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Comic Book Legends Revealed #355

Welcome to the three hundredth and fifty-fifth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Today, has the creator of the Crow been trying to do a Batman comic for over a decade? What is the shocking history of Black Adam? And who or what is Starhawk, and why has he never appeared in a Marvel comic outside of a tiny ad?!

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and fifty-four.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: The creator of the Crow, James O’Barr, tried to do a Batman story for DC Comics for years.

STATUS: True

James O’Barr, writer and artist of the Crow, one of the most successful independent comic books of all-time…

is a well-known Batman fan. Heck, a quick search of the web will find you practically TONS of O’Barr Batman drawings.

Daniel Best has a bunch at his site, including this one (which was the first one that showed up on a Google Image search)…

Reader The Outsider wrote in to ask:

What can you tell us about the James O’Barr Batman story? I’ve heard he wrote and drew one, but DC rejected it at the last minute for being too violent.

It wasn’t quite as far as that, Outsider.

O’Barr told the whole story to Rich Johnston for his Lying in the Gutters column back in 2006:

In the mid ’90s I did a script treatment and some paintings for a Batman Elseworlds book which Denny O’Neill thought were marvellous enough to ask only ‘When can you start?’ Unfortunately, shortly after that the Batman film was released and the parameters for what you could now do with Batman were chokingly narrowed and a bevy of new editors were employed to handle the flood of new Bat titles. I was dumped from one editor to another as some hot or diseased potato, no one willing to step out of the box with who or what Batman is or represents and the book just got pushed back further and further while I worked on new projects waiting for someone to come to their senses. Which still has not occurred. As Daniel Brereton was over heard to say “OBarr doing Batman – that would fucking rock!!!What a no-brainer! NO ONE does atmosphere and shadows like OBarr.” So, the chance for a talented artist and fan (if I do puff my ego a bit here) to take the next step in the Dark Knight stairwell just rots in the cellar. And the material where Batman is concerned is honestly not much more extreme than Paul Popes 100 Years Batman series (in fact a great deal of it is very similar….great minds think alike, I guess). It is graphic but not extreme. Violent, but not exploitive. And adult, without pandering.

He went on to note that now (2006), ten years later, it didn’t seem to be any closer to happening and that the whole thing was quite frustrating. You can read O’Barr’s full message here.

So there ya go, Outsider! It sure would be nice if this project ever came about! DC has been releasing a lot of projects that you never thought they would (like Elseworld’s Finest), so why not this one?

Thanks to the Outsider for the question and thanks to Rich Johnston and James O’Barr for the info!

COMIC LEGEND: Black Adam died in his first appearance and then never made another appearance in a Fawcett comic book.

STATUS: True

Reader John R. asked me about this one, and amazingly enough, it is true.

You see, Black Adam first appeared in 1945′s Marvel Family #1 (the first team-up of all the Marvels!)…

Here was his origin…

And here is the climax of the fight (the issue was written by Otto Binder and drawn by CC Beck)…

Yep, he just dies!

And that was IT for him for the rest of the history of Captain Marvel at Fawcett! As we’ve noted in the past, the Joker was originally killed at the end of the issue containing his first appearance, but an editor changed it. Well, as we see here, when you have a cool enough villain, you CAN actually kill him and he’ll STILL become the most famous villain your hero has!

Black Adam finally returned over thirty years later in the pages of Shazam! #28 by DC Comics…

Crazy.

Thanks to John R. for the question!

COMIC LEGEND: Starhawk of the Guardians of the Galaxy originally was going to appear in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes.

STATUS: False

Reader Mark H. wrote in to ask if the Starhawk who was advertised in the pages of Marvel Super-Heroes #20 but never actually debuted was, in any way, a precursor to the Starhawk who showed up in as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Simply put, nope.

The character, who was originally advertised in the back of 1969′s Marvel Super-Heroes #20…

only appeared in the pages of Marvel Mania #3, Marvel’s fan magazine.

Written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dan Adkins…

the character had nothing to do with the Starhawk who appeared in 1975′s Defenders #28.

Here are some pages from Marvel Mania #3, courtesy of Rip Jagger’s Dojo…

Check out Rip Jagger’s Dojo for more pages!

Thanks to Mark H. for the suggestion and thanks to Rip Jagger’s Dojo for the scans!

Okay, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). If we hit 3,000 likes on Facebook you’ll get a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends the week after we hit 3,000 likes! So go like us on Facebook to get that extra Comic Book Legends Revealed! Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get original content from me, as well!

Also, be sure to check out my website, Urban Legends Revealed, where I look into urban legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can find here, at urbanlegendsrevealed.com.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends – half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…(click to enlarge)…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

111 Comments

When Black Adam returned, did they really have to reference his death on the cover? Were they afraid all the kids in the 1980s were going to go through their golden age books and complain about the lack of continuity?

BTW I bought your book for the kindle. If you do another one, I think I would have liked it better if you kept it like the column with the question and answer format instead of a narrative.

BTW I bought your book for the kindle. If you do another one, I think I would have liked it better if you kept it like the column with the question and answer format instead of a narrative.

My new book is out in a few months! Keep an eye on the blog for more information about it!

I have no facts to had to back this up, but didn’t the DC Shazam book reprint Golden Age stories in addition to making new ones? Perhaps Black Adam’s solitary appearance was one of those reprints and would have been fresh in the minds of readers as a result.

the Superman/Captain Marvel team up direct to video offered the same resolution when dealing with a returning Black Adam …

I have no facts to had to back this up, but didn’t the DC Shazam book reprint Golden Age stories in addition to making new ones? Perhaps Black Adam’s solitary appearance was one of those reprints and would have been fresh in the minds of readers as a result.

Black Adam did, in fact, appear in a reprint in Shazam! #8.

I remember reading that Black Adam story… on a View-Master!

Wow, did I just make myself look old or what.

Along with Black Adam I believe Riddler wasn’t used for another 20 years after his first appearance.

@Julian – The Captain Marvel cartoon from the 70s or 80s did also.

“In the mid ’90s I did a script treatment and some paintings for a Batman Elseworlds book which Denny O’Neill thought were marvellous enough to ask only ‘When can you start?’ Unfortunately, shortly after that the Batman film was released and the parameters for what you could now do with Batman were chokingly narrowed and a bevy of new editors were employed to handle the flood of new Bat titles.”

Given the timeline, O’Barr seems to be referring to the Val Kilmer movie, “Batman Forever.” How exactly were the parameters altered after that movie came out, other than the realization that Kilmer was nowhere near as popular as Keaton was in the Bat-suit, nor was Schumacher anywhere near as celebrated for his “vision” as Burton had been. But besides the movie not performing up to expectations, how did that change things at DC?

