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Oct 17 09 9:27 AM
Oct 18 09 3:31 PM
Oct 19 09 4:19 PM
Oct 19 09 10:40 PM
"I have truly gained the greatest power of all...that which is the fountainhead of all other power...I have gained the gift of
knowledge!" - Doctor Strange
Stephen comes to Shazana's sister in her bedroom.
Unfortunately, I think that may be the sole highlight of this story for the Sons of Storytime who were so looking forward to this issue. After three
consecutive Mordormammu episodes, it's nice to have an interlude as a change of pace and to lend the saga more breadth, but there's not much here.
Still, it's worth taking a look at.
The splash image of Strange's outline was used on this April 1984 reprint cover by Byrne and Milgrom, with a new background.
Ditko played a trick on us last issue, strongly implying that Dormammu had transported Strange somewhere, only to now reveal that it was Strange himself who
escaped by "using the force of Mordo's own spell to trigger my final spell". (Odd that he refers to Mordo instead of Dormammu - I think
that was just a slip by Stan.) Nice illos.
Strange employs the same strategy to escape this new dimension (only the Fifth Dimension he's visited so far), using the destruction of Shazana's globe
to propel himself again. (Comicsdad has been known to call attention to phallic imagery, but I might be one-upping him with these.)
While I'm on the subject of backgrounds, here are a couple more I enjoyed. Is this "planet" really so small, or does the "puddle" only
look small by a localized trick of perspective?
And I like how the "sunlight" only shines in one direction here.
It's cool to have Strange seemingly hurtled so far, but somewhat disappointing that the first thing he encounters is...people who look like humans. On the
plus side, at least they're attractive. Three great female closeups this month:
I only hope these eyebrows are painted on.
And how long does it take Shazana's sister to get into this skullcap??
Here's the best illo we've had yet of the platinum blonde. But why must all the good girls in this series go nameless?
We're notably missing a redhead here. (Ditko knows you should always leave 'em wanting more.)
A pretty good shot of Mordo, too.
_______________________________________________________And I finally managed to burn off all my hair!
Even Strange gets a great panel.
________________________________He reminds me of some actor here. (Niven?)
We learn that enchanted power can be depleted just like physical energy can. When Strange was stalling for time to recover ("I conjure up a brief
delay!"), I was unclear as to whether he knew the specific effect his spell would have (it controlled the minds of Shazana's subjects).
Ditko has a thing about planting "creatures" in early panels and then using them in the story later on. Last month it was Professor Rinehart's
cat and bat, and now it's Shazana's housepet from page 4. Even this guy has the patented Ditko fingers...
___Comedy for the second month in a row?
And the dedicated Tibetan hermit finally gets some "me" time.
Thought he'd never stop snoring!
Oct 20 09 10:59 PM
Oct 25 09 5:28 PM
Oct 25 09 11:17 PM
Oct 25 09 11:20 PM
Why was the space-traveling, all-powerful Stranger renting a flat?!?
Oct 26 09 12:04 PM
Smythe's robot serves as a physical stand-in for the public opinion that Jameson constantly sends against Spidey, and this time he's
libel to get him.
Oct 26 09 1:46 PM
Oct 26 09 3:17 PM
In the epilogue, we hear about "a suspicious-looking character hanging around" the Parker home. I expect this will be followed up next month. At
least we know it's not Mac Gargan.
Oct 26 09 5:25 PM
Oct 27 09 11:24 AM
In a way this little adventure links Dr Strange to a long list of ancient (and not-so-ancient) heroes who, on their long journeys, encounter various
evils and adversaries, which in a way delay completion of their MAIN mission, but can still provide some entertainment value for the casual reader/listener.
Think Odysseus and his many adventures on the way home.
And his mystical dimensions psychedelic! There might be even some penetrating images.
I wonder if the reference to "fountainhead" was a little poke from Stan to his Rand-hugging buddy?
Attuma's plan to conquer the surface world sounds pretty stupid too.
Oct 27 09 2:06 PM
Oct 27 09 5:15 PM
It's too bad the reproduction in the Masterworks is so uneven. On most pages line reproduction is really bad, lots of very nice Colletta lines
are left out.
