|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.)
WILL LEX LUTHOR BE PART OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD?10/24/14 @ 8:27 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."
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Suicide Squad | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
TOP COW’S FAMILY AFFAIR HAS ALREADY BEEN TURNED INTO A TV SHOW10/24/14 @ 8:12 pm EST
Of the new slate of movies announced by Warner Bros recently, the one that stood out as unconnected to the rest was the Suicide Squad… now the connection may become clearer. Deadline is reporting that Jesse Eisenberg is in talks with WB to take his Lex Luthor character from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice over to the David Ayer directed villain ensemble.
Word is that Tom Hardy, Will Smith and Margot Robbie are all being sought after by the studio to be in the movie as well.
Luthor has been involved with the Suicide Squad while in the comics, but not as a member.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Top Cow | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
LONDON SUPER CON WILL HOST CHARLIE ADLARD, LEE BERMEJO, EMANUELA LUPACCHINO, JOHN ROMITA JR. AND MORE10/24/14 @ 8:03 pm EST
The Hollywood Reporter reports that US showrunner Shane Brennan has got a script commitment from CBS to a new show ...
"based on the upcoming Top Cow Productions comic book Family Affair by Lavin, Damiani and Matt Hawkins. Top Cow topper Marc Silvestri and Hawkins will serve as co-exec producers. Industry Entertainment’s Stephen Crawford will produce."
The show will be written by J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani who have written the cimic book script, and is about ...
"four agents who go undercover as the perfect family for an operation that has them rooting out dangerous criminals in the suburbs while becoming an unlikely family at the same time."
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER ROUNDS OUT CAST WITH LYNDSY FONSECA10/24/14 @ 7:47 pm EST
London Super Con is still a few months away, running from March 14th to 15th 2015, but their first guest announcements are going out on the interwebs, and after substantial growth last year they are bringing the following creators to the show:Charlie AdlardMahmud AsrarLee BermejoIan ChurchillYaya HanJeremy HaunEmanuela LupacchinoMichael Avon OemingMike PloogJohn Romita, Jr.Jamie Tyndall
We can definitely see the American migration here, and a particular focus on comic artists, giving the con a distinctive art flair
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THE AVENGERS SHATTER ANOTHER RECORD10/24/14 @ 7:41 pm EST
With "Marvel's Agent Carter" making its way to ABC in 2015, the series has now completed its cast with Lyndsy Fonseca ("Kick-Ass" franchise, "Nikita," "Big Love") joining as Angie Martinelli!
An aspiring actress living in 1946 New York, Angie will befriend Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) as she herself seeks to find her place in the post-war world.
"'Marvel's Agent Carter' opens up an exciting world of new characters for us," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Head of Television. "Lyndsy brings a warmth and humanity to Angie, who'll be the friend Peggy needs if she's to survive the dangers that lie ahead."
"Marvel's Agent Carter," starring Captain America's Hayley Atwell, follows the story of Peggy Carter. It's 1946, and peace has dealt Peggy Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life--Steve Rogers. Inspired by the feature films "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," along with the short "Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter."
Starring Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter, Chad Michael Murray as SSR Agent Jack Thompson, Enver Gjokaj as SSR Agent Daniel Sousa, James D'Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, and Shea Whigham as SSR Chief Roger Dooley, "Marvel's Agent Carter" was written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Executive producers are Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Chris Dingess, Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee and Jeph Loeb.
"Marvel's Agent Carter" is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.
Source: Marvel | Categories: Avengers | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Earth's Mightiest Heroes returned to the spotlight this week with the brand new teaser trailer for Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and once again obliterated records.“PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES” BEGINS IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2110/24/14 @ 7:34 pm EST
In just 24 hours, the first Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" trailer racked up an astonishing 34.3 million global views, smashing the previous record by over 20 million views in the same time period. What film held the previous record? Why, Marvel's "Iron Man 3," of course. Only Tony Stark can outdo Tony Stark.
But, to be honest, we couldn't do it without you. Marvel fans around the globe helped drive this unprecedented level of excitement and exuberance for the film, slated to hit theaters May 1, 2015. So a hearty thanks from the House of Ideas.
And because we believe that the best way to say thanks is to give you more, we're delivering new Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" action to your TV sets, two weeks in a row! Tune in to "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." this Tuesday, October 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC to see an exclusive piece from Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Then, on Tuesday, November 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC, tune into "Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop!" for another taste of Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron"--and much more!
With that in mind, why don't you sit back and enjoy the Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" teaser trailer once again?