Yeah, I was wondering about “the Batman film was released” “in the mid ’90s” myself…

Why can’t I get ‘Was Superman A Spy?’ on Kindle in the UK??? I know the answer is probably extremely tedious, but tell me anyway!

Penguin UK doesn’t own the book rights to it, so they can’t sell it on the Kindle n the UK. I’ll see what I can do about it.

Is it just me, or does Uncle Dudley look like a Tintin that’s gone to seed?

For such an unremarkable artist, O’Barr comes across as cocky, namedroppy, and deluded. Not to mention the fact that his timeline makes no sense. No one refers to Batman Forever as THE Batman film.

That picture is borderline ridiculous.

@julian thanks for letting me know how that ended. I tried watching it on netflix a while ago and couldn’t make it past about 15 minutes before having to find something less boring to do.

that top image of batman is an insult! batman swore he would never use a gun the weapon that killed his parents

@Dave – I think you are a little bit mistaken regarding the “Batman Forever” film. The film garnered $184.03 million in North America alone, and $152.5 million internationally. While it weren’t as successful as the ’89 Batman flick was, it grossed around $55.0 million more than “Batman Returns” did. Meaning that “Forever” was a big success, both for Warner “and” DC. Besides that, it wasn’t nearly “as” critically panned as some people might think it was. With some critics even applauding the change in tone to a more lighter, colourful “comic book style”. It wasn’t until “Batman & Robin” when Warner Bros. shot themselves in the leg financially.

Naturally, the success of a big budgeted movie influences the tone of a comic book franchise. But in that regard, I “have” to agree with you. I was a huge comic book reader in the 90s. Especially with “Batman” comics. But I can’t for the life of me recall that the books changed so drastically in their tone because of Forever’s success. Quite contrary, I “know” that the Doug Moench run on Batman (my favourite Batman story of all time, by the way) was at times “very” dark, depressing and cynical. Not “violent”, but definitely very moody and anarchic. And I especially recall that the Batman graphic novels, one-shots and elseworld’s stories were extremely gothic and vicious. Sometimes even on a level you didn’t see anymore in Batman comics since the early 2000s.

So I myself would like to know, how exactly the success of Forever hindered the O’Barr book to be released?

@kal-l – Blah blah blubb. A little bit close minded, aren’t we? You don’t think that this picture might be O’Barrs tribute to the Golden Age of Batman comics? Besides, it’s “Elseworlds”. I don’t know for how long exactly you are following comic books now, but Batman did some pretty gruesome shit in some Elseworlds stories. Some of them making him carrying a revolver seem very reasonable by comparison. It always depends on the context to which the story is set.

And I’m all for “Batman ‘not’ carrying a gun”, by the way. But I love myself some nice out-of-context storie with that wonderful character.

I’ve waited since February 1969,some 43 years to see those starhawk pages.Thanks Marten Goodman, for pulling the plug on this story, and giving us reprints in it’s place.Never again would there be new stories in the marvel super heroes comic,until the new series in the 1990s.Wonder what color his costume would have been.

In Cartoon Network’s The Brave and the Bold, Batman and Captain Marvel defeat Black Adam and Doctor Sivana in the same way, except the 5,000 year old mortal Adam somehow escapes.

Also an insult, then: The dozens of times Batman’s used guns in official DC comics over the decades, including in Detective Comics #33, the same issue that told the story of his parents’ murder in the first place.

http://sacomics.blogspot.com/2005/08/batman-and-guns.html

And don’t get me wrong, that picture looks terrible, but the gun is the least of its problems.

Wonder if DC would do that O’Barr/Batman story as a one-shot in the new 52.

Sounds like the timing’s right now, than it was years ago.

Maybe do it like those Vertigo reprints where they printed Ellis/Jimenez Hellblazer – Shoot story that was pulled and pulped years ago over the Columbine shooting.

@Buttler – Not to mention the “First Wave” incarnation of the character, which received – suprisingly – little fan outcries.

I also think that this is one of O’Barrs “weaker” pieces. But it might be excusable, seeing how it’s obviously a fan commission. He did, however, draw some pretty neat Batman pictures throughout the years. Of course, you have to like his very neo-gothic art style to appreciate them. Which definitely isn’t suited for everyone.

To be fair, O’Barr didn’t say that Batman Forever completely reshaped Batman comics.

He said what you could do with Batman was “chokingly narrowed” *and* a bunch of new editors were hired to handle “the flood of new Bat titles”.

So it wasn’t just that standards had changed, but that there were now more people involved in Bat titles, and he kept getting passed around from person to person who (at least he felt) didn’t really care for his Batman treatment. The result being that the project kept getting pushed back, and was probably ultimately forgotten or written off.

I know that Tim Vigil (of Faust: Love of the Damned) also spent years pitching a Batman story to DC. Any chance you can cover that story as well?

I’m just surprised that O’Barr was able to draw Batman without tracing a photo of Iggy Pop.

As others have noted, the Black Adam story would have been quite familiar to Shazam! readers who’d been around awhile.
Of course most of Black Adam’s name recognition comes from JSA and 52 rather than Shazam. Before, he’d still be less famous than Sivana.

Yannick, I was just going to make that same comment — I also read that story on a ViewMaster! I remember the last-page panels (including Uncle Marvel’s ruse) verbatim.

Yeah, I mean, I was pretty familiar with Black Adam from pre-Crisis DC comics, but not nearly as much as Sivana or Mr. Mind, More like King Kull or IBAC, who were pretty much forgotten post-Crisis.

@John Baker

It was a strange feeling: as I was reading, the dialogue and art were becoming more and more familiar until I could practically predict the whole next panel. Hell, I could even recall the smell of the device (it was an old brown plastic faux-wood thing).

It helped that it was the only comic I had on the ViewMaster. The rest were all vistas of Niagara Falls!

Like Black Adam and the Joker, another fan-favorite villain killed in his first appearance makes his return tonight — Darth Maul in Star Wars: Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. Woo hoo! Here’s to more overturning of creative short-sightedness!

And yeah, based on the pic above, I don’t think we’re missing anything , re: O’Barr’s Batman.

Damn, is that ever some great art in those Starhawk pages!

For anyones whose interested, here’s the animated version of that CAPTAIN MARVEL story from the Filmation SHAZAM cartoon from the early 80′s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmm781WHxdk

Since “Shamhaz” is pretty close to the name of a fallen angel, I’m now contemplating a very strange Marvel Family Elseworlds.

Interest that Marvel created the Sentry as a “lost” hero when they actually have a bonifide lost hero whose stories are waiting to be told.

