Doctor Strange – Review

doctor_strange_posterMrs Earth-Prime and I saw the latest Marvel offering yesterday – not entirely sure why Britain gets these films days if not weeks before America but I’ll take advantage of it.

There may be mild spoilers below but, honestly, there’s not much to spoil.

Not surprisingly, it’s an origin movie – arrogant, self-centred and brilliant surgeon Dr. Stephen Strange is involved in a car crash and receives massive nerve damage that ends his career. Refusing to accept his fate, and after hearing of another patient who overcame similar injuries, he heads to Nepal in search of a mystical Eastern healer. There he finds the Ancient One who reveals a hidden world of magic and, eventually, trains him to become a sorcerer. Meanwhile, one of the Ancient One’s previous students, Kaecilius, has stolen some forbidden texts and plans to raise Dormammu, an extra-dimensional bad guy from the “dark dimension” who plans to destroy the world – or save it, from Kaecilius’s point of view.

It’s well done – nobody performs poorly – and it looks very nice, though the collapsing streets of New York will inevitably be compared to similar scenes in Inception. The story’s tight but, with the exception of the ending which I’ll come to in a moment, it was pretty much by the numbers. The rebellious student, the wise teacher, the hero with a natural aptitude who overcomes the bad guy . . . it’s all stuff that’s been done before.

It was definitely Cumberbatch’s film; Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One probably gets the next largest chunk of screen time with most other characters moving around the periphery, adding some dialogue here and there while Cumberbatch and his sometimes wandering American accent dominate the story. Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius tries to convince Strange that Dormammu is the way forward and the saviour of mankind but we know that’s not going to work. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mordo, a fellow student of the Ancient One, is the only other character who has any significant arc and it’s a believable and understandable one that sets him up nicely for the inevitable sequel.

Pretty much every Marvel film has been resolved at the end with a big punch up – the hero punches the bad guy (or another hero in Civil War) until the bad guy stops. Here, there’s a different take. It’s still violent on the surface but Strange uses that big brain of his to come up with a solution that forces a resolution to the conflict that is refreshing just because it’s different.

It’s not a bad film at all – it certainly has a good deal of charm and humour running throughout – and it looks nice as well . . . there’s just nothing about it that makes me say “Wow!”

RIP Steve Dillon


Well, shit.

Just read Steve Dillon has passed away.

As much as I loved his stuff on Hellblazer and Preacher, his Judge Dredd artwork sticks in my mind – his style was so distinctive that you could instantly recognise his work whenever it appeared.

Shit – that’s really sad news.

Customers Who Bought This Product . . .

There’s only so much money I can spend on comics, sadly, so not every new title that catches my eye makes it to my pull list. However, I’ll pick some of them up when the collection is released. One of those titles is Insexts by Marguerite Bennett.


I enjoyed her work on Earth 2 and Earth 2: World’s End so picked up the collections of the digital first series DC Bombshells and was glad I did as it’s good fun. Her other series from AfterShock, Animosity, is only two issues in but is already one of my favourite series. With that in mind, I plan to by Insexts as well.

However, on, there’s only a Kindle edition available, no trade paperback. So I did a quick hunt around and the British comic shop chain Forbidden Planet are selling it, or will be when stock arrives. All well and good, I thought, as I scrolled down the page only to find this:


It appears that I’m the sort of person who will also buy an “Adventure Time – Pop! Lumpy Vinyl Figure

I can only assure you that I’m not.

Digital Or Print?

I’ve long been a collector of comics – as Mrs Earth-Prime can attest, I have boxes full of the things, not to mention shelves groaning under the weight of trade paperbacks and while I have a steady stream of new comics coming in each week, I’ll occasionally pick up runs of series I missed first time around. Over the last few years, for example, I’ve picked up the John Ostrander Suicide Squad, the complete Darkstars and a couple of mini-series, not to mention the various tie-in issues for the annotations I’m working on.

(Which reminds me, must get back to War of The Gods . . . )

A few months ago, I joined Comixology more out of curiosity than anything, and ended up buying the digital version of Crisis on Infinite Earths because it seems I was unhappy with only having three versions of it already.

Looking through the site yesterday, though, I noticed they have the complete run of LEGION from the late 80s and early 90s, a series that I was tempted by at the time but back then I only had so much money for comics. Every issue is £1.49 which (as I already have a couple of crossover issues with series I was collecting) means I’d spend about £100 and have the entire lot stored in the cloud within minutes.

Or, I could go to My Comic Shop and pick up the back issues; most of them are $1.35; with postage that would be approximately £120 and would take between 8 and 14 days to arrive . . . but they’d be in my hands as opposed to on screen.

It comes to something when the deciding factor isn’t price but format.

Digital on the left, print on the right.
Digital on the left, print on the right.