Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
In an era where the creator’s rights conversation is as loud as its ever been in comics, this week saw some surprising news quietly slip out onto the web: Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella and DC Comics have taken the first steps towards reconciling a very contentious relationship.
The writer has long contended he’s the sole creator of DC’s first black superhero to star in a solo series as the character wasn’t introduced under a work-for-hire agreement but rather a partnership between he and DC. It was only after Isabella sought to buy out the publisher’s interest in the character following the cancellation of that first series in 1978 that he says DC declared artist Trevor Von Eeden as Black Lightning’s co-creator.
While Isabella did some later work with the publisher — most notably the first nine issues of a 13-issue Black Lightning revival in 1995 — he’s spent the majority of the past two decades being very vocal about his discontent with the publisher and their treatment of him. Most recently, the writer spoke out against DC’s choice to revive and redesign the hero as part of the New 52 initiative.
Marvel movies sure have come a long, long way. We’re currently on the brink of a third incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen. If things had played out a little differently, however, it could have been the fourth.
Back in the early 1990s, Carolco Pictures came incredibly close to producing a Spider-Man film that was written, directed, and produced by none other than James Cameron. In the end, financial and legal troubles, among other Hollywood hooha, kept the film from seeing the light of day. Fans have known about this obscure piece of comic film trivia for decades, but new slice of nostalgia recently surfaced via Imgur brings us back to a period of “What If…,” courtesy of Stan Lee himself.
In one of Lee’s classic Stan’s Soapbox pieces from the Bullpen Bulletin section that ran in the back of ’90s comics, Spider-Man’s co-creator sings the joys of signing the deals to bring Cameron onto the film. “So you can take this to the bank, Believer,” writes The Man, “SPIDER-MAN is destined to be the biggest, boldest, baaaaadest block-bustin’ bombshell of a super hero action extravaganza ever to hit the screen!” Well, almost anyway. Read the whole thing above.
Stan Lee was reportedly rushed to the hospital Sunday, but that certainly didn’t stop the 92-year-old from appearing last night at the Hollywood premiere of Ant-Man.
According to TMZ, Lee called 911 Sunday morning, complaining that he didn’t feel well, and was taken from his Hollywood Hills home to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. A representative for Lee wouldn’t confirm the report, but pointed EW.com to the comics legend’s attendance at the movie premiere.
You may know artist Tyler Kirkham from his work on Earth 2: World’s End, Green Lantern Corps, New Avengers/Transformers or Phoenix: Warsong. However, you may not know that he’s a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls. How huge? He’s spent more than $50,000 to transform his basement into a tavern that would be right at home in the world of the fantasy video-game franchise.
Barcroft TV pays a visit to the artist’s home in Kaysville, Utah, where a contemporary facade disguises a medieval setting lurking just beneath. The 1,500-square-foot basement boasts wood and stone work, swords, axes, armor and a crossbow, a sparring area, an alchemy lab with potions, a waterfall shower and its own secret passage. At its center is a $20,000 entertainment center, for playing The Elder Scrolls, of course.
After 70 “Stan’s Rants” videos, fans have a pretty good idea of what Stan Lee’s desk looks like, but what about the rest of his office?
In the latest edition of its “Spaces” feature, Adweek takes a tour of the 92-year-old writer’s POW! Entertainment office in Beverly Hills, where it spotlights family photos, a 1980 Spider-Man pinball machine, Marvel figures and collectibles, art from fans, and painting by Steve Kaufman.
Lee is also interviewed by Biography.com, where he’s asked, among other things, about the origin of his signature sunglasses.
Writer Matt Fraction appeared last night on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he offered sex advice from Just the Tips, the book he co-authored with his Sex Criminals collaborator Chip Zdarsky, and discussed the inspiration behind his run on Marvel’s Hawkeye.
