Monday, April 7, 2008

"G" & "H": Things I Learned from "The Superhero Book"

I'm beginning to think I only have time and energy enough for maybe 1 1/2 daily blogs. Sorry to forsake images of late, but I added one for the D, E, F entry that clears up some potential confusion, and today there's another. Cheers.

  • Why wasn't the Gen 13 movie ever released in the U.S.? I'd like to see it, now that I've been reminded. Besides, I'm totally hot for Alicia Witt, even if it's just her voice.

  • The Ghost Rider reminded me of how much I love it when super-heroes and horror are well aligned. The Midnight Sons skewed too far toward the creature feature, where what I dig is a genuine hybrid. I had a copy of the Legion of Monsters only appearance growing up, and remember it fondly, aside from stupid Man-Thing.

  • Golden Age Super-Heroes that followed Superman by order of appearance: 2) Crimson Avenger 3) Sandman 4)Batman, 5) Wonderman.

  • Other early adopters: Silver Streak, Doll Man, Shock Gibson, Amazing-Man, the Green Mask, the Archer (Centaur Publications,) the Iron Skull, the Fantom of the Fair, the Wizard (MLJ Publications,) the Masked Marvel, the Human Torch, Sub-Mariner and the Angel.

  • Golden Age "Good Girls" of reknown: Sheena; Senorita Rio, Queen of Spies; Flamingo, the Gypsy Gal; Flying Jenny; Sky Girl; Mysta of the Moon; Miss Victory; Lady Luck; and Phantom Lady.

  • DC tried to sue "The Greatest American Hero."

  • Green Arrow's original rogue's gallery: the Wizard, Clock King, and Rainbow Archer.

  • I always turned my nose up to Now Comics, so I never had a gateway in my youth to the Green Hornet. He seems like a really interesting character: Playboy turned crusading newspaper publisher. When his distinctive car, the Black Beauty, is found suspect by police at a crime scene, Britt Reid uses the notoriety to create construct the "criminal" mastermind Green Hornet and sting the bad guys from the inside. Still looking forward to the Seth Rogen production.

  • Alfred Harvey was a cartoonist turned managing editor at the low rent Fox Features Syndicate before establishing his own Harvey Comics. Their "pedestrian" super-hero line included the Black Cat, the Champ, Duke O' Dowell, Neptina, the Liberty Lads, Jungleman, the Human Meteor, Doctor Miracle, Spitfire, the Clown, Fly-Man, and properties acquired from Brookwood: Shock Gibson and Captain Freedom of Speed Comics. Simon and Kirby's Stuntman briefly followed, but aside from licensing and their animated successes, their main draw post-war were grisley horror comics (96 total, 5 more than EC.) In the 50's and 60's, more duds followed. Only "Sad Sack" and "Black Cat" are still owned by the Harvey family.

  • Hawkman was the only hero to star in all 57 issues of All-Star Comics.

  • The 60's Incredible Hulk theme song was the worst thing since polio.

  • The 1977 Hulk television pilot was released theatrically overseas, and performed.

  • The Golden Age Human Torch made nearly 300 appearances, only just trailing Captain America as Timely's top performer.

  • Toro was human, had a weird backstory, and debuted in Human Torch #1.

  • Mickey Spillane wrote some Human Torch.

  • Torch's 50's relaunch: Captured by crime boss, coated with a solution, and buried for 5 years. Freed by nuke test, liberated a Toro brainwashed by Korea and went back to work against the mob and the reds.

  • Just an observation: Couldn't Huntress be Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson's long-lost half-sister?

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