2021 is proving to be the year for Super7 and its Ultimates line. Built off the back of its iconic Masters of the Universe Ultimates, the line went on to adapt the likes of Ren & Stimpy, Toxic Crusaders, ThunderCats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Andre the Giant, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Conan the Barbarian, Disney, Voltron, and the Major Wrestling Podcast. Alluded to earlier, this year alone added the Good Brothers, Transformers, SilverHawks, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and Godzilla to its ever expanding licenses. The question remains what could be next for the company with the likes of licenses such as the Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, Star Trek, Predator, Terminator, Arrowverse, Hellboy, Capcom, Alien, Robotech, Universal Monsters, Shogun Warriors, Legends of Lucha Libre, Robocop, Jem, Army of Darkness, G.I. Joe, and the Munsters having already passed through its doors. It should be mentioned, the likes of Marvel Comics, Wizarding World (Harry Potter), Middle-earth (Lord of the Rings), Jurassic Park/World, WWE, and AEW seem unlikely as they already have a number of toy distributors in place. Lets take a look at what could be coming to the Ultimates line.
With Super7 getting the license to produce a Super Cyborg Cobra B.A.T. from G.I. Joe and three waves of Transformers Ultimates toys currently in the pipeline, chances are better than good a G.I. Joe Ultimates line is only a matter of time. And with a mysterious social media announcement of news of a future collaboration between the brands coming July 15th, the odds are even better. Like with many of the Ultimate figures we’ve seen up to this point, these toys will be based on the popular animated variations of the past. Keeping this in mind, the featured characters will be based on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (mixed with unique looking options from the comics and toyline that didn’t get animated). So, lets see what could be in the works.
At the start of the year, Super7 announced it acquired the license to produce merchandise based on the SilverHawks brand and recently released images for their first action figures. SilverHawks Ultimates arrives in Spring 2022 and will initially include Quicksilver, Steelheart, Buzz-Saw, and Mon*Star. Following the success of ThunderCats, SilverHawks featured the adventures of Earth-born cyborg peacekeepers in the 29th century known as the SilverHawks as they battled the Mon*Star Gang in the galaxy of Limbo. Airing for one season of 65 episodes in 1986 with a toyline from Kenner the following year, SilverHawks emerged at a time when the action figure market collapsed under its own weight as the likes of G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, and Transformers struggled on store shelves. Super7 previously acquired the license to produce ThunderCats merchandise including an Ultimates line with four waves thus far (with a Thundertank coming in Winter 2022) and a ReAction line with two waves. Only time will tell if TigerSharks is in the future. Lets take a look at what figures could emerge in future waves of SilverHawks Ultimates.
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.
Top 10: Characters for Batman: The Animated Series Return by Jerry Whitworth
Since the end of Batman: The Animated Series and its sequel series The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond, fans have clamored for a return to that world. Giving rise to the so-called DC Animated Universe which included shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Lobo, Gotham Girls, Static Shock, The Zeta Project, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited, the brand has seen a recent resurgence with films like Batman and Harley Quinn (2017) and Justice League vs. the Fatal Five (2019). However, if rumors are to be believed, Batman: The Animated Series will be getting a sequel web-exclusive series. Entertainment insider Daniel Richtman reported earlier in the month that HBO Max is well into development of the project with acclaimed director Kevin Smith recently claiming he has also heard this rumor about a month ago from his own insiders. Breaking the internet, the world now eagerly awaits official confirmation. While we wait, lets look at what characters might be making the transition to the DCAU in this upcoming proposed series.
Teased at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 and formally announced at Disney’s 2020 Investor Day, the Fantastic Four are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Likely emerging in 2023, Jon Watts of the MCU Spider-Man films is set to direct the upcoming motion picture. Fans have speculated the groundwork for the movie will be set-up everywhere from the upcoming Spider-Man film to the WandaVision series on Disney+ (both projects allegedly tied to 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) to 2022’s Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania to Secret Invasion on Disney+ (likely dropping in 2022). However way by which Marvel’s first family makes the transition, the first question in the audience’s mind is what threat the team will face in their movie. Given the presence of the Kree and Skrull in the MCU already, odds are they’ll be employed elsewhere. With the abject failure of the Inhumans, that project and its characters may never be heard of again in the MCU. As the theatrical rights status of Sub-Mariner remains unknown, Atlantis could likely be overlooked as well. Thus, lets look at what villains could show up in the upcoming Fantastic Four movie.
With the acquisition of Fox by Disney, the X-Men and Fantastic Four have returned to Marvel Studios. Likely emerging in the fifth phase, it’s unknown how the properties are going to be worked into the pre-existing continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe though speculation has the upcoming WandaVision on Disney+ being its point of entry. Given the depth of the X-Men brand, it’s possible an Avengers approach maybe taken where individual characters could be given films before uniting in a team movie. With this in mind, while founders like Professor X, Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Iceman, and Marvel Girl will undoubtedly emerge in the brand and likely in the inevitable team movie, lets take a look at what individual characters could have their own films. Also, it should be considered Deadpool, Cable, and X-Force are likely to continue in their own bubble for the foreseeable future and younger brands like New Mutants, Generation X, and X-Statix would be fertile ground for Disney+ content.
