Mar 9, 2022

Strange Days Ahead

 After seeing No Way Home, and being a little disappointed with how Strange was portrayed, I thought I'd dive back into Strange's comic history in the lead up to Multiverse of Madness. Now this isn't new territory for me, not by a long shot. How I discovered Strange is lost to the mists of time but there is one thing that stands out in my childhood memories, okay maybe two things.

 I had these two Pocket Books, so called because they were paperback size and could fit in your back pocket, that I must have read a billion times each. Like most young boys at some point, I was into the whole knights and wizards thing but my interests seemed to skew more toward the magically inclined. I was such a Strange nerd that I had a three ring binder that I would copy his spell incantations into. Just know, in a pinch, I can still recall how to conjure the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.

Volume 1 includes Strange Tales 110 (Strange's 1st appearance), 111, and 114-129. Volume 2 covers Strange Tales 130-140. This might sound like a lot of comic to pack into a pocket sized book but when Strange first appeared, he was just a backup story in Strange Tales, sharing the book with the FF's Human Torch. The stories never crossed over in the book but oddly enough, Strange's first full cover appearance was on Fantastic Four 27 (1964).

What I love about the early Strange stories is that he's a loner for the most part and his world feels so apart from the rest of the 616. He frequently battles evil from other dimensions, sometimes on Earth other times in their home plane. And for him, it's just business as usual but the art really sells that these are alien places.

These stories are over 50 years old and while the artwork may look dated to some, I think it just adds to the otherworldly feel the book should have.

I don't know how many comics I'll get through before the next Strange movie but if you want to keep up with my progress or just see some wonderful early Strange stuff, follow me on Instagram or Tumblr where I'll be posting a few panels from each issue.


  1. By the Hoary Host of Hoggoth, I loved those pocket books.

    1. There was something extra special about them because of the format. They were easy to carry around and they weren't as 'fragile' as a regular comic. Plus, they packed a lot of stories in each one.