O’Barr seems to be going for a psycho Batman. These screws in the cowl of that Batman illo make him look very screwed up

I definitely knew about Black Adam and Fawcett. While it was a multi-issue tale unlike Black Adam, I’m pretty sure Mr. Mind was also killed in his initial story and brought back from the dead by National/DC.

Andy, you’re right–he got the death penalty for several thousand deaths (I think) caused by the Monster Society. Then DC revived him, then later explained his alien worm body isn’t harmed by electricity.

Because he’d been given the electric chair, that is.

I had a Viewmaster. I don’t remember what I watched (so I doubt it was comics).

Those Starhawk pages are beautiful. I hope someone at Marvel sees this and puts together an awesome story around this character.

Yeah, but didn’t that first Mr. Mind story go on for like 26 issues? That’s longer than the entire runs of a lot of series.

Nice Urban Legends. Its a shame that the Forums are having malware problems (Google gets getting the warning the forums have it…stopping me) but this allows me to check out CBR’s main site.

@Yannick and @John Baker
I remember reading that story before as well, and couldn’t figure out how or where until you mentioned the ViewMaster and then it all came flooding back to me! Too funny! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Imagine a kids book today that contained the scene “For resisting me you get a broken neck” SNAP!!!!

You are correct, sir. “The Monster Society of Evil” serial ran 25 chapters, beginning in “Captain Marvel Adventures” #22 (March 26, 1943) and ending in CMA #46 (May ’45). At first, Mr. Mind was only a disembodied voice, commanding others to do his bidding. He finally appeared in person in Chapter 5 (CMA #26, Aug. ’43).

Mr. Mind was executed (and supposedly stuffed!) in the final chapter, but was revealed to be very much alive in “Shazam” #2 (April ’73). In “Shazam” #31 (Oct. ’77) he explained how he survived the electric chair because he was an alien and then hypnotized the taxidermist who was to preserve his corpse, ordering him to create a fake stuffed worm to be put on display.

Oh, and as for Black Adam’s return (warning: spoilers ahead), he was brought back to life by Sivana’s resurrection machine — darn handy device, that.

Thanks for showing me the Starhawk. I always wondered why the advertisement did not fit in with Guardians of the Galaxy. I certainly wish Marvel would reprint this story in color. It seems the character is similiar to Roy Thomas’ Captain Marvel. Marvel really had a unique style that can never be duplicated in the 1960′s and 1970′s before it became corporate.

I wish Marvel could have revived Starhawk as a lost Marvel character instead of creating a false lost character like Sentry.

The similarities between the resolution of The Marvel Family’s battle with Black Adam and the conclusion of Miraclemans first fight with Kid Miracleman are startling!

“Given the timeline, O’Barr seems to be referring to the Val Kilmer movie, “Batman Forever.” How exactly were the parameters altered after that movie came out, other than the realization that Kilmer was nowhere near as popular as Keaton was in the Bat-suit, nor was Schumacher anywhere near as celebrated for his “vision” as Burton had been. But besides the movie not performing up to expectations, how did that change things at DC?”

Mr. Dave Blanchard

As others have pointed out, BF did outgross Michael Keaton’s second turn in the role. Also, do note that they made it “toyetic” in order to make up for lost profits from Michael Keaton’s second film in the role; remember how MacDonald’s cancelled their Happy Meal toys suddenly for that film? Warner Bros. has reaped quite a bit from toyline tie-ins in recent years, something that they had not had ready for the Christopher Reeve Superman films or Supergirl. (The Reeve Superman films and Supergirl did not have very well worked out toyline tie-ins.)

Follow-up point on BF: remember, Warner Bros. had to pay out a lot to Jack Nicholson as part of his profit-participation deal in 1989. Therefore, the toys brought in revenue to make up for that, and when parents complained about BR (1992), Michael Keaton’s second turn in the role, that threatened the toyline revenue.

“Kilmer was nowhere near as popular as Keaton was in the Bat-suit”

Bob Kane named him the best portrayal. Keaton did not terribly resemble any previous portrayal or version. Also, Keaton mostly makes comedies (Mr. Mom, Gung Ho, Night Shift). Same with Tim Burton-Mars Attacks!, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure-Burton’s first film!.

The bit about Black Adam reminds me how quite a few Golden Age foes only appeared a few times, but have made fewer appearances since.

The Duke of Deception presents the opposite case; he appeared regularly into the Silver Age, yet has only appeared once in the last thirty years.

I also do not believe O’Barr’s story that DC didn’t want his series. I think there’s something about it he’s not telling us that the editors just didn’t approve of- like maybe Batman using guns, as in his drawing.

I knew Black Adam’s origin (and death) having seen those comics when they came out in the 70′s (including the reprint of Adam’s origin.) I had no idea it had been SO long between his appearances though! I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Suspendium thing, though, Cronin. You see folks, for SOME reason, the people at DC decided to keep the continuity of the ORIGINAL Shazam series, despite the fact that those comics were set in the 1940s! Instead of, say, just retconning the whole thing (as they would Post-Crisis) they just had THE ENTIRE CAST of the comics trapped in a ball of “suspendium”- a trap Sivana made for the Marvel Family that ended up trapping him and other friends and foes of the Marvels in orbit in space for over 30 years! After escaping in the present, they just resumed their life as if nothing had happened! Isn’t that weird? (And yes, Sivana also created a “resurrection machine” that was used to bring back other dead Marvel characters. Dr. Sivana: master of the Deus Ex Machinas! :D )

Never heard of the first Starhawk. I wonder what happened that got him cut out, especially after already having been announced! Also, it can’t be a coincidence someone came up the same exact name for the second one… could it have been another case of Marvel creating a new character just to avoid losing the trademark on the name? (As with the multiple Captain Marvels and Spider-Women.)

randypan the goatboy

February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I think a Batman and the crow graphic novel or mini series would rock. Just one question though, is james O barr’s crow character always eric draven?[ i know the crow is named for the bird that is the source of Draven's power] but other than when top dollar in the movie refered to draven as the avenger or the killer of killer’s I am just not sure what to call other than the crow

I miss that haircut for Black Adam. I thought it gave him a more distinct look than his current one.

The similarities between the resolution of The Marvel Family’s battle with Black Adam and the conclusion of Miraclemans first fight with Kid Miracleman are startling!

The funny thing is that, just as the original Marvelman was a blatant copy of Captain Marvel, he had a villain called Nastyman who was just like Black Adam.

Interestingly, his sidekick Young Marvelman (not to be confused with Kid Marvelman/Kid Miracleman) had a recurring villain named Young Nastyman, who of course was a teen sidekick of Nastyman. When Osiris was introduced in 52, my first thought was that DC had at last reverse-engineered Young Nastyman.

