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Dr. Strange vs. Dr. Craven

Posted by Joshua Glenn  May 12, 2008 12:45 PM

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Last week, apropos of a suggestion that another blogger had made about a Dr. Strange feature film, I posted the following comment.

My friend Greg Rowland (HC) pointed out recently that in Roger Corman's Poe-inspired horror-comedy, "The Raven," the tall, elegant, refined Vincent Price plays a magician [Dr. Erasmus Craven] who uses mystic power bolts in what Rowland calls "a fairly Ditkoesque manner." Since "The Raven" came out on Jan. 25, 1963, and the first appearance of Doctor Strange (in "Strange Tales" #110) was in July of that same year, it seems likely that Ditko might have designed Strange's look after seeing the Corman/Price movie.

Over the weekend, I received a few skeptical emails. For example: "No way was Dr. Strange based on cheeseball Vincent Price," wrote Eddie P. of Jamaica Plain.

strangepanel.jpg
Dr. Strange uses mystic power bolts

However, this morning I received an email from Greg Rowland. Turns out that he spent part of his weekend capturing a few screen shots from "The Raven." Check 'em out:

raven1.jpg
Dr. Craven uses mystic power bolts


raven5.1.jpg

Dr. Craven blocks his enemy's attack

***

So what do you think, readers?


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1 comments so far...
  1. This speculation has been around for a while. For example, here's a Usenet thread on the issue (which, as with many usenet threads, wanders fairly rapidly off-topic). Nonetheless, (once again, typically) the first commenter usefully points out that the publication date of the comic suggests an actual release date of May at the latest and a possible finished product date (to be sent to the printers) of late 1962. I don't know enough about comic book lead times to know if he's right, but comic book lead times are certainly crucial to your timeline.

    Further fun Dr. Strange/Dr. Craven pics here, including a great ad for the '78 Dr. Strange TV movie and another common observation concerning Dr. Strange and Ronald Colman (via Lost Horizon, whose storyline bears an obvious relationship to the Doctor's origin story).

    Anon

    Posted by Anon May 12, 08 01:43 PM
 
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