MOTW 6/25/14: Stephen Strange.....you are a debtor. Insolvent

TexiKenTexiKen EliteRegistered User regular
New Avengers #20, Strange has a roadblock, so detours down an even darker road.
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The Great Society kicks the Avengers butts, and Norn tries to lecture Strange, and we get a flashback that since he can't sell his soul he basically gets possessed by a Cthullu monster from his super scary blood magic book.

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New Warriors #6 the Avengers as usual try and jerk around these brave new heroes who don't share the same name. It's a shame the book is probably cancelled before it ever got off the ground. It's fun! Look!

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misunderstanding with a demon imp, that's all.

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  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    That's a really neat twist on Norn.

    vagrant_winds
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus What a wonderful harvest.Registered User regular
    It makes me think of Tim Hunter from Books of Magic.

    And it makes me think that a story where Tim Hunter stole the Helmet of Fate and joined the Justice League would be pretty cool.

    vagrant_windsRingoSolar
  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    I honestly wonder how widespread the "if he be worthy" thing about Mjolnir is, and how often people ask Thor if they can lift it.

  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The PIT, level 26Registered User regular
    I honestly wonder how widespread the "if he be worthy" thing about Mjolnir is, and how often people ask Thor if they can lift it.

    Plenty, seemingly. When he was dead one of the many times he's been dead, it was just sitting in some crater in New Mexico and hundreds of people were lining up to lift it - it was like the first movie, except everyone in the comics knew what'd happen if you could do it. Hell, Doom showed up to try it.

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  • ForceVoidForceVoid Registered User regular
    Golden Yak wrote: »
    Doom showed up to try it.

    Awesome

  • vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Overworked Mysterious Eldritch Horror Hunter XX Registered User regular
    Aquaman #32: So. Mara and Tula have been dealing with a terrorist/rebel uprising at home while Arthur has been doing his worldwide duty.

    This is how Mara interrogates captured terrorists.
    XSKHCIq.jpg?1

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    It makes me think of Tim Hunter from Books of Magic.

    That was my first thought too.

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    I should look up this series.

    I initially thought of it as a nod to Shazam.

  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus What a wonderful harvest.Registered User regular
    Books of Magic is good stuff. It's like a travelogue of the magic side of the DCU.

  • vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Overworked Mysterious Eldritch Horror Hunter XX Registered User regular
    Books of Magic is good stuff. It's like a travelogue of the magic side of the DCU.

    It's also where J.K. Rowling stole all her ideas. Harry Potter is eeriely similar to Neil Gaiman's Timothy Hunter.

    Or it could have been a fluke and they're totally similar on accident if she never read the work. But man. Two British boys of the same age, who discover they're magical messiahs, who wear the same glasses, have a pet owl, and look exactly fucking alike.

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  • Kevin CristKevin Crist I make the devil hit his knees and say the 'our father'Registered User regular
    Gaiman always said the similarities between HP and BoM are coincidence, or inspired by the same sources.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Potter_influences_and_analogues
    wiki wrote:
    Fans of the comic book series The Books of Magic, by Neil Gaiman (first published in 1990 by DC Comics) have cited similarities to the Harry Potter story. These include a dark-haired English boy with glasses, named Timothy Hunter, who discovers his potential as the most powerful wizard of the age upon being approached by magic-wielding individuals, the first of whom makes him a gift of a pet owl. Similarities led the British tabloid paper the Daily Mirror to claim Gaiman had made accusations of plagiarism against Rowling, which he went on the record denying, saying the similarities were either coincidence, or drawn from the same fantasy archetypes. "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White", he said in an interview, "very straightforward."[71] Dylan Horrocks, writer of the Books of Magic spin-off Hunter: The Age of Magic, has said they should be considered as similar works in the same genre and that both have parallels with earlier schoolboy wizards, like the 2000 AD character Luke Kirby.[72]

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  • RingoRingo HE KEEPS REPEATING THE LINE I'M GONNA CRY BLEASE LET HIM LIVE YOU MADE ME WATCH SO MUCH KISSING IN THIS FILM LET INIGO LIVERegistered User regular
    "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White" is a great line to defuse that particular situation

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Especially since it's obvious where those influences came from.

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  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus What a wonderful harvest.Registered User regular
    Books of Magic is good stuff. It's like a travelogue of the magic side of the DCU.

    It's also where J.K. Rowling stole all her ideas. Harry Potter is eeriely similar to Neil Gaiman's Timothy Hunter.

    Or it could have been a fluke and they're totally similar on accident if she never read the work. But man. Two British boys of the same age, who discover they're magical messiahs, who wear the same glasses, have a pet owl, and look exactly fucking alike.

