Related Articles

39 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

It’s back! Thanks, MGK!

I’ve occasionally thought the Silver Surfer makes something of a Superman analogue in the Marvel U, as well. Your thoughts?

ReplyReply
mygif

the Marvel Universe never needed a Superman analogue, because it already had one.

Quod erat demonstrandum, motherfuckers.

ReplyReply
mygif

Burke: I don’t think the Silver Surfer counts because he is so often written as an incredibly powerful guy who is wrapped up in his own problems too much to be relied upon to save the world. With Superman and Dr. Strange, you ask for help. With the Silver Surfer, you have to freaking guilt trip him into helping you.

ReplyReply
mygif
King Monkey said on June 28th, 2011 at 11:15 am

I’m a little disappointed that you went to the “Pym wifebeater” easy joke, but all in all very good.

ReplyReply
mygif
Tenken347 said on June 28th, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Mentioning Pym and Doc Strange, I wonder what your feelings are on the idea of the “Scientist Supreme” that came out in Mighty Avengers back when that was still a title being published. Obviously, you are not a fan of Pym, and clearly would not give him that title given the choice, but what about the idea on its face? That reality has not only a magical defender, but also a scientific defender?

ReplyReply
mygif

Love the lyric reference. ;->

ReplyReply
mygif
dangermouse said on June 28th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Hank Pym has to remind himself “don’t beat up any women today

Peter Parker and Reed Richards do indeed have to remind themselves not to beat up any women today.

ReplyReply
mygif

Isn’t Reed Richards the Scientist Supreme?

ReplyReply
mygif

A very interesting comparison. Because his power isn’t as straightforward (you rarely see Doctor Strange doing something like catching a train with his hands, or blowing super breath, though I could believe he’d know a spell for super strength), it can be hard to see Doctor Strange in that Superman role. There are all sorts of ramifications for Superman’s powers that can be explored, but the surface is pretty clear-he’s hard to kill, really strong, really fast, and really nice. It’s easy for Doctor Strange to come across as aloof and crotchety, because he’s rarely trafficking in such easy to understand abilities. Now, that’s not a fault with the character, or the way he’s written. He’s not meant to be a perfect analogue to Superman in how he works, because he has so many more potential tools at his disposal. While I mentioned ramifications to Superman’s powers, they’re also hard limits, for the most part-Superman can’t lift something he can’t get his hands on. Doctor Strange can, and would probably have several spells at his disposal for that.

Another interesting point of departure are their colleagues. Superman can have friction with all of his JLA teammates, but fundamentally they all know him, the basics of what he can do, and his character. That’s not as true for Doctor Strange and the rest of the Marvel universe, both because Strange isn’t a big team guy, and because he’s just got bigger concerns than a lot of them. He’s not looking down on them for that-Spider Man plays a vital role in so many people’s lives, and might even do an admirable job if he’d trained with the Ancient One instead of getting radioactive spider powers. But being really agile can’t stop Dormammu from taking over this dimension. And that means that where Superman can take 5 minutes out of his day to meet a new hero and say “Hey, it’s great to meet you. How are you holding up,” Doctor Strange is often engaged with these otherworldly threats, trying to defeat or deflect them. His higher power level is constantly being engaged, which is why I imagine he’s not regularly popping up and going “Don’t worry, I can heal your dying teammate. Oh, and have super speed for 24 hours, everyone!”

In short, this is an angle on Doctor Strange I hadn’t thought of before, but makes a lot of sense, both for the reasons mentioned here and others that were not gone into.

ReplyReply
mygif
Scavenger said on June 28th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Slott’s idea about Pym vs Richards as Scientist Supreme is that Pym is all about the science. He discovered size changing because it was something to discover, and then went on to find a billion ways to use it.

Richards is an adventurer. He would invent size changing to get to the microverse, and then get to the adventure.

Reed invents something, uses it for the reason he invented it, and sticks it on a shelf. Pym invents something and explores all of the possibilities of it.

It’s an interesting point of distinction for the two.

ReplyReply
mygif

Item #41 for me to print out and include with my (complete) Dr Strange collection… Can Marvel just please give the title to you so that SOMETHING interesting can be done with him? I miss having a reason to buy comic books.

ReplyReply
mygif
Kristopher A said on June 28th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

So how often should we count on your book getting an issue pulled because Stephen Strange is saving kittens from trees?

ReplyReply
mygif
Walter Kovacs said on June 28th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Dr. Strange as Superman analogue makes perfect sense, especially when shown in contrast to Dr. Manhattan, the other Superman analogue. In that context, the ‘most powerful guy around’ is a pretty simple criteria (which, depending on the era, Superman himself actually fails to be).

It’s interesting that DC’s magic heroes are almost Marvel-esque for the most part. They have a few ‘god-like’ beings, but the Spectre is shackled, Phantom Stranger is basically the Watcher, and I guess there is Dr. Fate, who is currently at least a ‘rookie’. Most of the other guys are sort of street level, etc. (I don’t count Captain Marvel because really, he isn’t magic. Neither is Wonder Woman. I understand wanting to force a sort of symmetry into the Trinity, but the real symmetry is Sci-Fi/Pulp/Mythology.

