Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson) - 2016

Dr. Strange was a comic-book character created by Steve Ditko who also created Spider-Man.  Ditko developed the character in a five-page story that appeared in 1963 in Marvel's Strange Tales #110.  Although the doctor was initially known as "the world's greatest magician", he gained many additional mystical powers over the years and popped up in numerous Marvel publications including The Avengers.  Strange learned to be mystic as an apprentice of the bearded Ancient One who became a woman (Tilda Swinton) in this movie.  The latest Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) travels to Kathmandu to regain the use of his surgical hands but gets a lot more than he expected as Tilda and company put him through mysticism boot camp to become powerful enough to battle some former students who have gone bad.  Special effects dominate this movie as all of the mystics have magical powers that easily disrupt major cities and spacial realities.  Director Derrickson used every computer effects group in town to create the nonstop array of menacing but previously-unknown worlds.  The movie grossed $85 million in its first weekend to offset the rumored budget of $165 million spent during its 18-month cycle from concept to big screen.  Look for Doctor Strange to join Thor, Spider-Man and various other Avenger-types to provide never-ending opportunities for Stan Lee to make cameo appearances.  [JAM 11/7/2016]