I really dig comics. That probably does not come as a shock to you as my blog primarily deals with comic books (when I am not talking about outsider music, cult movies, video games or venting my spleen over Doctor Who) but I started this blog because comic book characters were becoming fashionable and I thought it would be a great opportunity to fill in the blanks for those unfamiliar with Green Arrow, Deadpool or Black Widow as they suddenly became important due to feature films, TV series or what-not.
But as some of these characters have become accepted into the current pop culture mindset, it’s important to see how far we have come. For ages, being a comic book fan meant hanging out in the dusty event rooms of suburban Howard Johnson hotels, collecting random beaten up magazines at drug stores and making shadow puppets from the light of your Captain America flashlight gun at night. Sure, there were a few attempts to bring these heroes to the small screen with the most recognized example being the Hulk starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. But there were other less successful attempts that are largely forgotten.
So as you sit in the cinema tonight, remember this oddity, a sequel to the other film that established young Reb Brown as the star-spangled shield-winger. This movie would strangely center on social security fraud, aging drugs and Hammer Horror alum Christopher Lee as a vague terrorist. Launched from the back of his sweet van, Cap’s motorcycle would fly through the streets delivering patriotic justice and lots of back flips. The movie barely holds up as entertaining today, but at the time it was terribly exciting to see these superheroes on TV… even if my little mind could figure out they got all the details wrong.
It is almost unimaginable today that a product like this would be conceived using Marvel superheroes as the properties are now revered money-making blockbusters. But many moons ago, Captain America looked like this…