Doctor Strange conjures a magical vision of familiar Marvel superheroics

Review by Curt Holman

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel Studios

The movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe follow the same narrative patterns so faithfully, they resemble paint-by-numbers kits. Fortunately for Doctor Strange, the series’ 14th entry, it’s as if the painter were a mad genius in psychedelic colors, tricks of perspective and black light effects. As an introduction to Marvel’s master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange falls back on some familiar character tropes but delivers a dazzling vision of a magical multiverse, taking the images of the original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics books and running with them. Continue reading

Posted in Movie Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 20 – The Doctor Strange Episode

strange-115In this magical episode, Curt and Kevin trek to the furthest reaches of India en route to the dreaded Dark Dimension as they prepare for the upcoming Doctor Strange movie with not one, not two, but three sizzling tales of ’60s sorcery featuring Marvel Comics’ Master of Mystic Arts!

First, we revisit the origin of comicdom’s Sorcerer Supreme, as arrogant surgeon Stephen Strange meets his mentor-to-be, The Ancient One, and his nemesis-in-waiting, the malicious Baron Mordo, in Strange Tales #115! Then it’s off to an otherdimensional netherworld as Strange battles to protect the Earth from the menace of the dread Dormammu, in Strange Tales #126-127! Finally, it’s trouble times two as Mordo and Dormammu team up against the good doctor for a three-part mini-epic in Strange Tales #139-141!

Will the devious dean of the Dark Dimension and his contemptuous colleague banish our dashing doctor to the domain of doom? Or can Marvel’s fearless physician save the day and levitate to that hoary host of heroic stories known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Shot – YUGE! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump

yugeIn this HUGE mini-episode, Curt and Kevin take a break from passing judgment on comic book stories and turn their attention to the upcoming presidential election with a QUALITY discussion of YUGE! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, a collection of Doonesbury comic strips by Garry Trudeau.

Things Discussed in This Episode: The difficulty of the Doonesbury elevator pitch; Trump’s changing appearance in the strip over the decades; and Curt’s plea for Trudeau to return to daily strips.

(Things not discussed in this episode include the now-infamous Donald Trump/Billy Bush video, which was released after this episode was recorded. SAD!).

You know what’s not sad? The Comics Canon returns in one short week! We prepare ourselves for the upcoming release of Doctor Strange with a look at the Sorcerer Supreme’s early days via Strange Tales #115, 126-127, and 139-141.

Until then, we want to hear from YOU, dear listeners! Review us on iTunes! Send us an email! Or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook! We’ll read your comments in a future episode, and you may even win a prize from the Comics Canon Prize Vault! And as always, thanks for listening!

Posted in One Shot | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Episode 19 – Groot and … Jimmy Olsen?

tta13In this monsterrific episode, Curt and Kevin embark on their most spine-tingling, bone-chilling installment yet, as they investigate not one but two monster tales from comicdom’s king of creepy-crawly creatures, Jack Kirby!

First, it’s a trip to Anytown, USA, where a mild-mannered biologist must match wits with an interplanetary tyrant of the trees (and future Guardian of the Galaxy) in “I Challenged … Groot! The Monster From Planet X!” from Tales to Astonish #13, published by Marvel Comics!

Then it’s off to the mysterious Wild Area, as the Man of Steel and his best buddy go toe-to-toe with a Four-Armed Terror and a very familiar-looking green giant in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, #133-138, published by DC Comics!

Will this lord of lumber and a pair of irradiated uglies find themselves treat-less on destiny’s doorstep? Or by some terrible trick, can they fright their way into that howl of fang-tastic tales known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 18 – The Luke Cage Episode

money-honeyIn this episode, Curt and Kevin travel from war-torn Latveria to Civil War-torn Manhattan as they tackle not one but two stories starring Marvel Comics’ invulnerable sentinel of the streets, Luke Cage, in anticipation of the Netflix series of the same name!

First, it’s a fantastic voyage to the swingin’ 70s, as the hot-headed hero of Harlem jets halfway across the globe to collect a debt from a stingy supervillain in Luke Cage: Hero for Hire #8-9!

Then we move ahead to the 2000s for a moving confrontation between Cage and his wife Jessica Jones in New Avengers #38!

