Mar 15, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 749: Marvel Premier #6, January 1973

https://www.comics.org/issue/25839/

I've begun, this week, to delve back into the mysteries of my dissertation, though it's a slightly altered one than the one I took a break from almost a year ago. I think the comics portion of the work is going to have to be removed, as I simply can't work with the supervisor I'm working with anymore. Which means that the Lovecraft aspects of the work are coming more to the fore. So it's a nice (sort of) coincidence that I came across this comic today. I've had it for a few years now and, somehow, have never got around to reading it. The inside cover notes that it's based on ideas from Robert E. Howard, but there's a remarkable amount of HPL dripping from the sea-drenched shores and gables of the tale.

That said, I couldn't find any of the referenced creatures and deities in my Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, which makes me think it's not quite as complete as it could be. Perhaps that's another project for another time.

I like Doctor Strange and his over-the-top magicalness. His calling out each of the names of his powers is reminiscent (or maybe that's the other way around) of the tradition in anime and manga of naming and shouting an attack before it happens. What this gestures to is perhaps a culture that sees magic and the spiritual as far more a part of life than one does in the Western world. It's a worldview I appreciate a good deal, as, apparently, does Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts. I'd love to follow along with this story, in the hopes that it continues its Howardian/Lovecraftian bent, though I imagine comics this old will be tough to track down. Thank goodness the Calgary Expo is coming up.

To be continued.

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