Top 10: Figures for NECA’s Gargoyles by Jerry Whitworth
With the surprise announcement of NECA obtaining the Gargoyles license and the release of images of the forthcoming Goliath action figure, social media melted down. The cult favorite animated series from the 1990s, rallies have ridden like waves for Gargoyles to continue. In recent memory, hope sprung from campaigns to stream the series on Disney+ to show interest in the brand and from director Jordan Peele allegedly pursuing a feature film adapting it. Pre-orders have already begun for Goliath as five action figure sculpts are completed and more are in development. With a figure planned to be revealed every month, lets take a look at what could be coming down the line.
Make It So: The DC Cinematic Multiverse by Jerry Whitworth
With the announcement of Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 from DC Comics following in the footsteps of series such as Batman ’66, Wonder Woman ’77, Smallville: Season 11, and assorted Arrowverse comics, the stage is set to tell a comic book story in the DC cinematic multiverse. A lot of the groundwork for this kind of series has already been established in the Arrowverse thanks in no small part to its Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. Therein, the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline was adapted in a toned down version featuring characters from the 1990 Flash television series, Smallville, and the DC Extended Universe, to name a few, as several Earths were merged into one and cutoff from the rest of the greater multiverse. Lets take a look at what a DC cinematic multiverse comic book series could entail.
Recently it was announced DC Comics will be publishing Batman ’89 and Superman ’78, comic book miniseries based on the Tim Burton Batman and Richard Donner Superman film series, respectively. Not long after, Jamal Igle offered the services of Sterling Gates and himself for Flash ’90, a sequel to the 1990 Flash television series. In 1988, Warner Bros. wanted to start adapting its properties for live action television again with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the rear view mirror of being hits in the respective ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. CBS had interest in a series based on the adventures of the Flash and tapped Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo to adapt it for the small screen. The release of Batman (1989) proved to be heavily influential for the series, setting a darker tone with a detailed, molded superhero suit, a modern setting in a background with a 1940s aesthetic, and an orchestral soundtrack. Already an expensive prospect, the special effects nature of the character’s adventures made the show carry a high price tag (the pilot alone cost six million dollars with the average episode costing nearly two million, which accounting for inflation would be worth double that today). Sadly, the show ended after a single season of 22 episodes when it failed to defeat NBC’s The Cosby Show and Fox’s The Simpsons, television juggernauts of their time with pre-existing audiences. Lets see what a Flash ’90 series could entail.
Top 10: Cartoons That Need to be Revived by Jerry Whitworth
Nostalgia is a powerful force and with the kids of the 1980s, arguably the most creative decade in modern history, hitting middle age, the time is ripe to mine those happy memories. While reboots are nothing new, sequels to pre-existing television series have exploded in recent history. Akira Toriyama returned to his hit Dragon Ball with Dragon Ball Super, Young Justice was revived for the DC Universe streaming service (and now HBO Max), Rocko’s Modern Life developed Static Cling and Invader Zim returned to Enter the Florpus in 2019 for Netflix, Animaniacs added more baloney to their slacks on Hulu, Masters of the Universe: Revelation will continue the story started by Filmation for Netflix, Disney+ will make the Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, Tiny Toons is going back to school for HBO Max‘s Looniversity, and the rumor mill has X-Men: The Animated Series and Batman: The Animated Series returning. Lets take a look at what other cartoons could be getting a sequel in the future.
Top 10: Episodes for Dark Side of the Ring Season 3 by Jerry Whitworth
Vice’s hit documentary series Dark Side of the Ring is well into production of its expanded third season with eight of its fourteen episodes allegedly revealed. Wrestler Mance Warner shared an image via Twitter claiming season three will include among its topics Brian Pillman, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW), Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW), Nick Gage, WCW/NJPW Collision in Korea 1995, Smith Family (including Jake “The Snake” Roberts), and Ion Croitoru. Mike Johnson of PWInsider also claims an episode on Chris Kanyon is in development. With over half the season revealed, the only question that remains is what will fill out the rest of the series’ third installment. We already know what will not be included in Chyna/Joanie Laurer. Following the announcement of the third season, it was revealed plans included featuring the deceased performer but were scrapped when it was learned her family was already well into producing a documentary film on her life and untimely passing. Lets then take a look at what could still emerge in the series this year.
Posted in 1990s, CHIKARA, CHIKARA, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Professional Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, Wrestling
Tagged Dark Side of the Ring, ECW, Jerry Whitworth, Top 10, WCW, WWE, WWF
Power Rangers and the Rise of Anime in America by Jerry Whitworth
Anime (Japanese animation) has made its way to the United States for decades. Astro Boy, Gigantor, and Speed Racer paved the way for Battle of the Planets and Star Blazers which lead to Voltron and Robotech. Series trickled in slowly until the 1990s where it seemed like a veritable explosion lead to anime becoming staples of programming blocks like Fox Kids, Kids’ WB, and Toonami. The rise in popularity of anime is generally attributed to the cultural phenomenon of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Debuting in 1993, Power Rangers was created by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy using footage from Japanese production studio Toei and its super sentai series. The relationship between America and super sentai predated Power Rangers, super sentai owing a fair deal of its life to a relationship between Toei and Marvel Comics. Super sentai toys were even produced in the United States by Mattel as part of their Shogun Warriors line (itself bringing anime to the US in Force Five), the line which created Marvel’s initial arrangement with Toei. By the time Power Rangers captivated America, super sentai existed for nearly two decades in Japan inspiring content there over that time (aforementioned series like Battle of the Planets likely helped inspire super sentai where Voltron was produced by Toei and aired the same year as Marvel and Toei’s final co-produced super sentai series). The first anime series to come to America based on the popularity of Power Rangers was Ronin Warriors in 1995.
I hope you got your passport ready. We’re travelling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in this latest edition of The Wrestling Time Machine.
“And what is the nature of your visit, Mr. Nature Boy?”
(Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Weapons)
Posted in 1990s, 1995, Extreme Championship Wrestling, Professional Wrestling, The Wrestling Time Machine, World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, Wrestling, Wrestling Time Machine
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