Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marvel Premiere #3 / Doctor Strange - Barry Windsor Smith art & cover

Barry Windsor Smith
Marvel Premiere v1 #3 featuring Doctor Strange, 1972 - After the cancellation of his first self-titled series, Doctor Strange begins a second run within this bronze age title. Barry Smith brings the character back to its graphically inclined roots. Despite the roughness of the drawings (including the cover), his layouts, sequencing and pacing are exquisite. Decorative flourishes abound in the first ten pages or so, enhancing scenes of surrealistic beauty (see interior page below). Smith's exceptional effort owes much of its success to Dan Adkins, whose inks add much needed polish and clarity. This is number 1 of 2 Marvel Premiere issues with Smith art and/or covers.
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Smith cover pencils (Dan Adkins inks) = **
"While the World Spins Mad"
Smith story pencils (Dan Adkins inks) 21 pages = ****

Barry Windsor Smith
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More Smith posts:
Marvel Comics Pres. #79
Avengers v1 #100 marvel comic book cover art by Barry Windsor Smith
Avengers #100
Conan the Barbarian v1 #24 marvel comic book cover art by Barry Windsor Smith
Conan #24


  1. It's funny how Strange's cover caption here gives something of a different impression of him (perhaps for sales reasons) than you might find in the character himself. For instance, I could never imagine Strange declaring something like "Let magic reign!", given the low profile he seeks for both himself and the mystic forces he guards against. Nor can I see him wanting the Earth to become like Dormammu's dimension. :)

    These old Marvel Premiere issues were probably my first substantive exposure to Strange--though I didn't become a fan of the character until Frank Brunner segued into doing the regular art, and Englehart came aboard. The whole Shuma Gorath story just blew me away.

  2. The fact that this was technically a "first issue" probably determined the cover's broader theme and over-emphasis of the character. Absolutely agree with you about the underlying marketing intent though. Good observation.