Thursday, May 30, 2013

Face-Off: Dr. Strange vs. Dr. Fate


Karen: Which doctor do you prefer?




35 comments:

Edo Bosnar said...

Much as I like those Dr. Fate stories written (mainly) by Martin Pasko and drawn by Simonson (in 1st Issue Special) and Giffen/Mahlstedt (as back-ups in Flash) and much as I find the whole concept of Dr. Fate intriguing, I have to remain true to my Marvel-boyish roots and say Dr. Strange.

I just all around like Stephen better: he's got a great origin, a cool set-up (that awesome pad in Greenwich village), excellent supporting cast (Clea obviously, but also Wong and especially the Ancient One) and he's had so many cool stories - from the early stuff by Ditko/Lee, through the many great story-arcs of the '70s/early '80s to the wonderful Triumph & Torment. Also, I really like him as the sort of unofficial (and quite reluctant) leader of the Defenders.

By the way, I love both of those pictures you posted, and I have to say, if Simonson had ever had an extended run with Dr. Fate (like he did with Thor), I probably would have answered differently...

Doug said...

I'll confess to never really knowing what was going on with that whole ankh thing. Did those hit people? Were they weapons, or just the visible (to the reader) manifestation of Fate's magic?

Edo tipped a hat to Simonson's depiction of Dr. Fate. "My" Fate was seen in the pages of the All-Star Comics revival and drawn by Joe Staton. Not bad...

But overall I'll confess to never being much of a fan of the magical/mystical characters. I liked them in their team books but did not seek out their solo adventures. We've talked street-level characters vs. cosmic characters and stories around here. I suppose these two heroes typify yet another genre, hmmm?

Doug

david_b said...

Pretty much same thoughts as Edo. I know nothing really about Fate. Strange I love on several levels.

1) You can enjoy him as kinda quirky, kinda retro and weird circus shamanism during the Lee/Ditko tenure.

2) You can enjoy his more lush Colan/Brunner adventures with extravagant backgrounds, talking centipedes, you name it. I STILL wish Starlin would have taken him over instead of Englehart and Brunner, but it was still fun (Starlin on FF would have been uber-awesome as well.., but he apparently turned it down).

3) Of all the characters chosen to lead the 'Not Ready for Team Players' like Surfer, Hulkie, Namor..? Strange brought a wonderful reluctance and mystic blend to the D-Non-Team, creating a niche that could have been way TOO easy to hand to a lessor creative team and create another Avengers. That put them a few steps above Inhumans, Invaders, and of course the Champions who didn't have much of a back story (as Karen wrote in 'Back Issue' NOW AVAILABLE, FOLKS..).

Rip Jagger said...

This is a conundrum.

If push came to shove, I'd have drop my lot with Doc Fate, if for not other reason than I think his costume is one of the absolute best all time in the field. The bright blue and yellow works, and his helmet is awesome. Doc Strange looks pretty keen too, but Fate wins on that score.

On pure history, it's a toss up. I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of Doc Fate's history but know it's vivid and complex. Doc Strange is less so, more directly a straight up hero.

But I will go with my heart. Every since I caught a glimpse of Doctor Fate in an issue of Justice League as rendered by Dick Dillin and Sid Greene, he has fascinated me. I'll have to say he's my magician of choice.

Rip Off

William Preston said...

I only knew Fate from his guest-starring in other books or the occasional reprint/back-up. Perhaps my most extended look at him came via Smallville, in truth.

I first came upon Strange in the Brunner era, and I thought he was totally cool. I loved it in other characters' comics when someone said, "Maybe we should ask Dr. Strange about this." His availability, and the fact that everyone knew they could check with him on magical stuff, was a fascinating contrast to his Ditko-gothic abode and his tendency, when you came knocking, to be currently out of his body.

Edo Bosnar said...

Actually, Doug, although I absolutely love that Dr. Fate story drawn by Simonson, and I share your admiration for Staton's rendering (he also drew a Dr. Fate origin story), "my" Dr. Fate is actually the Giffen/Mahlstedt version from those back-up stories in Flash. Otherwise, all of these outstanding artistic variations were brought together in that Immortal Dr. Fate reprint series from the early 1980s (why this was not then reprinted in a convenient tpb is a mystery to me).

Edo Bosnar said...

And Rip, if we were just voting on the best costume, I'd pick Fate, too. The helmet alone is one of the coolest things ever in superhero comics.

david_b said...

Ok, I know, it's 'Broken Record' time, but Strange bringing down Galactus with a single thought in FF 243..?

First time I've used this phrase live on the Internet, but that was totally 'Cosmically Baddass'.

Period.



(And yes, Fate does have a nice helmet...)


William said...

Like Doug, I've never been a fan of the mystic or magic using characters. But if I had to pick I would definitely go with Dr. Strange. Mainly because I haven't had all that much exposure to Dr. Fate (except in the various DC animated shows). Whereas Strange has been a founding member of the Defenders, and he's teamed up with many other Marvel characters like Spider-Man in quite a few stories over the years.

