Strange Days


Strange Tales #2

Marvel’s alternate comics bonanza continues with Tony Millionaire’s epic battle of Iron Man vs. Baloney Head, Liver-wurst Face, and a giant holographic image of Dwight D. Eisenhower; R. Kikuo Johnson’s tale of the Puppet Master’s attempts to use a hypnotized seeing-eye dog to get his daughter Alicia Masters a job; Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s look at Brother Voodoo as a blaxploitation hero; Jhonen Vasquez’s warning about the dangers of being a M.O.D.O.K. fanboy; Jacob Chabot’s freakin’ awesome tribute to Ben Grimm and facial hair; and the continuing saga of Peter Bagge’s “The Incorrigible Hulk.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really wonderfully madcap stuff. The standout stories are definitely the ones by Tony Millionaire, R. Kikuo Johnson (Alicia Masters’ inability to decorate a cake has never been funnier, nor have four background panels of a hypnotized dog’s fierce dedication to peeing on the Thing been more alarmingly awesome), Jhonen Vasquez, and Jacob Chabot, whose story about Ben Grimm’s chia-pet facial hair is the type of thing they build legends on. Go get this comic, and don’t delay.


Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #1

Jeremiah Drumm, the former Brother Voodoo, is the new Sorcerer Supreme, so he’s now known as Doctor Voodoo. He ventures to Dormammu’s dark dimension to imprison the magic-wielding conqueror. After escaping, he talks about his strategy for taming the supernatural world with Dr. Strange, tries to attend to patients at his clinic in New Orleans, battles an evil loa, and gets completely spanked by Dr. Doom.

Verdict: Thumbs down. There’s so much to dislike here. Voodoo’s defeat of the monstrously powerful Dormammu is too quick and too easy. Strange is depicted a decrepit worrywort — and the bizarre handlebar mustache he’s saddled with may be this comic’s biggest crime. Drumm at least loses the ridiculous pidgin accent that Brian Bendis stuck him with, but we don’t end up learning much of interest about him in the first issue. The only person who comes off well here is Doom, whose masterful and nearly effortless takedown of Voodoo makes it look really, really likely that Drumm wasn’t the right guy for the job. This is not the way you introduce a first issue.

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