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Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Loses its Director

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Scott Derrickson won’t be directing Marvel StudiosDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Marvel confirmed the departure citing “creative differences.” It was a mutual decision. Derrickson will remain on as an executive producer.

In a statement to Variety, Marvel Studios said:

Marvel Studios and Scott Derrickson have amicably parted ways on ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ due to creative differences. We remain grateful to Scott for his contributions to the MCU.

Derrickson also released a statement via Twitter:

Marvel and I have mutually agreed to part ways on ‘Doctor Strange: In the Multiverse of Madness’ due to creative differences. I am thankful for our collaboration and will remain on as EP.

The film was to begin production in May and there’s not expected to be delays for shooting. A search for a replacement director is underway.

The film company has had issues when it comes to directors having multiple leave projects, or not even start, due to “creative differences.” In 2014 Edgar Wright stepped down from helming Ant-Man after years in development. Joss Whedon seems to have had a more amicable split after Avengers: Age of Ultron and Tweeted support to Wright hinting at his own negative experience which he’s talked a little about. Ava DuVernay was in talks to direct Black Panther but passed because “she couldn’t make it her own.” DuVernay is now playing in DC Comics/Warner Bros. sandbox on multiple projects.

The first Doctor Strange was released in 2016 and earned $677.7 million worldwide.

Preview: Doctor Strange Annual #1

Doctor Strange Annual #1

(W) Pornsak Pichetshote, Tini Howard (A) Andy MacDonald, Lalit Kumar Sharma (CA) Ariel Olivetti
Rated T+
In Shops: Oct 30, 2019
SRP: $4.99

The Sanctum Sanctorum holds all of the bizarre and dark relics that Doctor Strange has accumulated on his journey as the Sorcerer Supreme. But when one of those relics awakens and begins wreaking havoc in the halls, will Doctor Strange be able to wrangle back control…or will his Sanctum be transformed into his own personal hell? Find out in this epic Annual from Tini Howard (THANOS), Pornsak Pitchetshote (INFIDEL), and more!

Doctor Strange Annual #1

Preview: Doctor Strange #18

Doctor Strange #18

(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Jesus Saiz
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 28, 2019
SRP: $3.99

• Stephen Strange is back on Earth after his Multiversal odyssey with Galactus and Clea.
• But is the Multiverse done with Doctor Strange?
• A truly terrifying villain is working their way into the Marvel U via a small house in Kansas, in the issue that will have people talking for years!

Doctor Strange #18

Preview: Doctor Strange #17

Doctor Strange #17

(W) Mark Waid, Barry Kitson (A) Barry Kitson, Scott Koblish (CA) Jesus Saiz
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 14, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The stakes have never been higher for Stephen Strange as “Herald Supreme” reaches its climax! Not only is the Multiverse in jeopardy but so is the love of Stephen’s life! Can Strange save both existence and Clea?!

Doctor Strange #17

Preview: Doctor Strange #16

Doctor Strange #16

(W) Mark Waid, Barry Kitson (A) Barry Kitson, Scott Koblish (CA) Jesus Saiz
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 24, 2019
SRP: $3.99

“HERALD SUPREME” CONTINUES!
• The only good thing about Galactus sating his hunger in another dimension was that the Marvel Universe was safe.
• Well, he’s powered up and back in the Marvel Universe and all of space and time is in dreadful danger!

Doctor Strange #16

Preview: Doctor Strange #15

Doctor Strange #15

Writer: Mark Waid, Barry Kitson
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Cover Artist: Jesus Saiz

With a fresh alter-dimensional feast and an alliance with Dormammu, GALACTUS has never been more terrifying! Do a reunited Doctor Strange and Clea have a chance to stop them? It’s not looking good…

Doctor Strange #15

Messages from Midgard #10 – Deadpool Down Under

“War of the Realms” is starting to wind down this week with the release of the penultimate issue of the core series, War of the Realms #5. The comic has a predictable ending thanks to the marketing department, but actually feels like a Jason Aaron/Russell Dauterman/Matthew Wilson Thor comic thanks to its excellent characterization of Thor and Jane Foster to go with fight scenes a la the third act of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The tie-ins aren’t bad either as I wish Journey into Mystery went on for another four issues of road trip hijinks, Greg Pak and Gang Hyuk Lim finally find their sprawling ensemble cast’s footing in New Agents of Atlas, and Captain Marvel and Deadpool wisely choose comedy over melodrama. The only real stinker of the bunch is Tony Stark, Iron Man #12, which made feel really bad for Gail Simone, who has to do the comic book equivalent of walking, chewing bubblegum, and someone else’s calculus homework at the same time.

War of the Realms #5

War of the Realms #5 is paced like a fever dream and a reminder that Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson have done fantastic work on Thor and can tell a poignant story that isn’t just fight scenes stitched together. With the death of the Valkyries and Loki and the capture of Freyja and Odin, this is a real breaking point for Thor and the “War of the Realms” as a whole. Aaron, Dauterman, and Wilson double down on the religious/mythological imagery by having cosmic powered Daredevil nail Thor on the World Tree so he can have some insight on how to defeat Malekith. It’s a big moment for a hero that has been considered “unworthy” for the past five years, and he takes responsibility for all the realms sliding into the role of All-Father and not just a rage-filled, hammer destroying warrior.