Oct 28 09 1:39 AM
"Even though I know about your other identity, that still doesn't mean the Major is wrong! How can anyone be sure you're
not really a spy??" - loyal Rick
I love how the Leader looks at and speaks to the reader! I felt like I was part of the story, an unwilling accessory, taken into his confidence as his
A pretty good illo on the cover, too.
Looking at that cover, it's interesting how the three people on the left, the three most central figures in the current storyline, are represented by their
floating heads. The other three supporting characters are not floating heads, they have shoulders and clothes. And I can't remember ever seeing
Jones in a trenchcoat before.
Here's the cover of the reprint from July 1970, by Kirby and John Verpoorten. Hulk meets the Leader on the cover but not in the story.
So good to have Kirby back. I feel like a traitor saying that, because I love what Ditko did in IH 6 (although I don't know if that story was primarily
Ditko's or Lee's). Also I loved whatever part Ditko played in the first eight stories of the TtA run, but Ditko wasn't helped by his inkers. I
guess I shouldn't feel too bad about welcoming Kirby back - I love IH 1-5 too, and the Avengers and FF issues that featured Hulk. Kirby is just better
suited to Hulk than Ditko is. The splash is just one example. "Back from the Dead" could refer to Kirby on Hulk.
I really like Esposito's inks on the Hulk. Some more of that patented Marvel Irony when Talbot faints and remains unaware that the Hulk saved him. Unlike
IH #2 for instance, the Hulk's first instinct now is to save humans rather than to kill them. I thought, "Good luck gettin' down from there,
Glenn." (Unfortunately the Air Force picked him up.)
Here Hulk looks to be bustin' a move, like on last month's cover. What judge is gonna tap him on the shoulder?
All in all, I think page 2 is the best of the issue.
Here the shadowy inks and the cozy surroundings evoke the Frankenstein vibe for the first time in a while. I wonder if this is the first time the Hulk has
been in Banner's room since IH #1.
What strikes me here is how the transformation occurs over only half his body before proceeding to the other half. It reminds me of that illo in IH #1 when the
setting sun left half of Bruce's face in shadow. Pretty memorable here to see the "Hulk face" with regular, flesh-colored skin.
Bruce and Betty are reunited for the first time in four issues, but does she suddenly seem too old for him? Can she really have worried that much? Her
hair is grey. Was that the color in the original comic?? She looks like his mother!
The most astonishing moment of the story was when Rick admitted he doesn't fully trust Bruce anymore. Whoa!! This is the most astounding development in
this series since the introduction of the Leader. WTF? Does Rick have any good reason to doubt Bruce? I wonder if it was Kirby's idea or Lee's to
characterize Rick this way. I actually like it a lot, it adds a lot to the story. But it doesn't speak well of Rick.
This might be the single best illo of the issue, but it's a shame his eyes and teeth are miscolored yellow like the background. Was it like that in the
floppy? It would have been such a better illo if his face was colored correctly. His eyes would have stood out as intended.
And it's back to Astra Isle and the Absorbatron, as if the "captive European nation" and Mongolia were just a little jaunt into Shazana's
dimension. The government apparently doesn't feel that the Army need maintain a presence, even though the humanoids attacked the Isle last time. Sure
enough, they barely even wait long enough for Banner and Talbot to sink underground. I'm not sure what's more impressive - Talbot's determined
...or his arm.
It's probably this kind of illo for which Kirby was brought back.
It looks to me that this illo is the same face used on the cover.
Really looking forward to the Hulk meeting the Leader next month.
One thing I didn't quite get though...the Hulk jumped...west...across the Pacific?? By way of islands and...planes???
Were there any drinks spilled when the Hulk landed on a plane?
Oct 28 09 1:48 AM
we already see the Leader using lots of nifty Kirby Machinery.
Although hopping over the Pacific Ocean does not seem very realistic, no matter how many planes Hulk used as stepping stones. C'mon guys,
compared to the size of the ocean there are only a very few islands, and they most certainly are not so close to each other that Hulk could see them when he
is planning where to hop next.
Oct 29 09 11:33 PM
Nov 1 09 6:49 PM
Nov 1 09 10:24 PM
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