Podcast Addendum Episode 22 – Blasphemy in the Bullpen!

Hey there Weirdos.

How goes the old saying? “Strange is as strange does?” Well if that be the case then the comics discussed in this week’s episode of INTO THE WEIRD raises the bar on strangeness and catapults the hutzpah of writer Steve Englehart and artist Frank Brunner to new heights of breathtaking audacity.

Seriously, in all my nearly 40 years of reading Doctor Strange comics this has got to be the most awe-inducing and grandiose arc ever conceived in the annals of mystical Marveldom. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to listen to the latest episode (which can be found here) , Billy and I talked about Marvel Premiere #13 and #14, which wrapped up the title and continued the story of Stephen Strange, once again in his very own mag in Doctor Strange Vol. 2 (1974 – 1987).

Here are Frank Brunner’s covers. Drink them in, true believers!

As seen on both covers, these stories feature Stephen, Baron Mordo, Dracula’s old foe Cogliostro, and a man called Sise-Neg… who is in actual fact masquerading as Cogliostro for no apparent reason other than that he gets to call people “signore” all the time. But hey even Stephen is seduced by this apparent perk later in issue #13, so there must be something to it. Anyway ENOUGH RAMBLING. Let’s get this show on the road –

This is gonna involve time travel. LOTS of time travel. Hold onto your flux capacitors, weirdlings!
Cogliostro in 18th century Paris, enslaving peasants like a boss.
After Stephen reveals Mordo’s sinister plan, old Cog turns tail and runs for the hills. Sheesh!
By the Simpletons of the Seraphim. WHEN are you gonna learn not to take Stephen on mano a mano, Mordouche?
After Cogliostro bushwhacks Stephen he takes out Mordo lickety split. The Baron’s not doing himself any favors by hanging around these heavyweights.
The Cogliostro that never was… SISE-NEG! Sorcerer of the Future AND Yul Brynner wannabe.
Dragged along on a time jaunt with Mordo courtesy of the godlike Sise-Neg, Stephen witnesses Sir Lancelot placed in peril, simply for Neg’s amusement. I dig that Frank Brunner dragon, that’s why I included this otherwise inconsequential page.
On yet another time jaunt deeper into the past, Sise-Neg destroys twin cities of vast magical might as easily as he’d step on two bugs. The result? Genocide and CHAOS.
Plucked straight from the Bible, folks. I call this one The Gospel of Steve (Englehart)
On the Earth of pre-history Stephen witnesses the badass of monstrous badasses Shuma-Gorath mutilate some man-apes. He is powerless to intevene. Neg, however, takes out ol’ Shuma-G in no time a few panels later.
And finally at the dawn of time Sise-Neg (spelled Gene-sis when in semi-palindrome form) becomes GOD. Yes that’s right – the actual GOD from the Bible, hence the blasphemy, which Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner handled masterfully in the letter columns of Marvel. Listen to the podcast to find out how they did it, and how they escaped the WRATH OF STAN.
The end, where only Stephen remembers the old universe, with Mordo a catatonic zombie. Welcome 1974 and bring on Doctor Strange Vol. 2! Who HOOOOOO!

Billy’s Recommendations

Gwandanaland Publishing’s Skywald Horror Mag Reprints!

Herman’s Recommendations

The Prostitute of Power – THE PRO!

And that’s it.

Happy Thanksgiving, weirdos!

All the best

Herman

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