The Henchmen Of Stephen Strange.

The great myth of Doctor Strange’s first origin, by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, is that a previously “proud, haughty” surgeon who “cared but little for (his) fellow men” was transformed through sacrifice, study, and, eventually, enlightenment into a fully realised human being. There’s absolutely no doubt that Strange’s experiences with the Ancient One in […]

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That Dead-Catting Dr Strange

I had never come across the phrase ‘dead-catting’ until a few weeks ago. The last thing I had expected from Emma Smith’s (quite magnificent) This Is Shakespeare was an introduction to contemporary slang, let alone a phrase associated with the loathsome political operator Lynton Crosby. But a term to describe a deliberate distraction that obscures […]

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On The Surprising Competency Of Wulf The Barbarian #1: 31 Days Of Atlas #31

continued from here; Atlas Comics never seemed to me to have been a well-run venture. Even as a twelve year boy, its titles seemed doomed to failure. Some of them were, briefly enough, captivating, as with The Scorpion’s first issue. Others were faintly alluring in their sheer strangeness, as with the potpouri of exploitation cliches […]

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Spider-Man! Kamandi! The X-Men! – 9 Fine Comics From Atlas’ Competitors During Its Underachieving Lifetime: 31 Days Of Atlas #30

An unexpected and unavoidable family responsibility has arrived on my doorstep this morning. Which is absolutely fine, because it’s a privilege to have a family that I’m glad to feel a responsibility towards. As a consequence, I’ll delay finishing my piece about Wulf The Barbarian until tomorrow, on what will also be the last of […]

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Wulf The Barbarian #1 & The Fantasy/Adventure Craze That Never Was: 31 Days Of Atlas # 29

It would be wrong to suggest that Atlas Comics was the only company in its day to struggle to come to terms with America’s speedily changing comics marketplace. Yes, Atlas went about its business with such hubris and such incompetence that it had in effect euthanised itself within a year of the announcement of its […]

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Archie, Betty & Veronica Survived Where Vicky, Millie & Debbie Faltered: 31 Days Of Atlas #28

continued from here: Vicki was in many ways the most traditional form of comicbook that Atlas ever published.¬† For wasn’t that how the form itself began in America, with thick collections of cheaply acquired pre-existing material sold to young readers with new eye-catching covers? Without access to Seaboard/Atlas’ sales figures – which I would dearly […]

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