    Well there's also the magic school stuff from A Wizard of Earthsea.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Earthsea's magic and worldbuilding is unique and deliberately so. Harry Potter is a call back to about a billion different things, the Arthurian Legends (especially White's version) most notably.

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  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    I remember hearing a podcast a while back, think was a Cracked one, where there were like 4 or 5 people total that all just kind of invented Harry Potter at the same time, Hunter was one mentioned, and ya it just sorta happened, no one was really ripping each other off, it just happened and was weird.

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  • Linespider5Linespider5 ALL HAIL KING KILLMONGER Registered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White" is a great line to defuse that particular situation

    Neil Gaiman is almost always the guy at the table who is cool with everybody all the time. I almost wonder what it would be like for someone to get on his bad side...

    vagrant_windsorthancstone
  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White" is a great line to defuse that particular situation

    Neil Gaiman is almost always the guy at the table who is cool with everybody all the time. I almost wonder what it would be like for someone to get on his bad side...


    You get sued and lose the rights to Angela*?

    *=very simplistic and inaccurate recap of events as they actually happened, but for bad jokes brevity is best.

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  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Harry Potter is also not really about Harry Potter it's about middle england conservatism being the worst

    Whereas the Books of Magic... well

    it isn't about that

  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    It's really a sign of how far Marvel has come, how good the writing generally is, that the Great Society being Justice League knockoffs isn't for the purposes of them being a strawman to knock down while going HEH SMELL YA LATER DC.

    No quite the opposite, they're guys you actually want to see win. They're the Illuminati's last chance to look in the mirror and see a monster looking back.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Yeah, I really want to see a Great Society mini. The best part is even if they all die during this, they can just say it's the great society from Earth-4,290,002

  • Mego ThorMego Thor "I say thee...NAY!" Registered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    "I thought we were both just stealing from T.H. White" is a great line to defuse that particular situation

    Neil Gaiman is almost always the guy at the table who is cool with everybody all the time. I almost wonder what it would be like for someone to get on his bad side...

    He summons Alan Moore.

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  • Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    Fiaryn wrote: »
    It's really a sign of how far Marvel has come, how good the writing generally is, that the Great Society being Justice League knockoffs isn't for the purposes of them being a strawman to knock down while going HEH SMELL YA LATER DC.

    No quite the opposite, they're guys you actually want to see win. They're the Illuminati's last chance to look in the mirror and see a monster looking back.
    That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that Marvel is actually running its own Crisis on Infinite Earths event, for no particular reason or benefit. But I'm very critical of this particular storyline, and I know I'm in the minority.

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  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus What a wonderful harvest.Registered User regular
    What reason do you need for a storyline besides that it's an interesting story?

  • Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    Originality, a good approach, good characterization, a well-defined plot, some larger purpose or point, or at least some fun or interesting or poignant moments and dialogue. The whole Incursion arc is leaving me cold on pretty much all fronts. It's not that I don't care for the Great Society, I just kinda hate what they've done to the established characters to take them to the place they're at in opposition to it. The approach is very poor - stake-raising for the sake of stake-raising, arbitrary impossibilities to force artificial decisions, a lot of mysteries that aren't terribly interesting when you get down to it - Hickman plots these things like soap operas. The whole concept and conceit is, of course, recycled from other - and arguably better - material.

    I'm bored with it, to be honest. The Illuminati thing was fun for the first mini (even if the Beyonder mutant Inhuman bit was a "bwah?" moment), but ever since then every single subsequent iteration has been crappier, and Marvel's partial multiversal collapse isn't doing it for me.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    I'm definitely going to be pretending for future stories that my favorite superheroes didn't ever have a vote on whether to commit genocide repeatedly.

    I mean it's kind of neat at some parts and is certainly high stakes but also nah I don't think Dr. Stephen Strange sold his soul to Cthulu so he could eat Earth. That seems beneath a Sorcerer Supreme.

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  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Didn't Strange totally kill an innocent man because it was the only way to stop the entity possessing the guy? Strange is a surgeon, so I can imagine he sees this is a form of triage.

    If he does nothing here, then not only do the 7 billion people on his Earth die, and the 7 billion people on the Great Society's Earth die, but also the trillions or quadrillions of life in BOTH universes die.

    If your choice is "Everything dies" or "only some people die" Strange is going to choose the latter eventually.

  • MetalMagusMetalMagus Too Serious Registered User regular
    The only problem I have with this part of the storyline is that we already HAD a story where Strange turns to dark magic out of desperation - World War Hulk. Then the follow-up where Strange lost his mantle of Sorcerer Supreme and then it took, what, about a year, before he proved himself worthy of the title again.