Further follow-up on BF: Leonard Maltin gave it three stars; Keaton’s films only received two stars and 2.5 stars.

This disdain for BF ties into that quote from Max Allan Collins that one sometimes sees brought up:

In Amazing Heroes#119 in 1987, Max Allan Collins had an interview. He said the following about how he wrote for DC:

“I’m afraid what I’m running smack up into is the old Batman TV show controversy: the old business about, Gee that was a TV show that made fun of Batman and made fun of comic books, so we have to show people that Batman and comic books are serious and they’re adult and accordingly all the fun goes out of it. There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid. They betray their juvenile roots. It can’t be done straight”.

The O’Barr story doesn’t seem to make much sense, in light of an earlier Elseworlds story (I think it was earlier) with art by Kelley Jones where Batman turns into a big freaky vampire on the cover! Very dark and moody, and way, way out there. I didn’t read it because it also looked silly, but I think they made more stories about him, so I don’t think the pictured O’Barr version looks any more off or shocking.

I would be interested to know when the Shazam #28 comic came out, in real-world time. It seems to me that a lot of the research into old comics on this site is partially wasted due to the omission of that simplest piece of information. I realize that the other two features in this article do mention a year (thank you), but it happens often enough that I thought I’d mention it. It seems to me that the cover blurb about TV and Saturday Morning Super-Star might date it to the mid-70′s when there was a live-action half hour show called Shazam, but apparently also a later animated show I wasn’t aware of. But then the 30¢ price seems high, unless it was a bigger issue with reprints in it.

The old Starhawk story looks a lot like a character that came around years later in Marvel Premiere, Star-Lord! Some very nice Kirby-like art there by Mr. Adkins..

Here, let me google that for you: Shazam #28 was dated April 1977. It hit stores on December 16, 1976.

Mark Andrew Smith

February 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm

The Black Adam story was great. I love what they do with a small number of pages and how much story there is there and history.

Funny, I’m looking up the Crow movie to figure out the timeline, and “people who liked this also liked” Batman Forever, among others.

But looking up the movies and the comics, I’m guessing that maybe DC figured O’Barr wasn’t exactly a quick artist and also had a lot on his plate. The Crow individual issues took about 3 years for 5? issues. The spinoff minis started coming out in ’96, as did the second movie. I’m not sure how the Batman Forever movie changed or increased the number of Bat-books. Memory tells me there wasn’t much change, but I could be wrong.

My guess is that since all there was to the book was “a script treatment and some paintings”, there wasn’t enough real interest from anyone other than Denny. One would presume that if there was, there would have been contracts and kill fees, which aren’t mentioned here (but maybe in O’Barr’s full statement). O’Barr sounds like an overeager fan who probably misunderstood someone complimenting his stuff and thinking it meant they wanted a book.

Mind you, I love the Crow. I like O’Barr’s style. I think he’d do an interesting Batman. I think DC would have benefitted from having “The Crow’s James O’Barr” doing a Bat story. But I suspect that DC never had the real interest that O’Barr thought they did.

I love the Crow, it hit me at the right time, and it led me to Joy Division’s music. I’m soooo tempted to get the new version of the book, because of O’Barr’s added sequences. Just flipping through the book, it looked pretty cool.

And in the book, Eric’s last name isn’t Draven. I have a theory/pretty good idea of what it probably is, but it’s never explicitly stated in the book.

Y’know, Black Adam and Sinestro should hang out sometime and discuss their widow’s peak/balding heads. I’d buy a whole issue of just that.

That Starhawk looks neat. Like a couple people said, I first thought about the Sentry in relation to this story.

Is the “coming at you across 2 centuries” bit in the ad a reference just to the fact that it takes place about 2 centuries from when the ad came out, or was there a time travel element to Starhawk? It definitely looks cool, but the writing might be overwrought.

I never heard of O’Barr before this column. Sure sounds like an arrogant self-serving jerk for a guy whose only claim is creating a wholly derivative character. History seems to have been rewritten that the Crow comic was an underground hit before the movie. Yet I never met anyone who had seen or heard of it.

Edward, I’m going to guess you were never someone that hung out with many goths or early 90s punks.

I lived in a small town in Iowa and at 13, I already had found an issue or two pre-movie.

One of the nice things about the era of that Return of Black Adam story is that DC managed to synch Shazam! with the dull TV version (as was usual with DC in that period, the comic had to look like the TV show) without making it suck. E. Nelson Bridwell’s writing and Schaffenburger’s art were most enjoyable.

@Sijo: I’m fairly certain the terms of DC’s agreement with Fawcett in the ’70s explicitly forbade them from updating the Marvels or retconning their published histories. It wouldn’t be until DC bought the properties outright in the mid-’80s that they could do whatever they thought appropriate to make the characters more appealing to the modern readership.

Whatever was really going on behind the scenes in the 1990s at DC, it is a shame that James O’Barr never had the opportunity to do a Batman project. That would have totally rocked. And in retrospect it is a bit funny that O’Barr’s idea of an Elseworlds story didn’t fall in line with the then-current editorial vision, but subsequently we got All-Star Batman by Frank “I’m the God damn Batman” Miller. But when you have Dark Knight and Year One to your name, plus Jim Lee penciling, you can coast on past achievements and get away with all sorts of sins :)

By the way, when I met O’Bar at a comic con in 1999, back when he was still hoping to get the Batman project going, I asked him if he’d mind doing a sketch of another superhero, namely Captain America, because O’Barr is probably one of the last people you would think of to draw Cap, and I was curious to see how it would turn out. Here’s a link to the sketch…

http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=671231&GSub=80308

I thought it was an interesting first attempt at drawing the character. If I ever see O’Barr again, maybe next time I should get a sketch of the Red Skull as a companion piece.

Never was a Crow-guy or as my curmudgeonly comicbook store guy put it….Crowf*ck. not nice. But the Shazam piece was really cool.Wow.Kill a great character off in the 1st app. They were not a foresighted bunch in the G.A. Fawcett Co. How much do I love those Dan Adkins pages…LOTS!!! I know he was a Wally Wood disciple,but he was alot more. Very dynamic pages and WW never drew those great splashes like Dan.Great job this week Brian.

“Is the “coming at you across 2 centuries” bit in the ad a reference just to the fact that it takes place about 2 centuries from when the ad came out, or was there a time travel element to Starhawk? It definitely looks cool, but the writing might be overwrought.”

Maybe that’s an estimate of when Marvel will begin using the character in their regular books. :)

History seems to have been rewritten that the Crow comic was an underground hit before the movie. Yet I never met anyone who had seen or heard of it.

