|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.)
HEAVY METAL TO PUBLISH NATASHA ALTERICI’S HEATHEN06/25/16 @ 4:52 am 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: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
“BOTH METE OUT A KIND OF JUSTICE.” – DAVID AVALLONE ON THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWILIGHT ZONE AND THE SHADOW06/25/16 @ 4:44 am EST
Last year, Natasha Alterici digitally published Heathen, a Viking fantasy comic book about Aydis, a young female hunter banished from her village for being gay, who finds a parallel in the Norse story of Brynhild, cursed by Odin to live in exile . And Aydis as the one who might free her from her fiery prison at the top of a mountain in exchange for marriage.
Alyterci successfully Kickstartered the publication of the comic as a print collection earlier in the year, and now it is to be published again by Heavy Metal, serialised as single issues. Which could find the comic a whole new audience.
(W/A/CA) Natasha Alterici
Banished Viking warrior Aydis is leaving her small-minded village far behind to embark upon a quest. Her big idea? To right the wrongs of corrupt God-King Odin, that’s all. The first step of her journey is to find the cursed Valkyrie Brynhild and set her free, but a deadly shape-shifting spy stands in Aydis’s way. Hail Heathen! The critically-acclaimed debut of Natasha Alterici that defies feminine archetypes while cleaving the skull of genre conventions. (STL016132)
32pgs, FC $3.99
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Dynamite | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
DynamiteMICHAEL SHEEN TO DIRECT ADAPTATION OF DARK HORSE’S GREEN RIVER KILLER06/25/16 @ 4:38 am EST
has sent us a new Writer 2 Writer interview, this time Frank Barbiere
, writer of Dejah Thoris
#5, talks with writer David Avallone
about Twilight Zone: The Shadow
#3, both in stores now. Cover is by Francesco Francavilla
with interiors byDave Acosta
.FRANK BARBIERE: It’s always interesting when two different worlds collide in a comic. What do you feel are a few of the most important concepts/themes of The Shadow and The Twilight Zone that you were hoping to infuse into this book?DAVID AVALLONE:
The Twilight Zone and The Shadow have certain elements in common. I thought about that a lot when I was working on the book. Both are encountered by ordinary human beings at points of crisis in their lives, and judge them by how the react to their circumstances. Whereas The Twilight Zone is completely abstract, The Shadow is very present and personal… but both mete out a kind of justice. The big challenge here was that it’s the Shadow being “judged” inside the Twilight Zone. And how does a guy with his powers and his responsibilities and his mission take to being toyed with by a seemingly omnipotent power, and judged? In issue #4, I finally answer that question. Stay tuned.FB: You have a lot of fun with a surreal sequence in the book involving a writer becoming part of his work. What was your inspiration for this specific part of the story?DA:
It is notoriously difficult to dramatize writing, as an action. Ultimately it’s a guy staring off into space, and then typing for a few minutes, and then staring off into space for a while. But what’s happening in his head while he’s staring off into space? That’s where the drama is. And because I have the trappings of sci-fi/fantasy/horror to play with, I can make the internal psychodrama real: the writer inhabits his own memories, fantasies and nightmares.On a beat-by-beat level, Art getting sucked into his typewriter was inspired to some degree by David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch film. Lots of anthropomorphized typewriters in that one. Kent Allard on the blank page, menaced by shifting characters, lost… that was actually inspired by a Daffy Duck cartoon: “Duck Amuck”. And the giant typebars smashing down to spell the word “Justice” was inspired by Franz Kafka’s short story “In The Penal Colony”…. which, like our story here, is about degrees of punishment, mercy and justice.FB: You open the book with some great captions. How do you feel about the caption works in tandem with the comic art page? Do you try to subvert the art with the text, or really treat it as a companion?DA:
Thanks! I actually try to eschew captions as much as I can: sort of like using voice over or title cards in movies, it seems like a short cut to me, or an admission that I couldn’t get an idea across with dialogue or visuals. I like to do as little hand-holding of the audience as humanly possible, and let them “get it” without me coming out and explaining too much.There are plenty of genius comics writers – I’m thinking of Alan Moore, for example – who can write thick paragraphs of prose captions that add tremendously to the book. For me, comics are a visual medium, and in the stories I’ve written so far, I have wanted to stick to images and dialogue as much as possible.But. This is The Twilight Zone. And as a big fan of the original show, one of the highlights was always Rod Serling’s introductions and final summations. They were always beautiful and poetic and thoughtful. Since The Twilight Zone – as a franchise – is pretty much just an abstract idea, I felt like the one concrete connection I could make to the series was to open and close each issue with my best approximation of Serling’s style and “voice”. If I weren’t writing these, and just reading them like any other fan, I would want that.FB: Do you feel this is leaning towards a more Shadow story or a Twilight Zone story? Do you feel any predominant elements rising to the surface?DA:
