Sunday, September 25, 2011

Captain's Library: ZORRO "Presenting Senor Zorro" Part 1

Besides The Green Hornet, another multi-media masked hero was Zorro...
...but we'll go into more detail after the story unfolds...
Having successfully appeared in prose (a series of pulp novels and novellas), movies (both several features and a series of serials, some of whom feature a "Zorro" in name only), and comic books, Walt Disney adapted the character in a half-hour dramatic tv series, starring dynamic Guy Williams as Zorro / Don Diego.
Plotwise, the series did four 13-episode story arcs, each with a complete plotline involving a different villain. (This was dropped in the second season in favor of 3-5 episode storylines.)
The character's debut on October 10, 1957 had a similar pop-culture effect as Disney's earlier hero adaptation, Davy Crockett; Zorro-Mania spread thru the country!
Film historian Leonard Maltin and Guy Williams, Jr with just a few of the many products created during the show's run!
The ratings stayed solid for both seasons of the show's run, with little sign of cancellation in sight, when a dispute occurred between Disney and ABC, who broadcast the show!
As a result, Disney pulled all it's programming (including Zorro, Mickey Mouse Club, and DisneyLand), from ABC, sending a revamped version of DisneyLand (retitled Walt Disney Presents) to NBC, where it ran (under various names) from 1961 to 1981!
Walt Disney presents aired four NEW hour-long Zorro episodes!
Ironically, today Disney owns ABC!

To get back on topic, instead of doing new stories based on the tv series, the comic did adaptations of tv show scripts for the first few issues, all illustrated by Alex Toth, including this re-telling of the character's premiere episode!
To Be Continued, Tomorrow!
But not here!
Go to
for the exciting conclusion
and click HERE for an absolutely amazing website about the Walt Disney Zorro tv series!

Check out our 
Western Comics online store...
 ...for duds and provisions!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Captain's Library: THE GREEN HORNET "Crime at Floodtime" Conclusion

The original art for the cover for this issue
In 1946, The Boy Heroes were watching a TV broadcast of The Green Hornet's "latest" adventure as he battles a group of criminals using a captured Japanese mini-sub to loot a flooded town.
Lenore Case, assisting Britt Reid in covering the flood for his newspaper, The Daily Sentinel, was captured after she inadvertently stumbled upon the crooks' base of operations in an abandoned lighthouse.
Casey manages to activate the lighthouse's lantern, in the hopes of signaling help...
You'll note at this point in time, Casey doesn't know her boss, Britt Reid, is The Hornet.
She admires The Hornet and believes he's a misunderstood "good guy", not a notorious criminal.
Within a year she'll learn her boss' secret identity both in the comics and on the radio show.
Speaking of which, most of The Green Hornet comic stories were derived directly from the radio show scripts.
This one, from All-New Comics #13, was, obviously, not.
And, there's no Kato, Black Beauty or gas-gun in the "tv episode"!
The scriptwriter is unknown, but the artist is Al Avison, who started in the business working for the Joe Simon/Jack Kirby studio and ended up replacing them on Captain America when the legendary duo moved back to DC Comics.

The Boy Heroes were a group of non-superpowered teens who battled everything from spies to ghosts.
Every comics company had at least one such kid group during the Golden Age, almost all of them created by the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, including DC's Newsboy Legion and Boy Commandos and Timely/Marvel's Tough Kid Squad. and, as we see here, Harvey's Boy Heroes!

And don't forget to check out...
The Classic Green Hornet Store
or the kool Green Hornet stuff below from Amazon

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Captain's Library: THE GREEN HORNET "Crime at Floodtime" Part 1

This one's gonna require a bit of an explanation...
This is a never-reprinted Golden Age story from All-New Comics #13 featuring The Green Hornet...on 1946, when The Green Hornet radio show (which the comic was based on) was one of the top-rated series on the air!
Commercial TV broadcasting did begin in 1946, but coast-to-coast transmission wasn't a reality until 1951, and color broadcasting was over a decade away!
(Several syndicated series such as Cisco Kid, Superman, and Lone Ranger filmed later episodes in color, anticipating the reruns would sell better once color tv became the standard, but they initially-aired in b/w!)
And, The Green Hornet tv series wouldn't debut until 20 years later, in 1966!
Yet Simon & Kirby's Boy Heroes not only have a device that receives "coast-to-coast" signals, but it's in color as well!
Enough about the technical side! Let's see what a Green Hornet TV show might've looked like had it been produced in The Golden Age of Television...
Will The Green Hornet rescue Casey?
Can he foil the submarine bandits?
Is that TV set cable-ready or high-def-enabled?
The answers to some of these questions will be found right here...tomorrow!
Same Blog-Time!
Same Blog-Feed!

