Posted by dailypop on July 31, 2008
I’ve been eating humble pie watching the 1977 Spider-Man live action TV series and I have to say that I stand by my judgment that it’s good television. I know I have issues, but I keep them in good condition.
In researching the series, I found this interesting snippet from Nicholas Hammond about a Spider-Man revival in the 1980′s.
I used to know Bill Bixby quite well in those days, we first met on Rich Man Poor Man, a series I did in the 1970′s with Bill and Nick Nolte, and we were friends up until his death.
Anyhow we used to speak on the phone once in a while and we talked about the problems The Hulk series had ran into and why Spider-Man didn’t work. Bill asked me during one of these conversations would I play the part again. My response was only if I could have more control over the character, I wanted to make him more humorous and was interested in doing more of the physical stuff. I felt one of the problems with the series was that Peter Parker and Spider-Man, who was played by a stuntman, were so opposite and lots of the believability of the character was lost.
Bill liked my ideas and said that he would let me know if anything came up (he had some good connections within Marvel and later New World). About three weeks to a month later, I got a phone call from Bill saying that he had spoken to Ron Satlof (“The Deadly Dust”) and he was close to setting up a deal with Columbia Television to start work on a project which featured both Spider-Man and the Hulk. Bill was going to direct, and I was to have writing credits with Stan Lee and Ron Satlof.
One of the main problems early on though, was Universal Television weren’t prepared to let Columbia have use of the Hulk character and this took a while.
Eventually Bill phoned again saying that both networks came to a deal to co-produce the Tele-Movie with Universal having the rights to screen. Things started moving quickly and we got most of the Technical crews from both original series on board and the movie had air date of spring 1984.
I was very excited because work had been tight, and as Bill said, this could open doors on the acting front. I also loved the character. Bill was also keen to do it because his private life was in something of a limbo and directing the movie would have really taken his mind of things.
The most impressive thing about the movie was to be the costume I was going to wear. It was to be the Black costume used in the comics around this time and it looked alot better than the one in the T.V series.
Just as everything was running smoothly, Bill phoned again. “Hi its Bill, Nick. I’ve got some bad news and some good news. The project has been canceled, Lou is unavailable, Universal won’t do the movie without Lou.” Lou Ferrigno was in Italy making a Hercules movie and wouldn’t be available to make the movie and weren’t prepared to wait for him. Personally, I have always thought that this was Universal’s own way of canceling the project. If they had just left it to Columbia, it would have got made easily. I was a bit upset because I was looking forward to doing it again and the script was good, and I never got the chance to work with Bill. A shame really.
Of course it’s easy to scoff at something like this after the Hulk TV movies turned out to be failures, but you have to admire the dedication to the character that Hammond had. While the program is decidedly dated his performance is still evocative of Peter Parker at the time.
Never mind… I’m crazy.
Posted in Marvel, Spider-Man | Tagged: spider-man hulk 1970's | 2 Comments »
Posted by dailypop on July 30, 2008
Granted, the man eats meals on the labors of dead cartoonists, but I have to admit that Stan Lee is damned charming and a wonderful foil to Grant Morrison. This panel at the San Diego Comic Con looks more like a vaudeville act than an appearance by two comic book creators.
… think I was a bit harsh on Stan there?
Posted in comic books | Tagged: stan lee grant morrison comic con san diego | 1 Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 29, 2008
Young X-Men #1
Cross-overs inevitably result in a spin-off, but last year’s X-Men event Messiah CompleX spawned three! X-Force, Cable and Young X-Men shot to the shelves almost as quickly as the story wrapped up. With the reformation on the X-Men in San Francisco and the battle for the future of Mutantkind over the little red-haired baby (gosh, I wonder who SHE is), the future of the X-Men legacy might seem fully booked. Yet the new ongoing series by Marc Guggenheim and drawn by Yanick Paquette depicts new blood being indoctrinated in the wreckage of the X-Mansion by elder statesman Cyclops. With Cyclops forming X-Force and slumming in the Savage Land, this may seem like yet another editorial snafu, but the latest issue fully explains how the Summers lad can be in so many places at once.