As above, the Twilight Zone is more of a format than a franchise: a person encounters an uncanny circumstance and their character is revealed in their reaction to it. If possible, with a twist ending. The attempt here was to make the Shadow that character, who encounters the uncanny. The trick is that he’s a pretty uncanny guy himself. Ultimately I asked myself, “What story would Rod Serling or Richard Matheson want to tell about the Shadow? What lesson can Kent Allard learn about himself, and does that change him or not?” I was concerned (and still am, somewhat) that the average Shadow reader is going to expect a little more gunplay and detective work than I provide here. I’ll say this: issues #1 and #4 are more Shadow than Twilight Zone and issues #2 and #3 are more Twilight Zone than Shadow.FB: What makes the comic medium a good fit for this story? Can you talk about how you approach deciding what to show on the page vs. text?DA:
I think I answered the second question back in my answer to number three, because I am – ironically – long-winded on the subject of not-being-long-winded-in-comic-books. As to the first, I think you could tell variations of this story in other formats, but when I’m plotting out a comic book issue or miniseries I give a lot of thought to the pacing, and that’s where it gets tailored to the medium. This series in particular is designed to be episodic: The Shadow jumps into three different perspectives, with one issue devoted to each new perspective, ending in a cliffhanger revealing the next incoming change. Then in issue #4 we find out how that experience affected him.If it was a single half hour Twilight Zone episode, it would probably have forced me to pick one of the perspective changes and run with that. In a novel, I’d have had a lot more time to explore the individual perspectives. In comic books, I find page 22 or 20 comes pretty fast and I’m always trying to get as much story in there as possible. I hope that pays off for the reader.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Dark Horse | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
QC EntertainmentGAMORA MUST BATTLE IN THE GRANDMASTER’S GAMES06/25/16 @ 4:30 am EST
announced Friday that actor Michael Sheen
, Masters of Sex
and a score of other projects will make his directorial debut with an adaptation ofDark Horse Comics
‘ Green River Killer: A True Detective Story
by Jeff Jensen
, based on his father Tom Jensen
, and artist Jonathan Case
The story centers on the elder Case, who spent twenty years looking for the Green River Killer. In addition to directing, Sheen will play Gary Ridgway the man Case eventually caught. But in an interesting twist, after a two-decades and forty-nine official murders, the two are forced to live and work together in a dark alliance to uncover the truth.
“This is a dark story but one that ultimately finds hope and meaning in that darkness,” said Sheen in a statement. “The story of Tom and Gary, and how they are bound together in time, pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. I hope that by now bringing it to life on screen it can make audiences feel the same way.”
The film will be produced by Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson
and Keith Goldberg
with Sheen and QC Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick
and Ray Mansfield
. QC’s Edward H. Hamm Jr.
and Shaun Redick
will serve as Executive Producers.
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Guardians of the Galaxy | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
"LUKE CAGE" ACTOR SAYS SERIES' DIVERSITY WILL INSPIRE KIDS06/25/16 @ 4:06 am EST
With the recent casting of Jeff Goldblum
to play the Grandmaster
in Thor Ragnarok
, it’s interesting to see the character also showing up in the Guardians of the Galaxy
animated series in a very similar role to what is expected from him in the Thor
film. In the clip below, he is running a gladiatorial style arena battle that Gamora
must fight in to save a planet as Ronan
The theory for Ragnarok
is that part of the film will borrow from the Planet Hulk
storyline having Hulk
in the gladiatorial games and Grandmaster running them.Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
airs Sunday at 8 AM on Disney XD
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: Power Man | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
"SUICIDE SQUAD" WRAPS FINAL EDITS, AYER CALLS COMPLETED FILM "A BEAST"06/25/16 @ 3:58 am EST
"Luke Cage" villain Mahershala Ali("House of Cards," "Hunger Games") has opened up about the upcoming Marvel-Netflix series, saying he believes it will be a major influence to kids who haven't been exposed to a leading black superhero.
In an interview with USA Today, Ali said of the series, "There are going to be so many kids out there who get to see a black man on that screen and aspire to be like him. We didn’t have that. They get to be included."
Ali's villainous character on the series, Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, is described as "a Harlem nightclub owner" who will "become an unexpected foe in Luke’s life when Stokes’ criminal activities threaten Luke’s world." The character is based on the heroin-dealing crime boss Cottonmouth, created for 1974's "Power Man" #19.
Starring Colter as Cage, Alfre Woodard as a powerful politician, Theo Rossi as the criminal Shades, Simone Missick as Misty Knight, and Rosario Dawson reprising her role as Claire Temple from "Daredevil" and "Jessica Jones," "Luke Cage" drops September 30 on Netflix instant-streaming.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: Suicide Squad | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
TELLTALE'S "BATMAN" GAME WILL BE COMPLETE BY THE END OF THE YEAR06/25/16 @ 3:47 am EST
"Suicide Squad" is just over a month away from release, and director David Ayer has revealed that the film is all wrapped and ready to meet the world. The director took to Twitter to make the announcement, praising the final version of the film as totally unique:"Squad is completed! Finished final mix and coloring. Now it's off to the lab and then the world. Nothing like it out there. It.Is.a.Beast."
With its release date fast approaching, the PR around "Suicide Squad" has picked up considerably. Music videos from the film's soundtrack have been released, including ones from artists like Lil Wayne and twenty one pilots. And even more posters have arrived online.