Edo, I'm surprised you prefer Fate's look over Strange's. I think that if you take away the helmet, Fate has a pretty plain costume. Whereas Strange has always had a very unique and interesting look, IMO. From the unusual gloves, the ornate fringed cloak, and the loose fitting tunic. To me Strange has always sort of been the Hugh Hefner of the superhero set.

Doug said...

Here's a Dr. Strange thought for you, in regard to costumes:

I have the Marvel Legends figure of Strange and a) that cape is big and heavy! and b) because of that big and heavy cape and the amount of rubber they committed to it, they made Doc's body smaller than a standard 6" figure. So that being said, my Strange won't stand up with the cape on him so I've removed it. And you know what? I rather like the "capeless" look!

You can get a look at it by going back to my "Doug's Stuff" update, here (lower left corner) --

http://bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com/2012/12/doug-says-check-out-some-of-my-stuff.html

Doug

PS: It is a cool-looking cape, one of the best.

Mike said...

I used to read some Dr. Strange in the 80's, and only recently I've started becoming familiar with Dr. Fate and I'm finding him to be one baaaaaddd dude! But (I hate to do this) I don't find it fair for me to pick one right now because of how uneducated I am on Fate. So for me, its a tie.

However, if the choice was between ANIMATED versions of the two, then its easily Dr. Fate. His Young Justice appearances are stellar ... and even frightening, as well as in Justice League and JL Unlimited. He's even pretty cool in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episodes.

And yes, the helmet is cool too, although I do dig Strange's cape ... and I wish I had an Eye of Agamotto. Man, the things I could do with that -- its better than Jedi powers!

Karen said...

I'm with Edo. I like Dr. Fate's look better. That helmet is just one of the best-looking costume pieces in comics. The Young Justice series premiered a black and gold version that was pretty sharp too.

That said, I don't know much about Fate outside of some JSA books and the cartoons. I do think I like his background better.

I always had mixed feelings about Strange. Sometimes he seemed a bit pompous to me. But I think I had a prejudice against mustachioed characters as a child...

David, thanks for the shout out about Back Issue. I haven't received my copy yet but I am looking forward to it, what with the articles on the Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doom Patrol, and so on. Should be a good ish!

Doug said...

Now there's a post topic!! Moustachioed characters... wonder if there would be any women in that conversation?

Doug

themiddlespaces said...

I know next to nothing about Dr. Fate. So it isn't even fair for me to compare.

david_b said...

Doug, I have a cool Doc Strange scene setup on my work desk inches from my keyboard, using the Spiderwoman Select Hydra base.

Will take a camera picture and post later today.. My blackberry doesn't seem to want to email my pic attachments.

Anonymous said...

By the Fatal Flames of Faltine!

Yes Dr Fate has a cool helmet but I have to give my vote to Earth's once and forever Sorcerer Supreme (sorry Brother/Dr Voodoo).

From his trippy Ditko psychedelic days to his depictions by the great Gene Colan and Frank Brunner, Dr Strange has always been my favourite magician. Apart from having a cool costume (let's try to forget that awful masked outfit he had in the late 60s), he's got the eye of Agamotto, his cloak of levitation (one of the best looking ones in all comicsdom), and other artifacts like the book of the Vishanti. Anyone who can banish vampires with one spell is A-OK in my book.

His backstory is great too, beginning with his tutelage under the Ancient one (in one Guardians of the Galaxy timeline, Strange himself becomes the Ancient One after 500 years). Also his rogues gallery is replete with memorable ones like Baron Mordo, the Dread Dormammu, Nightmare and Shuma Gorath. Who can forget his turn as the defacto leader of the greatest non-team of all -the Defenders? Let's see Cyclops or Reed Richards try to manage both the Hulk and Namor!



- Mike 'I don't have one, but why does Karen hate moustaches?' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Garett said...

Why does Dr. Fate pull his shorts up so high? Other than that, great costume!

I'll go with Dr. Fate, especially the Simonson version as Edo said, or the Dillin version. I have those '80s reprints of Simonson's Dr. Fate and Manhunter--I'd actually rather have seen an extended run by Simonson on both of these, than on Thor. Outside of the compositions and action, Simonson had a cool way of drawing the magic powers at work.

William said...

Karen and Doug, this completely off topic, but sometime in the near future you guys should do a post reviewing the new "Avengers Assemble" animated series that just started airing this past weekend on Disney XD.

I would love to hear what everyone thinks about how they replaced the excellent, comic book inspired "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes", with this new movie inspired series. I have some strong opinions on the subject myself that would like to get off my chest.

I know we have some big Avengers fans around here, and I know you sometimes take suggestions for articles, so I thought this might be an interesting topic for you to cover. (Or not) :)

Karen said...

William, that's a great idea. I caught the two episodes this weekend past, and I have some "strong opinions" too!

