|OLD-TIME RADIO AND COMICS HEROES BURST BACK ONTO THE SCENE!03/28/12 @ 4:15 pm EST
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Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? (Hint: The guy dresses up in a cape and runs around at night. And it's not Batman.)
VETERAN ARTIST SCOT EATON JOINS JOSHUA DYSART TO FIGHT “BROKEN ANGELS” IN IMPERIUM #503/05/15 @ 8:32 pm EST
The Shadow still knows — as do Flash Gordon, the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet and other heroes of 1930s and '40s radio shows, pulp magazines and movie serials.
These good guys are making a comeback, though mainly in comics and feature-length movies. Next month, The Shadow receives a comics reboot courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, which also publishes ongoing series starring Flash Gordon and Green Hornet plus a new title with pulp hero The Spider that's due in May.
On the big screen, a masked Seth Rogen stung bad guys in last year's The Green Hornet. And in The Lone Ranger, in production for release in 2013, Armie Hammer rides tall as the title cowboy with Johnny Depp as his sidekick Tonto. Baby Boomers grew up watching the Clayton Moore TV series in the '50s, although the saga began as a 1933 radio show in Detroit.
Though these characters may not be as well known as today's comic-book superheroes or the Star Wars and Harry Potter clans, they were the bee's knees for a generation that was decades away from the Internet and iPods.
Before Batman, there was the alter ego Lamont Cranston donning the shadowy mask and hat while haunting radio waves as The Shadow, voiced by Orson Welles in the late '30s.
And before Superman and Captain America there was Flash Gordon, an all-American space adventurer who tussled with planetary tyrant Ming the Merciless in sci-fi comic strips by Alex Raymond and serial films starring Buster Crabbe.
"The '20s and '30s are seen as a very romantic age, with the criminal underworld of urban America and high adventure of exotic foreign locations providing a bit of an edge," says Garth Ennis, who is writing the new Shadow comic. "The reality, I'm sure, would have been mostly a lot more mundane and occasionally quite grim."
He's crafting The Shadow as a dangerous champion of law and order with a flair for the dramatic, and he is embracing one of the vigilante's oldest and most famous traits: his habit of laughing as he consigns his enemies to their doom.
"I decided to be fairly sparing with it," Ennis says. "If he started howling every time he threw a punch or fired a shot, it would get old fast. So I decided to preserve the laugh for moments of deep, dark, extreme humor."
His take on The Shadow comic is a bloody affair, where the mysterious figure dispatches bad guys with violent aplomb. More than 70 years ago, though, audiences had to visualize with their imagination what was going on during the radio-show exploits.
The popularity of the old Shadow and Green Hornet radio shows and their ilk in their heyday is best compared to programs children flock to today, such as Hannah Montana and Dora the Explorer, says Martin Grams Jr., a radio-show historian and author.
Back then, kids and adults would read books, pulps and comics because they were a cheap form of entertainment, and radio was an even bigger medium because it was free.
Some adaptations tank
While movies measure success with box-office receipts, commercial sponsors would gauge ratings of radio shows based on the number of giveaway premiums offered during the commercial breaks — such as various Lone Ranger rings and badges. They were then used to persuade sponsors to stick around because of a large listener base.
It wasn't just kids, either. Housebound and disabled people "who couldn't go visit their local movie theater had the opportunity to enjoy action and adventure with the turn of their dial," Grams says.
"The business of pop culture was defined during the 1930s and 1940s when movie producers snatched up the screen rights to popular radio programs and produced motion pictures, serials and film shorts based on the properties."
Since then, movie studios, TV networks and comics publishers have attempted adaptations of those characters, with varying results.
The Lone Ranger TV series began in 1949, ran eight seasons and defined the character for many. Flash Gordon sped off to space with live-action and animated shows, and a 1980 film became a cult classic with Sam Jones clad in a white shirt bearing the word "Flash."
But two more recent movies, The Shadow (1994) with Alec Baldwin and the 1996 Billy Zane vehicle The Phantom (based on the comic strip from the '30s), were not exactly heroic at the box office. And Disney's new big-budget John Carter, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp sci-fi hero, has thus far tanked.
"My theory is that modern audiences have a hard time accepting un-ironic heroism unless it's presented just right," says Eric Trautmann, writer of Dynamite's Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist series. (A devotee of the era, Trautmann has a Maltese Falcon on his desk, a statue of Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade, a Buck Rogers blaster and a replica 1930s radio.)
