Demonic baseball with Dr. StrangePosted: 07/21/2013
Confession: I tend to get perplexed with dimensional and time travel. Not because the story isn’t good, goodness no. New rules and physics apply when a character leaves present-day Earth that my science-hindered brain has trouble grasping. But I love Doctor Strange, who pretty much exemplifies my greatest comic confusion. The sorcerer has access to wizardry and realms with the only limitations being the imagination of the writer (though the same could be said about technology, Iron Man especially).
Magic actually gives him an unforeseen narrative edge. Doctor Strange’s powers allow access to a different kind of supervillain. He gets to fight demons, mystics, monsters, and even gods the other Marvel heroes won’t run into. Like today, in Strange #1, volume 2, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Emma Rios. The full four-issue miniseries, which I found exciting, funny, interesting, and wildly heartbreaking, is totally worth your money. Hopefully a taste of the first issue will entice you to buy the full thing. We pick up our story at a local ball game.
Understand that Doctor Strange has lost most of his magical power as of this story. Formerly Sorcerer Supreme, effectively making him the most powerful magician in the Marvel world, he abused some dark magic and had his title stripped from him by the magic guardians or whatever. Unfortunately, magically-handicapped or not, bad juju continues to suffocates his world.
You can buy the book for the full story, but it’s essentially a deal with a demon gone bad. If the home team loses, they also lose their souls. Bad demonic deals happen sometimes, if by sometimes I mean all the time. Demons are jerks no matter what adventure they show up in.
Then the demon appears because even demons like baseball.
So when one loses the coveted Sorcerer Supreme title, word gets around. Especially when the greatest protector of Earth suddenly possesses only a fraction of his former power. Plus, now we get to raise the stakes.
With our villain firmly established, it’s time for our hero to step up his game. His shirt may be stained with fallen nachos and his pride beaten down by terrible odds, but he does have comic book magic on his side. Way more useful than super strength.
Remember, Doctor Strange can’t defeat Tul’uth with magic alone. But as long as he helps the team win the game, he’ll save the lives of thousands of people. Sadly, that’s going to rely solely on his baseball skills against a team of cheaters.
I’ve already shown you far more pages than I’m probably allowed. But you would get to see three or four pages of Doctor Strange running the bases while dodging magical booms, tentacles, and giant insects. Luckily, the finale’s still wonderfully heroic.
Doctor Strange has had his share of apprentices. Tons. Casey Kilmont ranks as one of my favorites, and the rest of the miniseries develops their relationship as the two travel the world stopping more tricky bad guys.
Y’know what? On Wednesday we’ll get more into Doctor Strange, because no matter what the story, magic’s always so bright, colorful, and full of explosions.