Brad's Pulpy Blog
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Comic Shop Haul January 2022
Ok I'm going to get back into Blogging especially since I stopped about a year ago. My local comic shop Comics Etc has a new service Comics Etc Direct. Each month you preorder the comics three months ahead and the comics and books come in at the end of that month. So I figured I might as well cover my purchases here. I may go back and do some of the older and relevant stuff that ties into the new stuff as well. With a new wave of the COVIDS sweeping the nation, it wasn't until the other day I got to pick up the January delivery. King of Spies #2 by Mark Millar and Matteo Scalera (Image/Netflix) - I've not read much of Millar's work for the Big Two but I've enjoyed many of his idependant works, Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, Prodigy and The Secret Service. The latter was the basis for the Kingsman movies (I just saw the prequel The King's Man which I should review here). Like The Secret Service, King of Spies is a spy comic. The former asks what if James Bond picked and trained a lower class lad as his replacement. King of Spies is basically what if the Pierce Brosnan version of James Bond (with a little of Timothy Dalton) had retired and found out that he had six months to live? What would he do? In this case we get Roland King, who decides that he will use his licence to kill to take out the scumbags that the service wouldn't let him tackle while he was on the job. that pretty much sums up the first issue where Roland gets his diagnisis and kills a Russian Oligarch, who was rude to the waitress at his club. We see Roland tackling several of his targets in some nice action pieces killing a former President of the United States and two former British Prime Ministers - Millar doesn't say who they are but drops enough clues to make an educated guess and we get the death of Prince Ewan a son of the Queen who will never go to trial - I mean I can't even think of who that might refer to..... Now killing off such high profile targets is a bit awkward for the service and they recall Atticus King, Roland's son from his latest job to kill his father. Atticus hires a couple of drug kingpins that Roland left for dead with missing limbs (as seen in a flashback at the start of the issue). So we're left on the cliffhanger that Atticus and the druglords will be clasing with Roland in the next issue. I quite like this series. I'll cheerfully be watching the Netflix adapatation when it comes out. I like the idea of seeing an older "Bond" going sod it I'm going to take down the guys I wasn't allowed to touch. This feels like a companion piece to The Secret Service and I wouldn't be surprised if a connection is revealed down the track. Moonstone Triple Threat (Moonstone Books) So this was nice slim little anthology of three pulp short stories. The first story is The Lone Ranger: The Quest of the Golden Serpent by James Reasoner. Reasoner is a veteran western/pulp writer and this is a solid Lone Ranger tale. The Lone Ranger and Tonto find a young woman being hunted by several hardcases. They rescue her and she explains that she is hunting the Golden Serpent of the title, which has a clue to a lost treasure. Naturally, The Lone Ranger and Tonto offer to help her and they help her interpret a map she has found. Like all good treasure hunts, the rival treasure hunters oare hot on their trail and we get several shoot outs before the heroes find the treasure. This is a nice solid story and I enjoyed it. Next is a Johnny Fade in Deadtown story "Deadtown Rhumba" by Nancy Holder and Alan Philipson. I was lucky enough to meet Nancy and Alan at a convention as Nancy and I had both had stories in "Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Was Not" and all three of us have stories in the follow up anthology Dracula Unfanged. Johnny Fade is a crooked LA Homocide detective, who after dying finds himself in Deadtown, a kind of Purgatory, where shady characters go before they move to either Heaven or Hell and it's more likely to be the latter. Johnny is tryng to figure out just what Deadtown is and how it works as well as being summoned back to the land of the living by wealthy heiresses and actresses to help them with their problems. This is a fun story with an interesting premise, the idea of a dark noirish purgatory full of badguys and femme fatales with a seedy detective trying to figure out what is happening. I'd like to see more of this world and there are a number ways this could go and I'm curious to see where future installments go. The final story is a Gladiator and Golden Amazon story "Ghosts of War" by Mike Bullock. So this will have a bit of backstory. Gladiator by Philip Wylie is a novel I've never read but is well known in superhero circles as a likely inspiration for Superman (Wylie threatened to sue Schuster who says he never read the book). A quick summary Hugo Danner's father experimented on him in the womb injecting him with a serum that makes him the early Superman (or a stronger version Captain America), Danner is invulnerable to bullets, super speed and able to leap great buildings in a single bound (so no flying, x-ray or heat vision). He spends much of the novel having to hide his powers (I wonder if Zack Snyder had read the novel) Danner has been adapted into comics a few times including The Young All-Stars by Roy Thomas where we discover that he is the father to Thomas' golden age Superman stand in Iron Munro. There have been a couple of comic adaptations of the novel one for Marvel Preview #9 as Man-God and a four issue miniseries Legend written by Howard Chaykin. The novel published in 1930 ends with Danner killed by a lightning strike during an archaeology expedition. The Golden Amazon is a character who appeared in 28 different stories by John Russell Fearn. Technically there are two different Golden Amazons. The first four stories are about Violet Ray who crashes on Venus as a baby and she grows up as a superhuman (a little bit of Burroughs and pinch of Superman). Fearn then revamped the character in 1945 (sort of like the Golden Age and Silver Age Green Lanterns or the Flash or the Atom) so the Golden Amazon is now Violet Ray Brant who was the subject