That’s just silly. I picked up a few The Crow comics when they came out, just as I did with the Men in Black comic. Sure, those comics were obscure compared to the movies they inspired, but heck, you could say the same of Green Lantern or most comic movies. Movies attract a wider audience.

Mind you, I was never much of a fan of The Crow–it was a bit amateurish for my tastes–but there was a lot of buzz about that comic at the time among people who bothered to read indie comics at all. You personally having never heard of it doesn’t actually change that.

Yes, it’s surprising Starhawk”s never turned up anywhere, given how thoroughly the Big Two mine past characters.
Black Adam’s prompt death doesn’t surprise me. Two Face was retired for years after his original trilogy. The Crime Surgeon died quite dead after his second appearance. The Riddler only appeared three times. It’s as if the writers had this crazy idea they could create stories even if they didn’t recycle every villain 5,000 times.

i agree with Ganky, although i wouldn’t use the term ‘wasted’:

I would be interested to know when the Shazam #28 comic came out, in real-world time. It seems to me that a lot of the research into old comics on this site is partially wasted due to the omission of that simplest piece of information.

It would be great to have all the dates together in these columns.

Also, to Butter’s point on how easy it is to Google the info: if it’s that easy for you it should be even easier for the person who puts these articles together. And thanks for being a smartass.

not really….

It’s as if the writers had this crazy idea they could create stories even if they didn’t recycle every villain 5,000 times.

Ha ha ha ha ha… sorry, couldnt help it. That said, nowadays I con’t really blame writers for reusing the same characters over and over and over again, saving their brand-new ideas for a potential creator owned series that might materialize down the road. Once a character is owned by DC or Marvel, it is totally out of your hands, creatively & financially (unless you have a very good lawyer) and you could very well end up like Gary Friedrich. Who in their right mind want to hand the Big Two the next Ghost Rider when you know you’re going to get treated like that?

I’d personally love to see O’Barr’s Batman story. It’s ashamed to see people here putting down the man despite not knowing the whole story. Or putting down the comic, which they’ve most likely never even read. I was reading comics back in ’89 and I remember coming across issue #2 in a comic book store and just having to have it based on the cover alone. I was heavy into The Cure and goth culture at the time and The Crow gave me my intro to Joy Division and (along with Mirage’s TMNT series) an appreciation for B&W indie comics…

Also, to Butter’s point on how easy it is to Google the info: if it’s that easy for you it should be even easier for the person who puts these articles together. And thanks for being a smartass.

Actually, I was being helpful and giving the information requested. But I guess I shouldn’t expect people who complain about Brian’s non-comprehensiveness to appreciate that either.

Your pal, “Butter”

Hey Brian,

I looked back through Urban Legends Revealed, this new Comic Book Urban legend I’ve seen popping up is that She-Hulk and Hawman were going to be traded by Marvel and DC at some point?

I’ve seen this posted on message boards but I don’t know where it originates from or any evidence whether it’s true or not. I wondered if you heard anything about this?

That’s a pretty cool O’Barr Cap drawing that Ben linked to. Thanks!

Hey butter, speaking of comics that were later turned into movies…

(quick aside, I didn’t hear of the Crow or Men in Black comics before the movies. I’m a bad person.)

… did you ever see Bulletproof Monk comics before the movie? Or whatever the comic was that was made into the movie Monkeybone (with, I believe, Brendan Fraser and Chris Kattan)? (I swear the credits of the ads I saw for Monkeybone said “based on the graphic novel”, but I dunno what it was.)

Google all that for me, will ya, butter?

Hahaha. No, I’d never read (nor really been aware of) Bulletproof Monk or Dark Town (aka Monkeybone) before those movies came out. Same with The Road to Perdition.

BTW, I don’t think Men in Black was a particularly popular comic (less than The Crow, anyway, more like The Oz Squad or something), but I liked it. And lord knows Men in Black was much more popular as a movie than any of the above. You just never can tell.

Thank you danjack, buttler, and Brian Cronin. Sure, a lot of this stuff we could find out if we google it ourselves, but that does take some of the fun out of reading all these great posts. I just consider mentioning the year a helpful bit of basic journalistic information that should always be included in stories like this. These are stories somewhat about comics history, and what good is history without dates?

The recent Five Goofiest Moments article on the Flash is another good example: the second paragraph gives us a lot of issue numbers but no year. A lot of comics get renumbered over time and you can’t always tell by the art style when it was published.

I think it would be a very good (and easy) thing to always mention the year of publication when writing about old comics, characters or storylines on this blog, considering the amount of care and research that goes into them.

Edward,

I had read the Crow books prior to the movie coming out and the books had lots of buzz at the time.

I do agree that O’Barr comes out very full of himself in that quote.

Yeah, while I agree that there are parts in his quote where O’Barr seems a bit full of himself (which he also says he is aware of in the quote itself), I have to say I would love to see that Elseworlds come out. I don’t know why everyone is so hung up on his looking different and carrying guns. As several above have pointed out, that’s why it would be an “Elseworlds”.

For those who haven’t read (or don’t appreciate) the original “The Crow” book, I guess we have different tastes. I remember seeing the movie as a youngster (probably too young) and thinking, “This is cool, but I don’t really see what the big deal is”. Then, a few years later, a friend letting me read his copy of the comic, which blew me away. It is different than a mainstream book for sure (Gothic art-style, whole pages devoted to poetry and song lyrics, etc.), but there is such a genuine feeling of heartbreak and retribution at the core of it. Moreso than the movie, you really feel the punch-in-the-gut in the act that begins the story, being O’Barr’s way of dealing with with own girlfriend’s actual death (though not from quite as horrifying a circumstance as the book). I wanted revenge for Eric, and I wanted it for Shelly.

That’s just my two cents.

” I don’t know why everyone is so hung up on his looking different and carrying guns. As several above have pointed out, that’s why it would be an “Elseworlds”.”

I think with all that, the cigarette, the screws in the head, the Wolverine-like smile, he appears on the surface to almost be a completely different character wearing a Batman suit. It’s possible that the within the story there are more familiar elements, but on the surface it seems less like a different take on the character than a pretender, even factoring in Elseworlds. Mind you if that is deliberate (someone who fancies himself as being like Batman after reading a comic while his friends keep saying “No, I just don’t see it” that could be fun.

That look might have been what DC was reacting to as well, since from a company perspective Batman is as much a brand name as a character. There’s a certain level of wiggle room for variants of a brand (e.g. brown sugar Mini-Wheats) but you can only change the brand so much and still have it be the same brand.

I’m kind of glad to see all of the disdain for The Crow. I’ve seen it hailed as a classic so many times and when I read it it was just a tedious load of bad goth poetry, moping and stiff art.