“The book was really about what Hawkeye does when he goes home to do his laundry,” Fraction explained. “It’s like Hawkeye on his day off. To me he’s the human heart and soul of the Avengers, so it was fun to do a book like that about somebody who compulsively can’t stop helping people, even when he’s a human crap-sack tire fire of a human being. That’s on the back of the action figure: ‘human crap-sack.'”
Matt Fraction, writer of Sex Criminals, Casanova, Satellite Sam and ODY-C, will be a guest Thursday, May 21, on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers.
“Like, a guest-guest,” he wrote in the latest DeConnick & Fraction newsletter. “Like, on the show. […] I have a really cool treat cooked up for the show, so — so yeah. Tune in! DVR that shit! Do whatever millennials do now, I don’t even …”
Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto will make his first-ever appearance outside of Japan in October at New York Comic Con and New York Super Week.
Kishimoto, who concluded the bestselling manga in November after 15 years, will participate in two convention panels (on Thursday, Oct. 8, and Saturday, Oct. 10), and multiple autograph sessions at Kinokuniya Bookstore and Barnes & Noble as part of New York Super Week.
After suffering a massive heart attack less than two weeks ago, writer/artist Ty Templeton is home from the hospital with a new Bun Toons strip that both pokes fun at his health scare and underscores just how serious it was.
“Last week I died three times,’ he wrote in Saturday’s strip, which purports to be a Daredevil primer. “That’s pretty goddamn frightening.” In the text below, Templeton added, “I’m not kidding about dying three times, by the way … I’ve now checked out more times that Professor X during a summer crossover, and I don’t seem to have any insight into the experience.
Stan Lee is collaborating with writer Peter David and artist Colleen Doran to create his graphic memoir, billed as ” the story of how modern comics came to be.”
Revealed last week by Doran, Amazing, Fantastic, Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir will be published in October as a hardcover graphic novel by Simon & Schuster. Bill Farmer will handle colors, with letters and art assistance by Allan Harvey.
Punisher artist Mitch Gerads was recruited to design the morale patch for the second annual Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit and Auction, which will raise funds to support the Guardian for Heroes Foundation.
Produced by ITS Tactical, the patch sports the iconic Punisher logo that served as the unofficial crest of SEAL Team 3’s Charlie Platoon, Kyle’s unit. The limited-edition patch debuted Friday, but sold out so quickly that the Kyle family requested more be made available.
Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet artist Ty Templeton has been removed from a ventilator and is able to talk as he awaits a second surgery after suffering a heart attack earlier this week.
“Is it fair to have a kidney stone after a major heart attack? Ty says no, no it is not,” his wife, colorist and letterer KT Smith, wrote last night in a Facebook update. “The second angioplasty is being delayed until the kidney stone can be dealt with … tomorrow. The doctors are currently looking for a pain med that works (the standard, morphine, doesn’t work on him at all).”
Mark Millar is offering comics retailers a chance to win a free in-store appearance by him.
All store owners have to do is encourage their staff to dress up for Free Comic Book Day as Millarworld characters, anyone from Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl to Nemesis and The Fox. Then take photos and email them to Millar no later than noon GMT (5 a.m. PT) on May 8.
“The plan is to take him off both the sedatives and the ventilator tomorrow,” his wife, colorist and letterer KT Smith, wrote overnight on Facebook. “[…] He is in critical but stable condition. His location will change in the next few days depending on his condition.”
Inducted last year into the Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame, the 52-year-old Templeton has a long list of credits that also includes Simpsons Comics, The Batman and Robin Adventures, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Star Trek: Mission’s End and Spider-Man/Human Torch. An Eisner nominee and Shuster Award winner, he’s known in Toronto for his writing and drawing classes “Ty Templeton’s Comic Book Boot Camp.”
Smith encouraged well-wishers to email Templeton, saying, “I will make sure he sees them when he is able.”
Comic creators are rallying around Jupiter’s Circle artist Wilfredo Torres, who recently lost his wife Monica following a long battle with cancer. Spearheaded by Brent Schoonover, a group of Torres’ friends and associates have organized a rapidly growing fundraiserto help “a great guy and his family during a difficult time.”