By Mike Federali
With so many rumors about a live action Doctor Strange movie how isn't there an All-New All-Different Doctor Strange book on the shelves? The last great Doctor Strange story I read was The Oath by Brian K. Vaughn and that came out in '07 and that's just too long, especially with so many heroes getting their own solo titles. Cyclops is going to be in how many books?! It's time for the Sorcerer Supreme to get a major comeback and bring some crazy black magic back to the Marvel Universe. What could Marvel do to get the readers on board?
Let Strange Be Strange
Ok, I took that from the West Wing, but the greatest thing about Doctor Strange used to be that it was unlike any other book out there. That was in great part due to Steve Ditko's acid-trip imagery. No one wants to see Dr. Strange in Avenger's mansion eating lunch. No offense, Bendis. We want to see Strange bouncing between psychedelic dimensions and ghostly astral planes!
The Hell You Say!
Hellboy has been a fan favorite for 20 years now and has dabbled in magic and horror from day one. Even though Strange has been around since '63 and it feels a little weird to say it, Make Doctor Strange the Hellboy of Marvel! Let him take on EVERY type of evil magic out there from lowly little demons in the sewers to giant Lovecraftian monsters trying to crush his Sanctum Sanctorum with a bajillion tentacles.
Side Note: Go check out Mignola's awesome work on Doctor Strange/Doctor Doom Triumph and Torment. Worth every penny.
The Old Ass Elephant in the Room
Let's face it. Doctor Strange is old. Wong has got to be up there too. A lot of readers just don't connect with the guy. You COULD kill off Wong and have a new, young character join the book. See the wild world of Strange through her eyes. OR, what if Doctor Strange came under a crazy spell by the Ancient One that was doing a Benjamin Button on him? And when it's all done he's still got the goatee but it just a wee bit younger.
Revive the Rogues!
Get some true talents on board and bring back all the weirdest characters in the Doctor Strange sandbox that have sadly found their way to the "Where are they now" files. Show us Mephisto by Jae Lee, The Mindless Ones by Marcos Martin (with his Steve Ditko inspired art) or the down right insanity that would be Chris Bachalo drawing Shuma-Gorath! No matter how I type that my spell check goes off. A true sign of evil I think.
Midnight Sons Revisited?
No? How can you not like Ghost Rider, Blade, Morbius and six other guys whose names no one remembers fighting that villain that looked like Pinhead's older sister. It was Scissorhead, right? Wait. Lilith! A terrible villain for a terrible team with a terrible name.
With the new Ghost Rider out there it's a good opportunity to cross over and meet up with Doctor Strange, Magik (X-men), Wiccan (Young Avengers and the new Ghost Rider and take on a Marvel Zombie Baron Mordo! Zombies are still popular, right?)
Doctor Strange could be the Prof. X to these young magic heroes. TO ME MY STRANGE MEN!!
A Little Marketing Magic
Lastly, Marvel's one word teasers were great for piquing interest. But STRANGE would be too obvious. How about a little throw back to the 2008 presidential campaign with this little gem? Special thanks to the uber-talented Christopher Cho for making this image for me.