And don't forget to check out...
The Classic Green Hornet Store

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Captain's Library: CAPTAIN VIDEO "Legion of Evil" Conclusion

Captain Video, accompanied by the young Video Ranger, meets an old friend, a botanist, at a train station.
However, others with an evil agenda have followed the hero and attempt to kidnap the scientist.
Managing to stop the attack, Cap contacts the FBI who confirm that another scientist, Prof Harry Peters, is carrying vital atomic secrets that must reach FBI headquarters, and that the evildoers mistakenly followed Captain Video, believing he was meeting the atomic expert!
The criminals attack again, and the heroic duo lure them away from the train.
Evading capture, the Captain and Ranger return to their futuristic aircraft, the WhirloJet, to fly to their headquarters and use it's advanced technology to find the now-missing Professor Peters!
But they are intercepted by a flight of unidentified jet fighters who engage them in a dogfight!
Though badly outnumbered, Captain Video's superior flying skills and advanced weaponry enable him to defeat the armada of enemy aircraft.
Inspecting the wreckage, Video and the Ranger discover the pilots are high-profile criminals, normally bitter enemies, who are now working together to capture the atomic scientist!
Returning to his secret base with the prisoners, Captain Video learns Prof. Peters has managed to reach FBI headquarters, which then comes under armed assault...
That's a helluva lot of story to cover in one tale, and it wasn't even the cover feature!
Though the Grand Comics Database lists George Evans as the penciler and inker of this tale from Captain Video #2, a number of pages show the unmistakable layouts of penciler Bob Brown, who has numerous credits for DC, Atlas (Marvel) and St. John during this period, but none for Fawcett (Captain Video's publisher).
However, in this era, it wasn't unusual for artists who either worked in the same studio space or lived near each other to help to meet deadlines.
So I'm going to go with Bob Brown on pencils and George Evans on inks.
The writer, though, is unknown.

and the kool Captain Video stuff from Amazon, available below!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Captain's Library: CAPTAIN VIDEO "Legion of Evil" Part 1

What happens when the world's villains team-up against Captain Video?
For one thing, you discover that you don't mess with Captain Video...
Long-standing enemies teaming up to fight Captain Video?
An assault on F.B.I. Headquarters?
The answers to this tale from Captain Video #2 can be found here, tomorrow...
Same Video Time!
Same Video RSS Feed!

and the kool Captain Video stuff from Amazon, available below!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Captain's Library: ROCKY JONES: SPACE RANGER "Space Infantry"

Since it's Labor Day, and students are heading back to school tomorrow...
...lets look at the school days of the newest space hero in our line up, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger!
Sneaky little SoB, ain't he?
Wonder if he had a classmate named James Tiberius Kirk?
Scripter of this tale from 1955's Space Adventures #15 is unknown, but the art is by Ted Galindo, a journeyman artist who did work for Charlton, Prize, and Gold Key from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s.
Oddly, Charlton didn't give Rocky Jones his own title, as most publishers did with licensed characters, but inserted him into the already-established Space Adventures for four issues (and gave him the cover).
The tv series itself was a filmed weekly series, not a live daily series like Captain Video or Tom Corbett: Space Cadet, giving it a slightly "slicker" look (and better special effects) than most of the competitors.
It was syndicated, and ran for 39 episodes over two seasons.
Most of the eps are three-part stories and all of them were re-edited into feature films which were also released to syndication in the 1960s.
Almost all are available on DVD and two of them Crash of the Moons and Manhunt in Space were roasted on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Rocky Jones will return in the near future...