Directed by David Ayer and starring Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney and many, many more, "Suicide Squad" opens on August 5.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: Batman | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
FRACTION, ZDARSKY AND WU TEAM ON 06/25/16 @ 5:09 am EST
Hot off our first look at the game from E3, it's now been confirmed that Telltale Games' take on "Batman" will wrap its first season by the end of the year.
According to Games Radar, Telltale exec Job Stauffer confirmed, "...we'll have all five episodes out before the end of the year," with the unspecific summer release date remaining. Based on the end date of Season One, it looks like each episode of Telltale's "Batman" will release on a monthly basis.
Telltale's also got a third season of its "Walking Dead" game in the pipeline for later this year, in addition to Marvel and "Game of Thrones" series that haven't been given release dates.
"Batman: The Telltale Series" debuts this summer on PS4, Xbox One, PC and mobile devices.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
GAL GADOT DIFFERENTIATES BETWEEN WONDER WOMAN OF "JUSTICE LEAGUE" AND SOLO FILM06/25/16 @ 3:40 am EST
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, the writer and artist behind the Eisner-award winning "Sex Criminals," are teaming up with artist Annie Wu for a new comic book called "The Recidivist."
Fraction announced the new title at HeroesCon in North Carolina during a panel dedicated to his company, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. According to Fraction, he and Zdarsky will write the book while Wu will handle the art. Fraction described "The Recidivist" as, "A superhero book, but it’s us, so, y’know," referencing "Sex Criminals'" genre-bending take on traditional sex comedies and its sly and off-beat sense of humor.
Fraction and Wu worked together on Marvel Comics'"Hawkeye," which focused on the problems that Marvel's superheroes face in their off-hours. "Hakweye" featured a rotating art team; David Aja drew the sections of the book that starred Clint Barton, the original Hawkeye, while Wu illustrated the adventures of Kate Bishop, a young woman who moves to Los Angeles and solves crimes in the style of the 1970s detective drama "The Rockford Files." Wu also drew DC Comics' most recent"Black Canary" series and provides storyboards for Adult Swim's superhero parody "The Venture Bros."
Zdarsky is no stranger to superhero comics, either. Zdarsky wrote the recently cancelled "Howard the Duck" series for Marvel Comics, and collaborated with writer Ryan North on "Howard's" crossover with "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl."
More details about "The Recidivist" will be revealed once the comic enters production.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: Wonder Woman | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
'DORY' DENTS ALIEN UFO SEQUEL 'RESURGENCE'06/25/16 @ 3:34 am EST
In a short time, Gal Gadot has accumulated a lot of experience playing Wonder Woman -- first in this spring's "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," then in 2017's "Wonder Woman" and now in the currently filming "Justice League" film. Gadot briefly chatted with reporters at a press visit to the London set of "Justice League," attended by CBR, and shared her insight on the differences between the Wonder Woman of "Justice League" and the upcoming solo film.
"The Wonder Woman we see in 'Justice League' is similar to the Wonder Woman that we saw in 'BvS,'" Gadot told reporters. "The Wonder Woman that you will see on the solo movie, she’s different. It’s the coming of age story, it’s about her become an adult, really. From a child to an adult, and understanding the complexities of life."
Gadot's comments are only logical given the setting of the "Wonder Woman" solo film, which takes place during World War I -- as alluded to by the archival photo of the immortal character seen in "Batman v Superman." Gadot also talked briefly about how the "Justice League" team dynamic operates -- and her use of the word "fun" reflects the overall message of the set visit, that"Justice League" aims to be comparatively less dark and grim than the critically maligned "Batman v Superman."
"I think we found a very interesting dynamic," Gadot said. "It's fun, it's funny. It's different, each and every character brings their own flavor and color to the team. And for me, you know, personally it's really fun to play with them. They're great, they're talented, and I'm having a great time."
In "Justice League," Gadot will be joined by Batman (Ben Affleck), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Henry Cavill), though exactly how the Man of Steel -- whose fate was left ambiguous at the end of "BvS" -- will figure into the film is currently unknown. At the set visit, reporters observed the filming of scene on the Gotham City Police Department rooftop, with Commissioner Gordon (J.K. Simmons) addressing Batman, Wonder Woman and The Flash, who are subsequently joined by Cyborg.
Directed by Patty Jenkins, "Wonder Woman" is scheduled for release on June 2, 2017. "Justice League," directed by Zack Snyder, is due out five months later on Nov. 17, 2017.
Source: Deadline | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
20th Century Fox’s UFO movie Independence Day: Resurgence
is getting crushed by Disney/Pixar’s animated sequel Finding Dory,
with the latter tearing up its pre-weekend projections for a huge second FSS that’s estimated at $74.5M
, dipping an amazing -45% and flying past $287M by Sunday.Resurgence
is looking to land at the lower end of its expectations with $45M this weekend after a $17.5M Friday. That isn’t spectacular for a sequel to a 20-year old beloved blockbuster that Fox counted as one of its summer pillars. If there’s any prayer forResurgence
‘s domestic box office apocalypse to cease, then it lies abroad where this $165M-$200M Roland Emmerich film is expected do draw $100M-$150M this weekend.