|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.)
KATHRYN LEIGH SCOTT TO APPEAR ON MARVELíS AGENTS OF SHIELD11/26/14 @ 10:32 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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FOX CASTS OSCAR ISAAC TO PLAY APOCALYSE11/26/14 @ 10:03 pm EST
This is an interesting story for a unique source – a Dark Shadows
fan site – that has information about Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
The report says that actress Kathryn Leigh Scott
, who played Maggie Evans
on Dark Shadows
, has been cast in the mid-season premiere of Agents of SHIELD
scheduled to air March 3rd. We don’t know who she is playing, but she had this to say:
“The show is so secretive that I was never given a script, only my dialogue! I am going to respect their desire to keep the story a surprise … besides, I can’t provide a synopsis because I have no idea what the story is. My episode will air mid-season and I will supply more information as I get it.”
When the show does return, it will be roughly two months prior to Avengers: Age of Ultron
so it is possible that plot for the episode and maybe even her role is starting to set up for the film. We know how drastically Captain America: The Winter Soldier
changed the show last season, it would only stand to reason that the show will have strong ties to the Avengers
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: X-Men | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Oscar Isaac'CONSTANTINE' SHOWRUNNER ASKS FOR SUPPORT AFTER FIRST SEASON ENDED AT 13 EPISODES11/26/14 @ 9:53 pm EST
(Star Wars: The Force Awakens
) has signed on to play Apocalypse
in the upcoming X-Men: Age Of Apocalypse, according to Variety.
The film will be based on a Simon Kinberg script and directed by Bryan Singer. It’s set in the 1980s and will likely feature Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrenceand James McAvoy as well as younger versions of familiar characters from the franchise.
Besides the upcoming Star Wars film, Isaac also has A Most Violent Yearbeing released in December which could put the actor in the running for some major awards.
Source: ICv2 | Categories: Constantine | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
'JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARK' SCRIPT COMPLETE11/26/14 @ 9:50 pm EST
Constantine showrunner Daniel Cerone is asking fans for support to ensure that the show returns for a second season, after production on the first season was ended at the original order of 13 episodes. The order might have been expected to be increased to a full 26 episodes, but the show premiered in late October, and the network was not ready to increase its commitment (or cancel the show) after only four episodes had aired. So production was halted after 13 episodes, but the show still has a chance to return next year, according to Deadline.
Initial ratings on the show have been solid, but apparently not strong enough to get an immediate vote of confidence from NBC.
Now a full-throated effort to rally fans has begun, starting with Cerone’s Twitter page, where he’s been using the #SaveConstantine hashtage and urging fans to watch to keep the ratings up and convince NBC to continue the show. “We will return if enuf fans watch live ‘n rewatch (stream till you drop),” he said. “NBC wants our success and DC is beast. Won’t say Die.”
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Guillermo del Toro has confirmed that the screenplay for his DC Comics Justice League: Dark adaptation has been completed, and has been sent to Warner Bros. for weekend reads, Forbes is reporting.TEXAS DA COMICS THEFT - THE SEQUEL11/26/14 @ 9:47 pm EST
Tentatively titled Dark Universe, updates have been sporadic, with the most recent being del Toro’s confirmation this summer that the project was still in the works. He confirmed at that time that the film will not be set in continuity with the TV adaptation of NBC’s Constantine, which itself is currently sitting in a bit of limbo.
The Dark Universe film was not explicitly named in Warner Bros. recent five year date reservation slate.
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A second investigator from the Harris County, Texas District Attorney’s office has been indicted in the theft of valuable comics stolen from evidence, according to The Houston Chronicle, Dustin Deutsch was indicted by a Harris County grand jury this week for felony theft by a public servant and tampering with evidence. JAMES CAMERON SAYS AVATAR SEQUELS WILL MAKE 'YOU S**T YOURSELF'11/26/14 @ 9:42 pm EST
The comics came from the collection of Anthony Chiafalo, a corrupt attorney who was convicted of embezzling $9 million from a client and using the money to buy collectables (among other goodies), including a Detective #27 worth $850,000 and other key books.
Deutsch’s former partner at the DA’s office, Lonnie Blevins, stole comics worth over $5,000 from an evidence locker for the Chiofalo case and was found out after selling the comics at a convention in Chicago. Blevins pleaded guilty in the theft in May, and is currently awaiting sentencing. Blevins’ sentencing was delayed because he was cooperating with investigators; his former partner’s indictment is presumably an outcome of that cooperation. Deutsch was suspended after Blevins’ arrest, and later resigned, but was not accused in the incident until now. (Via ICv2)
Source: IGN | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
A STONE OF INFINITE POWER WILL CHANGE THE WORLD OR DESTROY IT11/26/14 @ 9:22 pm EST
Avatar director James Cameron says his planned trilogy of sequels will have a very, um, specific effect on the viewer.
"They’re gonna be bitchin’. You will s**t yourself with your mouth wide open,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker told Empire.
Cameron also said that he has decided against shooting the film in the 60 frames-per-second frame rate, opting to shoot it at 48 fps instead.