I had serious misgivings about this series. As a fan of the original New Mutants series by Claremont, I wondered how anyone could hope to recapture that energy. But just like the ‘sister title’ Young Avengers, this series is determined to carve out its own legacy while paying homage to what has come. The mixture of new blood and recent starlets from New X-Men Blindfold, Dust, Ink, Rockslide, and Wolf Cub make a motley group of naive students to Cyclops‘ grim teachings.
I have to admit that I’m quite taken by the character of Ink, a mutant who gains the iconographic ability of designs tattooed onto his skin. Seeing the Young X-Men square off against the New Mutants was a real treat and also furthered the entire concept of the series. These mutants are the last hope for the future, and whatever they decide to do with their powers will have explosive consequences. A recent issue saw him gain the ability to read minds by having the lightning bolt-like designs used to depict Prof X‘s telepathy tattooed onto his head.
It’s such a clever power that perfectly matches the character’s persona (which seems unsure of its direction but has great potential).
The latest issues have blown open the entire concept of the series, which I will not spoil here, but it’s a great reveal that made me very happy that I picked up the series.
Just like Young Avengers, this title exists in a kind of limbo, secluded not just from the rest of the Marvel Universe but from the X-titles in particular. I’m hoping this is a temporary set-back and that the team will be accepted by the rest of the Marvel Universe in time.
Posted in comic books, Marvel, X-Men | Tagged: Young Avengers, Young X-Men Wolverine marvel comics | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 28, 2008
War of Kings
Remember that post about Emperor Vulcan coming to get the rest of the universe for his lousy childhood?
Looks like it will be this year’s answer to the Annihilation events of years past and that is very good news.
At the heart of War of Kings will be Vulcan, the current emperor of the Shi’ar and the spark set to potentially ignite universal chaos. Introduced by Brubaker as the third Summers brother, sibling to the X-Men’s Cyclops and Havok, when last we left Vulcan
he had solidified claim to his thrown in the X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN limited series written by Chris Yost and seemed set to pursue bigger and bloodier conquests.
“Vulcan’s a complicated guy with a seriously screwed up personal history,” notes Abnett. “[He's] not the most stable of leaders and [now the Shi'ar] are aggressively expanding their empire. This will put them at loggerheads with the universe around them and will certainly color their response to any potential [obstacles] that might come their way.”
Those obstacles will include Havok and his team of Starjammers, including fellow X-Men alumni Polaris and Marvel Girl, though both editor and writing team declined comment on how the middle Summers brother would pose a threat from within the prison he found himself confided to following EMPEROR VULCAN.
As far as whether to expect Ronan, Super-Skrull, Wraith and the rest of DnA’s extended cosmic cast, the writers remark simply that “War of Kings is a cosmic-wide event that will have ramifications felt throughout the Marvel cosmos.”
Read more here.
Posted in comic books, Marvel, X-Men | Tagged: marvel comics x-men event emperor vulcan | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 27, 2008
In recent years Marvel has re-invigorated their Avengers franchise, making it more successful than ever before. With a major motion picture in the works and three monthly series, the most important innovation hasn’t received as much acclaim as it deserves.
After the Avengers Disassembled event, the world found itself without its most valiant defenders. This set off an emergency recruitment of ‘young Avengers’ to bring new blood into the team. Spearheaded by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, the series was a host of surprises as the new team was slowly revealed as well as the reactions of the old guard.
- Patriot- the descendant of Isaiah Bradley, the first Captain America
- Hulkling- shape-shifting son of Captain Marvel and Skrull princess Anelle
- Wiccan- the magical son of Scarlet Witch
- Iron Lad (later the Vision)- a young Kang from the future desperately attempting to avoid his fateful evil ends
- Hawkeye- the devilish Kate Bishop combining the legacy of the Swordsman and Hawkeye
- Stature- the daughter of former Ant Man Scott Lang
- Speed- the former criminal and son of Scarlet Witch capable of super speed and explosive attacks
The first year of the comic developed the team and culminated in a sequel to the Kree/Skrull War, something that you’d think would have gotten more attention from comic fans but it barely made a blip on the comic buying public. Perhaps it was due to the coincidental re-launch of the New Avengers that took some of the spotlight away from this new concept. The Young Avengers was such a great re-invigoration of the Avengers that strangely eclipses the New Avengers title released at the same time. Where Bendis’ New Avengers struggled to find its footing, the Young Avengers held a beacon into the future of the team’s legacy.