of a glandular experiement as a baby which gives her increased strength and intellegence. She creates an atomic problem and fakes her death at the end of the first story before fighting menaces to the Earth and then exploring the universe in later stories. This story is the latter version. Ghosts of War is set just after World War II and it makes sense why Danner and Brandt are paired together with their similar origins. Brandt hears of a Nazi experiment to recreate the process that created her and after a random encounter with Hugo Danner (who survived the lightning strike at the end of his book apparently) teams with him to find and destroy the lab. The pair are joined by one of Bullock's own creations Death Angel (who has appeared in a couple of other Moonstone Books) and battle a German supersoldier Stahlkrieger. The trio of heroes are successful and defeat the Nazi before destroying the lab. The story ends with the possibility that Danner and Brandt may team up again.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
Veritas;The Quest (2003)13 Episodes
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Enola Holmes (2020) Millie Bobbie Brown, Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham-Carter
Saturday, September 26, 2020
The New MacGyver
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Code of Vengeance 1985 TV movie
So Knight Rider is quite the franchise the orignal series ran from 1982-1986 for four seasons. In 1991, we got the TV movie and failed pilot Knight Rider 2000, this was followed by the in name only Knight Rider 2010 in 1994. 1997 saw the one season Team Knight Rider and the 2008 season of Knight Rider with Justin Bruening as Michael's son driving a new KITT. But what tends to be forgotten is the short lived spinoff Code of Vengeance - In season 2 episode 21 "Mouth of the Snake" (a two part episode) had Michael and KITT meet and team up with David Dalton (Charles Taylor), martial artist and government agent. I do wonder if Glen Larson or anyone in the Knight Rider team read the Destroyer series? The intent was to spin Dalton off onto a series called "All that Glitters" where he would be paired with Joanna St John (Joanna Pettet) All that Glitters was the title given to the fourth Knight Rider novelisation, and David and Joanna are mentioned to be married in the 5th book. Reportly the netwrk felt the concept felt too close to another Larsen series "Cover Up' so the decision was made to retool the series with a pilot called "Code of Vengeance" I'll talk about the new premise when I talk about the movie. It was followed by a second TV movie Dalton: Code of Vengeance II. The show then went to series called Code of Vengeance (although I have seen it referenced as Dalton's Code of Vengeance) and it ran for a whole 2 episodes. "Rustler's Moon" and "The Last Hold Out" Recently the Youtube channel Knight Rider Historians posted first Code of Vengeance TV Movie. So Dalton is no longer a martial artist who works for the Department of Justice, here he is a Vietnam veteran who is wandering the country in his campervan. In this movie he's in a border town in Arizona where he is gets work building a room for a single mother - the only person in town who will talk to Dalton. Dalton discovers that the woman's brother is missing and he finds the body and that there is smuggling of guns across the border. In many ways Dalton reminded me of Billy Jack, a peaceful man who can kick much ass and has intervene when there is injustice. I'm also sure that Shane was an influnce as the woman's young son becomes attached to Dalton and follows him during the final fight (I was yelling at the kid to run AWAY from the gunfire) It almost feels like a prequel to the Knight Rider episode where we see how Dalton came to the attention of DoJ but the show never got that far. Interestingly in a meta moment, one of the characters is watching Knight Rider in the movie. It's an enjoyable enough 90 min TV movie (and I don't why but the original video that Knight Historians have loaded is a studio original and has several points where it says "Insert ads here" which made me smile - even though youtube just ignored them and put ads whereever.
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Bruce Lee against the Supermen (1975) starring Bruce Li
Aka Superdragon vs Supermen, Call me Dragon, and Meng Long Zheng Dong. I saw this movie must be 30 years ago now, I rented it from The Plains Video and the tape had "Stamp Day for Superman" Back then I knew little about The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee or Brucespoitation. I'd mostly forgotten this film until I was listening to Derrick Ferguson and Percival Constantine on the Superhero Cinephiles podcast - for fans of superhero cinema I cannot recommend it enough. They did Doctor Mordred and mentioned that they had watched it on Tubi. I downloaded the app and scroll through their catalouge and find Bruce Lee against the Supermen. So a bit of back story Bruce Lee first found fame as Kato in the Green Hornet TV series. After that show ended he moved to Hong Kong where he made a handful of films. His last full role was in Enter the Dragon, He died tragically soon after the end of filming but before the release of the film. Enter the Dragon was a major success and his earlier Hong Kong films were released in the west. But there was still hunger for more. Episodes of The Green Hornet were cobbled together as two movies "the Green Hornet" and "Fury o the Dragon" and a few minutes of footage for Bruce's final film "Game of Death" was cobbled together with outtakes from other films, footage of Lee's real funeral and some dodgy doubling. But still people wanted more and Brucespoitation was born and actor who if you squinted might be Bruce Lee were given names like Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Dragon Lee and thrown into martial arts films - basically the first mockbusters. Which brings us to this movie starring Bruce Li. I think this wants to be a Kato film. THe movie opens with bank robbers on the run and tossing the money out the window. A young couple find the money and a masked chauffeur appears and drives them to the station in a black car.
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