He also revealed the curious process of working with four screenwriters Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman and Shane Salerno on writing Avatar 2-4,
"I think we met for seven months and we whiteboarded out every scene in every film together,” Cameron said, “and I didn’t assign each writer which film they were going to work on until the last day. I knew if I assigned them their scripts ahead of time, they’d tune out every time we were talking about the other movie."
Source: Afterburn | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
A NEW TEAM OF AVENGERS ASSEMBLE FOR AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER11/26/14 @ 9:15 pm EST
New to Afteburn this February, 2015 comes from Robert W. Hickey and Tom & Mary Bierbaum's a tale of Time Travel, Enhancers and Unity - STORMQUEST: TIMESTORM.
When an experiment with an unearthly stone goes terribly wrong, a family, victims of their own curiosity, struggles through an adventure in time as each member adapts to new abilities and meeting both new friends and foes along the way. This is the beginnings of the StormQuest Foundation, a team assembled to monitor and protect the ominous time storm.STORMQUEST: TIMESTORM
is the starting point that leads directly into an all new series from Afterburn PARDOX WARS shipping summer of 2015.
Robert W. Hickey (Paradox Wars), Tom & Mary Bierbaum (Legion of Superheroes), Greg Land (Iron Man, Avengers), Willie Peppers (Southern Knights), Bill Nichols, Jerry Foley
StormQuest: Timestorm Graphic Novel #1 - 160 pgs, Full Color, Soft Cover, Perfect Binding. - SRP $19.99
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ELLIE PYLE MOVES FROM MARVEL TO DC11/26/14 @ 12:30 pm EST
This April, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes from across the time stream collide to take on the greatest threat to our past, present and future in AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
, NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
and UNCANNY AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1
– a trio of oversized specials coming in 2015! Written by fan-favorite scribe Al Ewing (Captain America & The Mighty Avengers, Loki: Agent of Asgard)
and drawn by legendary artist Alan Davis – prepare for a new team to assemble!
Peer into the future of the Marvel Universe as seen in the pages of Avengers
. Ruled by the maniacal Ultron, no heroes remain alive. To save our future, Avengers plucked from all eras of the Marvel Universe must come together!
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 future to defeat Ultron and his servants, even they will not be prepared for what they find.
“If I had to pick one word to describe this story, ‘epic’ would be it,” says Avengers: Ultron Forever
writer Al Ewing, speaking with Marvel.com. “It sort of builds and builds, until by the third issue you’re experiencing cosmic-scale war between…but that would be spoiling it.”
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 when Ewing and David unite forAVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER –
coming to comic shops and digital devices this April!
AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Written by AL EWING Art & Cover by ALAN DAVIS On Sale in April!
NEW AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1 Written by AL EWING Art & Cover by ALAN DAVISOn Sale in April! UNCANNY AVENGERS: ULTRON FOREVER #1Written by AL EWINGArt & Cover by ALAN DAVIS
On Sale in April!
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'DEEP STATE' AND 'THE RINSE' SOLD TO FOX11/26/14 @ 12:21 pm EST
DC Entertainment announced the hiring of Ellie Pyle as Editor for its Vertigo imprint.
Pyle joins DC after four years as Associate Editor at Marvel Comics, having edited key titles including Black Widow, Daredevil
and Fearless Defenders.
Prior to working at Marvel, she was the Performing Arts Coordinator for the City of Savannah.
“Ellie’s strong storytelling skills and stellar reputation within the comics community make her a great addition to the Vertigo team,” says Executive Editor Shelly Bond. Executive Editor Bond reports to SVP Vertigo and Integrated Publishing Hank Kanalz.
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BOOM! Studios announced it has sold drama projects based on Deep State
and The Rinse
to 20th Century Fox TV under its existing “first
look” deal. Deep State
is written by Justin Jordan (Spread
), with art by Ariela Kristantina (Death of Wolverine
). The conspiracy-driven series follows John Harrow, a government agent for the shadowy Control branch. He doesn’t exist, and neither do the black books operations and experiments he is called in to protect when things go wrong. According to Deadline, the drama will center on the newly recruited FBI agent Katherine Branch, who is partnered with Harrow to help distract the public with conspiracy theories. The drama will be written by Anna Fricke (Being Human, Everwood
). BOOM! announced plans to release a second printing of issue #1, with a new cover by Matt Taylor. The Rinse
is a miniseries written by crime novelist Gary Phillips (Angeltown
) and drawn by Marc Laming (American Century, Kings Watch
). The story follows Jeff Sinclair, a money laundryman who is pulled into a dangerous gig cleaning $25 million in stolen casino skim money. The adaptation is being written/executive produced by Mick Betancourt (Necessary Roughness, Law & Order, SVU
Latest News1. KATHRYN LEIGH SCOTT TO APPEAR ON MARVELíS AGENTS OF SHIELD
Updated: 11/26/14 @ 10:32 pm
2. FOX CASTS OSCAR ISAAC TO PLAY APOCALYSE
3. 'CONSTANTINE' SHOWRUNNER ASKS FOR SUPPORT AFTER FIRST SEASON ENDED AT 13 EPISODES
4. 'JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARK' SCRIPT COMPLETE
5. TEXAS DA COMICS THEFT - THE SEQUEL