternate universe / Earth - shouldn't dimensions be beyond the physical plane of universes and earths? But I digress..)?

Turns out, that after the destructive tidal wave destroyed much of NYC, Johnny is screaming at the heavens (and, directing his speech at the physical Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor). Here's what happens next.

The Statue comes to life, speaks in an outragious French accent (that should come from a helmeted man atop a turreted castle - just before a cow is launched at invaders) and EATS the Human Torch, thus passing him through a dimensional portal to the Dark Dimension.

"I faart in your generaaal direction!
Your mozzer waz a hamster and your fazzer smelt of elderberries."

I can't believe anyone thought of that and didn't immediately dismiss it is lame.
After Ghostbusters II, I thought it was obvious that animating the Statue of Liberty is just a poor idea.

Here, Loeb (c'mon... it HAD to be his idea) has Pokaski write that Dormammu enchanted the statue in order to suck down powerful energies to funnel them into his home turf.
But, the statue isn't ambulatory. So, it had to either "eat" the energies in a manner like a bottom feeding fish - just waiting for things to make their way into it's mouth - or, like in this case, actually LAND on it and wait to be ingested.

To make matters worse, Dormammu's dialogue patterns are just poor attempts at... well... pretty much everything; braggadoccio, humor, evil snappy patter, spoken words, writing...etc...

Here's how he introduces the arrival of Johnny.

Dormammu makes a "Poop" joke!

How much better would a "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!" have been?
(OK. He probably wouldn't know the reference(s), but still.)

Beyond that, a POOP joke?
And... he actually says "POOPED"!?!?
It's hard to take a demonic overlord seriously, when they won't even say a word as harsh as "Crap", as in; "Look what that power-constipated city just CRAPPED out!".
But instead, the man with the flaming head says "poop".
I'm suddenly filled with the urge to leave him on my neighbor's doorstep, ring the bell and run.

Now, I won't go into Johnny's situation too much.
Basically, the Human Torch is kept as a prisoner and Dormy is sucking down his energies like a smoothie.

When he's good and full, Dormammu says he has an appointment to see a Doctor (Yes... Strange. C'mon... he knows what a doctor's appointment is, but never saw Johnny Carson or "The Shining"? bah).

I won't show the replay of the death of Stephen Strange Jr. (really, it's just a minorly redrawn version found in my previous write-up [again...HERE]), but immediately after Strange is turned to human bean curd, the THING and Sue (Invisible Girl) Storm show up and proceed to

Actually, it isn't even the THING who does it. He's fighting the grunt demons.
Sue (with an assist from Johnny) snuff Dormammu like a candle in a jar.

One more time;
Sorcerer who is supposedly TRAINED for such an event (well... barely, but he IS a mystic hero fighting a mystic threat): Killed without effort.

Two "regularly powered" heroes: SNUFF. DORMAMMU.

And this is why guys like neilalien and I sigh a lot.
Our mantra is; "It's so hard at times to be a Dr. Strange fan", and it's shit like THIS that does it.

Yes, Ben. So much needless death. Most of it of former LEGENDS by hacks!

The only possible silver lining here is just who the hell is "Ultimate Dormammu" if he looks like a skinny angsty twenty-something when he's not all godly?

Another possible clue (although, it could just be bad-writing) is that as soon as Sue shows up and starts insulting Dormammu with snappy patter (y'know... before she wrecks him)... she does the invisible act and Dormammu seems to have no way to know where she is.

"Which way did she go, George? Which way did she go?"

And to top it off, Johnny just calls him "dude".

No mystical senses that allow him to be able to "see what is unseen" or sense her human taint.... nope. She might as well have stayed visible and just put her hands in front of her face like a toddler saying "You can't see me!" (which is supposedly the first magic trick a young-PTOR performed as a toddler. Thank you. Thank you very much).

The rest of the issue deals with other events in the lives of the U.F.F. and the Dormammu / punk isn't seen again.

However, I'd imagine that this isn't the last the Ultimate Universe has seen of him OR of Dr. Strange (as seen - yup... one more time... [HERE]).

I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad about that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

She Casts a Hex of Sex!

I will readily admit to a nerd crush of sorts to the Marvel Comic's character; Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a.; the SCARLET WITCH.
Long have I held that she would be a far more favorable love-interest for Doctor Strange than Clea.

Perhaps, that's just my own love of redheads coming into play, but that's neither here nor there.

I have many representations of the Scarlet Witch in my Sanctum-collection; be they action figures, busts, statues (sadly, the Bowen statue that I had ordered years ago was shorted to my dealer and I never got that one) as well as posters, 7-11 tumblers and, of course - comics.

However, there is a limit to how far I will carry my geek/nerd love of this fictional character...

and Sideshow Collectibles has reached it.

A new "comiquette" (comic book maquette) based on the mutant mistress of mysticism is lovely at first glance...

but only gets a bit creepier as you take a closer look.

Uh... what?