Not sure if Max Allen Collins with that quote was being sarcastic or what, but considering the big screen nowadays, apparently you CAN take people in costumes seriously.

And has O’Barr done anything of note SINCE the Crow?

M-Wolverine:

There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid.

Last night after some channel-surfing, I watched about the last 30-40 minutes of Condorman, Random thoughts:

* It’s a really, really bad movie.
* I get that it’s supposed to be parodying James Bond movies, but if truth be told, it’s not all that far off from the average crappy Roger Moore Bond outing (sure, there’s the goofy superhero costume and flying contraption – but is that any more tacky than Moonraker?)
* Michael Crawford’s American accent is terrible.
* Condorman’s sidekick is Scott Howard’s Dad from Teen Wolf.
* Watching Oliver Reed’s performance as the glowering, one-note Russian villain just made me wonder the same thing I wonder whilst watching any Oliver Reed performance: how drunk was he when he made this movie?
* The special effects in the movie are really shitty. Lots of dummies, visible wires, bad green-screen…
* The climax of the movie involved Condorman using a laser on his speed-boat to gun down the bad guys’ boats… and he actually succeeds in blowing them all up. All that killing’s pretty heavy for a Disney film. [Actually, much as Chastity does not often carry over into adaptations, restraint often does not carry over, either.]

M-Wolverine:

Ignore the post about Condorman. I cross-posted (although I will note that Condorman did look awful).

“There was a reason why that TV show was played for laughs and that is when you put actual human beings in those costumes and act out those stories, it looks stupid”.

Most film adaptations have since altered costumes-not the 1966 Adam West film. It stayed true.

As Count Karnstein, a Yuku poster noted:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587
Like I said before, Batman 1966 is the single most accurate comic book movie ever made. If you look at all the changes other movies made to the characters’ origins, powers, costumes, etc, only the 1966 Batman comes close to a literal translation on screen. Every other movie is merely derivative.

When Count Karnstein made this view clear, he received this response:

“To be totally clear, the last truly great, truly faithful superhero movie was Batman (1966)”.

“Oh — my —- GOD —. After an admisssion like this, I can’t see how in the world I or anyone else can take your opinions on superhero movies seriously ever again!”

I will NOT ignore the comment about Condorman…….because the observations are all kinds of awesome.

M Wolverine, notice that your namesake has yet to appear in his traditional outfit or the more muted brown in a live action film. So what Collins says stands as largely true.

Collins made his comments in 1987, the days of the Reeve Superman films.

More from Amazing Heroes#119: “

[On [presumably] the Christopher Reeve Superman films] The Superman movies have all, as far as I’m concerned fallen to a degree into the Batman TV show approach-maybe not quite as broad…..And I think they did that because because there’s no other way you can play it. It just doesn’t work. I mean, look at that costume.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2011/10/30/scary-afternoons/

Collins had Superman III in mind, I guess, although I and II had a tongue in cheek feel (though still with some gravitas).

More from Count Karnstein:

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587

This is why Batman ’66 was the pinnacle of superhero movies. It didn’t worry about audiences being jaded.

It didn’t say “Oh god, one more long white beard and we’ve hit the Arbitrary Audience Limit and it’ll tank!”.

It didn’t say “Oh, we need ‘realistic’ (if you’re a BMX biker) costumes because people will break into peals of malicious, derogatory laughter if we put them in spandex!”

It didn’t say “Oh good gosh, we need to tone down those bright colors!”

It didn’t say “Oh, that’s just not a believable origin/power/story. We need to alter it so that jaded adults will ‘buy’ it.”

It didn’t say “Nope, no blond villains because the villain will overshadow the good guys, since blonds are always heroes!”

No. None of that stupid nonsense. It said “Let’s take Batman out of the comics and put him on the screen.”

Definitely sounds like quite the rant. I checked the link and his points were made in early 2008 so I’ll avoid references to material that was released afterward.

None of the four villains in that movie were blond, though one did have green hair.
There were no origin stories in that movie. No way of knowing if and how they’d have been tweaked if there were. Certainly most superhero movies I’ve seen, while tweaking the origin a bit, are faithful to the broad strokes of the origin.
The reason they weren’t worried about “malicious, derogatory laughter” was that adults were *intended* to do just that (I used to have a book on the series with lots of interviews and its clear that while kids were supposed to enjoy the show/movie at face value, adults were always intended to mock it.

Judging from his other comments, the Count likes the era of Batman comics he likes and none other. He’s apparently not interested in the pre-silliness Batman comics or New Look era (which was in effect at the time of the 1966 movie) and when when someone pointed out that Batman 1989 was pretty faithful to the comics of that era he dismissed that movie because it reflected an era of Batman that didn’t interest him. So of course a particular kind of superhero movie is going to be the only one that works for you if you dismiss superhero movies that reflect other eras as being eras you’re not interested in.

Me, again, keeping within 2008 and earlier, I liked the Phantom, I liked Batman Begins, even liked the somewhat unpopular Hulk and Daredevil movies; if it doesn’t show disdain for its subject the way the 1966 film did (however accurate it was of a particular kind of Batman story) there’s a good chance I’ll like it.

The 1966 film was a campy mess.

“when when someone pointed out that Batman 1989 was pretty faithful to the comics of that era”

Oh?

http://alankistler.squarespace.com/journal/2007/12/27/kistlers-thoughts-on-film-adaptations-part-1.html

But here, Burton is less faithful than Singer because his character actually behaves differently too. The comic book version of Batman is dedicated to the protection of innocent life rather than cold vengeance and he operates under a strong personal moral code that does not allow for killing. Tim Burton’s Batman was willing to kill, arming his car with machine guns and blowing up chemical plants that held a dozen or more criminals within. Whereas the comic book Batman sometimes wondered if his war against crime is futile and if he was going about things the wrong way, movie version Batman was without regret or remorse over any of his actions. Also, movie Batman was not able to turn his neck due to his costume, something that comic book Batman has no trouble doing at all.

The take on Bruce Wayne is also different. Comic book Bruce Wayne is a charmingly arrogant snob who often mouths off, looks somewhat bored most of the time and doesn’t seem to take an interest in anything that doesn’t involve leisure or enjoyment. This is the perfect disguise, as no one would would really think to connect him to the obsessive, cunning control freak that Batman shows himself to be. However, movie-version Bruce Wayne is a recluse who seems socially awkward around others. If I were living in movie-version Gotham City, movie Bruce’s behavior and habit of keeping to himself would definitely make me suspicious of him.

