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A Couple of Quick Sunday Links for You

We’re still under the weather here, and I had another crushing deadline on a project that really had to be done by the end of the year, and, well… something had to give. So this week in lieu of the usual column I’m just going to point you to some other fun internet things I ran across that may be of interest. X-Men, a new Star Trek series, interesting old “men’s adventure” books, a new Wonder Woman.


“How Would you Fix…?” Nathan Adler does a blog devoted to continuity fixes– the kind of thing that used to earn you a No-Prize from Marvel, back in the day. I always enjoy reading it because– well, because I’m a huge nerd. But I like the challenge of working out the fix as well as spotting the inconsistency, and I’ve always felt that should be a fan thing, whether it’s just sitting around shooting the breeze at a convention or reading your paper on Professor Moriarty’s Dynamics of an Asteroid at the Baker Street Irregulars annual banquet. When pros do it, like when Roy Thomas or John Byrne tried to do actual stories based on continuity patching it just gets kind of embarrassing.

Anyway, Nathan shares my nerdy pleasure at working out the fix and I like reading his theories even when I may not agree with them. The current entry has him trying to figure out the origin of Gateway from the X-Men’s Outback era.

I enjoyed it and I bet X-fans will get a kick out of it. Link here. While you’re there you could do worse than to amble through the archives, there’s lots of other interesting speculations to think about and argue over.


End of the Quest: I have a soft spot for “men’s adventure” trashy numbered series paperbacks from the sixties and seventies, and the king of them all was Mack Bolan, the Executioner.

I’m a bit of a purist in that I only care about the originals that Don Pendleton actually wrote himself– the first thirty-eight of them, starting with War Against the Mafia and ending with Satan’s Sabbath.

There are about seven hundred other ones ghosted by various hands, and all sorts of spinoffs like Able Team and Stony Man and so on. But I haven’t bothered with any of them though I gather that some of them are quite good.

My first encounter with the Punisher’s spiritual godfather was in an omnibus edition I picked up in a drugstore, collecting the first three novels. Lost it in a move and I’ve been trying to get it back for years… not obsessively, of course, but it’s one of those things that’s always in the back of my head when I go into a used bookstore.

It seems silly when the first three books are easy to scoop up used for less than a buck each. But I’m sentimental, and I wanted my omnibus three-in-one back, dammit. It really was getting to be a thing with me because most booksellers thought I was making it up or had gotten mixed up somehow. I couldn’t remember what the exact title was and with six or seven hundred Bolans out there, online searches were fruitless; even Mack Bolan fan sites didn’t seem to know about it. I was about ready to give up.

And that’s when I found one. finally.

It’s called The Executioner Trilogy: The Beginning and it’s apparently a little bit of a collector’s item… even Linda Pendleton herself says they’re hard to find. Anyway, if you want one of your own, listings are here. You’ll see that prices start to spin out of control for it pretty damn quick. I assure you I did not pay nearly that much for mine, but now I am gloating over it far more than any grown man should.


Trekking, old-school: There was a cool Star Trek fan-film project that came out a few years ago, a movie called Of Gods and Men.

It starred Nichelle Nichols and Walter Koenig and the interesting thing about it is that it’s the only project that brought together actors from every single iteration of Trek– in addition to Ms. Nichols and Mr. Koenig, you had Grace Lee Whitney and Lawrence Montaigne from the original series, Alan Ruck from Generations, Tim Russ and Garrett Wang and Ethan Phillips from Voyager, Cirroc Lofton and Chase Masterson from Deep Space Nine, Gary Graham from Enterprise, and even James Cawley from New Voyages. The story dealt with an aging, vengeful Charlie X using the Guardian of Forever to remove James Kirk from the timeline. In terms of the movies I guess you could call it… oh, Star Trek 6.5, let’s say. You can read more about it here, and view the whole movie here.

But the reason I brought it up is because they’re doing it again. Tim Russ directed Of Gods and Men and he’s reassembled a lot of the same cast and crew for the pilot to a new series, Star Trek: Renegades.

The web site is here, and the new trailer for the project is here. The short version, as nearly as I can tell, is that it’s basically the Dirty Dozen in Starfleet. Which sounds like fun to me, and the cast they’ve lined up is pretty impressive considering it’s a crowdfunded fan project. Julie and I are certainly looking forward to it.


One for Kelly: And finally, speaking of fan films, here’s a Wonder Woman short that showed up a couple of months ago, for the three or four of you that missed it.