While this isn't the FIRST time that a female comic book character has been tarted up to the extreme, usually such representations are strictly within the realm of fan-fic fan-art and commission requests.

John Byrne is rolling over in his grave.
(Having always held that Wanda wasn't overtly sexual, I'm sure Byrne died of an aneurysm when he saw this!)

Yes. Japan HAS recently released some sexually charged versions of the Scarlet Witch, but hell... it's JAPAN! They have been doing that sort of over-the-top sexual sublimation shtick practically forever.

This, however, is the first Officially licenced such piece of girlfriend-substitution of Wanda Maximoff (that I know of anyway).

At $205.00 US it's not too bad in the cost department, unlike the $500.00 MAN-THING comiquette that I blogged about last month [HERE].

But, while I am a MUCH bigger fan of MAN-THING, and I swore off that item due to the extreme nature of the PRICE, in this instance, I will not be ordering the Scarlet Witch comiquette because... well... LOOK at it.

With her being more well-endowed than she's EVER been portrayed in the comics, and obviously enjoying controlling the "boy toy" of her life (the VISION) with a joystick, no less...
my wife will wonder what the hell is wrong with ME should I think of putting this on display.

(And for you single guys out there - the hetero ones anyway - this probably won't win you any points with the GF any time soon... y'know... unless she's into this sort of thing.
In which case... congratulations on that!)

But, even if I weren't thinking of how my significant other would see this thing, just by my OWN standards... it's a bit much.

For the REST of those out there... thinking of buying this... think of poor VISION!
Oh, the pain and indignity of it all.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Voodoo, Villains, Valkyrie & Visible Astral Forms - NEW TOYS!

Y'know... while I was going thru my "Sanctum collection" looking at all the cool swag (hoping that I won't have to sell it all off one day soon) I made a vow that some of the things that I absolutely WILL KEEP are some of the various action figures of my favorite characters.

They're small enough to be kept on a bookshelf or computer desk, portable and fairly impervious to harm - should I need to toss them in a box for awhile for any reason.

But also, they're also a relatively inexpensive way to have 3-dimensional representations of my comic-book faves in my possession.

But, I also knew that it would be something that I could keep up with (barring any exclusive and/or unreleased bullshit like the BLACK BOLT figure that was to have come out last year).

I STILL need this one to finish my "ILLUMINATI" set.
It was only available in Canada and the Singapore, but has FINALLY made it to the USA.
Now, I just have to FIND one.

However, a few NEW pieces of MARVEL plastic love were unveiled by HASBRO at the 2009 SDCC (San Diego ComicCon) recently.
A few of which have been in the works for a few years, and two which were on my mind a lot as of late...

Allow me to showcase those select FEW items here, as they relate to my "6-dimensions" philosophy.

First up is...


Whether you call him BROTHER VOODOO or DOCTOR VOODOO he is still a very cool character - one long held in a good place in my head and heart - and LONG overdue for a figure.
This is to be a MARVEL LEGENDS figure (single packed) as far as I can tell.
While I know that the new 3.5 inch Marvel Universe figures are all the rage as of late, I still like my action figures to be a bit bigger. The 6 inch Legends figures more than fit that bill.

Another new "Legend" (and he is EVERYWHERE in the comics the past few years) is...


It must have been a no-brainer to have him (and Voodoo) made into figures this year, with the whole "Next Socrerer Supreme" storyline going on in the New Avengers title.
Aside from that, HOOD has been in practically every Marvel title for the past few years, and his exposure is only getting MORE extreme.

However, it makes me wonder WHY there is no DORMAMMU figure to be released.
THAT seems like it should be a done deal.
He would make a great build-a-figure", but Hasbro has stated that they have stopped the B.A.F. program, due to budgetary constraints.

One other figure to be released (and one that had been rumored for several years) is...


Arguably THE most steadfast member of the DEFENDERS (actually being in more issues than any of the founding 4 members), she is to be released later this year.
(Not to jinx the deal, but it is also rumored that NIGHTHAWK is to be made into a figure not too long thereafter.)

There are also to be versions of Nighthawk and Gargoyle, along with Hulk and Silver Surfer to be released in the next year as a 4-piece set entitled; "Super Teams: The Defenders"as a part of the booming "Super Hero Squad" series.

Speaking of the SUPER HERO SQUAD figures, at long last the
"Secret Invasion Begins - Illuminati" set is to be released this year.

Skrull Soldier, Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Dr. Strange (Astral Form)

Does this mean I have to go get the Black Bolt S.H.Squad figure?
(I already have Namor)

Primarily, I'm only truly interested in the Astral Form figure of Doctor Strange, but if I DO see a Black Bolt (and maybe Gladiator version of Hulk) I may seek to complete that set.
The Astral Doc is just a redo of his previously released "regular" Squad figure, just molded in clear blueish plastic.

One thing I DO know is quite cool is the new PLAYSETS that are being released.

Check out CASTLE DOOM!

How is this NOT fabulous?