In August, it was announced Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) has signed with Sony to direct a Marvel film set in the Spider-Man universe with a female lead. Joining their Spider-Man, Venom, and emerging Morbius brands (with the likes of Madame Web, Spider-Gwen, Silver Sable, Black Cat, Kraven the Hunter, Sinister Six, Silk, Nightwatch, and Jackpot in various degrees of development), the mystery project is speculated to feature original Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. Created to ensure Marvel had the rights to the name Spider-Woman (something they did again a few years later with She-Hulk for the Hulk) supposedly from hearing about Filmation’s development of what became a Web Woman animated series, the character is in a unique position among the alleged 900 properties Sony has licensed from Marvel. While Sony have the film rights for the Spider-Woman name and costume, Marvel retained the rights for the character’s backstory. Meaning, if done independently, Sony could produce a Spider-Woman superhero film with an entirely new backstory as Marvel could effectively produce a Jessica Drew project so long as she doesn’t don the iconic red and yellow costume or use the name ‘Spider-Woman.’ The situation is not unlike how both Fox and Marvel had their own versions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch for their respective X-Men and Avengers brands. However, with the new working relationship between Marvel and Sony over Spider-Man, it’s believed part of this arrangement means a co-produced Spider-Woman film. This begs the surprisingly complicated question of who is Jessica Drew?
A year ago, Netflix released a documentary entitled Enter the Anime (2019) which purported to define anime and its origins. However, in practice, it was a glorified advertisement for the streaming service’s available Japanese animated series. Recently reminded of the film and the frustration from its lack of educational content, inspiration arose to try and, albeit briefly, discuss anime’s origins and history. Japan’s line from its remarkable and prolific breadth of animation is drawn primarily from one source before blooming into a vast forest (the current landscape dominated by the genre of isekai). Referred to as the God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1928, mere years before Japan’s invasion of the Asian mainland that lead to its alliance with Germany and Italy as part of the Axis faction during World War II. Born into an affluent, educated, liberal family, Tezuka became enamored at a young age with French cinema and American animation, characters like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat a great influence on him. Whereas manga had existed for years prior to Tezuka’s life (the Toba scrolls dating back to the 12th century), the creator blended cinematic impressionism with the expressive nature of American animation to produce a new form of art that became the standard for both manga and anime.
When Star Wars debuted in theaters in 1977, it not only changed cinema but the action figure toy market. The Kenner line of Star Wars gave rise to the collectible action figure market that saw such titans as Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe emerge. DC Comics, wanting to take advantage of this developing industry, awarded a contract to Kenner to produce what became the Super Powers line. Featuring figures modeled after the DC Comics Style Guide drawn by José Luis García-López, Super Powers became one of the most successful lines of the 1980s. As with other notable brands around this time, Super Powers was promoted via comic books and cartoons. For the latter, Hanna-Barbera resurrected Super Friends that saw veteran Batman voice actor Olan Soule (nearly eighty years old by that point) replaced by Adam West (who famously portrayed the character in the 1960s on television) and abandoned the Alex Toth character models in its second season for that inspired by García-López. Sadly, the action figure market bubble burst in 1986 and the Super Powers toyline died after three waves joined by its animated counterpart after two seasons (sixteen episodes in total). In the ensuing years, we’ve come to learn what future waves of the toyline would have entailed. But, we’ll never know where the cartoon would have went. Lets speculate, then, what could have been.
For nearly two years, development of a Nova movie has been rumored as Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has made no secret of his desire to see it made and James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy director, is an admitted superfan of the character. More recently, Nova is rumored to be in development with claims that phase five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will focus around the Fantastic Four, X-Men, Blade, and Nova. Created by Marv Wolfman and John Romita, Nova the Human Rocket debuted in 1976 as a teenage New Yorker superhero in the vein of Spider-Man. Following the destruction of the Nova Corps by alien conqueror and warlord Zorr, the surviving leader of the Xandar-based peacekeeping organization in Nova Prime Rhomann Dey sped to Zorr’s next target: Earth. Suffering from fatal wounds inflicted by Zorr, Dey passed on the awesome power of the Nova Force to a random teenager named Richard Rider. Informing Rider of his new powers and warning of the coming of Zorr via a mind link, the youth fought Zorr and defeated him with aid from Dey before his demise. Taking the name Nova, Rider became a superhero combating the likes of the Terrible Trio (Diamondhead, Condor, and Powerhouse), Sphinx, and Nebula (Zorr’s daughter). Becoming a founding member of the New Warriors and one of the most prominent cosmic heroes in the Marvel universe, Nova seems tailor made for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the debut of Disney+ and the coming of AT&T’s HBO Max, Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Netflix have formalized their working arrangement into a multi-year alliance. Formerly, Nickelodeon offered a streaming channel for its content on AT&T’s service VRV called NickSplat where for $5.99 a month, you could stream shows like All That, Angry Beavers, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, CatDog, Doug, Kenan & Kel, and Rocket Power. Also, Amazon Prime has been home to shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer,Blue’s Clues, Backyardigans, Victorious, Bubble Guppies, Fairly OddParents, and iCarly since 2013 and Philo has been host to Nickelodeon’s content for some years. The while, Netflix has offered virtually every season of Power Rangers (which Nickelodeon has the broadcast rights for in the United States) and Nickelodeon films Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling (2019) and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus (2019). Further, a live action series based on Avatar: The Last Airbender and animated films based on Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Loud House are in development at the service. But as part of this extended partnership, more new content based on Nickelodeon’s catalog of intellectual property is being made for Netflix including a spin-off based on SpongeBob SquarePants‘ Squidward. It’s unknown what effect the likely merger of Viacom and CBS (with its CBS All Access service) in the future will inevitably have in this deal, but for now, lets examine what could be some of the content coming to Netflix.
Greetings! Some of you may know me as Kenny from the podcast and I am the newest member of the Nerdfect Strangers family. And here is the thing, I love reading comics and working at a comic book store I constantly get the question, “what am I reading and why?” So I thought I would share my love of comics with ya’ll. Some spoilers but not too many. Thanks and tell me what your reading. ✌?