This fourth collection of Doctor Strange comics in the Marvel Masterworks series covers the period of my own infancy to first literacy, as well as some of my very favorite early adventures of the comic book magus. This 1969-1973 span includes the cease of the original Doctor Strange (nee Strange Tales) title, key appearances in such other Marvel mainstay books as The Incredible Hulk, and the Master of the Mystic Arts’ domination of the early issues of Marvel Premiere. It also coincides with the end of the period where Strange wore a mask and worried about having a “secret identity.” (As an element of working out this aspect, the omnipotent Eternity made the sorcerer into a Pooh bear, living under the name of Sanders.)
There is a truly awesome variety of art talent included here. P. Craig Russell, Frank Brunner, and Barry Windsor-Smith are all before their respective primes, but it’s a delight to have their distinctive styles applied to this character. Gene Colan offers some groundbreaking art that would define Doctor Strange as much as any artist since Steve Ditko. Writing on the end of the superheroic secret identity arc comes from Roy Thomas, but the later Marvel Premiere run features an elaborate Lovecraftian pastiche kicked off by Archie Goodwin and further developed by F. Gardner Fox.
I own most of these comics in their original issues, but I’m very pleased to have them also collected in this high-quality reprint volume. [via]