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OLD-TIME RADIO AND COMICS HEROES BURST BACK ONTO THE SCENE!
03/28/12 @ 4:15 pm EST
Source: USA TODAY | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment

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.)

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."
MORE NEWS...
DF REVIEW: BATMAN/SUPERMAN #13
08/31/14 @ 12:29 pm EST
Source: Dynamic Forces | Categories: Batman Superman | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment






By BYRON BREWER

Certain comics – once, under the pen of Roy Thomas, The Incredible Hulk, and certainly under Stan Lee, Spider-Man – have been compared to daytime dramas, AKA the soaps.

Now, in Batman/Superman #13, one of the most dreaded story devices of soap writers attacks Greg Pak and Jae Lee’s book: amnesia, both for the Man of Tomorrow and the Dark Knight.

The number 13 is often seen as unlucky, but Pak and Lee take this device and sail merrily into one of the most interesting and certainly funny (yes, funny) episodes of the World’s Finest Heroes as a new arc begins!

Pak pairs the amnesiac Supes with Catwoman and Lois is also along for the ride. The writer walks the line as he attempts to (and successfully so) infuse humor into Bats, and the results are exciting, humorous and quite entertaining.

Less so is the throw-over to the villainous Kaiyo (from the previous arc) who is plotting with Lord Satanus. While this isn't the issue's great strength, there's plenty here to impress.

Top of the list: Jae Lee’s art, which is especially and always powerful during character-driven moments, emotional outbursts or confusions, and flowing panels of action. Most can be found in B/S #13 in satisfactory amounts.

Pak has an ability to take nothing and make something very worthwhile from it. And let’s face it: Lee’s art don’t hurt! Great issue.
SIX FLAGS ANNOUNCES NEW DC THEMED RIDERS FOR 2015
08/31/14 @ 12:11 pm EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: DC | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Amusement park giant Six Flags has announced several new DC Entertainment-based rides. Starting with Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis in 2015 with a 3D interactive dark ride attraction, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis. The ride lets guests battle alongside Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern against Lex Luthor, The Joker and his henchmen.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas will debut Batman: The Ride in 2015. The new first-of-its-kind ride is described as a cross between the Green Lantern fourth-dimension coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and the X-Flight wing coaster at Six Flags Great America in the Chicago area. Sitting on a compact footprint, the 120-foot-tall 4-D wing coaster is top feature an elevator-like lift hill, forward and reverse inversions and beyond-vertical freefall drops.

Six Flags Over Georgia will feature The Joker Chaos Coaster and Harley Quinn Spinsanity during 2015 season.
SIMONE, ENNIS, CASSADAY, WAID AND MORE ON THE DYNAMITE SIGNING LIST FOR THE BALTIMORE COMIC-CON
08/31/14 @ 12:01 pm EST
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Dynamite | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Dynamite Entertainment is pulling out all the stops for the Baltimore Comic-Con September 5-7.

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, Dynamite will be set up at booth #2005 with an impressive line-up of creators doing signings:

Gail Simone, Garth Ennis, John Cassaday, Mark Waid, Matt Wagner, Michael Uslan, Allison Sohn, Buz Hasson, Christina Blanch, Duane Swierczynski, Frank Tieri, Jim Kuhoric, Ken Haeser, Michel Fiffe, Sean Chen.

In addition to its new booth, Dynamite will be offering convention exclusives. Limited edition black and white variants from Red Sonja: Black Tower #1, and Steampunk Battlestar Galatica: 1880 #1 will be made available for purchase, along with an extremely rare Alex Ross art board variant edition of Justice Inc. #1 and ultra-limited convention exclusive editions of Bob’s Burgers #1 both in black and white and as virgin art by series artist Tony Gennaro.



BobsBurgers01-Cov-BaltimoreCols
DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT DRAGON CON
08/30/14 @ 11:49 pm EST
Source: Dynamic Forces | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


More than 60,000 attendees are expected at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA, this year, its 27th incarnation.

Stars are shining in the South, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, including: Sir Patrick Stewart — “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (“Captain Jean-Luc Picard”), the “X-Men” series (“Charles Xavier”); Karl Urban — recent “Star Trek” movies (“Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy”), “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy (“Eomer”); Manu Bennett — “The Hobbit” trilogy (“Azog the Defiler”), TV’s “Arrow” (“Slade Wilson”); Katie Cassidy — “Arrow” (“Laurel Lance”); Evanna Lynch — “Harry Potter” franchise (“Luna Lovegood”); Ralph Macchio — “The Outsiders” (“Johnny Cade”), “The Karate Kid” (“Daniel LaRusso”); Cary Elwes — “The Princess Bride,” (“Westley”), “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” (“Robin Hood”); Walter Koenig — “Star Trek” original series (“Pavel Chekov”); Lou Ferrigno — TV’s “The Incredible Hulk;” John Ratzenberger — “Cheers” (“Cliff Clavin”), voice in Pixar movies (“Hamm the Piggy Bank” in the “Toy Story” series, “Mack the Truck” in the “Cars” series); James Gunn — writer/director of “Guardians of the Galaxy;” Terry Gilliam — screenwriter/director (“The Fisher King,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”) and Monty Python troupe member.