Tim Burton also evidently cared more about the Joker than about Batman, since Batman’s training, his motivations, his personal code and the reason he chose a bat as his symbol are not explained at all (the character even has less screen-time than the villain).

More (this time from Count Karnstein and some quotes from Max Allan Collins in links)

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?391136-Max-Allan-Collins-references-in-Fridays-with-Greg-Hatcher&p=14309902#post14309902

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?391279-Max-Allan-Collins-on-lean-scripts-and-other-matters-while-working-for-DC

“Keaton wasn’t Bruce Wayne. He was a bumbling parody”. “The Burton version was a clumsy, bumbling oaf. Which of course did not fit in with the overall tone of the movie, unlike the West version, which was consistent. He was a cardboard cut-out and a bumbling oaf. His mental “issues” were not developed properly.”He couldn’t even string together a coherent sentence…..! Or how about the “I’m Batman!” part? Or how about him not knowing which room in Wayne Manor he was in, or whether he’d ever eaten there before? It was absurd! . [Michael Keaton, then and now, mostly makes comedies.]

http://www.undermountain.org/monsterfans/viewtopic.php?p=228&sid=68f9d52600588f16981169e0475385a2

And I did not like him as Bruce Wayne because the Bruce Wayne that Keaton portrayed in the movie never existed in the comics. So it was unfaithful and helped to ruin the movie for me.

Karnstein later notes that contrary to what Mr. Nystrom wrote, he did not particularly care for the 1960′s comic books:

You bring up a good point! I’m honestly not sure which Batman I prefer. I love the 60′s tv show version. But I also love the 70′s comic version, where Batman was being done by O’Neil/Adams, Aparo, and Englehart/Rogers.

Odd as it may seem, while I enjoyed the Batman tv show and movie immensely, I absolutely loathed and detested the comics at the time!

Someone else writes:I liked, for example, the Joker killing Batman’s parents in the Burton film

Karnstein responds:

I hated it. There was no compelling reason for that twisting, illogical, and unbelievable twisting of the story. It breaks suspension of disbelief because its’ too trite, too contrived. It was done only because a goofy, demented director wanted to impose his twisted pathos on the film.

[While I will not call him demented, Tim Burton made a Pee-Wee Herman film as his first feature film and we saw his Mars Attacks!, so the goofy part holds more weight.]

Karnstein reiterates (or perhaps first says) in summation:

And finally, it’s not a matter of opinion that the Batman movie got it right and got it “more right” than any other superhero movie. Every other superhero movie since, including Superman ’79 [sic] and all the more recent ones have changed the costumes, the origins, and the characters, have warped events from how they occurred in the comics, have changed the essence of most of the characters, etc.

Like it or not, Batman 1966 is the only superhero movie that had the balls to literally take the comic book and put it on the big screen without having to tamper with it or fuss over whether Joe Simpleton (not a slight at you, Joe, that’s my alternate name for the great masses of stupid audiences, formerly known as Joe Sixpack, as you probably remember) could “understand” it. It unashamedly, unapologetically put the real Batman on the big screen and said “This is Batman as he is in the comics. If you don’t like it, tough shit.”

Batman 1966 did not:

Change the characters’ names to “avoid alliteration”
Change the characters’ costumes to be more “realistic”
Change the characters’ origins to be more “sophisticated”
Change the characters’ powers to be more “realistic”
Change the characters’ natures in order to fit some dipshit director’s “vision”

So yeah, there can be no denying it. Batman 1966 was by far the most faithful and most literal comic book adaptation ever put on film.

It amazes me when people make that claim while the proof is undeniable and un-contestable. Batman the movie and the tv show was totally faithful to the comics of the day and to the comics as they were for a decade before and after. That’s historical fact that only a pathological denier could refuse to believe. Compare the dates on the comics with the tv show. It is beyond question that I am right on that. [The TV show adapted stories published in 1965, the year before.]

“It amazes me when people make that claim while the proof is undeniable and un-contestable.”

Respectfully, stuff like faithfulness is always going to be subjective, not objective, thus an opinion and not a fact. *All* opinions are by their very nature deniable and contestable.

“So yeah, there can be no denying it. Batman 1966 was by far the most faithful and most literal comic book adaptation ever put on film. ”

Okay, so we’re not just talking superhero movies but comic based movies in general now? That being the case Sin City was an extremely faithful adaptation of the comics. American Splendor, while cutting away to its real life subjects from time to time, still felt like an American Splendor comic.

Back to the superheroes:
Since you’re bringing the argument up to the present day, and thus not limiting things to 2008 when the Count’s previous points were made, Watchmen, while, yes, tweaking some but not all the costumes, was extremely faithful to the graphic novel (Ultimate, then Director’s Cut being the most faithful; but even the the theatrical version was lifting scenes and dialogue right and left, and the settings were noticeably the GN. Yes, they changed the ending, but they still followed a specific comic book story closer to being verbatim than most superhero movies (Batman 1966, like numerous superhero movies went with a new story entirely).

So for me, American Splendor, Sin City, and Watchmen are all more faithful and literal adaptations of comics than Batman 1966.

One other note: some change is okay if it enhances the overall experience. Iron Man might not have been a literal adaptation of the comics (though it’s amazing what all did get tossed in, like a rendition of the original armour) but it’s a fun movie and if the tweaks here and there enhance the movie, that fine with me! A true literal translation would his be still panels with word and thought balloons. It’s a different medium. As long they get it right for that medium, and don’t steer *too* far off the original source, that’ should be what matters. My belief is that fidelity is *a* factor in my enjoyment of a comic based movie but it’s far from the only one.

Mr. Nystrom, I did not want to say I supported Karnstein’s position, but I did not want to note that the Adam West show did in fact adapt specific tales from the comics from 1965. In contrast to many people (e.g. Kenneth Johnson and the Hulk, the X-Men films and the costumes issue), these people disdained doing such a project but stayed quite faithful (I have to wonder if Robin’s original tacky outfit would appear today).

Well, that much is true. Costumes are less of an issue for me than a lot of online fans (my biggest issue with X-Men was more the pacing than the costumes and with X3 more the lack of fleshed out characters than the costumes) but it’s true that the 1966 Batman costumes were pretty true to the comics. And it’s definitely true that the comics went through a pretty silly phase. Had the movie been adapted for the comics a few years earlier, it would not had been that much out of place. I do give the show and movie points for never taking Batman to Saturn.

the Adam West show did in fact adapt specific tales from the comics from 1965.

Not sure I want to get into this, but…

I distinctly remember reading somewhere that when asked about the Tim Burton movie and the Joker killing the Waynes, Bob Kane was quoted as saying something to the effect that it was a great idea, and if it’d been thought of back in the beginning, they would have done it.