ReplyReply
mygif
Kid Kyoto said on June 28th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Gotta disagree. One thing that defines Superman is he always has time for the little things, a suicide jumper, a cat in a tree, whatever. And he’s always haunted by his limits whether it’s dead parents (2 sets!) or not being able to end war/poverty/hunger.

Dr Strange does not. He’s a big picture guy. He probably could cure AIDS or cancer (that was the plot of a recent mini) but isn’t tempted to since it disrupts the big picture. He’s not going to stop for a cat in a tree or a bank robbery, not unless there’s a magical connection that needs his intervention.

ReplyReply
mygif

Another excellent article. So why the hell aren’t you writing Superman? You have a great grasp on his character and what would work for his stories…

ReplyReply
mygif

@Scavenger
“Slott’s idea about Pym vs Richards as Scientist Supreme is that Pym is all about the science. He discovered size changing because it was something to discover, and then went on to find a billion ways to use it.

Richards is an adventurer. He would invent size changing to get to the microverse, and then get to the adventure.

Reed invents something, uses it for the reason he invented it, and sticks it on a shelf. Pym invents something and explores all of the possibilities of it.

It’s an interesting point of distinction for the two.”

While I think that was true of Reed when Slott wrote the issue, since Hickman got his hands on him, I’m not so sure.

And while I do love the idea of Hank Pym, Scientist Supreme, wasn’t it stated that the whole thing may have been a hoax created by Loki to fuck with Pym?

Anyways, back on point, another great piece MGK.

ReplyReply
mygif

@Kid Kyoto,

I think it’s less important that Superman has time to do the little things, and more important that he wants to. And you could certainly argue that Doctor Strange wishes he could do that more often. There’s a part of him that probably says “Saving this kitten isn’t important, saving the whole world so someone else can grab the kitten is.” But at the same time, he could look at it wistfully, knowing that he can’t save that kitten (or that specific suicidal person) because he has to save the universe, but wishing he did have the time to make those subtler changes. That’s my interpretation, at least.

@Jae Yu

Probably because Superman has a lot of potential writers, but not as many people line up to write Doctor Strange.

ReplyReply
mygif
Scavenger said on June 28th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

@gnosis
It was left sort of vague for future writers, but Gage and Seeley have both made reference to the SS bit.

Marvel’s really bad in distinguishing they’re science heroes, in part because most writers don’t understand..anything. (I can rant for hours the difference between an engineer (stark) and a scientist (pym).)
I dig the idea of Reed building an experimental rocket to see what’s out there, while Pym would build one to explore the idea of rocketry. (tony take’s their plans, adds a coat of paint, and uses it to make money and get girls).

ReplyReply
mygif

Aunt May makes the Wheatcakes Supreme

ReplyReply
mygif
American Hawkman said on June 28th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

The same arc that named Pym as Scientist Supreme said his total lack of restraint in pursuing science is why he has the title. Reed and Tony nominally care about their personal safety, or the well-being of the world…. Hank builds A.I. units that develop insane Oedipal complexes and douses himself with unknown physics particles just to see what will happen. Said arc said Reed is the Explorer Supreme, while Stark’s the Engineer Supreme, which sounds right.

I’ll also point out that the Scientist Supreme idea isn’t new to Pym… wasn’t Yandroth, Strange’s old enemy, Scientist Supreme of his world?

ReplyReply
mygif

” the Marvel Universe never needed a Superman analogue, because it already had one.”

I agree with this sentiment… but I honestly feel that THOR is much more of a Superman analogue than Strange. I mean, they even killed Thor to replace him in the Avengers with the Sentry.

The same reliance on conflict of choice rather than conflict of internal flaws that you bring up persists in Thor, as well- one of the strongest recurring elements is Thor being forced to choose Humanity or Divinity, and whether Earth or Asgard needs him more.

That said, Doctor Strange is on the same power level, and fulfills the role well enough, too, in a much different fashion.

ReplyReply
mygif

Yeah, Richards does have those rare moments where he says “But of course, we couldn’t do that. It would doom all of reality.”

From the sound of it, we are all very lucky Pym did not get to touch the Ultimate Nullifier.

ReplyReply
mygif
VoodooBen said on June 28th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Holy crap, I’ve never thought of it from that angle, but that’s totally true. Well put, sir.

ReplyReply
mygif
David Fullam said on June 28th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

And the good Doctor, unlike the Sentry, does not suck.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’ll also point out that the Scientist Supreme idea isn’t new to Pym… wasn’t Yandroth, Strange’s old enemy, Scientist Supreme of his world?

Yes, but that was stupid.

My take on the idea of the Scientist Supreme is this: the Sorcerer Supreme exists to protect reality, and the Scientist Supreme exists to improve it. They are reality’s equivalent of antibiotics and vitamins, respectively.

ReplyReply
mygif

From the sound of it, we are all very lucky Pym did not get to touch the Ultimate Nullifier.

Janet van Dyne in particular.

