So in addition to it being Star Wars Day, May the 4th was also Free Comic Book Day, a day designed to get folks out to their Local Comic Book Store (LCBS for the nerdier among us) and get free stuff. The major publishers put out a few reprints, and the odd original work. The LCBSes usually run all sorts of sales to catch the wallets of the patrons like bottom trawlers. Every year I swear I’m not going in, because I hate crowds, and I always buy something I probably don’t need. Every year I end up there anyway.
Finding this series was one of those fated moments. I was only in the LCBS because my brother wanted to see what sales they had on their used video games. After torturing him and his wallet by drawing his attention to two normally overpriced ATLUS titles, I headed over to the longboxes to avoid making a $40+ purchase myself.
Now, Dr. Strange is a character I’ve always been interested in, but never enough to seek out a title where he’s the head-liner. I hadn’t even heard of this series before I saw it in the longbox that day. What caught my eye under his name, though, was the name of one of my favourite writers working in comics today, Brian K. Vaughan. I haven’t read his entire body of work yet, but I haven’t come across a title written by him that I haven’t enjoyed. At $1 an issue, the trawlers had caught my wallet once again.
Writer Brian K. Vaughan and penciller Marcos Martin’s Dr. Strange: The Oath is a 5 issue limited series from 2006, featuring Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme as he attempts to find a mystical cure for his cancer-ridden Apprentice/Butler/Manservant, Wong. Along the way, they meet the Night Nurse, a young doctor who has made a name for herself by running an exclusive after hours clinic to patch up costumed vigilantes. The trio track down a mysterious thief who has stolen Wong’s one chance for survival.
Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big screen again as Tony “Iron Man” Stark in Iron Man 3. It’s the flagship title of Marvel Films “Phase 2”, kicking of another series of movies leading up to Avengers 2. In the wake of the events of The Avengers, Tony finds himself having a hard time adjusting to his experience fighting of a legion of aliens, lead by an angry Norse God. Acknowledging his own mortality, and the fact that he’s just “a man in a can” has left him sleepless and reclusive. Adding to the troubles is the appearance of frightening cultural Hodge-Podge of a terrorist, The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), who’s been linked to 9 mysterious explosive attacks on American interests around the world.
Distracted and distant, Tony is once again at risk of losing the one thing he fights so hard to protect, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), when a man from their past, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) returns with a business proposal. Between blowing up all the bad guys, Tony once again has to set himself on a course of learning personal responsibility and what it means to grow up.
My head’s rolling around after this one. It really is. By all rights, this movie should be fucking terrible, and I should hate it. I don’t know how to write this review without spoiler-upon-spoiler, but I’m going to try. I want to rip it apart and then explain why none of it matters. I’m bordering on making another Red Pill/Blue Pill set of reviews here. Instead, I can only say what I feel: I had a fucking blast watching this movie. If you can turn off your brain, and just enjoy RDJ being Tony Stark, and like watching big explosions, then this is the show for you.