Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Review: Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death by S. Lee et al.

Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death written by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Chris Claremont, et al., with art by Steve Ditko, Frank Miller, et al.

This anthology of team-up tales featuring Spider-Man and Doctor Strange ranges from 1965 to 1999. The stories start with Spidey and Strange fighting the sorcerer Xandu, who gathers powerful mystical artifacts (and steals them from Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum) in a effort to bring his beloved Melinda back from death. In later stories, they face foes famous (Doctor Doom, Dormammu) and not so famous (Silver Dagger, The Wraith).

An anthology like this has lots of advantages. The thematic core, Spider-Man helping out Doctor Strange, makes a great blend of contrasts--Spidey's wisecracking street smarts and brawn with Strange's esoteric magical abilities. Many battles happen in a mystical dimension, putting Spider-Man out of his comfort zone and enabling exposition about the bizarre mystical mumbo-jumbo that the writers make up. The anthology also cherry-picks stories from thirty years' worth of comics, so the reader gets the best ones.


Parental Advisory--the book is rated T+ on the Marvel Rating System, which may be for the occultish elements of Doctor Strange's life or also for an unusual amount of scantily-clad women (Melinda's outfit gets skimpier and skimpier from story to story, eventually down to a Princess Leia bikini). The violence is pretty standard and not particularly gory.

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