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A Sorcerer Supreme reigns in Marvel Action Classics: Avengers - Doctor Strange

By Jeff Spry
Strange Hero

Proving the limitless popularity of Earth's valiant protector against magical threats, Marvel Comics and IDW Publishing are teaming up to revive two all-time classic Dr. Strange tales that display the extreme talents of the dimension-hopping wizard also known as Stephen Strange.

SYFY WIRE is casting a spellbinding preview of the oversized 48-page issue complete with comments by its main story architect, the award-winning writer and industry veteran Paul Tobin.

By The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, Marvel Action Classics: Avengers Starring Doctor Strange #1 is carefully extracted directly from the stuffed shelves inside Marvel's Vault of Heroes. Inside, prepare for a powerful pair of iconic adventures starring the mercurial Master of the Mystic Arts that will drop you inside the insane fabric of space and time as Strange enlists the help of his faithful sidekick, Jason Wong, and the webslinging wonder, Spider-Man.

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First published in Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #5 from 2008, "A Very Strange Day" is penned by Paul Tobin with bold artwork via Jacopo Camagni and finds the Sorcerer Supreme discovering a mysterious menace called a Zakimiya eating huge holes in the interlaced tapestry of reality. Stephen Strange needs backup, so he turns to Spider-Man for his unique style of help restoring the tatters of the multiverse.

The second story heralds from Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes #9 in 2009. "Contractual Discombobulations" features the same creative team of Tobin and Camagni and showcases a cultural field trip to the Guggenheim Museum that pits Wong and Strange against the ancient evil of fire-breathing squirrel! But appearances are deceiving, and when Dormammu attacks, Strange calls upon Foggy Nelson to help him find a loophole to shoot Dormammu back to his Dark Dimension.

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The Eisner Award-winning Tobin (Prometheus: Fire and Stone, Colder, Plants vs Zombies) had enormous fun working on Marvel's all-ages titles spotlighting Dr. Strange and fondly remembers writing these two imaginative stories.

"I love Dr. Strange because he lives in a very codified, rigorous world, but one where to an outside viewer everything is magic," Tobin tells SYFY WIRE. "It's a combination of 'anything can happen!' combined with 'But I will have to work very hard for the magic to happen, and to fight evils no one else can even perceive.' And then, through it all, Dr. Strange retains his sense of mystery, wit, and a joy of life he never before had."

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Tobin considers the genuine sense of wonder that Strange has about the worlds, and his place in them, is what keeps him and fans engaged.

"I love a hero who can say, 'This is all chaos and possible end-of-the-world stuff, but I'm having the time of my life and I got this,'" he adds. "A sense of adventure, and a sense that Strange inhabits countless worlds and realities, while still remaining entirely grounded in our own world and reality. He's a man who's okay with making things up as he goes along, because he's the Sorcerer Supreme, and when HE makes something up, it becomes real."

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Enter the dimensional rift and surf straight into our exclusive peek at Marvel Action Classics: Avengers Starring Doctor Strange #1 in the gallery below before the enchanting all-ages legacy issue arrives Feb. 19.