At a time when the Marvel Universe needed a new direction for its heroes, it got two that seemed to exist in different universes, completely oblivious to each other. While I’ve written about my love/hate relationship with Bendis’ Avengers, it’s just startling how quickly the Young Avengers took off. Marvel had seen the success possibilities of a teenage super hero group through DC Comics’ Teen Titans and this was a perfect Marvel-version of such a title. Troubled youth, unsure self-image and a struggle to find their identity in a world of respected super heroes, the Young Avengers should have been an immense hit.
A new mini-series focusing on each member of the team was just released, hopefully anticipating a new ongoing series again shows how the team so perfectly fits into a Marvel Universe that is at a very volatile time of change. The new series reflects the after-effects of Civil War and Secret Invasion while also adding the acceptance of the previous Avengers and the Young Avengers’ place in the super hero community.
With so many comic hitting the stands, this type of series may seem excessive or just another comic in a sea of spin-offs and mini-series but properly handled, it could be as big today as the New Teen Titans was in the 1980′s. For those of you too young to remember, the X-Men and New Teen Titans ruled the comic book reading public in the 80′s. They brought a new life to the medium with young characters free from overly-complicated continuity.
I have big hopes for this title to deliver a repeat performance… if Marvel only embraced the new series.
Check out the collected initial series in Young Avengers
Posted in Avengers, comic books, Marvel | Tagged: hawkeye civil war secret invasion skrull, young avengers bendis heinberg | 2 Comments »
Posted by dailypop on July 26, 2008
For those of you, like me, who missed out on the San Diego Comic Con this year, here’s a peek at the upcoming Wolverine: Origins movie.
You remember that movie, right?
Check it out here.
Characters seem to be coming out of the woodwork for this film and they’re bringing shiny special effects with them. The film is said to follow Wolverine‘s origins, but it looks like a poorly constructed sequel to X-Men United. While many fans are excited by Marvel’s successes with the Hulk and Iron Man, keep in mind that they are not in control of Wolverine, X-Men, Spider-Man or most importantly the Punisher.
The magic touch that saved the super hero franchise in Iron Man and Hulk is just not here.
Posted in comic books, Marvel, Movies | Tagged: wolverine origins trailer x-men | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 25, 2008
As Whovians wrangle their fists at the sky for answers about the next season in 2010, hints aplenty are supplied.
In the Telegraph, Moffatt says that the program must change, even at the loss of the Daleks.
He added: “You’ve got to be careful you don’t make the universe seem like it’s got about seven people in it, all about to be exterminated by the Daleks. You want it to be a big wide-ranging universe.”
Moffatt was interviewed at I09 about his take on the character.
But there are hints in other episodes of the Doctor being sort of a god. And in the end of that Paul Cornell two-parter last year, we see him inflicting these godlike super-punishments on people, freezing them or trapping them in mirrors.
You see a very collapsed version of those events. He does things. He’s not magic… It would be a very boring legend if you discovered that, at the center of it, it’s actually a legend. You want it to be a legend about a man. It becomes dramatically interesting, because he is a man. I’m surprised people are worried about that. There’s a lot, in the rest of the series, where we play a very human Doctor. He’s prone to jealousies, he’s prone to falling in love, his heart can be broken. And he’s thinking, “How can i keep doing this?”
Speaking of Paul Cornell, he wrote a Doctor Who internet audio starring Richard E. Grant called “Scream Of The Shalka,” where we see a Doctor who’s much more weary and self-loathing. Will we ever see that side of the Doctor on television?
I shouldn’t think that. I don’t think that’s something that we could sell to a mainstream audience, a Doctor who loathes himself. A bitter, sad Doctor. You’re not going to get the audience for that. You want to think, this man is having the best life ever. This is not a piece of art-house cinema. You get glimpses of the great sadness and the loneliness, [but] that’s just the occasional colour. [Even in the "Shalka" storyline, it was just an arc within that story.] Most of the time he’s going to be running and running.
