Adaptability: A History of Marvel’s Licensed Comics by Jerry Whitworth
Today, comic books are being adapted for film and television at an incredible rate, the industry quickly becoming the go to source for summer blockbusters and highly rated television. However, comic books’ origins lie in licensing and reprinting the content of other companies. While during comics’ earlier years, publishers like National Publications, Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics, and Charlton Comics were the kings of licensing, Marvel Comics (born from the ashes of Timely and Atlas) would enter the fray in the Bronze Age and make adapting licensed material into an art form. An earlier example comes from the estate of Robert E. Howard whose creation Conan would be adapted by Marvel in 1970. Conan the Barbarian by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith would be a monster hit for Marvel (the original series running for 275 issues ending in 1993), spawning the mature spin-off magazine Savage Sword of Conan (also written by Thomas) which proved to be another hit (running 235 issues over twenty one years). Striking gold, Marvel began pulling in more Howard creations soon after like Kull (starring in three series between 1971 to 1985 and a one-shot in 1989), Thulsa Doom (Kull’s nemesis who became a foe of Conan and Cormac Mac Art under Marvel), Bêlit (pirate queen and Conan’s beloved), and Bran Mak Morn (king of the Picts). Thomas and Smith would create the villainous Kulan Gath who, through the arrangement Marvel had with Howard’s estate, would become closely associated with the Conan franchise (adapted later in other companies’ depictions). The creative duo would also produce Red Sonja, loosely based on Howard’s Red Sonya, who proved to be another sales juggernaut.Read More
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/DOCTOR WHO: ASSIMILATION2 #2 Review by Jamie Dunst
Writers: Scott & David Tipton with Tony Lee; Artist: J.K. Woodward; Letters: Shawn Lee; Editor: Denton J. Tipton
With issue two of this particular fanboy’s dream team-up, we see a Enterprise adventure with Picard and his crew on a mission. The story starts off with Geordi and Data having a philosophical discussion about upgrading Data’s parts. Data counters that it’s the parts that he was created with that make him who he is and upgrading that would in a sense change that. The Enterprise’s mission supposed to be a simple meet and greet with a group of Starfleet Corps of Engineers on a planet where the local inhabitants aren’t the most welcoming of strangers. It turns out that the conditions these engineers are under for their mission is very hazardous and after an incident that causes the death of some of the engineer’s lives and injures more, the Enterprise makes arrangements for this group to get more help. When asked why the risk is so important, it’s revealed that the material that this group is mining for will help Starfleet get their fleet of ships up and running after the devastation of their loss at the Battle of Wolf 359. For those that aren’t in the know, that was a battle from a two part TNG episode called “The Best of Both Worlds” where Starfleet got their butts kicked good by the Borg.Read More
Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation2
review by Jamie Dunst
Writers: Scott & David Tipton with Tony Lee; Art: J.K. Woodward; Lettering: Shawn Lee & Robbie Robbins; Editor: Denton J. Tipton
I love Doctor Who. I love Star Trek in all it’s forms. (I even watched Enterprise) and when I heard that IDW was going to do a crossover story, I was so on board. Unfortunately I missed out on the first printing of #1. Now that I have the second printing in my hands, I can tell you that this was worth the wait.
The issue starts out with a Borg invasion Delta IV which for those that remember is the planet that Lt. Ilia was from. (She was in Star Trek: The Motion Picture) The Prime Minister of the planet mentions how unusually aggressive the Borg are being when someone notices that the Borg aren’t alone. The Borg are attacking the planet with the Cybermen.
We then see the Doctor, Amy and Rory in ancient Egypt. The Doctor does what he usually does so he can get an audience with the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh’s right hand man tries to get rid of the Doctor and his companions but panics when it’s revealed who the Doctor is. This is when we see that the Pharaoh’s right hand man was in fact a space alien that the Doctor quickly dispatches with a green crystal-like object.Read More
Make It So: Star Trek: The Series by Jerry Whitworth
Hard to believe it has been seven years since there was a Star Trek series on television. And yet, at the box office, the Star Trek franchise was rebooted three years ago amidst controversy while becoming the highest earning film in the history of the Star Trek film franchise (with a sequel being shot currently and set to be released the summer of 2013). And while I’m sure this sequel will do well at box office, why stop there? Science fiction shows have fizzled out as late. Fringe is on the way out in 2013, Alcatraz was canceled, we’ll find out in a few weeks how the second season of Falling Skies will be received, and it appears the space opera is dead. So, why not put a new Star Trek series on television? When Star Trek: Enterprise died, it was blamed on fans being burned out on the franchise (considering you had Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager on air within a year of nearly running at the same time together and Enterprise pick up as Voyager wrapped, this should be of little surprise). But, that was again seven years ago and a hot, new Star Trek film again premiered three years ago with another soon to come, the time is ripe for a new series.Read More