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This October, Robbie Thompson and Javier Rodriguez assemble a “Dirty Dozen” of magic to combat an evil best left Forgotten in the pages of DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPEREME!
The events of “Last Days of Magic” have left Doctor Strange in a bad way, just as they’ve unleashed a threat that may prove even worse than the Emperikul, the foe who sought to destroy all magic. Now, as The Forgotten travels back in time, Doctor Strange makes a house call to Camelot—and winds up working with a team of Sorcerers Supreme.
We spoke with Thompson and Rodriguez about the cast and crew of the new title, and what fans can expect from this time-travel adventure.
Marvel.com: What brought you to this project, Robbie?
Robbie Thompson: Editor Nick Lowe! A while back, when DOCTOR STRANGE #1 came out, I sent Nick what was essentially a fan e-mail saying how great the book was—I think that may have planted a seed. I was thrilled when he called me up about the book, and when he told me about the hook, tone, and feel he was looking for, I couldn’t wait to get started.
Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the title? Specifically, how do all these sorcerers wind up in the present-day Marvel Universe, and what’s their reaction to it?
Robbie Thompson: The book spins out of the events of “Last Days of Magic.” Emperikul’s quest to destroy all magic has loosed a magical menace called The Forgotten. The Forgotten travels back to Merlin’s time, and Merlin, outgunned, reaches out for help—throughout time—assembling a group of Sorcerers Supreme to help him battle this mystical monster.
Marvel.com: Can you give us a rundown on who makes up the Sorcerers Supreme?
Robbie Thompson: Well, it starts with Merlin—as in Camelot’s Merlin. He assembles the team, but our very own Doctor Strange quickly falls into a leadership role in the group. Merlin is happy with that at first, but then isn’t so sure, when he finds out Strange is not operating at full power post “Last Days of Magic.”
We’ve got Sir Isaac Newton, who is a delightful sociopath, and he’s brought along his minion, a slightly evolved Mindless One called the Mindful One. He and Strange have unpleasant history we’ll learn more about in the book. Then there’s Wiccan, from the future, which is a bit of a shock for Strange; if Wiccan’s the Supreme in the future, what does that mean for Strange’s fate? Next up there’s Kushala, who is a Native American sorcerer, a powerful Supreme who is haunted by her actions and is bound for redemption. And then we have Nina, a mysterious sorcerer from Brazil in the 1950’s. She’s a fun, noir-inspired character, a total badass who is used to working alone. And last, we have The Ancient One, or as we’ve been calling him, The Not-So-Ancient-One. He’s a teenager and hasn’t yet become the Supreme we know and love. This is a major shock for Strange, seeing his mentor in a completely different light.
Basically what we’ll learn is that magical time travel comes at a price; Merlin sought out the best, but he’s found them at times in their lives when they’re at their worst, weakest, or most vulnerable. This is a group that was built on the fly; they don’t see eye-to-eye and tensions will escalate right from the jump. It’s more “Dirty Dozen” than Avengers!
Marvel.com: You seem to have your hands full with mystical characters here, but are you planning appearances from other magic-using Marvel characters, especially in the wake of Doctor Strange's war with the Emperikul?
Robbie Thompson: Absolutely; we’ll be seeing a lot of familiar faces as the series moves on. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo have carved out such a unique and special place in the Marvel Universe, and we’re excited to be playing in that sandbox.
Marvel.com: Also the team seems to have a lot of firepower. What sorts of threats will they be facing?
Robbie Thompson: It starts with The Forgotten. We’ll uncover that The Forgotten is tied to one of our team in a specific way, and that this is personal for The Forgotten, which is going to put the entire team in mortal jeopardy. Not everyone is going to survive the Forgotten’s wrath.
Marvel.com: What’s it been like working with Javier Rodriguez on this project?
Robbie Thompson: Javier is an absolute dream to be collaborating with—he’s a brilliant artist, designer, and storyteller. Nick really encouraged me to open the scripts up as much as possible and give him a ton of room to play. As soon as I saw his first layouts, I saw exactly what Nick meant. Javier really loves to push the boundaries of traditional layout, and he’s the perfect match for a magical book. We’ve gotten to know each other through e-mail, and he’s had so many amazing story and character ideas for the series. I can’t say enough great things about the guy!
Javier’s working with inker Alvaro Lopez, who’s fantastic and the two of them have such great chemistry. The book is being colored by Eisner winner and all around badass Jordie Bellaire, and her work on the book is outstanding. Nick and Associate Editor Darren Shan assembled an amazing group of artists and storytellers, and I’m extremely lucky to be working with them on this book.
Marvel.com: Javier, you've gone now from drawing an expectant mother super hero in SPIDER-WOMAN to an ensemble of some of the most powerful mystics from history. Was that a rough transition to make, or was it all in a day's work?
Javier Rodriguez: It wasn’t difficult at all. I love to working with Jessica and all the crazy adventures Dennis [Hopeless] came up with. But I’ve always been a Marvel fan, so I have no problem working with any of these characters, especially with an iconic one like Doctor Strange.
Marvel.com: The characters all seem to be coming from different eras in history. What kind of research did you put into the designs for some of the new characters in the book?
Javier Rodriguez: I designed these characters depending on their personal stories. Some of them already existed, so I only had to do small tweaks. Others needed more research, and I had to start from scratch.
Marvel.com: You’ve worked on Doctor Strange before, as you colored Marcos Martin's art on DOCTOR STRANGE: THE OATH. What's it like returning to the character?
Javier Rodriguez: THE OATH was my first gig for Marvel. Marcos’ work was outstanding, so I feel a big responsibility coming back to the character and doing my best work on it.
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