Source: Marvel | Categories: Guardians of the Galaxy | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
ARCUDI "RUMBLES" WITH A SCARY SCARECROW10/24/14 @ 7:27 pm EST
Brian Bendis and Marvel Young Gun artist Valerio Schiti venture where no heroes have ever gone before – to the home planet of the deadly alien symbiotes! Ever since the Venom symbiote bonded with Flash Thompson, he has wielded it as a force for good, hoping to make the Earth a safer place. Only the far reaches of space are a little out of his depth! And with the Venom costume finally reunited with its own species – where will it’s allegiances lie? Trapped on a world full of hostile alien parasites, the Guardians of the Galaxy may begin to regret letting Flash Thompson join their team. Be there when the Guardians face a new horror in deep space as “Planet of the Symbiotes” kicks off in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21 (SEP140871) Art by VALERIO SCHITI
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW Rocket Raccoon & Groot Variant by DUSTIN NGUYEN (SEP140872)
FOC – 10/27/14, On-Sale – 11/19/14
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JOHN CARTER MOVIE RIGHTS REVERT TO ERB, INC.10/24/14 @ 1:43 pm EST
The mind of writer John Arcudi seems like a fun mix of madness and cartoon mayhem. If you look at the characters he's created and written in his career -- from the Mask to Major Bummer to the BPRD and Abe Sapien books -- they all seem to walk a fine line between humor, horror, and high adventure. It's an eclectic mix of genre that Arcudi knows well, and it's on full display in his newest work "Rumble," an ongoing series launching from Image Comics this December.
Described as "a modern-day action fantasy series where rundown dive bars, undead kitty cats, psycho skinheads and giant mummies run amok," the book features a variety of intriguing characters. The most notable individual among these is Rathraq, an unusualwarrior whose return from a long absence helps to kick off the comic's main story. Coincidentally, this character also happens to be the writer's source of inspiration behind the series.
"I seem to recall seeing a drawing a million years ago -- not a drawing of a scarecrow, though. It's a long, long time ago -- so I'm not really sure about this -- but I think that's what got my mind rolling, and as time went on, it turned into a scarecrow," Arcudi told CBR News. "Then a scarecrow with the personality of Conan... and then, well, what Rathraq is now. The rest of the story grew with him."
When asked for more details about the story and its setting, Arcudi played it sly. "I don't want to give it all away."
Source: ICv2 | Categories: John Carter Warlord of Mars | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
BROADENING DEMO DRIVING GN GROWTH10/24/14 @ 1:38 pm EST
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. announced this week that the John Carter of Mars movie, television and merchandise rights formerly held by Walt Disney Pictures have reverted back to the author’s estate, which is now seeking a new studio to continue the franchise.
"We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote," said James Sullos, President of ERB, Inc. He then referenced the Warner Bros. Tarzan deal and added, "(W)e hope to have John Carter of Mars become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages."
Disney’s $250 million John Carter in 2012 was a huge flop domestically, despite being a faithful adaptation, making it no surprise that they let the rights lapse.
On the John Carter comic front, Dynamite Entertainment reached an agreement with ERB, Inc regarding the John Carter comic line earlier this year, and will be launching a new John Carter: Warlord of Mars series in November.
Source: ICv2 | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Growing numbers of female and young customers are growing graphic novel sales, not only in bookstores, but also in comic stores, according to a report in the recently released ICv2’s Internal Correspondence #86. All of the retailers we interviewed for this report were seeing increased numbers of female consumers, although some noted that when it came to pull lists, male customers still predominated.THE FUTURE OF CROSSED AT YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP10/24/14 @ 1:34 pm EST
Bestseller charts abound with titles with strong female appeal, including Roz Chast’s Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, which was the bestselling graphic novel of the summer in bookstores; and Saga, which is beginning to overtake The Walking Dead in some comic stores.
Graphic novels for kids is another big growth area, although the skew is much more heavily toward the book channel in that segment. But there are comic stores that are emphasizing kids graphic novels and finding success, and some are even having more success with girls than with boys. And the growth in graphic novels for young readers of both genders is helping fuel the increasingly diverse adult audience as those readers age.
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The internet was abuzz with interest when the announcement of legendary comics writer Alan Moore putting his stamp on the Crossed universe with Crossed + 100. This stark future series that fast forwards the world of Crossed 100 years to show us what has become of the human race is undoubtedly going to be a masterful horror tale that will expand your ideas of what the Crossed are. Alan Moore has taken the Crossed plague to its inevitable end and has developed a wholly original take on the horrors of this universe. If you are a fan of Crossed, you won’t want to miss this pivotal series.
Local comic shops are finalizing their orders for this important new series this week and will be deciding how many copies will be available for readers to obtain. If you are interested in seeing what the man who redefined the comics medium has in store for Garth Ennis’ unique survival horror series, please make sure you ask your local comics shop to reserve a copy Crossed + 100 for you today.
December is only a handful of weeks away and Alan Moore’s Crossed +100 will be here in time to haunt your holidays.
Latest News1. WILL LEX LUTHOR BE PART OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD?
Updated: 10/24/14 @ 8:27 pm
2. TOP COW’S FAMILY AFFAIR HAS ALREADY BEEN TURNED INTO A TV SHOW
3. LONDON SUPER CON WILL HOST CHARLIE ADLARD, LEE BERMEJO, EMANUELA LUPACCHINO, JOHN ROMITA JR. AND MORE
4. MARVEL'S AGENT CARTER ROUNDS OUT CAST WITH LYNDSY FONSECA
5. THE AVENGERS SHATTER ANOTHER RECORD