On my Marvel Unlimited app, I’ve been slowly working my way through the very first Doctor Strange comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, which originally appeared in the 1960s in the pages of the appropriately named Strange Tales. At the time of his introduction, Dr. Strange was a backup feature in the book, which was primarily devoted to the solo tales of Fantastic Four member the Human Torch. The stories in these early Strange adventures are pretty hit or miss (one involves a haunted house which is not haunted but is actually --- SPOILER ALERT --- a house from another dimension. <Ominous clap of thunder!>) but the artwork, even in the earliest issues, is just fantastic. Ditko (who also co-created Spider-Man with Lee) had this amazing conception of alternate dimension and realities that was just incredible.

This new Doctor Strange featurette really puts the emphasis on Ditko’s influence on the new film, which is directed by Scott Derrickson. You get to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange floating in his astral form floating through what can only be described as a “Ditkoscape” of kaleidoscopic color and abstract forms. It’s awesome. This is exactly the Doctor Strange I want to see, the trippy adventures of a former surgeon wandering the dimensional void, protecting the universe from threats we can’t even begin to comprehend. The dude’s freaking name is Doctor Strange. If the movie isn’t the weirdest thing Marvel has ever made by a wide margin, it is a failure.

Doctor Strange opens in theaters on November 4.


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