Hopefully, there will be a bit more substance to it, but even still... it's pretty neat.

Now, if things go well enough, and Doctor Strange regains the title of Sorcerer Supreme in some big crossover "event", how awesome would it be to have a playset of the Sanctum Sanctorum?

You KNOW that I'll need one!

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Together again"
(ok. not really)

Sorry for the stupid title for this post, but honestly, I couldn't think of anything else.

The reason for it, is that in WIZARD # 215 (September 2009) has DOCTOR STRANGE on the "artist jam" cover *...

featuring - left to right:
(top row) Tony Harris' DR. STRANGE, Marc Silvestri's CAPTAIN AMERICA, Lee Bermejo's WOLVERINE,
(bottom row) Art Adams' THING, Phil Jimenez' SPIDER-MAN & J. Scott Campbell's IRON MAN

And behind that cover is a 5-page article featuring 1970's - 1980's Marvel go-to-guy writer; BILL MANTLO.

Within the article, entitled; "Tragic Talent", written by Christopher Lawrence, is info on the creator, who had suffered brain trauma from a hit-and-run driver, and among his many works was; ROM: SPACEKNIGHT.

The article also features a few illos of ROM.
The double-page spread header for the piece is a bold and colorful piece by Greg Horn.

illo by Greg Horn
ROM is at the top left corner.

One more is in a blurb box, and features artwork by Michael Golden, taken from the cover to ROM # 9.

With quotes and comments by many fellow creators in the comics' field, including; Keith Giffen, Mike Mignola, Carl Potts, Walt Simonson, Roger Stern, and ROM-editor Al Milgrom, the article gives a basic overview of Mantlo's carreers as a comic writer - and later, when he left comics, as a criminal defense attourney.
It also details information of the tragic 1992 accident that lay him low to where he has required constant medical care ever since.

I'm not a consistent buyer of Wizard (haven't bought an issue an ages), but with Doctor Strange on the cover * and Bill Mantlo article with ROM inside, this one was impossible to pass up.

* For the first time since Wizard Magazine #42 (March 1995), Dr. Strange has made the cover! For those who don't recall... #42 had two covers, each with fold-out triptych Alex Ross paintings:
One of Marvel Superheroes & one of the Villains (Dormammu included).



However, the only way to SEE Strange (or Dormammu) was when you folded out the cover to see the whole
image. At least THIS time, Strange is on the front cover!

Unfortunately, Dr. Strange does not appear anywhere INSIDE the issue.
There are minor mentions, however.
In "70 Marvelous Moments"; a tribute to Marvel's 70th anniversary,
# 24 "Steve Ditko Disappears" is the only mention of Strange.

Also in the issue, Strange Tales #110 is listed as one of the 11 "key"
issues in Marvel history.
But WE already knew that.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A "Magic" of Video post

Working on blog posts (bizarrely, I have even LESS free time now that I am "between gigs" than I did when I was working full-time... go figure) but I just wanted to share THIS:

PLANET HULK Animated feature.
(Doc and Illuminati shown in that ubiquitous "we're sorry" scene at start of clip)

Premering on DVD and blu-ray
February 2010

Looks pretty good thus far!

Dormammu featured in:
Animated series
A "Magic" of Video post
DR STRANGE is to be featured TOO!


My first impression (based on the video teaser - as well as the unfunny "comic" strips) is that this will suck ass... but it IS Dormammu in a new animated series on Cartoon Network.

It seems Dr. Strange is ALSO to be featured in at least one episode.
And, Baron Mordo also.
*Info added at end of post.*

Based on the ass-tacular "Super Hero Squad" mini comics from Marvel (which are far inferior to the old "Mini Marvels / Bullpen Bits" strips), Dormammu (voiced by famed horror-actor; Robert Englund) is a featured baddie.

I WILL admit, that the TOYS are pretty cool though.
Here's the site for all things "Squad"

SO GLAD Doc isn't part of this trainwreck! *
Silver Surfer looks pretty good though.


It seems I spoke too soon.
According to Comics Continuum & Cartoon Network press releases about the show, DOCTOR STRANGE (to be voiced by Roger Rose) (and Baron Mordo - voiced by Dave Boat) are also to be featured.
That makes sense, I guess, since Strange DOES have a couple of "Squad" figures.
Mordo doesn't as of yet. Nor does Dormammu.
That may change soon enough.
VALYRIE (Michelle Trachtenberg) ALSO seems be on the list to be featured!
As is - 'natch - DR. DOOM (Charlie Adler) !

While I was hoping to avoid this cartoon, it looks like I'll, at least, have to catch a few episodes.

Truthfully, take a look at THIS image of a strange "evil" cityscape.

The design is AWESOME!
Perhaps, this might not be as bad as my "Spidey-Sense" is indicating?
I'll have to wait and see.
For show information check THIS out.
For full voice-over casting info, look HERE.

* UPDATED INFO * with VIDEO and pics of DR STRANGE and MORE in a new post [HERE].