I’m not all that invested in Wonder Woman as a character but it always has befuddled me that the fan films about her generally are better than the official ones. If I was the Time-Warner guy in charge of the new movie, I’d be trying to get this actress on the phone to at least come in and read for Diana. Your mileage may vary.


And there you go. Back next week with a full column, I promise. See you then.


I actually have the Executioner omnibus you mention, never realized it was a collectible. Although the first three stories are less polished in some ways than what would follow, I think that overall they’re better stories because they are also less formulaic.

Thanks Greg for the great plug:) You’re awesome!

And great to hear you’re a fan of the spiritual godfather to the Punisher, Mack Bolan too:)

I’ve long felt that the first 7 Executioner books would make a terrific series of movies. After that, they started to strain credulity, as Bolan became more invincible-seeming the longer he kept going. And once they switched him to a government operative I lost interest.
And you know that Pendleton didn’t write #16, right? When he and the publisher were having a dispute, they went ahead and commissioned another writer to continue the series w/out his okay.

I scrolled through the Gateway article. And scrolled. And scrolled. And as I scrolled, I called out to my partner in the other room “OK, now we have the Shadow King. And the N’Garai. And Daredevil. And the Wendigo.” when I got to Galactus, I felt like it had to be the Yahtzee moment, and so it seems that it was.

Mr. Adler, I applaud your encyclopedic knowledge and this application of it. I am in awe.

Nathan, I see a mention of Prince Gaynor in your article.

I hope you are aware that he is an “import” to Marvel? Not that it diminishes your speculations at all, but he is a far more significant character in Moorcocks Eternal Champion tales than in Marvel stories (where he had a single appearance). You may even find his stats on Chaosium’s Elric-related RPGs.

Thanks so much Steve:) And what about my Black Bolt/ Gateway denouement after Galactus:)

And hey Luis, go back and check out the X-Men’s calling card left behind in the Savage Land in Uncanny X-Men Annual #12 or #269 and compare that with the star-symbol on Prince Gaynor’s shield in Conan the Barbarian #15 and tell me that Claremont did not have plans there. Gaynor was damned by an unknown necromancy and what’s the bet he didn’t intend it to be the same as that Kulan Gath was cursed by, the magick of the N’Garai!

Congratulations on finding that Executioner book. I never really got into those, but I know the feeling of finding something you’ve been wanting for years, esp. if you didn’t pay much money for it.
Saw that Wonder Woman short a while back; I don’t know if she can actually act, but man, she has a commanding presence. She looks the part better than any of the ‘big name’ actresses who’ve been proposed for the role.
As for the other links, don’t know if I should be thanking you for the link to Nathan’s site. I’ve zero interest in the outback X-men, but looking over his categories and just some of his posts from earlier this year, I can see myself idling away many an hour there…
But thank you wholeheartedly for alerting me to the Renegades project. I absolutely loved Of Gods & Men, so I’m really stoked for this. I also have to ask: why, instead of doing that J.J. Abrams reboot, didn’t Paramount let Russ and this crew take over the Trek franchise?

Thanks Edo for the great comments.

And hey I’m always after guest contributors so if someone else has a FIX out there they’re itching to tackle, comment on my blog here:

…leaving your email address and I’ll get in touch:)

And hey Greg, your plug has increased my traffic to record-breaking levels so can’t thank you enough (and hey you’re a fan of “fixing” so would love a contribution from you too:)

“I’d be trying to get this actress on the phone to at least come in and read for Diana. ”

Except that there is no acting in that trailer. What I see is a beautiful model who looks appropriate for the role, and some good production. So many movies have failed based on the assumption that someone who looks the part can play the role.

Yeah, that’d be why she would have to read for it. To see if she could act. That’s what that is for.

My dad LOVED those Mack Bolan books. I remember he did my nerd heart proud by carrying a “want list” with him to any used book store he could find, trying to track down those volumes he was missing. I believe he finally did collect the first 200 or so, plus a good chunk of the Stony Man volumes, before he passed away. After he died, my mom donated them to the local county jail for the prisoners there to have something to read. Fitting somehow…

As for me, I discovered the Outlanders series that Gold Eagle published a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. I have the whole 60+ volume run of the books and I am waaaayyy behind in reading them. I just finished volume 26…sigh, some day, when I actually have time to sit down and get some reading done…

Nathan: The symbol on Prince Gaynor’s shield was a standard-issue chaos symbol from Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion stories. It definitely penetrated pretty far into general counterculture/geek culture usage, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Claremont and/or the artists he worked with poached the symbol for use elsewhere. But it’s very flimsy evidence to connect the X-Men mythos to the Elric one.


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