Also participating in panels and autograph sessions, says the Journal-Constitution, are multiple main cast members from TV shows including ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”; SyFy’s “Warehouse 13”; TNT’s “Falling Skies”; HBO’s “True Blood”; Fox’s “The Following”; and Syfy’s “Being Human.” Several actors from Joss Whedon creations “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Angel,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dollhouse” and “Firefly” also will be in attendance.

Other TV guests will come from classic shows such as “Doctor Who” (Colin Baker); “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (Gil Gerard and Erin Gray); “Sid & Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost” (Wesley Eure, Kathleen Coleman and Philip Paley); and several from “Stargate” and the “Star Trek” franchise (including Jeri Ryan and Jonathan Del Arco).

The “From Page to Stage Comic Book Pageant” announced its winners Saturday. According to the Daily Dragon, the contest was presented by comic book writers Peter David and George Perez. The judges were Georges Jeanty, Comfort Love and Adam Withers.

Among others, winners were: The Yes, We do Want to Kill Batman Award: Kelsey McCarter as Harley Quinn; Biggest Little Award: Keelia Gaffey as Supergirl; Prettiest Rodent Award: Lauren Napoli and Annie Eason as Betty and Dee from Rat Queens; Judge’s Choice Award: Michael Wuttke and Hannah Wuttke as Magneto.

Four members of the Battlestar Galactica cast were on the panel, “BSG: A Visit to the Fleet,” on Friday. Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh aka “The Betrayer” and the Fifth of “the Final Five”), Tricia Helfer (Six aka “The Cylon Betrayer”), Michael Hogan (Colonel Saul Tigh), and Richard Hatch (Tom Zarek, and also Apollo from the original series) all shared how being part of this show affected them, the Daily Dragon said.

On Saturday night, one of the most anticipated panels of this year’s Dragon Con featured James Gunn, writer and director of Guardians of the Galaxy, and his brother Sean Gunn, who was the stand-in on set for the CGI character Rocket Raccoon. They spoke to a packed Marriott Atrium Ballroom.

Both the “Guests of Middle Earth” panel (Friday) and the “Tolkein Guests” panel (Saturday) started with the trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, featuring Billy Boyd’s song, “Home is Behind,” from The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

Information gathered from diverse sources by Byron Brewer, Dynamic Forces.
DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT FAN EXPO CANADA
08/30/14 @ 11:45 pm EST
Source: Dynamic Forces | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Despite the fact that Fan Expo Canada is the third biggest convention in North America, neither DC nor Marvel has a presence on the showroom floor, observed Bleeding Cool.

Freeing up artists for Artist’s Alley, or just too tough to get all those displays across the border?

Nevertheless, things are booming in the Great White North with the first DC panel discussing everything Batman (including a listing of 75th anniversary events thus far and future). The legendary Bernie Wrightson returned to Canada for the first time in more than 20 years to talk to his many admirers at Fan Expo, taking questions regarding his work on Swamp Thing and the state of the comic industry.

Both former 1960s Batman performer Adam West and Stan "The Man" Lee spoke to the fans, with Lee refusing to choose among all the pop culture surrounding him. “I like everything,” he insisted to the packed house of fans who asked him about his favorite this and his favorite that. That may be true, but The Huffington Post reports that Lee was very proud of the clever answer he spouts when people ask about his favorite superpower. He said it was luck!

Tribute reports, meanwhile, that cosplayers from every genre are walking the floor and there is nothing as enjoyable as watching one cosplayer take a photo with or of another cosplayer, a true appreciation of the hard work and detail that goes into each outfit.

With one slash of the ribbon by Freddie Krueger's razor claw, iconic horror actor Robert Englund opened Fan Expo Canada this year, as "Nightmare On Elm Street" survivor girl Heather Lagenkamp screamed in the background.

