The third book of Marvel's post-"Secret Wars" lineup has been revealed. In addition to "Invincible Iron Man" and "Spider-Man," Marvel has announced via Entertainment Weekly that Jason Aaron ("Star Wars," "Southern Bastards") will write a new "Doctor Strange" ongoing series with art from "Uncanny X-Men" penciler Chris Bachalo.
The series is one of many all-new #1s launching this fall as part of Marvel's "All-New, All-Different" initiative. Editor Nick Lowe told EW that "this is a Doctor Strange who is going to get hurt real bad, real quick. And who is also going to make you feel things. And not just think things, but feel things... hopefully a little bit of both."
Writer Jason Aaron elaborated on Lowe's initial comments, stating that he wanted to write a "a Doctor Strange who was always having to work for what he gets, and to show that when he shows up and uses his powers, it's not like Captain America throwing his shield or Thor throwing his hammer." Aaron continued, stating that Stephen Strange "has to worry about repercussions that those other heroes don't have to worry about, because he's a Sorcerer Supreme. We're talking about the forces of magic. So whatever he does has repressions. Any of this stuff with magic, there's always a cost to it. I think that's kind of the only rule of magic we ever really talk about-everything he does, there's a price to it. So he always has to kind of balance those skills and worry, "if I save the day here, what repercussions will that have for me, or elsewhere in the world? We liked him having to deal with that, and liked him being able to get his hands a little dirty, rather than just having him stand around, waving his hands and saving the day."
Aaron stated that his "Doctor Strange" run will be in line with what he's done on every solo hero series he's piloted for Marvel, which include series for Wolverine, Thor and more.
"In 'Thor' right now, we're still in the midst of telling the story of a brand new Thor, a woman who comes along who picks up Thor's hammer," said Aaron. "So that's sort of the same thing, where it's a new story, it's a new take on the character, but it's something that still, in my mind, speaks to what's at the core of a character's long running mythology. But I think Doctor Strange is the same way. And Doctor Strange is even a little more wide open, in that we haven't had an ongoing solo Doctor Strange book for quite awhile. Just pile up the total number of solo Doctor Strange stories and it's not the same sort of pile that you get with Spider-Man or Thor or Captain America, or some of the other bigger characters. But I like that we're getting to kind of rebuild Doctor Strange from the ground up. I think what we're doing speaks to what made Doctor Strange cool and unique in the Marvel Universe. Even back in the 1960s when he first appeared, he was kind of the first guy who dealt with the occult and the mystical in Marvel. So I like that it sets him off from the other heroes we know. Really, the story that begins in 'Doctor Strange' #1 is just the beginning -- the beginning of one big arc that will really redefine who Doctor Strange is and what his status quo is going forward."
While other mystical Marvel heroes, like Brother Voodoo, have held the title of Sorcerer Supreme in the past, Aaron confirmed that Strange will be the Sorcerer Supreme in this series. "Yes, he's still that guy," said Aaron, "but that said... we'll see other Sorcerer Supremes over the course of this story."
Similar to his lengthy runs on "Wolverine" and "Thor," a run that is still going as part of "Secret Wars," editor Lowe said that Aaron plans on sticking with "Strange" for a while.
"Jason doesn't do a lot of short runs on things," said Lowe. "He's a long-range thinker. I mean the very first document that he turned pretty much spelled out, I would say, like, 16 issues, and then we really go big. And I was like, what? We're gonna get bigger? It's just crazy stuff."
Both Lowe and Aaron had high praise for series artist Chris Bachalo. "Chris is able to cut loose on this, because this is really a book that veers between worlds," said Aaron, who previously worked with Bachalo on "Wolverine and the X-Men." "In this first issue we see Strange, otherworldly landscapes, and we see him walking through New York City. So Chris is getting to cut loose in terms of other dimensional monsters and bizarre environments and also just in the way that Doctor Strange sees the world."
"When Jason and I first started talking about this -- a couple years ago at this point -- we wanted to hit this just right," said Lowe. "And we kind of waited for him a little bit because he was working on a lot of X-Men stuff at the time in the middle of a lot of runs he was connected to, but we know that for Doctor Strange you need an artist who has the imagination and the storytelling chops to really turn you upside down and shake you a little bit. And Chris does that so well. And he's just the perfect artist. And he's barely ever drawn Doctor Strange as well, which is really exciting."