Strange Sports Stories


Strange #1

Stephen Strange is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme, but that gives him the freedom to go out an enjoy a baseball game. Well, by “enjoy,” I really mean “try to keep everyone in the ballpark from being sucked into Hell, thanks to a decades-old deal-with-a-demon and a bunch of demon-possessed baseball players.” And worse, Strange doesn’t have the towering mystic might he used to, forcing him to rely on Casey Kinmont, the granddaughter of the ballclub owner. Casey has some magical talent, but no training — can Strange talk her through the spells he needs her to cast? And if that isn’t enough, will he be able to score a home run against a bunch of demonic ballplayers?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s worth the price just for the image of Dr. Strange, decked out in a grubby jacket and ballcap, hair messed up, and a plate of nachos splattered all over his shirt, dishing out trash talk, and bellowing at the umps. Clearly, more superheroes should go to baseball games.


Batman and Robin #6

Well, I think that’s the most colorful cover I’ve ever seen on the cover of any Batman comic, except maybe for the old “Rainbow Batman” cover from the ’60s.

Well, the Red Hood (better known as Jason Todd) and his sidekick Scarlet have captured Batman and Robin, tied ’em up, stripped ’em to their skivvies, and set up a webcam to reveal their secret identities to the world. Unfortunately, that means Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne aren’t available to help when Red Hood and Scarlet get ambushed by a flamboyant and violently insane assassin named Eduardo Flamingo, who very easily trashes both of them. And even after Batman and Robin make their escape and join the battle, Flamingo still manages to pitch Batman off a building and shoot Robin several times in the back. How will they stop Flamingo? And is there any hope left for Jason and Scarlet?

Verdict: Mostly a thumbs up. The stakes are entertainingly raised with Damian’s gunshot wounds and possible paralysis — oh, we know it won’t be permanent, since Grant Morrison’s previous story about Damian’s future reveals that he sells his soul for healing powers. The possible end of Scarlet’s storyarc is very interesting, but I’m looking forward to hearing what actually becomes of her. Damian’s stupid gay slur about Flamingo’s costume is, well, stupid, in more ways than one. But if any kid deserved to get shot in the back multiple times after doing the “sneering homophobic teen buttwipe” thing, it’s definitely Damian.


Sir Edward Grey, Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels #5

Grey and the Captain have gone to Bedlam to seek the aid of a mad sorcerer named Martin Gilfryd to stop the rampage of the demonic horror terrorizing London. Gilfryd manages to use the monster’s ancient bones to give it back a physical body, meaning Sir Edward finally has a chance to kill the thing. But even with the creature destroyed, there are still many dangers and perils ahead. Can Sir Edward survive them all?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action, creepy magic, great suspense, and lots of weird stuff. A bit of a heartbreaking ending, but it’s a perfect fit for this overall grim story.

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