Friday, October 30, 2015

Captain's Library SUPERGIRL: THE MOVIE "Conclusion"

...exiled to the Phantom Zone by the sorceress Selina, Supergirl encounters Zaltar, her eccentric friend from Argo City whose machinations led to the loss of the Omegahedron, a Kryptonian power source now in the possession of Selina.
To ensure Kara returns the Omegahedron to Argo City, Zaltar leads her to the one, incredibly-dangerous, way out of the Phantom Zone...
The sequence with Selina's evil doppleganger did not appear in the final film.
In the movie, the monster she battled earlier reappears and almost destroys her before she sends it, Selina, and Bianca into the Quantum Vortex.
Writer Joey Cavalieri and artist Gray Morrow were working from earlier drafts of the script, and included elements that either were not filmed at all or were cut from the American theatrical version of the movie.
The DVD/Blu Ray versions (there are several) all contain bits and pieces of story that were not in the American release.
The most complete version is the HTF novelization by Norma Fox Mazer, a noted juvenile book author of the 70s-90s.
Here's the Gray Morrow original art for the final page of the story....
And watch Supergirl on CBS for the adventures of the new live-action Kara Zor-El!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Captain's Library SUPERGIRL: THE MOVIE "Part 3"

...searching for the Omegahedron (a Kryptonian power source lost on Earth), Kara creates the identity of Clark Kent's (aka Superman's) cousin, Linda Lee to become a student at Midvale School where she's given a dorm room with Lois Lane's younger sister, Lucy.
Meanwhile, evil sorceress Selina (who now posesesses the Omegahedron without knowing its' full capabilities) sends an invisible creature to destroy Kara after the teenager interferes with the sorceress' attempt to seduce young gardner Ethan...
The creature "seen" in this battle in the comic (and in the French poster at the top of this post) is never shown clearly in the movie.
It reappears in the finale of the film, but not the comic, which features Supergirl battling a different monster!
The saga continues, tomorrow, back at our "sister" blog, Heroines!
Extra: Here's a scan of the original art for page 29.
A lot sharper and clearer than the printed page.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Captain's Library SUPERGIRL: THE MOVIE "Part 1"

How Kara Zor-El traveled to Earth...
...from the never-reprinted Supergirl Movie Special comic adaptation!
Will she like it on Earth?
Find out tomorrow on our "sister" blog Heroines!
Written by Joey Cavalieri, illustrated by Gray Morrow, this tale contains story elements not in the American theatrical release, since they were working from earlier versions of the film's script!
Here's a special treat.
The printing on the Supergirl Movie Special was, to put it bluntly, horrible.
DC was experimenting with ways to keep costs down, and one of them was switching from then-standard letterpress printing to less-expensive flexographic printing, which, unfortunately produced rather blotchy printing in solid color areas and loss of detail in linework.
(It was meant for use on cardboard, plastic, metal...almost everything else besides the newsprint that comic book interiors were printed on!)
Here's a few of the pages seen above, scanned from the original art...
Page 1
Page 7
Page 10

Friday, October 23, 2015

The ORIGINAL Live-Action Supergirl is Coming...!

...starting on Monday, the day the series debuts, we (along with our "sister" blog Heroines) will be re-presenting the never-reprinted comics adaptation of the 1985 Supergirl movie!
You'll see her origin, from the time she leaves Argo City to arrive on Earth.
You'll discover her connections to Superman (including family and friends)!
You'll see action in the comic from the original movie script that's not in the final film!
Don't miss it...or the TV series!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 3)

In 1966, Bat-mania joined Bond-mania, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. followed suit...
...combining elements of both genres into the new season of TV episodes, and the next couple of feature films.
Note: the movies were now based on two-part episodes to cut down on the amount of new footage needed to achieve 90-minute to 2-hour running times!
Due to lower ticket sales, this was the last U.N.C.L.E. film until the recent reboot to play in American theatres.
All the remaining movies played in theatres overseas and went direct to American TV.
Based on the 2nd season opener, "The Alexander the Greater Affair", One Spy Too Many added footage of future Batgirl Yvonne Craig as UNCLE commander Alexander Waverly's niece, Maude, working in communications tracking Solo and Kuryakin on their assignment.
Craig also appeared in new scenes shot for...
... as "Wanda" replacing scenes of another actress who appeared as Wanda, a communications technician in the two-part episode this film was edited from, "The Bridge of Lions Affair".
Did You Know?...This was the only UNCLE episode or movie adapted from an existing novel (which didn't feature anybody from UNCLE); The Bridge of Lions by Henry Slesar.
Based on "The Concrete Overcoat Affair", Spy in the Green Hat added outtakes considered too violent for broadcast TV...but no new footage was shot!
 Did You Know?: Will Kuluva, who played UNCLE head Mr Allison in the Solo pilot that sold Man from U.N.C.L.E. to NBC and the UNCLE movie To Trap a Spy adapted from it, is the title character, a THRUSH bigwig!
No new footage was shot for this movie, edited from the two-part episode "The Five Daughters Affair", but footage cut by NBC censors due to violence was added back, along with a new music score.
Based on "The Prince of Darkness" two-parter, this film added only a couple of minor shots cut by NBC for violence and sexual content.
Appropriately, the final feature film was derived from the final two episodes of the TV series and was released after the show was cancelled.
It's also the only film not to have any footage added, not even already-shot material cut by NBC censors!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 2)

