"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Although George Barris’ Lincoln Futura concept car achieved iconic status on the 1966 Batman television series, it wasn’t the first Batmobile. That honor apparently goes to a customized 1956 Oldsmobile 88 built in a barn in New Hampshire and later sanctioned by DC Comics. And now it’s up for sale.
According to Heritage Auctions, 23-year-old Forrest Robinson began conceiving the car in 1960 — simply to drive around himself – and then enlisted his friend Len Perham to help build it. Their Batmobile, originally painted “space-age silver,” was completed in 1963, two years before Barris began work on the car for the TV show.
As Comic Book Resources debuted one character card drawn by Ivan Reis for the hit CW drama The Flash, a handful of other websites were doing the same, providing fans with mini-biographies of the key players.
In addition to CBR’s Det. Eddie Thawne card, there’s The Flash (Entertainment Weekly), Iris West (KSite TV), Det. Joe West (Access Hollywood), Harrison Wells (The Hollywood Reporter) and Cisco Ramon (IGN). That leaves Caitlin Snow, who should be popping up any moment now …
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
The CW’s new drama The Flash has been widely praised for its rejection of doom and gloom in favor of a cheerier depiction of superheroes. However, a group of physics students is questioning whether Barry Allen is a hero at all.
In a brief paper titled “The Flash: Hero or Villain?,” four students from the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy scrutinize a scene from the pilot episode in which the Scarlet Speedster races to save a bicyclist from being struck by a taxi. While in the television series the man was left confused but otherwise unharmed, in reality his encounter with the Fastest Man Alive would leave him in worse shape than if he’d been struck by the car.
Author and Locke & Key co-creator Joe Hill appeared Monday on Late Night with Seth Meyers to promote the film adaptation of his novel Horns, and to provide another perspective on a perhaps-misunderstood figure: the Devil.
“I feel like he’s got an unfairly bad reputation,” he explains. “[…] I feel like the Devil could be right on the Avengers. He’s like a superhero: He punishes the bad guys, he’s got a cool look — he’s got horns and the red costume. On his very first adventure, he freed two naked prisoners being held in a jungle prison by a megalomaniac, and in the process, he introduces fruit into their diet and sort of taught them about their own sexuality, which I think makes him like a cross between Animal Man and Dr. Ruth. And that’s awesome.”
If you’re one of those people who waits until the day of the big Halloween party to start thinking about a costume, you should probably go ahead and print these out now: Courtesy of Fox’s Gotham, they’re paper masks of The Riddler, Catwoman, The Penguin and Fish Mooney (although they appear somewhat older than they do on the television series).
Of course, if you don’t have a party to go to, or little trick-or-treaters to escort, you could always wear these while you watch the TV show, but that’d be creepy.
In late 2012, Edison Rex artist Dennis Culver delighted The Wire fans with his illustration gallery of 52 characters in one giant poster. Now Culver has done it again, but this time with 58 Breaking Bad characters in one poster that celebrates the acclaimed Vince Gilligan drama.
The 24-inch by 36-inch poster is available for preorder, and will begin shipping on Nov. 10.
Awards | Alexis Deacon has won the 2014 Observer/Cape/Comica graphic short story prize for “The River,” “a luscious, tangled, whispering kind of story” that earned him £1,000 (about $1,611 U.S.). The runners-up were Fionnuala Doran’s “Countess Markievicz” and Beth Dawson’s “After Life.” The short-story competition has been held annually since 2007 by London’s Comica Festival, publisher Jonathan Cape and The Observer newspaper. [The Observer]
Publishing | Mark Peters spotlights Archie Comics’ recent transformation from staid to startling, with titles like Afterlife With Archie and the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. [Salon]
This fall has been particularly exceptional television adaptations: The Walking Dead season premiere pulled in more than 17 million viewers, while more than 8 million watched the first episode Gotham, making it Fox’s best fall drama debut in 14 years. More than 6 million raced to see The Flash pilot, giving The CW its highest ratings ever. About 5 million are regularly tuning in for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and nearly 3 million for the third season of Arrow.
It’s not limited to live-action series, either: 2 million people watch Teen Titans Go!, and more than 1 million tune in to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon.
