Marvel just announced a revamped 'Doctor Strange' comic ahead of the Benedict Cumberbatch movie

We’ve known that Marvel has had plans for a “Doctor Strange” film for almost a year, but the character soon to be played by Benedict Cumberbatch has not had a comic of his own for almost five years now. This fall, that finally changes: Marvel has announced a brand-new comic series starring Stephen Strange, Sorceror Supreme, and it’s putting some serious talent behind the wheel.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the new comic, simply called “Doctor Strange,” will be written by Jason Aaron with art by Chris Bachalo, and will redefine the character as more of a superhero. As of late, Marvel’s Sorceror Supreme has been relegated to a supporting role, called upon in books like “New Avengers” to plumb the dark and disturbing depths of magic to aid other heroes against threats they can’t understand. Aaron and Bachalo aim to change that and make him more of an “active, hands-on hero,” complete with an arsenal of weapons and a more grounded focus.

“We wanted a Doctor Strange who was always having to work for what he gets, and to show that when he shows up and uses his powers, it’s not like Captain America throwing his shield or Thor throwing his hammer,” writer Jason Aaron told EW. “Strange has to worry about repercussions that those other heroes don’t have to worry about, because he’s a Sorcerer Supreme.”

With a new film just shy of a year away, chances are the new “Doctor Strange” series will redefine the character in a way that will be more in line with how he will be portrayed in the movie. There’s a bit of a precedent for this: Marvel’s 2015 “Ant-Man” relaunch by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanos, while very good, was an almost entirely different take on its eponymous hero. That series took Scott Lang, the current Ant-Man — who had just undergone a moving and emotional arc following the death of a child — and turned him into down-on-his-luck underdog who tries to do right by his ex-wife and kid but often comes up short.

Similarly, the new action-heavy “Doctor Strange” will likely pivot the character from his traditional cerebral, ponderous, and trippy trajectory to something more palatable and exciting to help get new readers excited about the character. Longtime comics readers, however, will likely be excited by the creators working on the book.

Marvel has an all-star team in Aaron and Bachalo — over the last few years, Jason Aaron has become Marvel’s go-to writer for some of its biggest titles, like this year’s big “Star Wars” series. Similarly, Chris Bachalo is one of the most recognisable and talented artists on the Marvel roster, and his distinctive style has helped define the publisher’s “X-Men” titles for the better part of a decade. It’s a big, attention-grabbing move — kind of like casting Benedict Cumberbatch.

Head over to EW for the full interview with Jason Aaron and series editor Nick Lowe, along with a first look at Chris Bachalo’s artwork.

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