Will domestic drama and a penny-pinching Doctor Doom leave our indestructible do-gooder destitute? Or can our harried hero for hire earn his way into that executive suite known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 17 – Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1

black-pantherIn this episode, Curt and Kevin must brave a foreign world of influence, intrigue and insurrection as they discuss Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, collecting the first four issues of the new Marvel Comics title by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze.

The once-invincible African nation of Wakanda has fallen on hard times, and so has its superhero king, T’Challa, the Black Panther. A rebel group led by a mysterious duo has fueled a violent uprising, taking many Wakandan lives. And to make matters worse, two of T’Challa’s elite bodyguards have launched a rebellion of their own!

Will our melancholy monarch watch helplessly as his beloved country falls to the forces of terrorism and political unrest? Or can this plagued and pestered panther persevere against his opponents and ascend to that hallowed throne of comic book stories known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:

Join us in two weeks as we get ready for Netflix’s Luke Cage series with a discussion of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #8-9 and New Avengers #38!

Until then, please rate us on iTunes, send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, and we may read your comments in an upcoming episode. And as always, thanks for listening!

 

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 16 – Saga Vol. 1

Saga vol 1In this episode, Curt and Kevin set off in search of the Rocketship Forest, tiptoe past the gunpowder fields and try to evade the withering gaze of Lying Cat as they discuss Saga, Vol. 1, collecting the first six issues of the hit Image Comics title by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

Newlyweds Alana and Marko are on the run, desperate to escape an ongoing interstellar war and raise their newborn baby girl in peace. But their respective homeworlds have other ideas, dispatching a lovesick bounty hunter and an aristocratic robot to the planet Cleave find the happy couple—and terminate them with extreme prejudice!

Is the chronicle of these star-crossed lovebirds doomed to end before it even has a chance to begin? Or can these crazy kids and their new ghostly babysitter escape this wretched mudball and ensure that their narrative lives on in that fabled tome of immortal epics known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:

Join us in two weeks as we venture to the troubled land of Wakanda to discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’ comics debut, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet!

Until then, please rate us on iTunes, send us an email, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, and we may read your comments in an upcoming episode. And as always, thanks for listening!

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 15 – The Sandman: Season of Mists

SOM3In this episode, Curt and Kevin drift off to that eternal, amorphous realm of the subconscious known as The Dreaming (with a brief stopover in Hell) as they try to interpret the fantastical goings-on in The Sandman: Season of Mists, collecting issues 21-28 of the DC/Vertigo title The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and various artists.

Morpheus, the lord of Dreams, pays a long-overdue visit to Hell to right a past wrong, only to find the place empty. Turns out Lucifer, the first of the fallen, no longer wants to be warden of the wicked, and hands Morpheus the key to his domain of the damned.

Will the dumbstruck dream king fall prey to the scheming gods, demons and otherworldly entities who’ve converged on the Dreaming with devious designs on Hell? Or can he rid himself of this bestial burden and close on a dream home in that fanciful realm of imagination known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:
Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 14 – The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man

VisionIn this episode, Curt and Kevin visit a seemingly idyllic Washington, D.C. suburb to pull back the curtain and expose the insecurities and instability corrupting the source code of one modern American family as they run some diagnostic tests on The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man, collecting issues 1-6 of Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s acclaimed Marvel comic, The Vision.

In his ongoing quest to be human, the android Avenger has created his own version of a perfect suburban family unit. But when a supervillain with ties to the Vision’s past drops by unannounced, he sets off a sequence of events that threatens not just this humanoid household, but the entire world!

Will the Vision hit the “delete” button to protect his computerized clan from a world that mistrusts and fears them? Or can everyone’s favorite synthezoid sentinel save the day and gain acceptance into that exclusive gated community known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode:
Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 13 – Batman: The Killing Joke

KillingjokeIn this episode, Curt and Kevin return to Gotham City and put on their Dark Knight Detective caps to sift through labored puns, fun-house felonies and other offenses as they consider the strange case of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s highly acclaimed 1998 DC Comics graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke!

But first, they take a quick detour to the black-and-white days of 1951 for a very different look at the origin of Killing Joke antagonist the Joker! Listen to our heroes match wits with the Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder as they try to crack the conundrum of The Man Behind the Red Hood!

Will our dynamic duo sentence the Joker to rot behind the imposing gates of Arkham Asylum? Or will the Clown Prince of Crime find himself laughing all the way to that big score known as … The Comics Canon?

Things Discussed in This Episode: Continue reading

Posted in Episodes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment