Thrilling Comics #1
America's Best Comics
|First appearance||Thrilling Comics #1|
|Created by||Richard E. Hughes (writer), Alexander Kostuk (artist)|
|Alter ego||Doctor Thomas Hugo Strange|
|Notable aliases||Tom Strange|
|Abilities||Scientific genius, super strength, flight, super speed, invulnerability to bullets|
Doc Strange is a fictional character, a comic book superhero who originally appeared in Thrilling Comics #1 (Better Publications (also called Nedor Comics) 1940). The character was revived and renamed 'Tom Strange' in the modern age in Tom Strong #11 (published by America's Best Comics) by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse.
His civilian identity is Doctor Thomas Hugo Strange, a scientist operating in the United States. He operated under the name 'Dr. Strange', later 'Doc Strange' during the Golden Age of Comic Books. He had no secret identity.
The character debuted in 1940, a scientist who developed a serum called Alosun, which is described in the comics as a distillate of sun atoms. Ingestion of this serum gives him superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and invulnerability.
Doc Strange was assisted by Virginia Thompson, his girlfriend. In Thrilling Comics #24, he gained teen sidekick named Mike. He wore the same costume as Doc Strange, along with a green cape. Though he was non-powered during the earlier adventures, he gained the same powers as Doc Strange.
Doc Strange appeared in the following titles in the Golden Age:
- America's Best Comics #1–23, 27
- Thrilling Comics #1–64
He was briefly revived on the pages of Femforce as part of the Vault Heroes, a group of Golden Age superheroes who volunteered to have themselves cryogenically frozen following World War II, so that they could be revived should the world need them. He died shortly after being unfrozen, making the heroes realize that the cryogenic process did not work perfectly on everyone.
AC Comics went on to reprint many of his Golden Age adventures in various anthologies.
America's Best Comics
Doc Strange, along with other heroes from Nedor Comics, were revived by Alan Moore in his series Tom Strong. This revival set the characters on a parallel world called Terra Obscura, which was also the title of the resulting mini-series.
His character was renamed 'Tom Strange', presumably to set him apart from the Marvel Comics sorcerer Doctor Strange and Batman villain Hugo Strange, and to present him as a Terra Obscura version of Tom Strong.
In Tom Strong #11, Moore and co-creator Chris Sprouse more fully introduce the idea of Terra Obscura being a parallel Earth, "but in our own dimension. In our own galaxy". Tom Strong himself had found it while traveling space alone. He theorizes that the duplicate Earth (and duplicate solar system) "must be due to some near-inconceivable fluke of mathematics, of statistical probability".
In this issue, Tom Strange is revealed to have run across the Milky Way for 30 years to reach Strong for help in stopping an alien menace which killed or imprisoned most of the science-heroes of Terra Obscura. It is judged Strange had set off on his task soon after Tom had left. The stress of leaping from world to world temporarily drives Strange mad. He battles Tom before being subdued and sleeping for about a fortnight. Once he awakens, he is of a much more calmer mind. The two set off back home in Tom's new ship, Tom shows Strange an array of comic books, produced on his earth, which matches the history and events on Strange's Earth.
Tom helps Strange revive his surviving allies, most of whom have been trapped in time by the alien menace for the thirty years, unaware and unaging. With the contents of a lab hidden deep in the inverted city of 'Invertica', the assembled superheroes manage to neutralize the alien menace.
He is described by Strong as the most powerful being he's ever met, and in a different league from Strong entirely.
He operates with the modern incarnation of SMASH.
Doc Strange appears in the webcomic Heroes,inc. along with a Golden Age Captain Future and Blue Beetle to save Diana Masters (Miss Masque) from an attack by futuristic soldiers. It's revealed in flashbacks that he is one of the scientists that were part of creating the original Golden Age heroes of World War II, under the direction of Archibald Masters (American Crusader) He developed a chemical called Alosun for the superhero project, but inspired by the heroes that they were creating, he tried it on himself first.
Powers and abilities
Tom Strange is capable of flight (or at least vast Golden Age Superman-like leaps), superhuman strength, and surviving indefinitely in the vacuum of space (without air or water), and has invulnerability to re-entry, extreme impacts (falling to Earth from space) and bullets. He is also a brilliant scientist.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Doc Strange.|
- Toonopedia entry
- International Superheroes entry on Tom Strange
- Golden Age Superheroes
- Doc Strange at SMASH fansite
- Heroes,inc. Webcomic