Strange Is As Strange Does
So, let me start by bowing to Neilalien's mastery of all things Doctor Strange and appreciation of Neilalien as a Dr. Strange uber-fan. Dedication to a favorite with such fervor is what makes great reading. Well done, Neilalien. God bless the passion, yo.
In contrast, here's what I know in sum total about the good Doctor:
- He's magical and all occult-y.
- He frequently shows up these days as a deus ex machina to gather heroes, if he even shows up at all (Defenders notwithstanding; it's sucky, anyway).
- He has a bitchin' wardrobe and a manservant named Wong.
- He was in one of the most ass-kickin'-est graphic novels ever, the one with Dr. Doom. (Randy can vouch for me. He owns this.)
- JMS wrote a pretty bad series about him recently.
- I find Dr. Strange absolutely fascinating for some reason.
See? Not much going on there in terms of Strange knowledge for me. And yes, that's my own fault. I'm a latecomer. And Neilalien's reading list is great recommendation, but I want something contemporary. That's just me.
So, I was thinking (shaddup!) to myself, what would I do if I were Joe Quesada for a day, (other than publicly apologize for Avengers Disassembled) and had mastery of Marvel series?
The answer came to me like a repulsor ray out of the blue: Go back to Marvel's EC Comics roots and publish a balls-out, dark, scary horror monthly featuring....Dr. Strange!
I know, I know, I'm probably pissing off legions of Dr. Strange fans out there. So be it. This is my opinion.
I'm thinking that the premise is something along the lines of Dr. Strange being something of an occult investigator, traveling all over the world to investigate mysterious and unexplainable phenomenon, monsters, cults, etc. He, Wong, Clea, and perhaps another apprentice could be sort of a paranormal troubleshooting squad. I'm thinking X-Files meets H.P. Lovecraft.
And yes, the horror aspects should be totally Lovecraft-ian. That is some scary shit, dude. It is the unique type of horror that could logically (!) blend the cosmic, the magical, the occult, and the just plain sick and weird shit that ordinary people do.
This would probably need to be a MAX title, because otherwise you get Marvel Mainstream Horror, which typically is all about vampires (snore) or zombies (zzzzz) and the violence all takes place off-panel. People need to be scared by this stuff. Dr. Strange needs to show his badassedness against the most depraved, scary, terrifying threats to the Marvel U! I want to see the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak do some damage! Make the Eye of Agamotto terrifying! By the power of the Vishanti, let's tear some supernatural shit up!
Who wouldn't want to read this? Seriously! I've already picked three people I think could do a great job on this:
- Steve Niles. Horror comic auteur. Granted, a lot of his stuff uses common horror tropes like the aforementioned vampires and zombies, but let's cut him loose! Plus. he really does kick ass at horror.
- Peter David. I have no idea why, other that I think instinctively this is tailor made for him, and he could bring a great noir feel to the Strange Tales (yes, I've already picked a name for the series).
- Stephen King. Given the recent wink-wink announcements at Marvel, I think it's a foregone conclusion that he's going to be doing something there next year. This is right up his alley, with the added bonus that he's an infintely much better short story writer than novelist anyway. (He is. Face it. Does anybody read his full-length novels other than out of habit any more?)
So, there's my idea. Thoughts? Opinions? Candidates? Or am I way the hell off my already admittedly unbalanced rocker anyway?