Former Game Informer columnist and current Community Manager for the Tomb Raider franchise over at Crystal Dynamics, cosplayer Meagan Marie, also known as Meagan vanBurkleo or VirtualGirl6654, is popular web celebrity who is known for coming up with some fantastic costumes in the past. This week she tackles DC Comics’ classic fishnet stocking clad sorceress, Zatanna!
Magician Dispatch Service and Mage’s Society: Astral, has seen better days. Sure they have in their employ a good variety of magic users, covering all the bases like Celtic magic, King Solomon’s magic, Shinto, Onmyodo, Alchemy, Vajrayana and Rune magic, making them capable of dealing with just about any magical emergency, but the real problem lies with Astral’s current leader, the second president and son of the original founder, young Itsuki Iba.
The issue is simple enough: kind hearted, tender and well-meaning Itsuki isn’t a mage, and in fact knows just about nothing about magic or even the spiritual rules governing our world. However, despite the fact that everyone around him, himself included, doesn’t believe that he is the right man (or boy) for the job, the society’s law places him firmly as the leader and so with the help of his friends and colleagues, he’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation.
However, in between all the battling of spiritual monsters and the constant rivalry with the other big name mage dispatch servicem, Goetia, Itsuki does come bearing some rather powerful secrets. For one, his right eye remains constantly covered, and two he experiences deep pain whenever around anything spiritual.
The question is, what happens when he does reveal what lies beneath the eye patch?
Doctor Stephen Strange, one of the world’s foremost neurosurgeons, but a man haunted by his own demons, greed and personality. An unforeseen, unexplainable turn of events sees him crashing his car and losing the use of his hands, the very tool with which he plies his trade. Countless surgeries and consultations later, and simply no closer to a cure, Dr. Strange is left with nothing. No hope, no money, no will to survive.
Until he is noticed. Noticed by the men who strive day and night to protect our world against forces unseen and beyond our imagination. Beings composed of pure magic and shadows and those sorcerers that stand in their way. With the right guidance Dr. Strange will make a long journey and meet the one that will save him – and in return request his becoming of Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme.
But time is of the essence. Never mind those you need to battle around you… Dormammu is coming.
Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme is a 2007 direct-to-DVD release directed by Patrick Archibald, Jay Oliva and Richard Sebast, the fourth animated film to be produced by Lionsgate Home Entertainment based on Marvel Comics characters (the others being Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Avengers 2 and The Invincible Iron Man.
The story for the film is kind of an updated, re-imagined origin of the classic Marvel Doctor Strange character, maintaining many of the core origin events and characters associated with his birth but at the same time modernising a number of aspects as well as turning the story into a more action-orientated film, probably to better position it with today’s action-hungry audience.
The film enjoys a fairly leisurely start, building up the character of Stephen Strange quite nicely but at the same time showing us glimpses of what is going on around him in the cloaked world of sorcery and its battle against Dormammu. It then shifts gears a little and thrusts us into the whole training and enlightenment sequences, all the time building up the imminent threat that then eventually takes center stage as we move into the final throes of the movie for a satisfying (albeit a little rushed) ending that ties up the strings quite nicely and leaves us with our newly crowned Sorceror Supreme.
Admittedly the movie doesn’t achieve all that much in terms of evoking any emotion from the viewer, but it certainly is engaging enough to keep your attention for the most part. Furthermore, don’t expect to get too many laughs out of this one either, but do expect a decent amount of action sequences as well as the always cool mist and magic battles that usually accompanies this type of genre.
The animation on Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme is nice and crisp, coming across very modern and very polished. There are a few CG-assisted sequences tossed in here and there that don’t work so well, but thankfully these are kept to a nice minimum and one soon forgets they even existed as the movie rushes along. Backgrounds are nice and detailed as is the attention to detail on everyday objects and this is all complemented by some very smooth and well-thought out magic and physical battle sequences. Colouring is also for the most part very vibrant and organic, with loads of nice shadowing detail and this helps cement the movie well in the realm of a good looking, animated feature film.
The voice actor casting for a change seems to have put all the right feet forward because just about every voice actor, including Bryce Johnson as Doctor Strange and Tara Strong as April Strange, involved puts in a sterling effort with each and every one of the characters and this high level of voice acting is then further complemented by a nice and full musical score to back it all up.
Overall, Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme won’t blow anyone’s socks off, but it is undoubtedly a very well-executed, polished animated film that makes for an excellent rental, will kind of please the fanboys (unless you are character purists of course) and generally delivers the goods.
I liked it, but simply didn’t love it. Still, if you want to see a decent animated film involving lots of magical battles and a particularly well known comic book character, then you simply can’t go wrong with this one then.
Related link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Strange:_The_Sorcerer_Supreme