    Also because Marvel doesn't know what the fuck they want to do with their concept of Sorcerer Supreme.

  • Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
    Well, IIRC, the stuff in WWH was done out of selfishness. Strange didn't want to give himself up.

    The stuff in New Avengers is basically him fulfilling his role as a defender of Earth from otherworldly threats.

  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    We've had like, most Strange stories for over a decade being about his turn down a Dark Path toward great power and etc etc

    It always stacks on top of itself with atrocious bargains he may have made if anyone feels like following up on them, and it's always kind of tepid and uninteresting.

    I'm much happier when he's a complete and reasonable individual whose job is hard to do than someone who's constantly turning to ridiculously dangerous magical shortcuts because of narrative tension.

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  • Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    We've had like, most Strange stories for over a decade being about his turn down a Dark Path toward great power and etc etc

    It always stacks on top of itself with atrocious bargains he may have made if anyone feels like following up on them, and it's always kind of tepid and uninteresting.

    I'm much happier when he's a complete and reasonable individual whose job is hard to do than someone who's constantly turning to ridiculously dangerous magical shortcuts because of narrative tension.
    This. Strange is a hard character to write for; his powers tend to be so ill-defined that he can do almost anything - and writers realize that! It's why there's been so many attempts to depower and redefine the character in many ways, and why he tends to fail on a very human level. Yet writers are very reluctant to actually engage with Dr. Strange as a human being. Maybe chalk it up to the fact that he hasn't had his own ongoing series for forever, but a lot of his personal baggage and supporting characters tend to get shuffled out the door. Personally, I loved his romance with Night Nurse, it was far less creepy than his thing with Clea...whom we haven't seen in a non-alternate universe role in what, fifteen years?

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  • MetalMagusMetalMagus Too Serious Registered User regular
    The best thing to do for Strange would be to give him a few apprentices and have the book be more of an ensemble like Wolverine and the X-Men. You've got the character interaction, the apprentices handling more "down to earth" threats like evil sorcerers and vampires, but every now and then you have a big story arc where it's Strange vs. something really big, like Shuma Gorath, Dormammu, or Chthon.

    Looking at the different takes on him over the years, he can be cold and clinical, but he enjoys some human comforts and can be a bit goofy (like when he treats the completely otherworldly as entirely mundane). He'd be like the chair of a Ph.D. committee, an engaged mentor to the apprentices but absolutely demanding in his requirements.

    And when the situation called for it, he'd be the most ice-cold motherfucker on the planet.

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  • vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Overworked Mysterious Eldritch Horror Hunter XX Registered User regular
    Dr. Strange and Nick Fury always struck me as the single two most dangerous people in the Marvel Universe.

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  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    MetalMagus wrote: »
    The best thing to do for Strange would be to give him a few apprentices and have the book be more of an ensemble like Wolverine and the X-Men. You've got the character interaction, the apprentices handling more "down to earth" threats like evil sorcerers and vampires, but every now and then you have a big story arc where it's Strange vs. something really big, like Shuma Gorath, Dormammu, or Chthon.

    Looking at the different takes on him over the years, he can be cold and clinical, but he enjoys some human comforts and can be a bit goofy (like when he treats the completely otherworldly as entirely mundane). He'd be like the chair of a Ph.D. committee, an engaged mentor to the apprentices but absolutely demanding in his requirements.

    And when the situation called for it, he'd be the most ice-cold motherfucker on the planet.

    A Mystic version of House?

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  • Dizzy DDizzy D NetherlandsRegistered User regular
    We've had like, most Strange stories for over a decade being about his turn down a Dark Path toward great power and etc etc

    It always stacks on top of itself with atrocious bargains he may have made if anyone feels like following up on them, and it's always kind of tepid and uninteresting.

    I'm much happier when he's a complete and reasonable individual whose job is hard to do than someone who's constantly turning to ridiculously dangerous magical shortcuts because of narrative tension.
    This. Strange is a hard character to write for; his powers tend to be so ill-defined that he can do almost anything - and writers realize that! It's why there's been so many attempts to depower and redefine the character in many ways, and why he tends to fail on a very human level. Yet writers are very reluctant to actually engage with Dr. Strange as a human being. Maybe chalk it up to the fact that he hasn't had his own ongoing series for forever, but a lot of his personal baggage and supporting characters tend to get shuffled out the door. Personally, I loved his romance with Night Nurse, it was far less creepy than his thing with Clea...whom we haven't seen in a non-alternate universe role in what, fifteen years?

    Clea was a member of the Fearless Defenders (but Strange was terribly written in that series).

    I quite liked the Strange/Clea relationship back in the 90s. By that time Clea herself was Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, so they were more equals (with Clea actually being more powerful of the two.)