Fan Expo Canada runs through Aug. 31 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Information gathered from diverse sources by Byron Brewer, Dynamic Forces.
VIN DIESEL TEASES HANNIBAL THE CONQUEROR AS HIS NEXT BIG FRANCHISE
08/30/14 @ 11:54 am EST
Source: Comicbook | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


With Guardians of the Galaxy now the #1 film of 2014 at the U.S. box office, Vin Diesel seems ready to launch his next big franchise. While Vin Diesel might be best known for the Fast & Furious movies, he’s been leveraging his success with that franchise to get another project off the ground.

On Friday, Vin Diesel posted a video of himself enjoying a very scenic ride. However, the camera kept panning down to a poster for Hannibal the Conqueror. Hannibal the Conqueror is about a Carthaginian general who led an army, complete with war elephants, across the Alps to attack Rome in the 3rd Century BC.

Could THIS be Vin Diesel's next BIG THING? We'll see.
COMIC BOOK COLLECTION STOLEN
08/30/14 @ 11:33 am EST
Source: WHIO | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


A man called Dayton (Ohio) police to report that his $140,000 comic book collection was stolen from his apartment, WHIO reports.

The East Fourth Street resident was told to leave his apartment while his ex-girlfriend moved out after they broke up yesterday, according to a police report.

When he returned, he reportedly got into a physical altercation with her family, and then found his box of comic books, including an X-Men #1, missing, the report states.
PATRICK WARBURTON SET TO RETURN IN THE TICK
08/30/14 @ 5:44 am EST
Source: People | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


The Tick is back to save the day. No lie! At least according to People.com.

Broad-shouldered Patrick Warburton only sported his blue antennae for one season the first go-around, but the critically-acclaimed superhero parody is now being revived on Amazon, People.com reported.

The cult-classic series is based on a comic book by Ben Edlund and was first brought to television as an animated series that enjoyed three seasons of success in the mid 1990s. In early 2012, Fox canceled Warburton's live-action version (which also starred a pre-Lost Nestor Carbonnell) after just nine episodes.

Mayhap the Tick will fair better in these pop culture-friendly times?



CANADA INTRODUCES SUPERMAN COINS FEATURING ICONIC DC COVERS
08/30/14 @ 5:19 am EST
Source: CBR | Categories: Superman | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Less than a year after unveiling seven collector coins celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel, CBR's Robot 6 reports that at Fan Expo in Toronto the Royal Canadian mint introduced four more, featuring iconic Superman comic book covers.

The superhero’s milestone anniversary and Toronto roots were also celebrated last year with a set of stamps from Canada Posts. Although Superman was created in 1933 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they were teenagers living in Cleveland, Shuster was actually born in Toronto, and lived there until age 9 or 10. He worked as a newspaper boy for the Toronto Daily Star, whose building served as a model for the Daily Planet (originally called the Daily Star).
LEVINE BRINGS HIS 'BOWERY BOYS' TO DARK HORSE
08/30/14 @ 5:10 am EST
Source: CBR | Categories: Dark Horse | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment


Comic Book Resources is reporting that Cory Levine, Ian Bertram and Brent McKee's "Bowery Boys" are back, and at Dark Horse Comics.

The story takes all the elements of antebellum New York City and houses them inside the coming-of-age story of Niko McGovern, who must band together with a group of street youths in a life-or-death battle after his father, William, is unjustly accused of murder.Collected for the first time in a hardcover by Dark Horse, Bowery Boys has been running as a webcomic since 2013.

Although updates stopped at the end of the series' third book, Levine has restarted the online serialization as the series heads to its fifth book conclusion.

The Dark Horse collection contains the full five books as well as some new, extra material, CBR said.
 
RECENT NEWS

Latest News
Updated: 08/31/14 @ 12:29 pm

1. DF REVIEW: BATMAN/SUPERMAN #13

2. SIX FLAGS ANNOUNCES NEW DC THEMED RIDERS FOR 2015

3. SIMONE, ENNIS, CASSADAY, WAID AND MORE ON THE DYNAMITE SIGNING LIST FOR THE BALTIMORE COMIC-CON

4. DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT DRAGON CON

5. DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT FAN EXPO CANADA

 

Latest News
Updated: 08/31/14 @ 12:29 pm

1. DF REVIEW: BATMAN/SUPERMAN #13

2. SIX FLAGS ANNOUNCES NEW DC THEMED RIDERS FOR 2015

3. SIMONE, ENNIS, CASSADAY, WAID AND MORE ON THE DYNAMITE SIGNING LIST FOR THE BALTIMORE COMIC-CON

4. DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT DRAGON CON

5. DYNAMIC FORCES EXPLORES DOINGS AT FAN EXPO CANADA



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Reviews: The Fade Out #1, Justice Inc Vol 3 #1, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1, Multiversity #1, Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #1, Doctor Who season premiere, Intruders season premiere, True Blood series finale, Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For



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