He concedes that pulp is difficult to write because it requires a certain innocence. Nazis show up in his series, but when they're the evil-doers du jour, modern audiences can't help but think of the Holocaust, "a sort of demise of innocence for the Western world." That makes it a lot harder to take the proceedings seriously.
'We're all geeks in a way'
"The obvious inclination is to keep things a little more self-referential and cartoony, tongue firmly in cheek," Trautmann says, "and that kind of thing really works against the story, the character, and readers' and viewers' embracing the tale."
Those characters of yesteryear, however, remain important in the history of pop-culture heroes, says comic-book artist Alex Ross, one of the creative spearheads of Dynamite's pulp series.
"Seeing how a character like The Shadow would influence every other flamboyant costumed hero in history was very interesting to me," he says. "A load of the earliest superhero fashions came from the artists swiping from Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon."
Heroic fiction draws from a lot of the same wells. Without John Carter in 1917, Trautmann feels we probably don't get Flash Gordon in 1934, a quintessentially American protagonist whose "unflappable 'can do' attitude and unshakable optimism would resonate in almost any era." Without Flash, there's no Luke Skywalker or Han Solo in Star Wars, and without that, we don't get Avatar.
"Even Star Trek owes a debt to period literature —Captain Kirk as Horatio Hornblower in space," Trautmann says. "Heroic fiction shares those archetypes and themes, so that influence is probably so ingrained now that a modern practitioner might not even be aware of what influenced the sources he or she is drawing inspiration from."
Affection for heroic pulp specifically — as with old-school sci-fi, fantasy and mystery stories — seems to be cyclical, Trautmann says. But the resurgence of these characters is also being helped by an overall nostalgia for the early- to mid-20th century, from Boardwalk Empire to Mad Men.
"It's been a rough decade or two," he says. "Looking back on what seems to be a simpler, less complicated time is certainly appealing."
Curiosity and a drive to seek knowledge are probably the main reasons people like to revisit historic pop culture, Grams says.
"We're all geeks in a way, trying to intake all the information we can on a comic-book character or movie, then digest, then recollect to friends to show how much more we know than they do."
The historian enjoys seeing kids introduced to heroes that were a seminal part of their grandparents' lives. He says it's a good bet they know tons more about The Hunger Games and Twilight than old Shadow magazine tales, and have no idea of the existence of Lone Ranger radio shows of yore.
"In my experience," Ennis says, "these characters tend to be pretty strong to begin with: They go through periods of revival, then slump due to overindulgence, then lie dormant, then undergo the next revival. But they always come back."
And, Grams notes, "the oldies are still the goodies."
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MARCOS MARTIN DRAWS THE ART OF EVOLUTION FOR THE NEXT AGENTS OF SHIELD03/05/15 @ 8:22 pm EST
Valiant is proud to announce that veteran artist Scot Eaton (X-Men: Legacy, Battle Scars) will join New York Times best-selling writer Joshua Dysart (HARBINGER, Unknown Soldier) for a riveting story arc beginning inIMPERIUM #5 – the FIRST ISSUE of BROKEN ANGELS, coming in June! The next shocking volume of the latest hit series from VALIANT NEXT, BROKEN ANGELS will introduce the latest superpower to Toyo Harada’s growing legion of monsters and malcontents…one they must capture from a technologically advanced enemy stronghold secreted deep beneath the Indian Ocean.
Toyo Harada will create utopia…he just needs the right weapons first! The most powerful man in the world has collected an assembly of monsters, killers, and super-villains…and now he’s set his sights on the last asset his team needs: the renegade Project Rising Spirit scientist called Broken Angel. The only thing standing in his way – an army of enhanced soldiers…guarding a top-secret, highly fortified facility…deep underwater! The impossible heist begins here
“IMPERIUM is a daring breakaway from anything you can find elsewhere in comics today, even at Valiant,” said Valiant Editor Alejandro Arbona. “We’re extremely proud of Joshua Dysart and Doug Braithwaite’s first arc, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the talented Scot Eaton into the fold for BROKEN ANGELS. Scot is the perfect choice to follow Doug’s masterful turn on this title, and he’s already hitting his stride with a new series of covers for BROKEN ANGELS. IMPERIUM was already one of a kind, but it’s about to evolve and get even bigger.”
This summer, red-hot creators Joshua Dysart and Scot Eaton join forces to realize Toyo Harada’s vision of a better world by any means necessary in BROKEN ANGELS, an all-new jumping-on point beginning in IMPERIUM #5!
