If you’re like me, you get nervous with each addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With 13 films preceding it, Doctor Strange has a lot to live up to. While the movie opens this Friday, reviews are of course already in hand. And they are glowing.
Each ‘phase’ of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Strange is the second installment of ‘phase 2’) has further developed the rich universe of characters. Back in the early days of Marvel Comics, one of the most interesting innovations was that the heroes and villains all inhabited the same world (and in most cases the same city). This meant that the Fantastic Four could be called in by the military to hunt down the Hulk or Dr. Doom could catch Spider-Man. Whereas traditionally, characters existed in a vacuum, the Marvel characters mingled.
In addition to new heroes and villains, each new monthly comic added a different dimension to the Marvel Universe, be it the espionage of Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the teenage school setting of the X-Men, Peter Parker’s high school hi-jinx in Spider-Man, the far-out exploring of the Fantastic Four, the legal drama of Daredevil, the technical innovation of Iron Man or even the weirdly mystical realm of Doctor Strange. It’s heartening to see this approach, which was so successful in grabbing the attention of readers in the 1960’s, succeed again with the movie-going public today.
While Thor introduced fantasy and Guardians of the Galaxy added the science fiction elements, Doctor Strange is going to take us to another world altogether. And from the reviews so far, it’s one that fans are eager to enter.