Speaking of war, there is quite a lot of it, but Aaron, Dauterman, and Wilson do a good job balancing it with the intense, non-linear Thor/Daredevil/Jane Foster scenes. Even though they feature a variety of locations and characters, the action sequences work because they follow a uniting principle of “liberation”. There are sheer badass moments, like Okoye delivering killer one-liners while the Dora Milaje drive back the angels to Heven, Jane Foster and Roz Solomon watching Roxxon’s stock prices drop while they kick Dario Agger’s minotaur ass, and Captain Britain and Captain America teaming up to drive the Dark Elves back to the English Channel. War of the Realms #5 alternates between triumph and agony and is a treat for fans of the Jane Foster Thor stories as she is inspired by the sacrifice of the Valkyries to continue being a warrior and a hero. With operatic visuals (Especially the Daredevil/Thor scenes.) and its strong character development of Thor, War of the Realms #5 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy.

War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #4

In its frenetic fourth issue, War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery enters the pantheon of one of my favorite types of mainstream comics: the fun, quirky B-list cast starring book that ends too soon. We’re talking books like Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and Secret Six. The McElroys are definitely hip to the idea that the best comedy comes from character, and it leads to hilarious moments like Wonder Man lamenting his Tommy Bahama shirt being riddled with bullets, the underage Brooklynite Miles Morales having no idea how to act in a casino, and Balder trying to order “sack” aka the favorite drink of Shakespeare’s Falstaff at the casino. As we’ve gotten to know the cast of Journey into Mystery better, the humor level has increased along with the level of general peril.

Yes, Journey into Mystery #4 isn’t all witty banter- it’s a heist story set at a henchpeople convention because the War of the Realms isn’t great for business. Andre Araujo’s diagram-like layouts and Chris O’Halloran’s flat approach to colors gives this issue great flair especially when the heist goes sideways, and a gun fight breaks out. Araujo tilts his grid to give readers a 360 view of the casino floor while the team struggles with what to do as Ares goes mano a mano with Thori. Great jokes, an easy to follow setpiece, a down ending, and the brilliant concept of a henchperson convention earns Journey into Mystery an Overall Verdict of Buy.’

War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #3

Up to this point, New Agents of Atlas has had tons of potential yet has been a little bit of a mess with a huge cast of characters and middle of the road visuals from Gang Hyuk Lim and colorists Federico Blee, Andres Mossa, and Erick Arciniega. However, Greg Pak uses a team meal of spam prepared different ways to unite his Pan-Asian superhero team, and it’s a well-timed breather before Jimmy Woo puts his final plan in motion. Splitting the team into tasks that reflect their strengths finally showcases Woo’s strategic genius, and it also lets us get to know the sprawling cast of New Agents of Atlas before the big finale next issue.

Some character moments that stood out to me in New Agents of Atlas #3 was the growing master/apprentice type bond between Sword Master and Shang Chi and the fact that sexist, elitist Monkey King kept getting his ass handed to him by various team members. There is also a sad, yet relevant scene where the usually cheerful Filipina heroine Wave realizes that Sindr making the water warmer will lead to flooding in Cebu where her grandpa lives. New Agents of Atlas #3 is the issue where Pak and Lim make the majority of these characters seem like people and not interchangeable action figures with cool powers. Also, Amadeus Cho gets one hell of a redemption arc and basically is the Korean-American Wolverine as he fights off swarms of Fire Goblins so the rest of the team can accomplish teir tasks. The art is still too “house style”, the colors are still over rendered, but Greg Pak made me care about this new superhero team in this issue so New Agents of Atlas #3 earns an overall verdict of Read.

Captain Marvel #6

Opening with one hell of action scene from artists Annapaola Martello and Tamra Bonvillain where Bucky and Black Widow take out a group of undead ghouls with some acrobatics and a grenade, Captain Marvel #6 ends up being Freaky Friday with Captain Marvel and Dr. Strange, which is the result of them failing to defeat Enchantress. Writer Kelly Thompson has tons of fun with this premise that works because both Strange and Carol are Type A personalities even if his superpowers are more mental and hers are more physical. Black Widow’s dry sense of humor is on full display for most of the issue as she cuts these two big personalities down to size at least until surrounded by aforementioned ghouls.

The big problem with Captain Marvel #6 is that much of the action is said to take place in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which have metropolitan areas of over 12 million each, but 90% of the comic happens in a fucking jungle. Thompson’s writing is clever, and she nails the dysfunctional personalities of Dr. Strange and Captain Marvel. But, at the bare minimum, she could have read Wikipedia and realized that Brazil is 87.5% urbanized. Despite this huge research faux pas, Captain Marvel is an enjoyable read that doesn’t take itself too seriously, has hilarious faces and well-done action choreography from Martello and Bonvillain, and has an Overall Verdict of Read.