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: SHIELD | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
MarvelHARRISON FORD IN PLANE CRASH - SUSTAINS SERIOUS INJURIES03/05/15 @ 8:18 pm EST
and Entertainment Weekly
have released the next poster in the Art of Evolution
campaign. This one is done by Marcos Martin
and features Lady Sif
) who is returning to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
in the next episode entitledWho You Really Are
This is Sif / Alexander’s second trip to the television corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
. The first time, in season 1’s Yes Men
, she came to Earth following orders fromOdin
) to recapture a runaway Lorelei
In the new episode airing Tuesday March 10th, the team find Sif in a battle with a mysterious warrior who has come to Earth on a mission that will have serious repercussions for SHIELD
. The problem is that Sif has no memories of why she is there, who Coulson
and his team are or even of her life on Asgard.
Sounds like fun.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Star Wars | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Harrison Ford is in serious condition after crashing his airplane onto a golf course in Venice, CA. NANCY A. COLLINS TALKS ALTERED STATES: VAMPIRELLA03/05/15 @ 8:14 pm EST
The 72-year old actor landed on Penmar Golf Course after something went mechanically wrong with his single wing aircraft around 2:25 PM today.
Ford walked away from the crash but was treated on the scene by two physicians and then transferred to a Los Angeles area hospital. Reports are that he suffered multiple lacerations.
No one else was hurt.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Altered States | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Dynamite EntertainmentLEMIRE AND NGUYEN’S DESCENDER FAST-TRACKED TO SECOND PRINTING03/05/15 @ 8:02 pm EST
is doing a new series of comics called Altered States, taking some of their best known characters and putting them in new environments. Similar to DC’s Elseworlds, Altered states allows the creators to make a whole new spin on a familiar hero. Troy Brownfield,
writer of Blood Queen vs. Dracula
#1, talks with Nancy Collins
about Altered States: Vampirella
one shot, both on sale now. Cover art by Billy Tan
.TROY BROWNFIELD: Nancy, with the Altered States approach, we’re looking at alternative takes on characters. In a way, yours goes back to the roots of Vampirella; can you explain your approach?NANCY COLLINS:
I recently had a couple of old-school Vampirella fans bemoan that she is no longer a ‘sci-fi vampire from outer space’, so that was floating around in my head when Dynamite asked me for an ‘alternate’ version of the character for their March event. Turning her from an alien vampire from outer space into a human astronaut stranded on a planet of vampires was the first thought that entered my head. However, I wouldn’t call my story ‘science fiction’—it’s closer to space opera or planetary romance, ala Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories.TB: You go beyond simple twists in your story and do some wholesale reversals. How important were those juxtapositions for them and the script itself?NC:
Once I decided to do a mirror-reverse version of Vampirella’s origin story, everything fell into place. Turning Adam Van Helsing and his father into Drakulonians was a given. They’re still fighting ‘monsters’ together, although not of a supernatural nature.TB: I can see you’re having some fun with references in there, notably Forrest (which I took as a nod to the Ackermonster). I also took the name of the Sonic Reducer weapon to be a shout-out to the Dead Boys. I like to play the reference game myself. Why do you like to do that, and would you care to note any others that readers should hunt down?NC:
One of Ella’s fellow crewmates on the ‘Arthur C. Clarke’ is Commander Sutton, which is a reference to Tom Sutton (1937-2002), the artist who drew Vampirella’s origin story in the very first issue of the Warren magazine run.TB: Some people might think that Vampirella is pigeon-holed to one type of story, but I think she’s pretty flexible in terms of narrative possibilities. What’s your take?NC:
I’ve found her to be highly adaptable for my story-telling purposes. And as to being pigeon-holed, the same held true for Swamp Thing and Batman. I think it has been proven time and again any fictional character’s possibilities are only limited by the creative vision of their writer.TB: If for some reason you hadn’t gone the space route with Vampirella, what’s another twist on her that you might have tried?NC:
Well, there is already a steampunk version of her in the Legenderry series, and we’ve just had multiple fairytale versions of her in the Feary Tales mini-series—maybe her fighting Nazis during WWII ala Wonder Woman or Captain America with the help of the Bride of Frankenstein? (Dibs!)
