Friday, March 29, 2013

Captain's Library KING OF KINGS: Part 3

You may be wondering "Where's Parts 1 & 2?"...
Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus Christ
...and the answer is; we haven't run them yet!
Since it's Good Friday, we're presenting the Dell Comics adaptation of the final part of the 1961 movie, covering the period from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection.
We'll run the first part around Christmas, and the second shortly after that.
While the writer for this movie adaptation from Dell's Four Color Comics #1236 (1961) is unknown, the artist is Gerald McCann, a pulp artist who moved to comics in the early 1950s and did numerous Classics Illustrated covers and stories including "Abraham Lincoln" and "Ben-Hur".
Some cool "six degrees of separation" trivia:
  • John Huston, who later did a prequel movie, The Bible: In the Beginning, directed Moby Dick, using a screenplay adapted by Ray Bradbury from the Herman Melville novel.
  • Ray Bradbury wrote the voiceovers in King of Kings spoken by Orson Welles.
  • Welles' The Shadow and Mercury Theatre co-star Agnes Moorehead served as dialogue coach to  Jeffrey Hunter (Jesus Christ).
  • Jeffrey Hunter later played Christopher Pike, the first captain of the Starship Enterprise in the pilot episode of Star Trek, "The Cage".
  • Star Trek did an episode, "Bread and Circuses", about a planet where parallel evolution produced a society that resembled a 20th Century version of the Roman Empire, complete with it's own Christians and Jesus Christ (who doesn't appear on-camera, but is mentioned in dialogue)!
Who says comics ain't educational?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Captain's Library: BATTLESTAR GALACTICA Conclusion

Art by Bob Larkin
There are those who believe...that life here began out there, far across the Universe...with tribes of humans...who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians...or the Toltecs...or the Mayans...that they may have been the architects of the Great Pyramids...or the lost civilizations of Lemuria...or Atlantis.
Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man...who even now fight to survive--far, far away amongst the stars...
Betrayed by one of their own to the robotic alien Cylons*, the Twelve Colonies of Man are wiped out in a sneak attack.
The survivors hastily assemble a fleet of ships under the protection of the only remaining Battlestar, and head away from their now-devastated worlds....
This second half of the movie version of Battlestar Galactica was presented by writer Roger McKenzie and artist/colorist/painter Ernie Colon.
Because it was based on an early draft of the script, names (Serina is called Lyra) are different, and some characters who live in both the movie and tv series (including Cassiopeia) die!
(Baltar dies in the feature film, but survives in the TV series.)
This first version of Marvel Super Special #8 (1978) was a full-process color, slick-stock magazine.
However, because the editor didn't get approval from Universal Studios on the final art before it went to press, the vast majority of the copies were ordered pulped!
(This story has been confirmed by both then-Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter and the book's artist Ernie Colon.)
Changes in both script and art were made, and the book was reissued as an oversized Treasury edition, with standard comic book "flat" coloring and a new pen-and-ink cover based on the Bob Larkin cover painting!
The story was modified again when it was expanded to fill the first three issues of the ongoing Battlestar Galactica comic book...including keeping both Baltar and Cassie alive!
*Though the Cylons' Imperious Leader appears reptilian, he is as much a robot as the others, though based on the image of the humanoid lizards who created the robots!
While never stated specifically, it's implied the robots overthrew and eliminated their masters, whom they deemed "imperfect".