Of course, no one was able to ask Bill Finger, who actually would have been the writer….

And while we’re on the topic, are there any comic book related movies that have strayed SO far away from the original premise and stories that it’s virtually unrecognizable?

Travis: Man-Thing came pretty close. It basically had nothing to do with anything.

I’d say Elektra, too, because they gave her a spunky teen sidekick and the psychic ability to see the present (which sounds weird and it was–it was like flashes of the future, except it was something going on right then, somewhere else).

Oh, The Spirit! How could I forget? That had nothing whatsoever to do with the comic. It was basically Sin City 2: This Time It’s Called The Spirit.

Count on Buttler to bring the funny.

That Elektra future thing sounds like other “psychic” powers I’ve seen in other shows. Kind of. But stupider. Which is hard with some of the shows I watch…

Let’s also not forget the Razzie award winning Catwoman, which kept only a few elements of the character. Also, the 1944 Captain America serial where Cap had a completely different alter ego and was more of a Wildcat-type hero, good with his fists but would have been a generic action hero without the costume. The 1979 TV movies aren’t perfect either, but they’re closer to the Cap we know than the serial.

I’m tempted to say the Cathy Lee Crosby TV movie version of Wonder Woman, but as someone noted online it came out when the comic version was depowered. I haven’t read that era’s stories and it’s been years since I saw the telefilm, so I can’t comment on exactly how close it is to that specific era, just that the ties to what most people think of as Wonder Woman are pretty tenuous.

Oh, actually, to answer my own question:

although it wasn’t a movie, the latest Human Target TV show was barely related to the comics. Mind you, I dig both the comics and that show, but dropping the “disguised as the target” bit from Christopher Chance kind of loses the premise of the character.

Travis Pelkie:Man-Thing

March 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Oh, and based on how buttler wrote his reply, I’m adding “:Man-Thing” to my screen name. For a while.

Also, I think any comic book movie sequel would be vastly improved by adding “Electric Bugaloo” to it. Amazing Spider-Man 2:Electric Bugaloo (so they can use Electro in it, right?!). Iron Man 2: Electric Bugaloo. The Crow 2: Electric Bugaloo. The Dark Knight: Electric Bugaloo.

Ok, I’ll stop now.

Travis Pelkie:Man-Thing

March 19, 2012 at 12:08 am

Interestingly enough, touching upon our discussion of the Batman movie, the story out about the 1940 US Census info that’s coming online mentions that “movie studios were enlisted to encourage their film stars to participate, including Cesar Romero, who later played the Joker”. It’s interesting on a couple levels, in that Romero was apparently famous enough at the time to encourage people to fill out the census (I see from online searching he was apparently the Cisco Kid around that time), and that there were apparently no other actors MORE famous than him that were enlisted to promote the census. Kind of like how the census 2 years ago had those…”comedians” trying to get us to fill it out.

So…yeah…

No, the Cathy Lee Crosby came out in 1974, well after Diana got her powers back.
Man-Thing … Yeah, I think that one takes the cake. Different monster, different characters (Ted Sallis is a minor character but I don’t remember if he even appears onscreen or just dies offscreen) and they didn’t even think to use “whatever knows fear …” which at least would give them a catch phrase (heck, Peter David worked it into OBLIVION).

Travis Pelkie

March 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Not sure I want to get into this, but…

I distinctly remember reading somewhere that when asked about the Tim Burton movie and the Joker killing the Waynes, Bob Kane was quoted as saying something to the effect that it was a great idea, and if it’d been thought of back in the beginning, they would have done it.

Of course, no one was able to ask Bill Finger, who actually would have been the writer….

————————————————

They had plenty of time to reveal that, if one looks at the timeline of when they revealed the name of the murderer of the Waynes. Joe Chill’s name did not appear until 1947, eight years or so after the origin.

(Of course, since “in the beginning” entailed a hasty rewrite of The Shadow novel Partners of Peril…..but Mr. Cronin can feature that as another legend.)

Well, Kane was saying that IF they thought of it, they would have used it. Which can’t really be negated. I was saying more than it would have been if Bill Finger thought of it, it might have been used.

And let’s not forget the main reason the Joker got more screen time in Burton’s movie is because Jack Nicholson was the major reason the movie even got made.

PB210, I’m curious, which Batman comics from ’65 got adapted for the Adam West movie?

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587

When comic stories were adapted, they were taken first and foremost from the mid-60s…and ergo accurately represent Batman as he existed at the time.

HI DIDDLE RIDDLE/SMACK IN THE MIDDLE is an adaptation of The Remarkable Ruse of the Riddler, May 1965.
FINE FEATHERED FINKS/PENGUIN’S A JINX was based on Partners in Plunder, April 1965.
DEATH IN SLOW MOTION/THE RIDDLER’S FALSE NOTION from The Joker’s Comedy Capers, July 1965 (Joker changed to Riddler).
ZELDA THE GREAT/A DEATH WORSE THAN FATE from The Inescapable Doom Trap, December 1965.

Only three stories, one Joker, one Mr. Freeze and one Mad Hatter, were taken from the 50s. [False Face, as well.] One Riddler and one Joker (changed to Riddler in the show) story originated in the 40s.

I should note that people often lay the blame for the Adam West version on the 1950′s, but of the 1950′s adapted tales, only Mr. Zero/Freeze featured anything I might call anymore outlandish than what one would find in 1942 to 1949.

Like I said before, Batman 1966 is the single most accurate comic book movie ever made. If you look at all the changes other movies made to the characters’ origins, powers, costumes, etc, only the 1966 Batman comes close to a literal translation on screen. Every other movie is merely derivative.

Did Dozier just hate the Batman character and have a vendetta against him? What, he loved the Green Hornet, so he created a serious show for him, while he had nothing but contempt for Batman, so it was “ridicule city” in that matter? Please! Dozier was bringing the characters to the screen in the manner in which they had been portrayed in the comics. Was there ever a silly, absurd, ridiculous Green Hornet comic book? If so, it’s escaped my attention for the better part of 40 years. Did we ever see a Caveman Green Hornet or a Green Hornet in a rainbox/zebra/dayglo red suit? Did we ever see Green Hornet being drowned in a giant gravy boat or being chased by aliens and dinosaurs? Was there ever an Ace the Green Hornet Dog? How about a Hornet-Mite?

No? I didn’t think so. There’s your answer. It’s literally that simple. Dozier was taking characters and putting them on the screen. Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen.

People are just so hung up on their “adult-friendly”, sociopathic, paranoid, mentally ill “Dark Knight” version of Batman that they can have nothing but contempt for the true portrayal on film of the way the character was for the longest time.

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