Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Not A Cold War Warrior, But Very Much A Celebrity: More On Steve Ditko & Stan Lee's Doctor Strange

The next post in the series on Steve Ditko and Stan Lee's Doctor Strange is now up at Sequart, and, should you wish, you can find it hereIn it, I move onto discussing whether Strange fulfilled the role of Cold War Warrior, as his fellow Marvel super-people of the period tended to, before moving onto his surprising status as a New York celebrity during the first half of the Sixties.

And next on TooBusyThinking, Thursday will find a review of two of this week's releases - one superhero book from the big two and one very much not - appearing here.



  1. Dr. Strange as cold warrior is only a minor part of your analysis, but it's an interesting point to make. Unlike even his Strange Tales stablemates the Human Torch & Nick Fury, Dr. Strange wasn't participating in the great 60s battle against communism. I wonder how much of this is because Dr. Strange - of all the 60s heroes - had the least amount of input from Stan Lee in plotting. One wonders whether if the Lee-Ditko relationship had been different we'd have seen more familiar Cold War plots. Perhaps Khruschev would denouce Dr. Strange as a defender of capitalism and demand the Scarlet Sorcerer humiliate him in public. And now that I've considered this, I appreciate Ditko's Dr. Strange all the more.

    1. Hello Michael:- Thank you for taking a look at the piece. I'm actually writing another post about the cold warriors of the early Marvel, and thought it best not to repeat myself there and in this look at Strange. But in the context of how Strange was different, and in particular of how his mind-set was different, I thought it was worth mentioning.

      The Ditko/Lee books were rather surprisingly free of "Red" menaces away from their work on Iron Man and the Hulk. With Peter Parker, I guess we can consider himself too young to be an active player in a cold war. But in Strange's case, both he and his mentor's .... detached attitude to the West remains refreshing and inspiring.

      The more I have the opportunity to dig into the Ditko/Lee Strange issues - and even given all the mistakes which I may have or will make - the more wonderful they seem to be. And Strange himself ... well, I've just finished the next piece, and I found that I had to actually re-write it after thinking it was done, because suddenly it seemed that the Doctor's life was even more compelling than it had previously seemed. It's as if I can't look again at a page without another light-bulb lighting up.

      As you say, running foul of Khrushev would've quite obscured the strengths of the strip and character.

  2. Week 52! I hope you're continuing into year two or that "to be continued" is awfully mean. :)

    Happy New Year!

    1. Hello Mark:- A Happy New Year to you, good sir!!!

      That "to be continued" was certainly not intended to deceive. Fingers crossed, bombs away, etc etc :)