Deadpool #13

I always love when Deadpool has an event tie-in because he always ends up mocking the premise of the event and having a fun, goofy adventure. (Also, because the first Deadpool comic I ever read was a “Secret Invasion” tie-in). Writer Skottie Young and artist Nic Klein take him on a wild ride to Australia where he’s commissioned to liberate the continent/country from Ulik and the trolls with the help of their nation’s finest heroes, Captain Outback, Nuclear Nancy, and copyright friendly Tasmanian Devil. Yep, Young peppers his script with plenty of pop culture references and jokes like having Captain Marvel use Crocodile Hunter dialogue in dream sequence, and “Skottrick” even roasts his own writing when he borrows a one-liner from Terminator and blames it on his kids being home from school.

What makes Deadpool #13 so funny and work has a comic is the blend of silly, irreverent dialogue and detailed art that is played for drama like Klein’s double page tableau recapping what’s been going in the “War of the Realms”. But Klein can do humor too like Negasonic Teenage Warhead’s deadpan expression as Deadpool reacts and laughs at various romantic comedies, or the ending when Deadpool is making jokes about the shittiness of the Hobbit movies while being surrounded by trolls and not having the best allies to help him out. Skottie Young and Nic Klein have a good handle on irreverent Deadpool comedy stylings and have some clever ideas like the trolls enjoying the sparsely populated Australian Outback so Deadpool #13 gets an Overall Verdict of Buy.

Tony Stark, Iron Man #12

I love the idea of Tony Stark fighting a greedy, Smaug-like dragon (Or wyrm. I don’t wanna piss off the fantasy geeks.) and having that fight be written by Gail Simone, who excels at writing smarmy assholes that want to be heroes in spite of it all. (See Catman.) However, Tony Stark Iron Man #12 has to deal with the effects of Dan Slott’s previous arc, introduce the dragon, and have another plot about not having artificial intelligence completely work on technology that affects human behavior. Apparently, in the last arc, Tony Stark relapsed into alcoholism in a virtual reality environment, which honestly just sounds like a weak tea substitute for “Demon in a Bottle”, or a real problem that people experience.

So, Simone and artist Paolo Villanelli are stuck trying to continue that storyline and do a kind of prequel to “War of the Realms”. The idea of Malekith sending a dragon assassin with magical abilities to take out a man of science with quite a large “hoard” is clever and gives an opportunity for Simone to write some Stark snark as he compares the wyrm to Toothless and Falkor. But it’s weighed down by too many subplots. Honestly, this comic would have worked better as a miniseries with Dan Slott continuing his alcoholism/AI/wannabe Black Mirror thing in the main Tony Stark, Iron Man series. It’s safe to say it gets an Overall Verdict of Pass.


With the exception of a bungled Iron Man tie-in, I personally enjoyed this week’s “War of the Realms”, including the core book, which lived up to the pre-release hype of combining the strong arcs and ideas from Jason Aaron’s Thor run with epic Marvel Universe-spanning battles. I’m also going to miss The McElroys when they leave comics and return to their lucrative day job of podcasting and think they would make amazing writers on a humor, character-driven Justice League or Avengers title. Finally, it definitely seems that Skottie Young or someone in the Deadpool office has played Risk because Australia is truly the key to victory…


Panel of the Week

Poor Skottie Young’s kids (Deadpool #13; Art by Nic Klein)

Beast Kingdom Celebrates a Pair of Mighty Marvel Heroes With Previews Exclusive D-Stage Statues

Beast Kingdom and Diamond Comic Distributors are celebrating two of Marvel’s mightiest heroes with two brand new Previews Exclusive D-Stage diorama statues! Featuring the Sorcerer Supreme and Capt. Carol Danvers, these two D-Stage statues honor Doctor Strange and Captain Marvel.

The all-powerful Sorcerer Supreme, a Wizard without match, one who has mastered the elements, seen other dimensions and returned even wiser and more powerful! As seen in the classic comics, this DS-020 Dr. Strange is proudly delivered by Beast Kingdom. The Previews Exclusive Marvel Comics Doctor Strange DS-020 D-Stage 6IN Statue delicately recreates the classic pose of Dr. Strange from the comics. With the sorcerer levitating and the Sanctum Santorum (the Holy of Holies), as a backdrop, this diorama is the perfect setup for your collection!

One of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel comic universe, Captain Marvel has now officially burst out of the comic pages and joined the ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the latest Avenger! As seen in the comics, Beast Kingdom proudly presents the latest in the D-Stage Staging Your Dreams line of dioramas.

The PREVIEWS Exclusive Marvel Comics Captain Marvel DS-019 D-Stage 6IN Statue! With an extreme attention to detail, this D-Stage features Captain Marvel in her traditional flying pose! Using the latest in manufacturing techniques, this figure recreates her classic costume of red, blue and gold, even replicating the transparent effects of her energy trail when in flight or in the middle battle.

The PREVIEWS Exclusive Marvel Comics Doctor Strange DS-020 D-Stage 6IN Statue (APR198860; SRP $29.99) and Captain Marvel DS-019 D-Stage 6IN Statue (APR198859; SRP $29.99) are now available for pre-order at comic shops, with an expected release date of February 26, 2020. 

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