As a kid, my favorite superheroes were the Flash and Green Lantern. The Flash, because his real power wasn’t super-speed; his speed was a tool he used, but his real power was that he was smart – he outsmarted his opponents. Green Lantern worked on two levels. First, he had a ring that was functionally magic; if he could think of it, the ring could do it. Second, and more importantly, the ring ran on willpower. He had to bring resolve to the fight, to dig in and hold on and never give up, because if he didn’t, the ring would fail. He kept that willpower up through something completely unique to comics: his daily oath.
In case you haven’t heard about it, here’s a tale of the time Disney ran into “the Streisand Effect.” The event took place in 1984, when the World Wide Web didn’t yet exist and very few people outside of the military or academia had email; even Disney still routed typed memos by hand via office workers. The story revolves around the making of ‘The Great Mouse Detective’.
A recent discussion touched on stories and characters on film that none of us ever believed Hollywood would touch, and that got me thinking about movies I could never have dreamed of. And that got me dreaming of them.
The books pile up. The to-be-read stack is getting a little high again. And the review pile is just embarrassing.
For whatever reason, I seem to be on several mailing lists for book reviewers and book marketing people. Occasionally they want to ask me stuff and so I answer them.
Since the Live-action portion of this retrospective got so long (so much bad TV, so many boneheaded choices, so many heroes, so little budget!), I split off the animated section into a separate post, so here we are.
We talked about the history of superheroes on TV a couple of weeks ago, and got through the 1960s. Naturally we can’t leave off there, so here’s part 2, covering the ’70s and ’80s. After Batman ended, the networks moved on to other genres. There were a lot of westerns, WWII shows, sitcoms, cop shows, doctor shows, detective shows, and a handful of sci-fi shows, some of which were close enough to superheroes for me.