Moffatt also described the series as children’s entertainment, which strikes me as a bit peculiar. With all of the self-righteous violence, loose morality and sexual innuendo’s, I can’t say that I agree. Whereas the program at one time followed the adventures of a strange alien with a brilliant mind and a sense of responsibility to defend the innocent and fight corruption, the new series seems to be more of a fanciful romp from one situation to the next with an egocentric buffoon whom the script idolizes.
Of course, that’s just my opinion, but from Moffatt’s statements it sounds like that big change that I hoped was coming is a long long way off.
Posted in doctor who | Tagged: steven moffatt doctor who rumors | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 24, 2008
This past weekend I found myself in the comic shop staring at the few issues that I had not purchased that week. I was unimpressed by the first issue of X-Men: Divided We Stand and decided to not pick up the second one. However, there it sat on the shelf… daring me to buy it.
The anthology-style issue followed the set-up of the first comic and followed the development of the X-Universe in the aftermath of Messiah Complex. Perhaps the most important story was drawn by Frazier Irving and depicted a captured Alex Summers in the clutches of the Shi’ar Empire.
The initial ‘Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire’ story by newcomer scribe Ed Brubaker built on the events from Deadly Genesis centered on a group of X-Men kept secret from everyone… especially Scott Summers. A key member of the secret team was a third Summers brother named Vulcan. The Deadly Genesis mini-series told Vulcan’s story in classic Marvel style. Literally torn from his mother’s womb, Vulcan was raised as a Shi’ar warrior while his outlaw father headed the rebellious Star Jammers. In an effort to take responsibility of his actions, Professor Xavier led a team of X-Men to head off Vulcan‘s thirst for revenge against the entire Shi’ar Empire.
It didn’t go well and ended with the X-Men splitting into two teams; one to return to Earth and another to continue the good fight against Vulcan‘s rule lead by Alex Summers, Havoc. Again, it didn’t go well.
While the remainder of the Marvel Universe is tied up in various storylines, I figured that the story of Vulcan and the Starjammers would get lost in the shuffle.
From this preview image, it looks like I was wrong. Full details will be revealed at the San Diego Comic Con.
Posted in comic books, Marvel, X-Men | Tagged: marvel comic san diego comic con, x-men shi'ar empire alex summers vulcan brubaker | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 23, 2008
Dressing up as a super heroine in the past would have meant spandex and tights. No more! Disguise has tossed this old and unflattering cartoonish concept and instead made fashionable, wearable and fun costumes that not only fit great but look fabulous. These costumes are inspired by some of the hottest and most iconic heroes to grace the pages of Marvel, and this will be your first chance to see them live as they make their Comic-Con debut!
Preview of Marvel and Disguise Partnership
Come see Black Cat, Emma Frost, Spider-Woman, and more as you’ve never seen them- on the runway, as Marvel and Disguise transform Comic Con into Fashion Week, if only for an hour. The Fashion Show begins in the Marvel Booth (Booth #2429) Friday at 2:00 and will be followed by a photo-op with the models. For a preview of the costumes, visit this link: http://www.mallsoft.com/disguise/superheroines.html
Check out the fashion and find out how you can not only stop villains, but stop everyone in their tracks at this one-of-a-kind event only at San Diego Comic Con!
What could be one of the strangest experiences for comic con attendees, a mixture of a fashion show and comic book design could very well make quite the impression. Will it matter in the long run? Who can tell, but it’s sure to gain more press coverage than usual… and that sounds like another brilliant move from Joe Q and pals.
Posted in comic books, Marvel | Tagged: marvel comic san diego comic con | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dailypop on July 22, 2008
Spaced box set cover
Finally you can watch this great series without having to come by my place… though you’re still welcome of course. Equal parts situation comedy and romantic drama, Spaced is the answer to a million prayers from comic and sci-fi fans who yearn for a better sitcom that speaks to them. Held back from release on DVD in the States for years due to rights issues, the program is finally available for the yanks.
… because a US version is forthcoming. Oh well.
Today Spaced is released on DVD in the United States.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: spaced dvd | Leave a Comment »