|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.)
GODZILLA FACES THE FIERY INFERNO OF HELL ITSELF03/31/15 @ 7:48 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: IDW | Categories: IDW | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
‘EMPOWERED’ VOLUME 9 IS BEYOND YOUR COMEDY IMAGINATION03/31/15 @ 7:41 pm EST
In over six decades of battles and triumphs, Godzilla has never faced a challenge as great as what’s coming his way this July, when Godzilla goes to hell! In Godzilla in Hell, a five-issue miniseries launching in July, Godzilla will storm through the gates of hell itself, proving that the towering behemoth is King Of The Monsters both above and below!
With no warning and no sign of salvation, Godzilla is plummeted to the deepest, darkest bowels of the infernal kingdom. The mystery of what led to Godzilla’s damnation, and what it will face, will take readers on a dark and twisted journey unlike any Godzilla story before!
A rotating creative team will each take Godzilla through a new and more dangerous layer of Hell, beginning with none other than writer and artist James Stokoe, who is returning to the character for the first time since his haunting stunner of a miniseries, Godzilla: The Half Century War.
“Drawing Godzilla must be my comfort food, because it feels really great to come back and work on pages with IDW again,” said Stokoe, writer and artist on issue 1. “Also, the list of amazing creators they’ve tapped for this series beyond my issue feels equally great as a fan, especially with the theme everyone gets to play with. You can’t get much bigger than Godzilla versus Hell!“
Successive issues in this five-part series will feature talents familiar to the Godzilla franchise, including the multi-talented writer/artists Bob Eggleton; and Dave Wachter; Wachter most recently wrapped up the apocalyptic take on Godzilla in Godzilla: Cataclysm.
New to the world of Godzilla will be writers Ulises Farinas, and Erick Freitas, together on issue #3 and Brandon Seifert, tackling issue #4; artists will be announced on these issues at a later time.
“I’m very proud with the level of quality we’ve brought to all of our Godzilla mini-series,” said editor Bobby Curnow. “Godzilla in Hell will prove no exception. It’s been incredibly fun seeing the creator’s imagination stretch to fully utilize this otherworldly premise.”
This explosive new series will join a number of other major debuts in July as part of the Five Featured Firsts program, which launches a brand new title each and every week in July. Additionally, the debut issue will feature an EC Comics homage variant cover by Godzilla: Rulers of Earth artist Jeff Zornow as part of EC Cover Month!
Source: Dark Horse | Categories: Dark Horse | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
CONVERGENCE: SHAZAM HISTORY LESSON FROM DC COMICS03/31/15 @ 7:33 pm EST
Get ready to patch up your supersuit for a new challenge, because Adam Warren’s Empowered is back, and the stakes are higher than ever for Emp!
Already under official suspicion and suspended from her superteam, costumed crime fighter Empowered finds herself the bewildered target of every major supervillain in the capes-and-tights field for her supposed access to alien technology. With a trick or two up her tattered supersuit’s sleeve, can our tirelessly plucky but sadly underestimated heroine outwit her army of tormentors—and escape the long-simmering revenge of the sinister Fleshmaster?
Called “a fantastically rendered book on every conceivable level” by Comic Book Resources, Empowered
Volume 9 takes Adam Warren’s long-running series to a whole new level. Garnering critical acclaim from fans and critics alike,Empowered
is not only a fantastic story—it’s one of the longest-running American graphic novel series currently in publication.
Empowered Volume 9
Adam Warren (W/A/Cover) $17.99, 978-1-61655-571-9 On sale August 19
Source: Comicbook | Categories: Shazam | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
‘ARROW’ STAR STEPHEN AMELL LANDS CASEY JONES ROLE IN ‘TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2′03/31/15 @ 7:02 pm EST
DC Comics provided ComicBook.com with an exclusive first look at the history of Billy Batson, Captain Marvel, as told in the pages of Convergence: Shazam
#1. These pages give a brief synopsis of Billy Batson, getting you up to speed on the character for DC’s big crossover event.Convergence: Shazam
#1 is written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Doc Shaner and see the world of Captain Marvel crossing over with the universe of Gotham by Gaslight
#1 goes on sale April 29. Check out the pages in the gallery below.Convergence: Shazam #1
(W) Jeff Parker (A/CA) Doc ShanerSTARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! It's Shazam versus Steampunk, as the world of Gotham by Gaslight takes on the Captain Marvel family and friends!Item Code:
Source: Variety | Categories: TMNT | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE REPORTEDLY CAST AS BATMAN VILLAIN IN 03/31/15 @ 4:04 pm EST
Stephen Amell has been tapped to play Casey Jones in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2″ for Paramount and Platinum Dunes.
Megan Fox is set to return as April O’Neil. Will Arnett is also returning. David Green is directing the pic. Plot details and information on other returning cast members are still unknown.
A loner who becomes an ally of the turtles and a love interest for O’Neil, Jones is a fan favorite of the series going back to when Elias Koteas played him in the 1990 New Line pic.
Michael Bay is producing along with his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec are penning the script.
Amell tested with a half-dozen actors over the weekend, but it was his chemistry with Fox that led to the studio eventually giving the role to the star of CW’s “Arrow.” Paramount had no comment on the casting.
