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  • What titles are in the same universe?

    I'm becoming more intrigued by the Dynamite pulp characters I've never gotten into much, especially with the writers Dynamite has on them (Mark Waid especially!), so I was wondering: Which titles are (at least theoretically) in the same world? Ignoring Prophecy, what books have shared team-up events and the like?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
    I'm becoming more intrigued by the Dynamite pulp characters I've never gotten into much, especially with the writers Dynamite has on them (Mark Waid especially!), so I was wondering: Which titles are (at least theoretically) in the same world? Ignoring Prophecy, what books have shared team-up events and the like?
    It's complicated, and somewhat subjective. Consider that in the case of the pulp characters, some are public domain characters, while some are licensed from their respective owners. The Lone Ranger shared a miniseries with Zorro, but Dynamite licenses both those characters from different owners. Same with the Shadow and the Green Hornet; they shared a miniseries, but both are licensed from different owners. John Carter Warlord of Mars and Tarzan Lord of the Jungle co-star in the miniseries Lords of Mars; both are adaptations of the public domain works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

    The largest shared crossovers are Masks (featuring The Shadow, The Spider, Green Hornet & Kato, The Black Bat, Miss Fury, The Green Lama, and The Black Terror along with a descendant of the original Zorro), and Codename: Action (featuring different versions of The Spider and The Green Hornet & Kato, along with Operator 5, The American Crusader and Black Venus). Adding to the confusion, The Spider in his own self-titled series is not the same version of the character that appears in Masks OR Codename: Action. The Black Bat appearing in Masks isn't the same one starring in his own self-titled DE series. There have been at least (by my count, anyway) 4 different versions of The Green Hornet and Kato published by Dynamite. And it appears at least questionable whether the Black Terror, Green Lama and American Crusader in the crossover stories can be the same versions of the characters who appeared in Project: Superpowers. Then there is Kings Watch, which teams up Mandrake the Magician (and Lothar) with Flash Gordon and The Phantom (all licensed from King Features/Hearst Entertainment). But -- you guessed it, these are not the same versions of Flash Gordon and The Phantom that had previously appeared in the DE series Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist and The Last Phantom.

    It's probably safer to think about these different DE series like the old Marvel/DC inter-company crossovers. They just happen. If you try to make sense of the tangle of continuity, you'll sprain your brain. None of the crossover stories reference any of the events taking place in other series.
    Last edited by pulphero; 09-15-2013, 06:21 PM.

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    • #3
      Well, to make it simpler, then, what about the current Dynamite pulp series? Is there a sense that some of those are currently meant to be in the same world? Which ones appear to be most compatible with each other? (I'm putting the Warlord of Mars and Tarzan stuff together and apart from the rest, myself.)

      Better, perhaps, would be which ones are non-contradictory?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
        Well, to make it simpler, then, what about the current Dynamite pulp series? Is there a sense that some of those are currently meant to be in the same world? Which ones appear to be most compatible with each other? (I'm putting the Warlord of Mars and Tarzan stuff together and apart from the rest, myself.)

        Better, perhaps, would be which ones are non-contradictory?
        I'm going to assume you mean "current Dynamite pulp series" as in "modern time period", as opposed to "titles that are currently being published by Dynamite".

        Of the pulp characters nominally taking place in "the present day", the pulp series DE publishes that fit that category are The Black Bat, Green Hornet Legacy (which is a continuation of the title formerly known as Kevin Smith's Green Hornet), Miss Fury (who time-travels back and forth between the 1940s and the present), and The Spider (and soon to be published: The Shadow NOW, and Doc Savage).

        The 2013 that Miss Fury finds herself in has secret Nazi invaders infiltrating the present (and collaborators who aren't time travelers), so it's unlikely to be the 2013 inhabited by The Black Bat, the Green Hornet, or The Spider. The Spider lives in a 2013 where zeppelins hang in the skies, and men have a tendency to wear fedoras. While these things are not so much in evidence in later issues of The Spider, the early issues definitely seemed to be evoking the sense of an 'alternate present'. In Green Hornet Legacy, the Hornet is pretty much the only one wearing a fedora. The Black Bat doesn't wear a fedora, and neither does anyone else. No zeppelins to be seen anywhere in The Black Bat or Green Hornet Legacy. The Shadow NOW is said to be in continuity with Howard Chaykin's 1980s DC miniseries The Shadow: Blood and Judgment (who was in turn said to be the original Shadow from the 1930s), but will take place in 2013. Likewise, what I've read of Dynamite's plans for the upcoming Doc Savage series involves an 8-issue series that will begin with the first issue taking place in 1933, and progress decade-by-decade until it gets to 2013. This makes both The Shadow and Doc Savage pretty much immortal (or functionally long-lived), unless there turns out to be time travel involved. Prior events of Richard (The Spider) Wentworth's life shown in early issues of The Spider tend to eliminate the possibility that he can be the same Spider who operated in the 1930s (as seen in Masks). And the Green Hornet of the 1930s and 1940s (who has appeared in Green Hornet Year One, Masks, and Mark Waid's Green Hornet) doesn't seem to be part of the background history of Kevin Smith's/Green Hornet Legacy. Since the Black Bat is a public domain character, he could possibly show up in one of the other "modern day" titles, but it still might require the approval of the respective owners of Green Hornet, The Spider, or The Shadow and Doc Savage (both owned by Conde Nast/Advance Magazines). I would be shocked if there wasn't a Shadow/Doc Savage crossover coming somewhere down the road -- the only question would be, will it take place in the 1930s, or the present, or maybe both? The Black Bat and Miss Fury would be the easiest characters to share continuity, since they're both public domain and Dynamite wouldn't require the approval of any license owners. The Project: Superpowers characters are also based on public domain characters, but now we are beginning to stray slightly outside the genre of 'pulp', to pure superheroes.