Pleased with the overseas box-office success of To Trap a Spy, MGM decided in 1965 to release another feature consisting of the episode "The Double Affair" with new footage added to extend it to 90 minutes or so.
And, this time, they put the flick in American theatres as well!
You'll note that the American poster mentions U.N.C.L.E. and the fact you'd see the characters in color.
That's because the TV series' first season was produced and aired in black and white, a common practice since most American households still had b/w TV sets!
Here's the trailer for the film...
In 1966 both films were released as a double-feature in response to a similar move by United Artists doing the same thing with their earlier James Bond films (and raking in big bucks doing so)...
At this point, the TV show was both in color and at the height of its' popularity, so the posters no longer needed to play up the "in color" angle!
The feature film fun continues...tomorrow!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Return to Movies (Part 1)

The new Man from U.N.C.L.E. film is not Solo and Kuryakin's first cinema appearance...
...but it is the first time the entire movie was shot for theatrical release.
Let me explain.
In 1964, spies were the hot pop culture commodity thanks to the runaway success of Sean Connery's James Bond films Dr No and From Russia with Love.
Hoping to capitalize on the fad, all three TV networks demanded series pilots featuring spies.
MGM's entry was Solo, starring Robert Vaughn as U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo. along with David McCallum in a minor role as agent Illya Kuryakin.
NBC liked it and bought the show, but demanded several changes, including retitling the show.
The pilot aired as "The Vulcan Affair", with several minor changes including reshooting all the scenes with the head of U.N.C.L.E., who was recast, and dubbing "THRUSH" into everyone's dialogue to replace "WASP" as the name of the badguys' organization.
One other note: "The Vulcan Affair" was broadcast in black and white (as was the entire first season of the show) since most American households still only had b/w TVs!
To recover costs for the expensive pilot, MGM shot several additional scenes with actress Luciana Paluzzi as a WASP agent trying to seduce and kill Napoleon Solo to get the running time up to about 90 minutes and released the finished film as To Trap a Spy!
You'll note there's no mention of "U.N.C.L.E." on the poster, since the show hadn't aired outside of the US at that point, so it was promoted as a Bond-like spy pic!
Here's the theatrical trailer for the movie...
...which mentions, at the very end, the tv series as the basis for the movie.
It did moderately-good box office overseas, which resulted in another theatrical release, which we'll show you...tomorrow!
BTW, you can catch the Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV series Sunday nights at 10pm ET/7pm PT on MeTV as part of their...
...lineup which also includes the original Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, and, The Saint!

Friday, June 26, 2015

RIP Patrick Macnee 1922-2015

John Steed
Count Iblis
Imperious Leader
Dr John Watson 
(opposite Roger Moore and Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes)
Dr George Waggner
Invisible Jones
Sir John Raleigh
and, on one occasion, Sherlock Holmes

You will be missed

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Many Incarnations of Dobie Gillis (Conclusion)

Though The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis left first-run TV in 1964, it still lives on... the "inspiration" for the Scooby-Doo crew in their newest series, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, coming in Fall 2015 on Boomerang!
Just as "The Honeymooners set in prehistoric times" served as the thematic basis for The Flintstones, "Dobie Gillis & friends (along with a talking dog) solving crimes" was the basis for every Scooby-Doo series (over a dozen since 1969, plus two live-action feature films and numerous tv-movies, both animated and live-action)
The parallels are obvious:
Fred (handsome, athletic, slightly dense) = Dobie
Shaggy (lazy, slang-using) = Maynard
Daphne (beautiful) = Thalia
Velma (brainy, frumpy) = Zelda
Note that this proposal was the second version of the concept pitched to the networks.
The first one, based on the concept of "The Archies (the cartoon musical group who had been on the air for a year) and a talking dog (not Hot Dog) solving crimes" had been rejected!
The detailed, well-researched explanation can be found HERE.
But, wait!
There's more!
An urban legend postulates that Many Loves of Dobie Gillis was actually a reworked Archie tv series proposal!
Interesting idea...except that Dobie was based on Max Shulman's previously-published stories.
Plus, Dobie's premise was to have numerous girlfriends...hence the name "Many Loves of..."
An idea reinforced in the pilot's epilogue (which was cut when the show actually aired, since it was meant to be seen only by network executives and potential sponsors...
BTW, you may note two performers with sci-fi/fantasy connections:
Dobie's older brother is Ron Ely who would later play Tarzan, Doc Savage, and the Golden Age Superman.
(When Dobie was greenlighted, Dwayne Hickman's real-life older brother Darryl Hickman played Dobie's reel-life older brother who appeared in several first-season episodes, then disappeared!)
And the dark-haired girl is Yvonne Craig aka Barbara Gordon/Batgirl from the 1960s tv series!
(Yvonne appeared five times on Dobie, more than any other non-regular, each time as a different girl!)
While there had been a successful Archie radio series, there was no Archie tv pilot produced until 1964, the year Dobie went off the air.
The pilot didn't sell.
There was also a 1976 pilot that would've starred David Caruso as Archie, but he was replaced at the last minute before filming began.
You can see the details of the two pilots (as well as the 1964 pilot itself HERE.
And now for the kicker...
In 1999, a new animated series debuted about a group of teenagers investigating unusual happenings and crimes.
No, it wasn't one of the many Scooby-Doo series, though there was a new animated tv-movie that year!
It was...
You'll note Jughead's use of Shaggy's catchphrase...on the cover, yet!
The show ran only one year (plus reruns).
The spin-off comic outlived it by two years!
To recap, Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (supposedly inspired by Archie) inspired Scooby-Doo, which, in turn, inspired Archie's Weird Mysteries!
Reality is stranger than fiction!
This post is part of...
 Click HERE for a complete list of links to other retro-kool entries!