And I don't hate mustaches any more -I was just very suspicious of men who had them as a child. Where that came from, I have no idea! Harry Mudd, perhaps??

William Preston said...

Here's the Doc Strange done for me by Rudy Nebres back in 1978 or so.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/514766/Photo%20on%202013-03-08%20at%2014.41.jpg

Redartz said...

Not as familiar with Dr. Fate; have read some JSA appearances and liked his role in Giffen's Justice League. I have to toss in with Dr. Strange.

As noted previously, he has a particularly striking costume and an appropriately mystic array of companions and accessories. His big draw for me, though, has been the overall high quality of his stories. Lee/ Ditko, Englehart/ Colan/Brunner, Stern/Rogers all had classic runs . Pretty impressive...

MattComix said...

Dr. Strange is probably a better character but I took a shine to Doctor Fate as a kid primarily thanks to the Super Powers toyline and also the Legends mini-series. I was reading comics but I don't think I had ever seen him up to that point.

I guess it's something about the striking helmet design and having his power bursts take the shape of aknh symbols. I also liked the idea that there was a mind inside the helmet that basically took over once Kent Nelson put it on.

Both have struggled with keep their own series going but I think maybe they aren't really built for the ongoing, never ending monthly format. They would probably do better in a team, series of mini-series and also just as characters who exist as part of the tapestry of their respective universes.

In some ways Doctor Strange is almost more fun as the go-to mystic guy of the Marvel Universe than he is as a protagonist. Fate is kind of the same way. I loved him in his role of gathering the heroes for the final conflict in Legends. "Superman...YOU ARE NEEDED."

Doug said...

I think that the real magic today is that the normally nocturnal Mike from T&T has posted in the daylight hours!

Doug

david_b said...

Ah, THAT'S what I was going to bring up in the Suggestion Box.., the new Avengers animated series (was wrackin' my head trying to remember..).

Yes, fodder for a topic someday soon.



SPOILER ALERT: I didn't like it, missing the style and fun of Avengers: EMH too much.

Doug said...

William Preston --

Great commission piece! I love those! Lots of detail on the edges of the cape.

Doug

Karen said...

Because YOU demanded it!! Next Wednesday, we'll throw open the blog to a discussion of the new Avengers cartoon -and, I suspect, much reminiscing about the dearly departed Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with Doc Strange. Fate had some cool moments (like when he fought the Spectre), but Fate was always a little too "inhuman" for me, especially when his mind was being taken over by Nabu.

Mike W.

Tony said...

This would have been a cool DC/Marvel crossover back in the day. I can picture a nice big Treasury Edition with those two squaring off, magic against magic. there could have been cameos from other "magical" heroes...Zatanna, Spectre, Phantom Stranger...cool. Why didn't they do this? Anyway, hard to pick a winner but I have to go against my love for DC here, and pick Dr Strange as the winner.

Marc said...

Dr. Strange all the way. Never read any Dr. Fate comics, I only knew him from the DC Super Power figures.

I may be in the minority here, but I like the masked costume he wore. Pretty sure it was an attempt to make him a more marketable super-hero type, but aesthetically speaking, it looked cool.

david_b said...

Here's my office desktop Doc Strange diorama, casting a spell on the unsuspecting Hydra guards..

http://megomuseum.com/mmgallery/files/1/7/9/7/100_7821.jpg

I had Doc's cape swooped back and added occasional-Defender Yellowjacket from the Wonderman Legends set. The Marvel Select base works great with any of the Legends figures.

William Preston said...

Doug,

Yeah, the detail is wonderful. It took him a long time. He drew it in pencil, was going to sell it, then asked if I wanted him to pen-and-ink it. I had to keep wandering around the comic displays at the Quakerbridge Mall convention till he was finished. Lovely work.

Doug said...

Very cool, David!

William -- your wandering was worth the wait!

Doug

PS: And since Karen said that she heard your cries for an Avengers cartoon post, I should also say that inspiration derived from her "moustachioed" comment will bring you an opportunity to discuss facially hirsute heroes and villains! Mid-June -- watch for it.

Garett said...

Yes, nice Nebres drawing, William P.

Anonymous said...

Doug - it's a double holiday down here in T & T (Indian Arrival Day and Corpus Christi) which is why I was able to post so early!



- Mike 'night owl who woke up early today' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Fred W. Hill said...

Like most of the previous posters here, I'm only vaguely familiar with Dr. Fate -- I got a few issues of a Dr. Fate series in the '80s, but that's about the extent of his presence in my comics collection. Dr. Strange, however, is far better represented and the issues written or plotted by Ditko, Englehart & Stern & their collaborators are IMO artistic highlights of the Silver & Bronze ages. I also loved Steve Gerber's use of the Master of the Mystic Arts in his run on the Defenders. Actually, now that I think about I need to check his run on Dr. Fate, which I believe was his last project before his all too premature passing.

Related Posts with Thumbnails