Tag Archives: Jerry Whitworth

Who Are The West Coast Avengers?

Who Are The West Coast Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the emergence of White Vision in WandaVision and U.S. Agent in the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that the stage is being set for the West Coast Avengers. Introduced in 1984 in a miniseries of the same name, the West Coast Avengers was an extension of the Avengers lead by Hawkeye based out of Palos Verdes. Founded initially with Mockingbird, Wonder Man, Tigra, and Iron Man (James Rhodes), the group came to add Henry Pym, Moon Knight, Vision (who became White Vision around this time), Scarlet Witch, and U.S. Agent in the ensuing years (later becoming Force Works under Tony Stark). While Marvel’s characters typically sprung out of New York, in the 1970s a number of heroes started to appear in California including Werewolf by Night, Daredevil, Black Widow, Moon Knight, Black Goliath, Spider-Woman, and the Shroud as 1975 saw the formation of the Champions in Los Angeles lead by Black Widow with the Angel, Ghost Rider, Hercules, and Iceman. Lets take a look at what a West Coast Avengers could be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Who Are The Dark Avengers?

Who Are The Dark Avengers? by Jerry Whitworth

With the introduction of Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent in the season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, speculation has arisen that in addition to the likely introduction of the Thunderbolts in the near future, the stage may be being set for the Dark Avengers as well. Introduced as part of the Dark Reign event, the Dark Avengers was the brainchild of Norman Osborn who, in the wake of Secret Invasion, was made the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. which he transitioned into the new organization H.A.M.M.E.R. Previously the head of the Thunderbolts, Osborn saw that group become a covert ops team while the Dark Avengers were founded as an extension of the Thunderbolts for H.A.M.M.E.R. with supervillains posing as the Avengers. The original team in the comics was composed of Moonstone in the role of Ms. Marvel, Venom/formerly Scorpion as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, and Daken as Wolverine with Ares as a stand-in for Thor and Osborn adopting a red, white, and blue version of the Iron Man armor as Iron Patriot. Heroes the Sentry and Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel rounded out the group. U.S. Agent was added to the team a number of years after. Lets take a look at what the Marvel Cinematic Universe version could entail.

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Top 10: Figures for NECA’s Gargoyles

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.

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Top 10: DC Rogues’ Galleries

Top 10: DC Rogues’ Galleries by Jerry Whitworth

A hero is only as good as the villains they face. Captain America and the Red Skull, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, X-Men and Magneto, Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom, Iron Man and the Mandarin, Thor and Loki, Wolverine and Sabretooth, Hulk and the Leader, Daredevil and the Kingpin, Dr. Strange and Dormammu, Ghost Rider and Mephisto, Punisher and Jigsaw: good villains define great heroes. DC Comics quickly became the ground bed of superheroes following the popularity of Superman and equally gave rise to its share of memorable supervillains. Lets examine which rogues’ galleries are the best the multimedia brand has to offer.

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Make It So: The DC Cinematic Multiverse

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.

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Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants

Generation X: The Original Movie Mutants by Jerry Whitworth

In recent weeks, rumors have spread that Kevin Feige’s remark about ‘mutants’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was meant to mean a change of branding from ‘X-Men’ to ‘mutants’ when its characters make the transition. While Marvel’s plethora of mutants began with the X-Men, in the decades since their inception, the likes of Alpha Flight, Soviet Super-Soldiers, New Mutants, Morlocks, Freedom Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Terminators, X-Force, Team X, XSE: Xavier’s Security Enforcers, Six Pack, X-Ternals, Generation X, Big Hero 6, New X-Men, X-Statix, Exiles, Agency X, and the Young X-Men have sprung up from that well. Interestingly enough, Fox’s X-Men brand began with one of these later groups in Generation X.

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Human Target: The Unlikely Television Hero

Human Target: The Unlikely Television Hero by Jerry Whitworth

With series like The Adventures of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ characters were no strangers to television and often times proved to be culturally iconic. Beyond the trinity and their assorted supporting characters (Supergirl, Batwoman, etc), the likes of company heavyweights such as the Flash, Captain Marvel/Shazam, and Green Arrow made their marks across airwaves as well. But there were also some peculiar characters that made the transition and caught on with viewers. One such character was Swamp Thing, the star of two feature films, two live action television series, and an animated series with accompanying toyline. Undoubtedly, this development arose from the critical acclaim of Alan Moore’s run with the property and a likely desire to diversify from solely superheroes. But arguably a more interesting choice for adaptation was the Human Target.

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Superman Lives: Tim Burton’s Man of Steel

Superman Lives: Tim Burton’s Man of Steel by Jerry Whitworth

With the announcement of Batman ’89 and Superman ’78, the memory of an entity that almost was can be stirred up. 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace effectively ended the life of Superman at the box office while Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) brought superheroes back into theaters. Warner Bros. sought to tap Burton to apply his magic touch to the Man of Steel with Superman Lives. However, three weeks before filming, the motion picture was abruptly canceled. For years, stories have been told about the doomed project with a snapshot of star Nicolas Cage dressed as Superman one of the few relics of this mysterious work. Filmmaker Jon Schnepp finally got to the heart of Superman Lives and revealed its secrets in his 2015 documentary The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?

