The announcement of the Doctor Strange: Damnation comics miniseries has supposedly been met with negative reactions from certain parts of the country over the title – so Marvel has decided to make a (funny) variant cover that labels the series Doctor Strange: Tarnation.
In November, Marvel announced Doctor Strange: Damnation, a five-part miniseries written by Donny Cates and Nick Spencer, the architect of the controversial Secret Empire event. The miniseries will send the Master of the Mystic Arts to Las Vegas for a battle with the demon lord, Mephisto. Strange will need his own team of heroes if he hopes to thwart Mephisto’s plans.
Bleeding Cool reports that Marvel Comics is releasing a family-friendly variant cover for Doctor Strange: Damnation to please retailers from certain areas who have complained about the presence of the word “Damn” in the title. The variant cover for the first issue replaces the word with “Tar” to transform the title into Doctor Strange: Tarnation. Donny Cates responded to Bleeding Cool‘s report on Twitter by clarifying that Marvel isn’t changing the title of the series. According to Cates, the Tarnation cover was just a funny idea that his “retailer friends in Texas” came up with. If retailers show enough interest, readers may be able to purchase all five issues of the series with the variant cover.
What we know about Damnation is that the five-part miniseries will address the fallout of Secret Empire. HYDRA’s attack on Las Vegas has left the city in ruins with millions dead. Doctor Strange will head to Las Vegas to help the city rebuild. Somehow, his efforts there will put him into conflict with Mephisto, who will take the city for himself. To stop Mephisto, Doctor Strange will recruit Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight, and Blade. Other covers for the series show that Brother Voodoo, Elsa Bloodstone, and Scarlet Spider will eventually join the fray as well. Cotes has compared the scale of the story to the 2006 cosmic event Annihilation, by referring to it as “Magic Annihilation”.
The series will cross over into other titles, including three issues of Doctor Strange’s own title (also written by Cates), Iron Fist #78, Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #15 and #16, and possibly more. Ghost Rider will get his own miniseries tie-in with Damnation: Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider #1, beginning in March. It remains unclear if Damnation will affect the Moon Knight title.
Doctor Strange: Damnation #1 (or Doctor Strange: Tarnation #1, depending on your preference) goes on sale Wednesday, February 21.
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