Garland Native Takes on Writing ‘Doctor Strange’ Comics

Donny Cates follows writer Jason Aaron in scripting the Doctor Strange comics, Marvel Comics recently announced.

Doctor Strange

Marvel Comics has announced that Donny Cates, a 32-year-old writer from Garland who now lives in Austin, will be writing the new Doctor Strange series in an exclusive writing deal with the comics powerhouse.

Cates will be joined on the Doctor Strange team by artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Marvel said.

Cates follows writer Jason Aaron in scripting the Doctor Strange comics. Aaron’s tenure with Doctor Strange is one in which the character of Stephen Strange is re-invented, The Dallas Morning News said.

The Doctor Strange comic was created by artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee and first appeared in 1963.


The character of Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against the mystical and magical threats it faces.

Marvel said in a release, that a shift in the book’s “status quo” will occur under Cates’ pen — Asgardian God of Mischief Loki will be “taking over” as Sorcerer Supreme in the comic. Marvel didn’t say how the change will happen or the impact it will have on the Stephen Strange character.

The Marvel character Loki is the adoptive brother and oft enemy of Thor, in the comic series by that name.

Cates gave a clue about the comics’ future path in a release, however.

“As a dedicated Marvel fan myself, I can confidently say the events of this arc are some of the most shocking things in Marvel comics to date.”
Donny Cates

“There’s a new sheriff in town…and he’s not really the trustworthy type,” Cates said in the release. “That’s right, kids…Loki has taken the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme from our good Doctor! What does that mean for Stephen? And what lengths will Strange go to see his title and his home returned to him? I’ll say this….you can guess all you like, but there is absolutely no way anyone will see the answers to these questions coming.”

Cates said, “As a dedicated Marvel fan myself, I can confidently say the events of this arc are some of the most shocking things in Marvel comics to date. I’m so excited to see what everyone thinks!”

Movie fans may recall that a Doctor Strange feature film was released last year starring British actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Cates has a long history in the comics industry, having worked for Dark Horse Comics and Heavy Metal Magazine, according to the Morning News.

The newspaper said that Cates has released three original series in the past year — a West-Texas fantasy adventure called God Country; Redneck, a horror book set in East Texas; and Babyteeth, which tells the story of a teenage girl who gives birth to the anti-Christ.


Cates told the Morning News about his career path in the comics genre, which includes his early works such as Buzzkill and The Paybacks and having worked an editorial internship at Marvel.

At one point, the Morning News said, Cates thought he was going to die after being diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. He told the newspaper he believed it was retribution from his body for all the drinking he had done.

A 4 a.m. wakeup with excruciating pain resulted in Cates’ wife driving him to the emergency room, where the doctor knew immediately that it was pancreatitis. He spent unbearable minutes waiting to hear if it was acute — a sudden flair up — or chronic, which would result in persistent pain. He contemplated whether he would take his own life if it was chronic, the newspaper said.

It was acute, and Cates was prescribed medication for three months, subsisted on a liquid diet and lost more than 30 years.

He hasn’t had a drink in three years, Cates told the Morning News.

Even though he’s worked on many projects, Cates told the newspaper it always comes back to Marvel Comics.

“These are the books I learned how to read with,” he told the newspaper.

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