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Secret Origins of Dr. Strange - Part 9 of 12
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In the previous eight issues of this series, we've shown you some of the inspirations for the creation of Marvel's mystical superhero, Dr. Strange. This time, we're going to show you how numerous influences combined to inspire Steve Ditko to create this, the first adventure of DOCTOR STRANGE!
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It all started one day in mid-1963,when Steve Ditko brought Stan Lee a brand new character, and that character's first-ever story. Lee hadn't asked for the character, or the story. Ditko did it completely on his own, on "spec," as they say (for the "speculation" that it will be bought). The character was Dr. Strange, and his first story (published in STRANGE TALES #110, July 1963) was called...
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In The Avenging Mind (2008), Steve Ditko wrote, "On my own, I brought in to [Stan] Lee a five-page, penciled story with a page/panel script of my idea of a new, different kind of character for variety in Marvel Comics. My character wound up being named Dr. Strange because he would appear in STRANGE TALES."

Dr. Strange's first adventure begins in a "Dr. 13"-ish manner, as a desperate man comes to Doc for help with a supernatural problem...
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Hmmm... the good doctor is a dead ringer for Vincent Price as he appeared in THE RAVEN.
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Stephen also enjoys striking mystical poses -- just like Vincent...
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Doc also resembles Ronald Coleman, star of LOST HORIZON...
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During his first case, Doc goes astral and crosses the continents...
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Doc travels to "the remote vastness of Asia" -- just as Alexandra David-Neal did when she visited Asia in "MAGIC AND MYSTERY IN TIBET."
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Doc is advised by an aging mystical mentor -- just as DR. FATE was.
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Strange's mentor, the Ancient One (initially called simply "the master") strongly resembles Sam Jaffee in LOST HORIZON...
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After Doc visits his mentor, he uses his magic to enter his client's dreams. There, he encounters his "ancient" (and future) foe, Nightmare -- just as MANDRAKE once battled his opposite, the evil Ekardnam!
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While Doc's Etheric form chats with Nightmare in another dimension, back on earth, Doc's "mortal body" is in danger -- as was often the case with the Spectre and Jim Corrigan...
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Doc's amulet blasts forth with a colorful mystic ray -- like Vincent Price in THE RAVEN...
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Doc defeats Nightmare by discovering the CAUSE of his client's haunted dreams...
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So ended Doc's first adventure! A humble tale. And as you may have noticed, Doc's origin was NOT disclosed in his premiere tale. This story was not presented until a few issues later. But don't worry... we're covering it in our very next issue!

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BONUS EXTRA!

DOCTOR STRANGE
MAN OF ACTION FIGURE

Pictured right is the limited-edition Dr. Strange figure. If you've never seen one, it's probably because there were only 750 made.

The product was manufactured by MOAF (Man of Action Figures) for Dark Horse Comics, which produced a series of Marvel Silver Age Figures, including Ditko's Spider-Man, Iron Man (whose red and yellow armor was designed by Ditko), and the Hulk (who became a monster when enraged -- a key part of the character which was Ditko's suggestion).

The Dr. Strange figure on the right replicates Doc's original look and costume (no red cape at this time), designed by the one and only Steve Ditko.

The Dark Horse/Marvel figures come in tin boxes featuring artwork from vintage Marvel comics, and a button with the hero's face on it (pictured right).


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