On the big screen, all four feature films starring Marvel characters — X-Men: Days of Future Past, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — each grossed more than $700 million each worldwide. So far, comic book movies have generated more than $3.8 billion dollars this year. While it’s unknown how many of those dollars are from repeat viewings, that’s still a lot of people.
We’re just now into the back half of October and it’s already been a busy month for DC Comics’ television and movie adaptations. Gotham got under way, The Flash debuted and Arrow has returned, with Constantine on deck. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. announced a massive slate of Justice League-related movies, stretching from 2016’s Batman v Superman to 2020’s Cyborg.
However, the adaptation pipeline has the potential to flow in two directions. Between Caitlin Snow’s potential Killer Frost, the second episode’s Multiplex and the promise of both Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, the new Flash show seems pretty intent on bringing in a good bit of Firestorm lore. If DC executives hadn’t already been thinking about yet another Firestorm comic revival, The Flash’s immediate success may well encourage them to. Similarly, of all the movies Warner Bros. apparently intends to make over the next six years, the only one without a solid comics presence is Cyborg.
Therefore, today we’ll look at these two creations of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, to see what DC might do with their four-color futures.
Although the upcoming DC Comics film slate was the headline-grabbing news from this morning’s Time Warner investor presentation, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara also announced the studio is seeking to reduce costs by $200 million annually as part of company-wide streamlining effort. That’s about double what some reports indicated ahead of today’s meeting.
How much of that will be a result of layoffs has yet to be revealed, but Variety maintains Warner Bros. is expected to cut between 900 and 1,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce.
As Seth Meyers quickly discovered last night on NBC’s Late Night, Gotham City residents are really, really tired of being asked about Batman.
In an effort to get to know his audience, the talk-show host singled out Jeremy and, um, Jeremy, a pair of tourists from Gotham — yes, the Gotham City — who quickly set him straight on the subject of the Caped Crusader.
Legal | The Japanese publisher Square Enix has filed a counterclaim against SNK Playmore, asking Osaka District Court to rule that its manga Hi Score Girl doesn’t infringe on copyrights held by the video game company. Earlier this year, SNK brought criminal copyright violation charges against Square Enix after learning Hi Score Girl contains more than 100 unauthorized images of characters from SNK Playmore games. The manga has been put on hold because of the dispute. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Who’s buying, and how much are they spending, at conventions? Rob Salkowitz mines the numbers from a recent Eventbrite poll of convention-goers to get some answers: Most people spend between $100 and $500 per person; cosplayers actually spend a bit more than average; and women shell out more money at conventions, while men spend more online. [ICv2]
To celebrate the Season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead on Sunday, comiXology is holding an apocalypse-scale sale on the comic series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.
Through Oct. 13, digital editions of the first 126 issues are available for just 99 cents each — the three specials focusing on the Governor, Michonne and Tyrese, too. If you prefer to devour the series in larger chunks, the collections are also discounted, with the majority of the volumes priced at $5.99.
Confession time: I haven’t seen the Season 2 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet. Don’t get me wrong, I want to, but things have been busy here, and when I do tune in (thanks, Hulu Plus!) I want to give it my full attention. TV has become very serious in recent years, and the best stuff tends to require the viewer to invest some brain power into the shows.
It’s a good thing, but it can get a little exhausting. And if you’re a Marvel fan, there’s a lot to keep track of in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Characters, locations, devices and plotlines might trigger some stored bit of trivia in your brain and lead to a different appreciation for the approach.
Here at The Fifth Color, I try to keep abreast of all the Marvel comics news I can, and it’s requiring me to track more and more movie rumors and casting decisions — which is weird because The Fifth Color began as a way to relate to comics and how we readers view the stories. But comics are becoming more than just you and the pages in your hand; there’s a now a strong media influence on how we see comics. Even something as simple as a mobile game can draw you into a comic shop and change how you see the books on the shelves. No joke, I had a customer show me a comic cover he had unlocked on a Marvel mobile game and ask me if we had that book in stock. He wanted to find out what it was about. That’s good marketing.
Artist Cat Staggs and her partner, writer/actor Amanda Deibert, star in a pretty great new spot for Target in which they discuss their hopes for their baby, all while the nursery is magically furnished around them.
Staggs is probably best known for her Star Wars and Smallville Season 11 work, and Deibert for her television writing, but they recently collaborated on a story for DC Comics’ digital-first Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1.