The “Turtles” franchise is one of Paramount’s top properties following its success last summer, when it earned $191 million domestically — so much so that Paramount dated the sequel for 2016 before even locking down a director or cast.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: Suicide Squad | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
SCOTT EASTWOOD CONFIRMS ROLE IN DC COMICS MOVIE SUICIDE SQUAD03/31/15 @ 3:51 pm EST
Killer Croc appears to be the latest DC Comicsvillain in Warner Bros.' "Suicide Squad"ensemble: The Wrap reports that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje has been cast as the well-known Batman adversary, one of multiple DC villains set to appear in the 2016 film.
The Wrap states representatives for Warner Bros. and Akinnuoye-Agbaje did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Additionally, the outlet reports that Karen Fukuhara -- with no listed IMDb credits, presumably a Hollywood newcomer -- has been cast in an as-yet undisclosed role.
Akinnuoye-Agbaje has a long history in genre fare, famously appearing as Mr. Eko on "Lost," along with roles in "The Mummy Returns," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and "Thor: The Dark World."
He appears with "Suicide Squad" star Will Smith in "Concussion," a sports film scheduled for release late this year.
Source: People | Categories: Suicide Squad | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
STAN LEE GETS LUCKY WITH NEW SUPERHERO TV SHOW 'LUCKY MAN'03/31/15 @ 3:41 pm EST
Scott Eastwood is hanging up his cowboy hat and heading to the DC Comics world.
The 29-year-old actor stated once and for all that he will appear in the upcoming supervillain film Suicide Squad – although his character remains a mystery.
"I'm doing a movie called Suicide Squad," Eastwood toldEntertainment Tonight on Monday, confirming the ongoing speculation.
The actor, who is actor-director Clint Eastwood's son, is straying far from his latest romance drama role, in Nicholas Sparks' The Longest Ride, in which he plays a professional bull rider dating a college student.
Suicide Squad is scheduled to hit theaters summer 2016.
Source: CNET | Categories: Stan Lee | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
CHEO HODARI COKER WILL SERVE AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND SHOWRUNNER OF 'MARVEL'S LUKE CAGE' FOR NETFLIX03/31/15 @ 3:27 pm EST
As luck would have it, comic book legend Stan Lee is bringing "a different kind of superhero show" to television. Produced by UK broadcaster Sky, "Lucky Man" sees a troubled cop given the power to control chance.
The new show is conceived by Lee and stars James Nesbitt, previously seen as Bofur the dwarf in "The Hobbit" movies and as the titular split-personality in Steven Moffat's "Jekyll".
He plays DI Harry Clayton, a troubled detective with a gambling problem and a wife and kid who've left him -- how novel! Into this innovative set-up comes a mysterious woman who gives Harry an ancient bracelet that controls luck, with no doubt exciting consequences.
Source: Marvel | Categories: Marvel | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
‘TRON 3′ GAINS A TITLE03/31/15 @ 7:15 am EST
Netflix & Marvel Television announced today that Cheo Hodari Coker will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the anticipated series, "Marvel’s Luke Cage." Coker is writing the first two episodes of the series that will premiere in 2016, everywhere that Netflix is available. CHEO HODARI COKER
Most recently, Coker served as a co-executive producer on the second season of "Ray Donovan," and prior to that was a supervising producer on the critically-acclaimed, fourth season of the drama "SouthLAnd." Coker was a part of the "SouthLAnd" team that earned the show a 2012 Peabody Award. Coker also garnered a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series for his work on that show. Coker’s feature film credits include Fox Searchlight’s rap biopic "Notorious." He authored the book "Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G." as well. Coker started his writing career in journalism and was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and contributed to VIBE, Rolling Stone, Essence, among other publications. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
It was previously announced that Mike Colter ("The Good Wife," "American Horror Story: Coven") will play the charismatic lead character, Luke Cage, in the series.
"Marvel’s Luke Cage" is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.
Source: Comic Book Resources | Categories: MIsc | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
DANIEL CERONE UPDATES US ON CONSTANTINE03/31/15 @ 7:05 am EST
Following a report that director Joseph Kosinski will return to the “Tron” franchise, Production Weekly tweeted out a potential title for the film: “Tron 3: Ascention.”
The earlier report also claimed that Garrett Hedlund will also return to reprise the role of Sam Flynn, the son of Kevin Flynn, though there’s no word on whether original star Jeff Bridges will reprise his roles as Flynn and Clu. Kosinski’s past credits include “Tron: Legacy” and “Oblivion.”
“Tron 3″ will begin filming in Vancouver on October 5, 2015. (Source: CBR)
Source: Bleeding Cool | Categories: Constantine | Comments (0) | E-mail Article | Add a Comment
Executive producer Daniel Cerone has given us a brief update on the fate of the NBC series Constantine.
He tweets that a second season for the show will be pitched to the network executives at the end of April. Which means that we should know the finale fate of the Vertigo adapted series sometime in May.
Latest News1. GODZILLA FACES THE FIERY INFERNO OF HELL ITSELF
Updated: 03/31/15 @ 7:48 pm
2. ‘EMPOWERED’ VOLUME 9 IS BEYOND YOUR COMEDY IMAGINATION
3. CONVERGENCE: SHAZAM HISTORY LESSON FROM DC COMICS
4. ‘ARROW’ STAR STEPHEN AMELL LANDS CASEY JONES ROLE IN ‘TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2′
5. AKINNUOYE-AGBAJE REPORTEDLY CAST AS BATMAN VILLAIN IN