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HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED NONPLAYER RETURNS03/05/15 @ 7:55 pm EST
Writer Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth
) and artist Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Li'l Gotham
) take the comics scene by storm with the launch of DESCENDER #1—already optioned for film before even hitting the shelves—and collect an outpouring of advance praise. In order to keep up with customer demand, Image Comics is pleased to announce a second printing of DESCENDER #1.
DESCENDER follows one young robot's struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera.
DESCENDER #1 remains available for purchase across all digital platforms, including the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com), the official Image Comics iOS app, Comixology’s website (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.
DESCENDER #1, 2nd printing (Diamond Code JAN158232), arrives in stores on April 1.
DESCENDER #2 (Diamond Code FEB150601) will arrive in stores on April 8.Read the DYNAMiC FORCES interview with Jeff Lemire by clicking here.
Source: Image | Categories: Image | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
NEW SPAWN WRITER AND ARTIST BRING FANS SPAWN: RESURRECTION03/05/15 @ 7:52 pm EST
After much fan anticipation, Image Comics is pleased to announce that Nate Simpson's NONPLAYER, which achieved massive levels of critical acclaim upon its debut, will return with the highly anticipated issue #2 on June 3, 2015. In order to meet customer demand, NONPLAYER #1 will return for a third printing and be available on April 1.
Newsarama calls Russ Manning Award-winner Simpson "a superstar in the making," and Warren Ellis says of Simpson, "this guy's going to be a big deal. The whole thing is just a f****** stunning piece of illustration." Multiversity raves that NONPLAYER is "a deafening roar that no one can ignore. Simpson has created the debut of the year with this comic, and to pass it up would certainly be the biggest mistake any comic fan could make."
NONPLAYER is set in the future—and the future is dismal. That goes double for Dana Stevens—she's stuck in a dead-end tamale delivery job, and she's way too old to be living with her mom. But Dana escapes to the online fantasy world of Jarvath, where she's an elite warrior. When she slays the wife of celebrity game character King Heremoth, her victory seems all but guaranteed—that is, until the game spins wildly out of control.
Issue #2 sees a wounded King Heremoth plotting revenge against Dana, while a police standoff at a Los Angeles fish market reveals a homicidal robot armed only with seafood. Simpson outdoes his beautiful and multi-layered debut with an even more ambitious feat of world-building!
NONPLAYER is a lush and vivid story that explores what happens when one girl loses herself in an escapist hobby that turns out to be much more than just a game.
NONPLAYER #1, 3rd printing (Diamond Code = JAN158233) will be available on April 1. The final order cutoff deadline for retailers is Monday, March 9.
NONPLAYER #2 (Diamond Code = APR150542) will be available on June 3 and can be pre-ordered now.
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New series writer and Eisner Award-winner Paul Jenkins (Revelations, Batman: The Dark Knight) teams up with artist Jonboy Meyers (The Savage She-Hulks, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man) to shed light on Al Simmons’ tragic past in the collectible issue, SPAWN: RESURRECTION #1. Al Simmons’ highly-anticipated return to the series will then pick up with SPAWN #251. MAESTRO SMASHES IN THE WARZONES! OF FUTURE IMPERFECT #103/05/15 @ 7:44 pm EST
Five years ago, Al Simmons removed himself to a state of limbo by means of suicide. But what tragic revelation could persuade him to finally return to the city, and how is this connected to the very creation of humanity? Featuring a special guest character: God. Trust us: you've never read a SPAWN comic like this before.
SPAWN: RESURRECTION #1 hits stores on March 11th and can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code DEC140602. Cover B by McFarlane can be pre-ordered using Diamond Code DEC140603.
Source: Marvel | Categories: Marvel | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
ULTRON FOREVER BEINGS HERE! YOUR NEW LOOK AT AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #103/05/15 @ 7:39 pm EST
Can anyone stop the Maestro? That’s the question this June as the oppressive lord of Dystopia enters the Battleworld fray in FUTURE IMPERFECT #1
! Writer Peter David returns to the nuclear-ravaged wastelands he made famous. And artist Greg Land joins him for an explosive all-new Secret Wars tale!
In the domain of Dystopia, the Hulk stands triumphant over the world’s heroes and villains. Now calling himself the Maestro and lording over all of Dystopia – his gamma-fisted tyranny knows no bounds! Yet the spark of rebellion still lives within these borders. A small, but fierce band of rebels still remains, willing give all in the name of freedom, even if it means their lives! Time to find out if Hulk really is the strongest one there is?