        I'm sure there are fans imaginative and obsessive enough to while away their time inventing credible explanations for many of the seeming inconsistencies noted above, but...

        What it comes down to is that this will never be a universe in the typical Marvel or DC sense, because Marvel and DC own all their universe characters outright, whereas Dynamite's pulp heroes titles are an aggregate of different characters licensed from different owners, and some public domain characters. This means Dynamite is only borrowing these characters for a little while, and thus doesn't have total control over them.
        Last edited by pulphero; 09-16-2013, 08:20 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          I'm going to assume you mean "current Dynamite pulp series" as in "modern time period", as opposed to "titles that are currently being published by Dynamite".
          Actually, I did mean the latter. But this info is very helpful regardless.

          Since neither Marvel nor DC are doing anything set during the Golden Age right now (and, even apart from the New 52, I'm trusting DC less and less to be able to manage it well until there is regime change there; one by one the good writers are being driven away...), and some writers I really like and/or respect are doing some of the Dynamite stuff, I've been thinking it might be good on all sorts of levels, and since some of them cross over with each other, that perhaps it might help scratch that Golden Age itch. (If Waid's stuff is compatible with Roberson's, etc. then it would be cool to put them in the same "world" if possible.)
          Last edited by ChastMastr; 09-16-2013, 09:25 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by pulphero View Post
            The Shadow NOW is said to be in continuity with Howard Chaykin's 1980s DC miniseries The Shadow: Blood and Judgment (who was in turn said to be the original Shadow from the 1930s), but will take place in 2013.
            Have they actually said this? I thought the only mini taking place in Chaykin's continuity was Chaykin's new mini-series set in the 50s.

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            • #7
              For me it's this:
              Pulp: Shadow, Green Hornet, Doc Savage, Lone Ranger, Zorro, Sherlock Holmes
              ERB: John Carter, Tarzan, Dejah Thoris
              Dynamite Dark: Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, (maybe Ash and Red Sonja)

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              • #8
                Okay, now I feel like I must rise to the challenge and try to sort it out myself. I'll report what I come up with here...

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                • #9
                  Leaving out Project Superpowers, I've come up with twenty-five (!) possible continuities so far, some of which may mesh with each other and others not. More as this develops!

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                  • #10
                    For my purposes, I'm separating out the series which are updated, re-imagined, or just set in the present day with descendants of the original characters. (Black Bat, Kevin Smith's Green Hornet and its related series connected to the Black Hornet storyline and the like.) That eliminates nine possible continuities (for instance, all of the Kevin-Smith-related Green Hornet books count as one continuity), leaving sixteen set in their original era.

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                    • #11
                      Hmmm. Looking over what is left, I am inclined to just assume they can be read (more or less) as all taking place in the same "world." Let me sort out the chronology from the solicits, reviews and such, and I will post my findings...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bluedevil2002 View Post
                        Have they actually said this? I thought the only mini taking place in Chaykin's continuity was Chaykin's new mini-series set in the 50s.
                        Yes, there was a long piece in Comic Shop News #1365 (the cover story, actually) a few weeks back in which Davis Liss acknowledged Blood and Judgment as having happened. "Our version takes the 1980s Howard Chaykin story as canon". Whether Blood and Judgment will be directly referenced in The Shadow NOW, I tend to doubt, in order to keep things simple for new readers. But I don't think it will specifically contradict anything from that story, either. Don't forget there's almost as much time between Blood and Judgment (1986) and The Shadow NOW as there is between The Shadow's last appearance in 1949 and Blood and Judgment. What's a decade, more or less?

