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Andy Mangels Hollywood Heroes From May 1993

Andy Mangels’ Hollywood Heroes was a news column that appeared in the pages of Wizard:  The Guide to Comics magazine, and Hero Illustrated in the early 90’s.  I thought it would be fun to look back at the news he was covering for that time period, since we are 24 years removed from it, and can analyze it a little bit.  My comments are in italics.

Lois and Clark

 

– The big news this month is that ABC recently put in an order for a two hour Superman pilot film called Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.  Andy speculates that this will be a more relationship based show than previous incarnations due to the title.  Well, he was right about that.  He seemed a little surprised that Perry White has been cast as a black man.

MANTIS

– In other superhero pilots news, he mentions that The Resurrector has been ordered.  I don’t remember that one.  But he then goes on to mention that Fox has ordered a 2 hour pilot from director Sam Raimi called Mantis, about a chemist who is crippled in the L.A. riots develops an exo-skeleton and a power pack that gives him super-human powers.  That one I do remember, and it was a pretty swank show, even though it only lasted one season.

– HBO is working on a small-screen werewolf movie to air sometime this year.  It was untitled at that point.  Does anyone remember what this was and if it ever made it to air?

Swamp Thing

– Swamp Thing on USA Network is winding down it’s run with it’s last 5 new episodes.  That was such a good show too.  It’s one that would probably do well with a reboot these days.

– He talks about the ratings for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles being in the dump, and ABC bringing in Harrison Ford as a one time stunt to try and increase ratings.  The Young Indy Chronicles was a really good show, and had a really good premise behind it.  I still pull up old episodes of it from time to time.

Tekwar

– MCA and the Canadian company Atlantis are developing William Shatner’s Tekwar as an hour long weekly syndicated series for the fall.  He notes that Shatner will be involved in the series, most likely as director.  I know this came to be, but I never watched the show.  Any thoughts on it from any of you out there?

The Tommyknockers

– Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers will air on ABC in May.  I’ve never watched it.  He also goes on to say that Stephen King’s The Stand will be an eight-hour mini-series on ABC and has just started filming.  He runs through the list of stars that are apart of it, and it is indeed an impressive list for a TV mini-series.  Jamey Sheridan, Ruby Dee, Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Laura San Giacome, and Moses Gunn are all in it.  This was an excellent mini-series and a great adaption of the book!

X-Men

– Fox has given the green light to a second season of the X-Men cartoon.  Archangel will be brought into the team, and Beast will be a more integral part of the show, and expect another battle between Wolverine and Sabretooth.  This was such an awesome cartoon in general, but for comic book fans in particular.  It was a really good dose of comic bookiness (is that a word?) every week that just made you want more!

– Work is proceeding on the 90 minute Batman: The Animated Series movie “Masks” and spotlights The Joker and a mysterious woman from Batman’s past.  It will be released on video in time for Christmas.  Well this went on to be renamed Mask of the Phantasm, and I think it kind of bombed didn’t it?

– Steven Spielberg and Rob Liefeld are teaming up on a big-budget Universal film,  Doom’s IV.  Yeah, I don’t think this ever came to fruition.

– Superman:  The New Movie may start production this spring.  The story pits a shrunken Superman’s battle against a new/old version of Braniac.  Well again, this one didn’t happen.  It would be many more years after this that we got another Superman movie.

Jason Goes to Hell

– Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday has been pulled from it’s initial release date.  Originally to debut in March, it is being held back till Friday, August 13….ten years to the day since the first film was released.  Makes perfect sense to drop it on a Friday the 13th.  Call me crazy, but this was my favorite of the franchise.

– No news on Universal’s long awaited The Shadow film, which is now set to star Alec Baldwin.  This one came out, but I never saw it.  Maybe it’s one I need to pull up and give a look.  Any thoughts?

– Savoy Pictures has announced it’s 1993 film slate, and on it is Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme.  Wes Craven is going to be directing the Doctor Strange film and is set to start work on it soon.  Well, having Wes Craven direct a Doctor Strange movie sounds pretty awesome, but it never happened either.  Maybe it’s a good thing though, since at that point in time, the movie would have had no real budget and would have probably been crap.

– The first shots from the Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie are in, and even though it is a low-budget film, they look great.  This is one that was universally panned, and never even made it to the theaters OR direct release because of how bad it was.  I’m pretty sure there is a copy floating around on Youtube though that can be watched.  It’s another I haven’t seen that maybe I should.  

The Crow

– The Crow is said the be starting faithfully to the comic book.  Now filming in L.A. with Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) playing the title character.  I’m sure everyone knows the story here.  Brandon Lee was fatally shot while filming.  The movie still came out however as they finished it up with various effects to replace Lee.  

Well that’s it for a packed column from Mr. Mangles.  It’s cool to read back through it and think of what might have been with some of those projects that we never actually got.

Let me know if you want to see more of these in the future.  I’d be happy to oblige if there is interest.

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Hoju Koolander Posted on Apr 24, 2017 at 08:53 PM

Yes, more of these Wizard excerpts please. I definitely tuned into MANTIS as well. It was a very cool premise, though it was always just a countdown to when/how his suit would give out.

The image selected for the Swamp Thing blurb is from The Return of Swamp Thing movie (which is mega fun) not the TV show (Which didn't​ have the same wacky spirit).

I saw Mask of the Phantasm in theaters, it was just an extra long episode, nothing great.

Rob Leifeld was always claiming he had a movie based on one of his creations coming out, that never happened. I remember Badrock and Prophet starring Tom Cruise specifically.

And yes, Vaporman87 is right, I LOVE The Shadow. Alec Baldwin and his supporting cast have such great banter in a beautiful 1930s throwback setting. Just go in expecting more humor than gritty action and you will be entertained, though it has some cool special effects scenes.

jkatz Posted on Apr 23, 2017 at 11:38 PM

Oh my God..Steven Spielberg working with Rob Liefeld? There's a strong chance that this would've been terrible, but amazing to watch..like a massive trainwreck. At first I thought they were going to be working on a movie for Doom (as in the game), and my heart kipped a beat. That would've been the most "1990s" project of all time.

Vaporman87 Posted on Apr 23, 2017 at 05:04 AM

Actually Mickey, that Fantastic Four film was NEVER intended to be released. That's why it never was. It was only made in order for the Marvel license to be kept by the studio (apparently some kind of stipulation in the agreement). There is a whole documentary on the film.

Hoju can give you any and all details on The Shadow. He loves the movie.

I remember going to see that Jason movie. I can even remember that my best friend and I left the theater and went straight to Hardee's afterward. Why I remember that, I don't know.

And yes, The Stand was a stellar mini-series. I remember in college it was a huge event. We all gathered around the TV in our apartment every night it was on to catch the show.

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