Movies: Doctor Strange – Comic Books Are Cosmic Books

by Bob Schwartz


Go see the new movie Doctor Strange. See it if you can in one of those fancy theaters, in 3D if you like. But don’t think that it is just an excellent visual and aural and mental treat, which it is. See it because it represents why comic books and movies were invented. To offer us unique experiences, seasoned with interesting and even mind-altering emotions and ideas, that aren’t like the experiences of our everyday life.

What’s it all about? The answer is: Yes.

The comic book character Doctor Strange first appeared in 1963, as an unusual but not unprecedented special addition to the standard superhero approach. This one incorporated mysticism and spirituality, more so than average (it was after all the 1960s). Comic books are cosmic books, having evolved as the perfect place to tell stories laced with cosmic issues. At first glance, the stories and heroes appear to follow somewhat conventional logic and chronologic. Then, without excuse or explanation, they don’t (if this sounds like many of our religious traditions, well…). They are utterly effective but stop making sense, which as all students of comic books and cosmic arts know, and as Doctor Strange learns, is what it is all about.

If you want more details before you decide, you will find dozens of reviews, almost all of them very positive. Or you can not look for those. Instead, just pull yourself away from your phone or laptop or video game or big home screen to take a digital holiday into the breathtaking mystic—comic book and movie style.

Note: Not too long ago I wrote about mountains moving and walking, a common theme in spiritual traditions. See, for example, Jesus and Dogen and Donovan (♪ First there is a mountain/then there is no mountain/then there is). No mountains are moved in this movie, but they could have been.