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Doctor Strange Epic Collection: A Separate RealityDoctor Strange Epic Collection: A Separate Reality by Roy Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a newcomer to Doctor Strange in the comics, I picked up this collection on the suggestion of a knowledgeable friend. Instantly, I learned things about the character I never knew. For instance, in the early days, Doctor Strange wore a mask that covered his entire head in order to protect his identity! He even went by the pseudonym Stephen Sanders for a brief time! He has a magic-wielding girlfriend from another dimension named Clea, and unlike in the MCU films, Wong has no magic but is instead Strange’s manservant, who does things like fix meals, chauffeur, and clean Strange’s cloak of levitation for him!

The story arcs collected here feature some of Doctor Strange’s most iconic classic villains: Nightmare, the Undying Ones, Shuma-Gorath, Sise-Neg, and Silver Dagger. They’re all good fun, with a healthy dose of psychedelic surrealism whenever Strange enters another dimension of reality. Modern comics readers who are used to more naturalistic dialogue might find the highly dramatic and excessively declarative dialogue of writers Roy Thomas, Gardner Fox, and Steve Englehart over the top, but it was the style at the time and there’s a certain period charm to it. The art is excellent, particular that of Frank Brunner in the later issues.

This is a very enjoyable collection that I would recommend for Doctor Strange fans and newcomers alike. It’s pricey, but the book is worth it for the full-color art. I look forward to reading more Doctor Strange in the future!

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