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Make It So: AEW Comics

Make It So: AEW Comics by Jerry Whitworth

With the recent release of their first mobile game and announcement of new waves of their Unrivaled line of action figures (as well as the upcoming Unmatched line), All Elite Wrestling is expanding its reach beyond pro wrestling by leaps and bounds. It only makes sense then that the brand would reach the printed comic book page. Fans were teased such a development in September 2019 when DC Comics produced posters of some of AEW’s biggest stars. Sam Linsky, senior vice president and co-head of scripted originals for TBS, TNT and truTV, confirmed a more direct collaboration being on the horizon when he told Variety last year, “We have an opportunity to use all facets of WarnerMedia in a way that most places can’t…We’ve got a comic book company. We’ve got video game companies. We’ve got merchandising people. We’ve got people who make animation for television. We’ve got reality television producers. It’s all in house. So we have a real opportunity to spread this IP and grow it across WarnerMedia.” Lets take a look at what that could entail.

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Make It So: Superman ’78/Wonder Woman ’77

Make It So: Superman ’78/Wonder Woman ’77 by Jerry Whitworth

Announced earlier this month, Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres will be bringing back Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) film for the limited comic book series Superman ’78. Little to nothing is known about the title but it’s speculated to take place between the events of the first two motion pictures. While only slated to last six issues, if the book performs well, it could easily lead to more entries. A popular option could be teaming the iconic portrayal of Superman by Christopher Reeve with the equally iconic Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. Something of a double header, Superman dominated the big screen while Wonder Woman was a hit on the small screen in the late ’70s. A combination of the two has been a dream of fans for decades that thus far has only been a fantasy. Lets take a look what such a series could entail.

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Make It So: Batman ’89/TMNT ’90

Make It So: Batman ’89/TMNT ’90 by Jerry Whitworth

Announced earlier in the month, Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones will return to the world of Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman in the limited comic book series Batman ’89. Set to tackle elements that didn’t find its way into the sequel Batman Returns (1992) such as the introduction of Robin and Harvey Dent’s transition to Two-Face, time will tell if the title will prove popular enough to be picked up for more adventures. If so, one route that fans will undoubtedly clamor for would be a crossover with the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films. Featuring stunt work from Golden Harvest and the puppetry of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the TMNT movies were the most successful independent films of its time and helped fuel the franchise’s cultural phenomenon. In recent years, the two brands have certainly been no strangers to each other.

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Bat-Snacks: The History of Batman and Mystery, Inc.

Bat-Snacks: The History of Batman and Mystery, Inc. by Jerry Whitworth

On March 27th, the first digital chapters of Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries will begin being released teaming the Dark Knight and Mystery, Inc. The two entities have a history of teaming together dating back nearly five decades beginning in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. A team up series that saw the likes of the Addams Family, Harlem Globetrotters, Three Stooges, and Laurel and Hardy crossing over with Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo, the Dynamic Duo of Batman and Robin appeared for two episodes to help combat the Joker and the Penguin. The appearances were viewed as something of a pilot for Filmation losing the DC Comics license to Hanna-Barbera making way for the failed first season of Super Friends. While Filmation focused on action for its adaptation, Super Friends followed a tone much more in line with Scooby-Doo avoiding violence and went so far as to feature an intelligent canine named Wonder Dog and teenagers Wendy Harris and Marvin White. The series lasted one season but returned a few years later to coincide with the success of the Wonder Woman television series (sans Wonder Dog). It took nearly four decades for Batman and Scooby-Doo to again cross paths.

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Make It So: Flash ’90

Make It So: Flash ’90 by Jerry Whitworth

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.

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From Screen to Page: Superman ’78

From Screen to Page: Superman ’78 by Jerry Whitworth

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. The latter will feature the work of Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres but few details have thus far been released about the plot. Torres has a long history of producing fan art of the Christopher Reeve Superman and scenes from Donner’s films of the character. An intriguing aspect regarding the Donner Superman movies is that the first two motion pictures of the series were filmed simultaneously with a reported 75% of the sequel completed before the first entry was finished. Donner, however, wouldn’t have the opportunity to finish the follow-up when disagreements led to his removal from the project. The world finally gained a better semblance of Donner’s vision for Superman II (1980) in 2006 with the release of the Donner Cut which tried to set a more serious tone with a greater focus on action. Donner had plans for a third and fourth Superman film before his removal which may inform what Superman ’78 could entail.

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From Screen to Page: Batman ’89

From Screen to Page: Batman ’89 by Jerry Whitworth

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. The former will feature Batman (1989) screenwriter Sam Hamm and artist Joe Quinones tackling story elements that didn’t make it into Batman Returns (1992). Following Batman ’66, which was based in the world of the 1966 Batman television series, and Wonder Woman ’77 based on The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, Joe Quinones and Kate Leth pitched a Batman ’89 series in 2015. Quinones revealed this series would have seen the return of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent transition to Two-Face, and Tim Burton-inspired versions of Robin, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. This series was rejected but could indicate some of what’s to come especially with Quinones’ involvement in the upcoming title. Lets take a look at what Batman ’89 could entail.

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