    As for power levels, I never saw the need to depower Strange (some of the best comics have been with incredibly powerful characters.), but if a writer needs Strange depowered with magic you can do that easily for a story or two. Anything ranging from "the stars are right" to "Cyttorak says "No"." could influence the power Strange has.

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  • MetalMagusMetalMagus Too Serious Registered User regular
    MetalMagus wrote: »
    The best thing to do for Strange would be to give him a few apprentices and have the book be more of an ensemble like Wolverine and the X-Men. You've got the character interaction, the apprentices handling more "down to earth" threats like evil sorcerers and vampires, but every now and then you have a big story arc where it's Strange vs. something really big, like Shuma Gorath, Dormammu, or Chthon.

    Looking at the different takes on him over the years, he can be cold and clinical, but he enjoys some human comforts and can be a bit goofy (like when he treats the completely otherworldly as entirely mundane). He'd be like the chair of a Ph.D. committee, an engaged mentor to the apprentices but absolutely demanding in his requirements.

    And when the situation called for it, he'd be the most ice-cold motherfucker on the planet.

    A Mystic version of House?

    Well, Strange was a surgeon...

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  • Bobby DerieBobby Derie Registered User regular
    I think Witch Doctor sort of has that angle covered.

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  • FakefauxFakefaux Cóiste Bodhar Driving John McCain to meet some Iraqis who'd very much like to make his acquaintanceRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Didn't Strange totally kill an innocent man because it was the only way to stop the entity possessing the guy? Strange is a surgeon, so I can imagine he sees this is a form of triage.

    If he does nothing here, then not only do the 7 billion people on his Earth die, and the 7 billion people on the Great Society's Earth die, but also the trillions or quadrillions of life in BOTH universes die.

    If your choice is "Everything dies" or "only some people die" Strange is going to choose the latter eventually.

    Twice; he also personally murdered his mentor, The Ancient One, to save the world from Shuma-Gorath. Strange having to decide if he should sacrifice the few to save the many has been a recurring theme of his comics for decades.

    Anyway, the thing Marvel is foolishly missing is that Strange isn't House: He's Doctor Who. He's immortal, his home is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, he can go anywhere in time and space, and he always carries along a gaggle of less informed companions who he can exposit to. Seriously, look at how popular Dr. Who is these days. He and Strange have extremely similar setups, to the point that making his book work should be a no brainer.

    Instead we get all this "turning to the dark side" business which has been going on ever since World War Hulk (or since the Peter Gillis run, if you want to get technical). I'm starting to suspect it's Marvel's way of keeping Strange's power in check so that he can hang out with the other heroes without overshadowing them all the time.
    Dizzy D wrote: »
    As for power levels, I never saw the need to depower Strange (some of the best comics have been with incredibly powerful characters.), but if a writer needs Strange depowered with magic you can do that easily for a story or two. Anything ranging from "the stars are right" to "Cyttorak says "No"." could influence the power Strange has.

    I think the issue for a lot of people isn't necessarily how powerful Strange is but how fuzzy the rules are. After all, most of the threats he faces are as powerful if not more powerful than he is. But what can he or can't he do in a given situation? It often seems like the writer pulls this out of his/her ass. Still, if you look at Strange's comics over the years there's a general consistency to what he can and can't do. It's just the edges that are fuzzy. That and his limits might not be readily apparent to a new reader unless the writer spells it out for them.

    Fakefaux on
  • FearghaillFearghaill If there is nothing but what we make in this world let us make goodRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    The other big twist from this week was the appearance of Morgan Le Fay and this full-on magical battle with superheroes and dragons and the whole nine yards. One of the most frequent questions we get on the boards are about the magic realm of the Marvel U from Doctor Strange on down and when that will break out into its own group of titles. What do you think Brian's interest is in playing with those pieces of the Marvel U, and what are the odds of more magical books coming out?

    Alonso: I can't really speak to Brian's interest in magic, but I can say that we've spent countless hours discussing magic in the Marvel Universe, we're coming to a better understanding of its rules, and this might mean something big in our publishing plan very soon. Magic needs rules. When it's used as a deus ex machina -- the hero suddenly conjures a spell that saves the day: BAM! Problem solved -- that's very unsatisfying to the reader. It's important that magic be governed by rules that the reader can understand or it's just a lot of, well, hocus-pocus.

    this was in May of last year, and they hinted at it a bit more in Young Avengers with Billy as the person that is supposed to rewrite the rules at some point to come

    I don't see any big magic-centric events on the horizon, so I doubt it will happen before a new Strange ongoing. It would be kind of neat to see a Strange book where he has to re-learn everything because the rules have changed.

    Fearghaill on
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