“It’s really fun to see the Maestro back and the dude is on his home turf so any challengers are going to have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to smash time,” says Series Editor Mark Paniccia. “Some characters from Peter David’s X-FACTOR are going toe-to-toe with Maestro but there’s a great battle coming up with an ever lovin’ surprise character that promises to give lovers of superhero fights a coast-to-coast grin!”
With their backs to the wall, Ruby Summers and the rebels will seek out anyone who can stand against Maestro’s power. How does Odin factor into their strategy? What character in Maestro’s weight class will face off with him? And will the members of X-Factor survive the first issue? Those answers and more lie in the bombastic, action-packed pages of FUTURE IMPERFECT #1
FUTURE IMPERFECT #1
Written by PETER DAVID
Art & Cover by GREG LAND
Variant Cover by DALE KEOWN
On Sale in June!
Source: Marvel | Categories: Avengers | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD: DOUBLE AGENT WEB SERIES03/04/15 @ 10:21 pm EST
This April, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assemble from across time and space to take on the greatest threat of our past, present and future! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your new look insideAVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
– the first chapter in a three-part epic Avengers event! Writer Al Ewing (Captain America & The Mighty Avengers)
and legendary artist Alan Davis assemble a new team of Avengers for an epic tale that should not be missed!
Venture 500 years into the future of the Marvel Universe. A desolate wasteland devoid of almost all human life. Those remaining alive have been enslaved by the Ultron Singularity, surviving only to serve the will of their twisted robot masters. To save the future, Doctor Doom will pluck seven of Earth’s Mightiest from different periods to battle the machine god Ultron himself. But when the battle for the cosmos begins, will they succeed – or die trying?
Now – the present day Vision and Black Widow, James Rhodes, the Incredible Hulk, two generations of Thor and Danielle Cage, the Captain America of the future must join forces if we are to have any hope for tomorrow! Yet as they travel into the uncertain future, even they will not be prepared for what they find.
In the shadows of a nightmarish future, a new team of Avengers will rise to show the world that heroes can come from anywhere and anytime. It all happens this April when Ewing and David unite for AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
Plus, don’t miss parts 2 and 3 when NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
and UNCANNY AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
hit shelves in April and May!
AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 (FEB150697)Written by AL EWINGArt & Cover by ALAN DAVIS
Avengers Variant by Mike McKone (FEB150701)
Variant Cover by Skottie Young (FEB150700)AU Movie Connecting Variant B (FEB150698) and
AU Movie Connecting Variant C (FEB150699) Also Available!FOC – 03/09/15, On-Sale – 04/01/15
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ABC and Marvel has announced Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent, a new five-part web series tie-in to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the ABC television network.
The series follows a double agent who has infiltrated the Marvel Universe and is leaking sensitive top secret information about upcoming episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.The series debuts today at MarvelsDoubleAgent.com, ABC.com and the WATCH ABC app.
Sponsored by Lexus, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent follows the actions of a newly hired production assistant who is actually working as a double agent on behalf of an unknown enemy known only as The Mastermind. In each episode, The Mastermind orders the Double Agent to infiltrate different restricted areas on the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set, including executive offices, wardrobe and soundstages, among others. Through hidden cameras, The Mastermind can see everything, providing viewers with an inside look at the secretive world of the show -- often uncovering critical story elements to future episodes.
Beginning today, viewers will have the chance to weigh in to predict where they think The Mastermind will send the Double Agent next. After each episode a poll will be posted with a list of possible locations from which they can choose. Once viewers pick where they think the Double Agent should go, they will be given an opportunity to enter for the chance to win prizes from the sets of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Double Agent. The remaining four episodes will post at 9:00 a.m. PT on March 18, April 1, April 22 and May 6. A winner will be chosen at random Wednesday May 15, 2015.
Latest News1. VETERAN ARTIST SCOT EATON JOINS JOSHUA DYSART TO FIGHT “BROKEN ANGELS” IN IMPERIUM #5
Updated: 03/05/15 @ 8:32 pm
2. MARCOS MARTIN DRAWS THE ART OF EVOLUTION FOR THE NEXT AGENTS OF SHIELD
3. HARRISON FORD IN PLANE CRASH - SUSTAINS SERIOUS INJURIES
4. NANCY A. COLLINS TALKS ALTERED STATES: VAMPIRELLA
5. LEMIRE AND NGUYEN’S DESCENDER FAST-TRACKED TO SECOND PRINTING