                        On the other hand, none of the interviews with Chaykin on the upcoming miniseries quoted him as saying anything regarding the new miniseries' relationship to Blood and Judgment. Of course all the articles referred to him having done it, but Chaykin himself didn't comment on any relationship to The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow. Unless I missed one somewhere, all the news stories seemed quite brief and didn't spell out much about what the story is about, other than that it "tells the secret story of The Shadow's disappearance in 1949". Since The Shadow's adventures stopped being chronicled by Maxwell Grant in 1949, whatever happened next is wide open. Again, it may just be done in such a way so as not to contradict anything from Blood and Judgment, without directly referencing it.

                        Even though Dynamite reprinted Blood and Judgment pretty recently, I can see where they might not want to assume that every reader is familiar with the story.
                        Last edited by pulphero; 09-21-2013, 12:35 AM.

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                        • #13
                          None of the Dynamite pulp books actually share the same universe, but that doesn't mean that you can't kind of piece together things on your own and view the books as shared. We've talked about this on here before and many have stepped forward and said that they do this. I for one do, to a certain extent of course, but it's fun to view these titles as shared and done in different timelines with some taking place currently and others taking place way back in the day.

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                          • #14
                            Done! Here is what I have come up with:

                            Blackbeard Legend of the Pyrate King (2009) ----- 1713 ----- (covers lifetime)
                            Zorro (2008 Dynamite Entertainment) ----- 1790 ----- Starts in 1790; is an adaptation of Isabel Allende Zorro novel for first array of issues
                            Zorro Rides Again (2011 Dynamite) ----- 1806 ----- battles Quintero; date from from http://pjfarmer.com/woldnewton/Zorro.htm
                            Lady Rawhide (2013 Dynamite) ----- 1815 ----- "A few years after" previous Topps series, which was set in 1812 according to the Wold Newton link
                            Good, The Bad and The Ugly (2009) ----- 1862 ----- (roughly; based on year of original film)
                            Man with No Name (2008 Dynamite) ----- 1862 ----- (roughly; based on year of original film)
                            Lone Ranger (2006 Dynamite) ----- 1869
                            Lone Ranger (2012 Dynamite) Volume 2 ----- 1870
                            Lone Ranger and Tonto (2007 Dynamite Entertainment) ----- 1870 ----- no specific date; 1870-ish?
                            Lone Ranger Battlestar Galactica FCBD (2007) ----- 1870 no specific date; 1870-ish?
                            Lone Ranger Snake of Iron (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1870
                            Lone Ranger The Death of Zorro (2011 Dynamite) ----- 1870
                            Sherlock Holmes Year One TPB (2011 Dynamite) ----- 1881
                            Sherlock Holmes The Liverpool Demon (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1888.08 ----- August
                            Sherlock Holmes (2009 Dynamite Entertainment) ----- 1895.1 ----- October
                            Shadow Year One (2013 Dynamite) ----- 1929
                            Doc Savage (2013) ----- 1933 ----- (continues to present day)
                            Merciless Rise of Ming (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1933 ----- Prequel to Zeitgeist
                            Flash Gordon Zeitgeist (2011) ----- 1934.01 ----- January
                            Shadow (2012 Dynamite) Annual ----- 1935 ----- No specific date, so 1935 is a guess
                            Shadow Special (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1935 ----- 1930s, no specific date, so 1935 is a guess
                            Green Hornet Year One (2010 Dynamite) ----- 1938 ----- (jumps around in flashbacks a lot though)
                            Green Hornet Year One (2010 Dynamite) Special ----- 1938 ----- tentative
                            Masks (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1938
                            Shadow Green Hornet Dark Nights (2013 Dynamite) ----- 1939
                            Shadow (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1940.0927 ----- After Japan allied with Germany, hence after September 27, 1940
                            Green Hornet (2013 Dynamite Entertainment) 2nd Series ----- 1941.1016 ----- (.1016 = Oct 16)
                            Kato Origins (2010 Dynamite) ----- 1942.02 ----- early 1942
                            Shadow (2012 Dynamite) Annual 2013 ----- 1947

                            Not having read them yet, I've had to Google solicitations, preview pages, and the Wold Newton chronology on the Philip Jose Farmer page. But this seems like they would all fit together relatively comfortably and provide maximum reading pleasure, at least for myself.
                            Last edited by ChastMastr; 09-18-2013, 03:42 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I'm down for a crossover series featuring a grizzled older Man With No Name, a mature Lone Ranger, and a youngish Sherlock Holmes. Somehow I missed the Lone Ranger Battlestar Galactica crossover.

                              Now that you mention it, Lone Ranger The Death of Zorro seems like quite a stretch of the imagination. Zorro would have to be about 90 years old by 1870. I've always been a little vague on the exact time period Zorro was taking place, and had assumed more like circa 1820 (which would work a lot better for The Death of Zorro). My understanding is that even Johnston McCulley was inconsistent about the dates.
                              Last edited by pulphero; 09-18-2013, 04:04 PM.

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