Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Doctor Strange


Today started wonderfully because my long lost brother called Edit: Marvel released the first trailer for Doctor Strange!

And with that one sentence, I've already dated this blog. Tomorrow, that sentence doesn't work. Next year the whole thrill of a Doctor Strange movie will be over, even if we liked it. In 10 years time, after sequels and crossovers, the entire superhero franchise may have been supplanted by a new genre of movies. Vegetables, maybe. "There are too many films about vegetables." We'll be saying. "Captain Asparagas, Iron Mango, The Mighty Thaw." That last one is about vegetables defrosting, obviously. D'you like the way I led into that whole vegetable thing with 'supplanted'?

But for now, it's exciting. Hell, I've been anticipating this since before the news was announced, re-designing a Doctor Strange for my own amusement. I ditched his costume as I imagined him less exuberant than superheroes. Instead of robes, he'd be dressed like a detective or gangster, quietly coming and going within the hidden areas of the Marvel universe's magical community. Admittedly, what I actually came out with looks more like a pimp... But his entire motivation will be about learning and keeping peace, discovering long lost arcane secrets and having battles that S.H.I.E.L.D and the Avengers never find out about. Of course, part of Marvel's success is their willingess to depict their characters in their full, brightly coloured original costumes, something early superhero films like X-Men were wary about doing. Hidden worlds is still depicted in this movie though, and people seem really excited that Doctor Strange will offer them something different.

As a kid, I thought his origin was the most intriguing. An arrogant surgeon, who lost the ability of his hands in a car accident, finds a new sense of purpose through personal growth and study in the mystic arts. I found it a fascinating blend of real life and fantasy. He wasn't born with powers, he didn't gain them accidentally. He worked for them. And it wasn't about being powerful or destroying evil or being a 'chosen one', it was about him filling a void in his life.

Benedict Cumberbatch in the Marvel universe. We really are spoiled, y'know.