I’m kind of doing this one on a whim, so there’s not the usual amount of research going into this as some of the others I’ve written. It’s not a chronological list or reading order, just what I recommend.
Comixology is having a sale on Doctor Strange Graphic novels, and all of the graphic novels on the first section of this list are available for only $3.99 right now.
Doctor Strange Season One
Written by Greg Pak with astounding art by Emma Rios, this was part of Marvel’s Season One initative. These were original graphic novels retelling the origins of Marvel’s popular characters or new stories set in their early days. Most of them received lackluster reception, but his one, along with X-Men Season One and Wolverine Season One (I highly suggest both) were considered the standouts of the line. It’s a beautiful book and well worth reading. It’s available in the sale as originally released and in a volume called Strange Origin which also contains the first issue of the current Doctor Strange comic. They’re the same price, so if you want to sample the current stuff go with that. Speaking of that series…
Doctor Strange by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachallo.
I’ve been following this based on the creators involved and Bachallo’s art is simply stunning. His work is on point as it ever was in Spider-Man or Uncanny X-Men. Aaron, who has written pretty much every hero Marvel has along with creator-owned Southern Bastards (good series), is clearly having fun and adds some very interesting layers to Strange, his supporting cast and the very nature of magic. I’d recommend it, at least for the art. If you like the first book, read the rest. It just gets better.
Doctor Strange: The Oath
Just go buy this. Like, right now. It’s Marcos Martin, one of the best pencillers currently working and Brian K. Vaughn. Y’know, the guy from Saga. Fables. Runaways.Paper Girls. Pretty much any of the “Comics Aren’t Just for Kids” articles.
Why are you still reading this and not ‘The Oath’? You need me to sell it more? Fine. Wong, Strange’s Assistant is battling against cancer and Strange attempts to find a cure, but it gets stolen. It blends his two professions together in a really skilled way only possible by masters of the craft. Seriously. Go read it.
Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange: Triumph and Torment
Rogern Stern, legendary comic writer (Spider-Man, Hulk, The Death and Return of Superman Novel [New York Times Bestseller]) and Mike Mignola, legendary comic artist (Creator of Hellboy) tell THE single best Doctor Doom story of all time. Every year, Doom travels to Hell to fight for his mother’s soul. Every year, he fails. This year, he has brought Strange. I’m not spoiling anything else, but it’s a hell of a ride.
Other books from the sale:
Peter B. Gillis Doctor Strange:
Peter B. Gillis’ 1970’s run is collected in three volumes; Into the Dark Dimension, Don’t Pay the Ferryman, and Strange Tales. I haven’t read it at all, but the volumes have art by Sal Buscema, Brett Blevins, and Paul Smith, which makes them worth at least a glance.
Marvel Masterworks: Doctor Strange by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Volume One:
This is a collection of the original Doctor Strange comics. I have read the first issue, so I can’t speak on the general content, but this was Ditko at his weirdest and from the art I’ve seen here and there around the ‘net, it’s also some of his best. It’s worth a read. I mean, I’ll get around to it. Maybe. Go read it to say that you’ve read something I haven’t.
Doctor Strange Vs. Dracula:
It’s a couple of different stories by Marvel legends about what it said on the tin. I haven’t read it yet, but I had to buy it simply based on the title.
Doctor Strange and the Defenders:-Not in the Sale:
As opposed to the team on Netflix consisting of Street-Level heroes, the Defenders of the comics is a mismatched group who deal with magical threats. I haven’t read too much Defenders so I can’t necessarily recommend much, but I’ve heard Steve Gerber’s work on it was fantastic. Of The Defenders books I have read I suggest,
Avengers/Defenders War By Steve Englehart, Bob Brown and Sal Buscema
One of the best 70’s Avenger Stories, and there were a lot of great Avengers stories of the era, so that says something. It’s a titanic clash between two groups of heroes as they’re manipulated by Dormammu (Strange’s Big Bad) and Loki. The Defenders fight for the life of their teammate, the Avengers the fate of the world.
Defenders by Matt Fraction
This is a really fun series written by the other guy they talk about in those articles (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals, The Invincible Iron Man), Matt Fraction, with art by Terry Dodson, Jaimie McKelvie and others. It’s just solid superhero high concept stuff with a dash of metacomentary. Really good blending of art and writing.
Leave feedback! Tell me what you want to read! Next month will be Star Wars-The current Marvel stuff. Till then.
Nicoli Raymond is a writer based out of Illinois. He writes scripts, short stories, and articles on pop culture. He tweets at @NicoliRaymond Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Dan Harmon and Michael Giacchino both worked on Doctor Strange, so you should probably go see it.