Doctor Strange, Marvel Knights

circa 2000
What Happened

Around the time Joe Quesada took over as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics in mid-2000 there was some discussion of a possible “Dr. Strange” comic to be written by Harlan Ellison and feature art by John Romita, Jr.

At the April 10, 2000 WonderCon comic book convention John Romita, Jr. discussed some of his upcoming projects and announced that he would be drawing a “Dr. Strange” story written by Harlan Ellison, the story of which seems to be adapted from a “Silver Surfer” story Joe Quesada had previously mentioned Ellison writing for Marvel Knights (an imprint of Marvel Comics) that was based on the "Antibody" episode of Silver Surfer: The Animated Series that Ellison had written. During a panel talked about the possibility of doing a three-part Doctor Strange mini-series with Harlan Ellison, who hand-picked Romita for the assignment. "'Dormammu is dying," Romita said. 'If he dies, it throws the whole netherworld off, and Dr. Strange has to go inside him.'" He mentions that the reason it was changed from a Silver Surfer story was because it previously would have involved the Surfer traveling inside Galactus, but Galactus was dead in current continuity. (CBR, Comics Wire, 04/10/2000)

On April 14, 2000, the comic book rumor site “Rich’s Ramblings” written by Rich Johnston, reported on the same Conventions news. That article stated: "And Romita’s statement that’ll he’ll be working on hippies-choice Doctor Strange with hippies-choice Harlan Ellison has been disparaged by Marvel Editor hippies-choice Tom Breevort, who said 'Not to be a wet blanket or anything, but my understanding is that this is another project that hasn’t really even been submitted yet, much less approved. So while it’s still possible for it to happen, it’s nowhere near definite, other than that JRJR and Harlan seem to want to do it. In other words, for the time being put it in line right behind that Grant Morrison FF project.'” (Rich's Rambling, "Wonder Stuff, 04/14/2000)

Then in an August 26, 2001 interview with the comic book news site Silver Bullets, John Romita talked about the project as having died. The interviewer, Mike Jozic, brings up the same Tom Brevoort quote as above and asks "Seeing as how Morrison’s FF1234 is currently on the shelves, is there any hope for Doctor Strange?" To which JRJR responds "No. Tom’s right. It’s gone and out of the world. Working on Doctor Strange is a possibility, but not that story." (Silver Bullet Comic Books, “The Amazing John Romita, Jr.” 08/25/2001)