ReplyReply
mygif
Wolfthomas said on June 29th, 2011 at 1:50 am

As for the Scientist Supreme, I think the reasoning Eternity (if it wasn’t Loki) used was that Reed Richards was the explorer, he was indeed smarter than Pym but he discovered stuff for the sake of learning, making new fields of science everyday. Stark was the Engineer, turning his will into reality, he’d think of an idea and make it happen.

But Pym was the Mage, his science transcended normal science and bordered on being almost magic. He managed to make thing grow and shrink to impossible sizes, he actually made sentient life out of machinary (Ultron for better or worse) and his built his Infinite-Mansion outside of time and space, but able to be everywhere. That’s why he was supposedly Scientist Supreme.

I do agree now that the way Hickman is writing the Fantastic Four/Future Foundation, Reed Richards’ actions are different. I also am annoyed Pym’s taken a step down in awesome, he’s good in Avengers Academy, but not the same level he was in Mighty Avengers.

ReplyReply
mygif

Bah , Hank Pym always had a bad rap he never deserved (btw for going down on Janet, he gains a medal for the most realistic use of a super power I’ve seen in a comic…)
Nothing to add about the Doc, I can only agree with you & I hope you liked the tribute I made about your Strange posts.

ReplyReply
mygif

“…the Marvel Universe never needed a Superman analogue, because it already had one”

I almost teared up a little when I read that. Bravo.

Who do I have to strangle to get you the job on a Doc Strange book?

ReplyReply
mygif
Kid Kyoto said on June 29th, 2011 at 10:08 am

@Tales, I still disagree. To be a hero with bottomless compasion Strange would have to show up for everything. Alien invasions, cats in trees, bank robberies, everything. He’d have to go looking for them. He’d be patroling NY for trouble.

And with his mystic senses, teleportation, ability to create duplicates etc, he can do that.

But he doesn’t. He saves the world when there’s a threat in his portfolio, the rest of the time he studies, meditates, travels to other dimensions etc. Now of course he’s a different sort of character than Superman, he has to work for his powers so we can argue that’s all necessary for the next time there’s a mystic threat.

None of this makes him a bad guy or less of a hero but it does mean he’s not the sort of hero Superman is.

ReplyReply
mygif
Nicodemus said on June 29th, 2011 at 11:49 am

Every time you post one of these, I end up going back and rereading every Dr. Strange comic I own. Thank you for destroying my free time today.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brimstone said on June 29th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

You make Doctor Strange sound like Doctor Who.
I like him better as an aloof mystic. John Constantine, but not as snarky.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Stark said on June 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm

You just made my brain explode all over my monitor.

I’ve never thought about Dr. Strange in that way, and now I do.

Must go collect the series’ now and read them all.

ReplyReply
mygif

The Scientist Supreme era of Hank Pym’s life was the only time the character had a glimmer of being interesting. Even the costume was neat.

Then they pitched it out the window because comics people hate new.

ReplyReply
mygif
LightlyFrosted said on July 1st, 2011 at 1:15 pm

The problem I had with the whole ‘Scientist Supreme’ thing wasn’t that I thought that another comic character would make a better Scientist Supreme, but rather that (as a character in NextWave not unjustly points out), Hank Pym is a really terrible scientist. Smart, yes, but not disciplined, nor does he approach things with the caution they so often deserve. Even Doom knows better, these days at least.

ReplyReply
mygif
piranhtachew said on July 6th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

So is this part of the reason we haven’t seen the “Dr. Strange & Rex vs. Dr. Doom & My Little Ponies” team-up yet?

ReplyReply
mygif

There’s the germ of a good idea to the Sentry. Two different good ideas, in fact. First of all, the idea of a flying brick character who genuinely means well and wants to help but is so crazy that he’s LITERALLY his own worst enemy is kind of new. There are plenty of evil people with Superman’s powers, and plenty of well-intentioned extremists, and plenty of crazy people with different sets of powers, but there’s at least some novelty in that combination. And secondly, the idea of a character who used to be incredibly important but how or whether the whole world remembers them is interesting. It’s happened as a result of retcons when management decided they didn’t like Supergirl or wanted a younger, hipper Tony Stark, but it’s interesting to see it happen in reverse, sort of, and how it affects things.

I mean, I’ve only read a handful of Sentry stories and if that Rogue revelation is a typical example of how he was handled then good riddance, but the basic ideas were actually really interesting, I think.

ReplyReply
mygif

“There’s the germ of a good idea to the Sentry. Two different good ideas, in fact. ..the basic ideas were actually really interesting, I think.”

That kinda sums up Marvel’s writing for the past several years. Civil War? Great premise (whether or not government regulation for superheroes is a good idea), badly executed. One More Day? Great starting premise (Peter Parker’s choices as a superhero lead to Aunt May getting shot and him becoming increasingly extreme in a search to save her), horrible execution. Secret Invasion? Great premise (shapeshifter invasion; classic), badly executed.

ReplyReply
mygif
RahRahRyan said on August 11th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

You should write it, Jemma Salume should draw it, and I’d buy it every goddamn month.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments