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The King Watch/Flash Gordon/Phantom/Mandrake MEGATHREAD!

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  • Oh, so just COVERS by Darwyn Cooke, then. Should have known it was too good to be true... To be honest, I was sort of hoping those initial silhouette teaser posters WERE for a crossover event, with artwork by Darwyn Cooke!

    I'm kind of excited, but with reservations. 5 new (mini) series launching the same month? I worry a little that this is a bit overambitious, and won't be immediately embraced by the mainstream comic consumers. Of course the Cooke covers help with "getting noticed" somewhat, but I can't help but draw parallels here with the Gold Key line, which seems to have fizzled as far as generating interest and sales among the comic shop customers (and can't help thinking that the "Gold Key rebooted" concept might be at least partially responsible for that). Of course WE'LL all be buying them, and I'd LOVE to be proven wrong on this. I wish I could go to the comic store every single month and pick up a "King Comics" line from DE including Flash Gordon, Phantom, Mandrake, Jungle Jim, and Prince Valiant. I think Jungle Jim is sort of an unusual choice, as I don't even recognize the character pictured as Jungle Jim (guess I was right about the Arborian forest/swamp background, but I would have expected the traditional jungle adventurer pith helmet and bush jacket, which is why I couldn't recognize the silhouetted image.) I would have thought "spy guy" Secret Agent X-9 (aka Phil Corrigan) would have been the more obvious candidate after Valiant, and that character might have been a handy connecting thread to unite all the heroes (although he couldn't help with the time-travel of Prince Val). It's nice that all the miniseries will be leading up to a crossover event involving all of them (which is what I took "ALL HAIL" to be, upon first seeing those 5 teaser silhouettes by Darwyn Cooke). I'd really love to see this succeed to the point where ongoing titles could be sustained for all of these characters (including the missing-in-action SECRET AGENT X-9), in addition to some sort of ongoing team title., but I worry because I've been a little too excited about things DE has done in the past, that weren't embraced by the marketplace in terms of sales, enough to sustain ongoing series. One possible thing distinguishing the KFS characters in this regard is that any stories DE generates for these characters will have lasting value to KFS for markets outside the U.S., which might be a key factor in keeping these things going (that applies to the ERB characters too, now that I think of it).

    With having the pulp heroes (The Avenger, Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, Black Bat, Miss Fury, Green Hornet), and Westerns (Lone Ranger, Zorro, Lady Zorro, Lady Rawhide), the ERB heroes (John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tarzan, Korak, Carson of Venus?, Pellucidar? The Land That Time Forgot?), the Gold Key heroes (Solar, Magnus, Turok, Spektor, Space Family Robinson? Mighty Samson? Captain Johner and the Aliens?), the Golden Age heroes of PROJECT SUPERPOWERS, the KIRBY GENESIS characters, RED SONJA, Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT, the old Warren Publishing characters VAMPIRELLA & PANTHA and their associated cast, and now all the King Features Syndicate heroes, Dynamite has the potential to be my favorite comic book company of all time, with a line-up of classic characters that can stand toe-to-toe with DC's or Marvel's. I mean, I'm in total agreement with what I see as Nick B's thinking on grabbing these underutilized, totally classic properties, along with the various TV adaptations, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, BIONIC WOMAN, and the book adaptations of SHAFT and JAMES BOND, etc.

    Aside from a few things like the Rocketeer, Black Beetle, Captain Midnight, Tim Truman & Chuck Dixon's Airboy, Valkyrie, the Heap, and the Air Fighters (the Eclipse versions), Mike Baron's NEXUS and THE BADGER, the 2000 AD characters, BUCK ROGERS, STAR TREK, STAR WARS, GODZILLA and the other Toho monsters, UNIVERSAL MONSTERS, and the Robert E. Howard characters, Dynamite has pretty much every classic property I want to see in comics, all at one company. An amazingly stellar lineup to be all under one roof.

    To ME, this all seems like absolute primo stuff, but the thing is, somehow it just isn't striking the same chord with the existing comic shop audience; it's not generating the kind of sales all these properties seem (at least to me, and I'm guessing, to Nick B. as well) have the potential to. Maybe these things just don't reverberate with people like they once did. This seems like the "all star line-up" of just about every classic character not owned by DC or Marvel, so why doesn't it gain momentum and turn DE into a comic publishing juggernaut, the #3 company constantly nipping at the heels of the "Big Two"? I don't know, I can't explain it. Sure, they don't have the huge staff, the top-$$$ hottest creators (although they do manage to get some good ones on certain things), and a corporate entity to back them with media adaptations and marketing clout. Undoubtedly, DC or Marvel (due to their long experience and corporate deep pockets) could, if you took their respective characters away, take the same properties listed above and aggressively market them until the public bought them through sheer overexposure and awareness. I do realize it's not so easy to get that same ball rolling from scratch for a smaller company, and in general I don't think a lack of creative talent or late shipping schedules is responsible. I don't know what the answer is, to be honest. Maybe the general comic book consumer just has no sense of history?

    But wow, I was just sitting here daydreaming about what it would be like if ALL the characters and series mentioned by me above were being published by DE as stable, ongoing monthly series...
    Guess I'll just have to be satisfied with what I can get out of DE on any given month, which represents only about 1/4 to 1/3 of all the potential properties they've published from my above list.
    I think it would help to unify the other properties into various sub-lines of DE if they could develop a little icon design for the Pulp Heroes, the Western Heroes, the ERB Heroes, and the PSP Heroes (once they get that series going again under Warren Ellis) to go along with the King Comics, Gold Key, and Chaos! imprints.

    Interesting observation: How come the logos for The Phantom and Prince Valiant are so highly stylized and classic-looking, compared to the others that just look sort of like plain old lettering fonts?
    Last edited by pulphero; 10-09-2014, 05:24 AM.

    Comment


    • G'day

      Well Pulphero I would think Prince Valiant is far more well know then Secret Agent X9 which is why he's getting his own series not X-9. Jungle Jim is an interesting choice but again, I remember Jungle Jim from the old TV show, not X-9. I would expect other King features characters will appear in series if it succeeds. regarding Gold Key stuff. I brought the first bunch of Toruks, Magnus and Solar but have stopped getting them. I just lost interest in the characters and storyline. However I'm still getting Flash Gordon and very much looking forward to the new books. Told my LCBS today to put me down for the lot. I also see from the announcement they are pushing the digital versions heavily which I guess is becoming increasingly important for them.

      ta

      Ralph

      PS.
      Anyone remember this?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post

        Well Pulphero I would think Prince Valiant is far more well know then Secret Agent X9 which is why he's getting his own series not X-9. Jungle Jim is an interesting choice but again, I remember Jungle Jim from the old TV show, not X-9. I would expect other King features characters will appear in series if it succeeds. regarding Gold Key stuff. I brought the first bunch of Toruks, Magnus and Solar but have stopped getting them. I just lost interest in the characters and storyline. However I'm still getting Flash Gordon and very much looking forward to the new books. Told my LCBS today to put me down for the lot. I also see from the announcement they are pushing the digital versions heavily which I guess is becoming increasingly important for them.
        Oh, no question that Prince Valiant is either the #3 (possibly ahead of Mandrake and Lothar) or #4 King Features adventure strip. It had one movie (starring a young Robert Wagner) in the 1950s, and a cartoon series in the 1990s.

        Jungle Jim I never remember reading as a strip (it ended in 1954), or seeing any of the Johnny Weismuller movies or TV series (although I'm sure at least the movies would have been in syndication with independent TV stations when I was growing up, I never bothered with them, or with Weismuller's Tarzan films, either). I know that DC Comics' long-running Congo Bill strip in ACTION COMICS (which later morphed in its final couple of years into Congorilla) was basically swiped from the Jungle Jim newspaper strip, and that had a Columbia movie serial based on it. I think both strips were inspired by the jungle exploits of real-life "Big Game Hunter" and animal trainer Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Buck, although the Jungle Jim strip had primarily a Southeast Asian setting, while Congo Bill was set in Africa, and neither strip concentrated primarily on the hunting or capture of wild animals.

        Secret Agent X-9 was another Alex Raymond strip (although he left it a couple of years after creating it), originally scripted by the famous author Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon). Hammett (a busy author in those days) only wrote the first four stories in the strip's continuity before departing (shortly afterward, Leslie Charteris, creator of The Saint, was hired, but only wrote one story). It was originally created at the behest of William Randolph Hearst specifically to compete with Chester Gould's popular Dick Tracy strip, just as Flash Gordon had been created specifically as Hearst's answer to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (after Hearst had toyed with Edgar Rice Burroughs' proposal to create a John Carter of Mars strip, which eventually happened with another syndicate). X-9 had two Universal serials based on it 1937 and 1945 (the latter of which starred a young Lloyd Bridges). Interesting side note - X-9 didn't receive an actual name until a few years into the strip's run. In one of the very early Raymond strips, someone asks his name and he replies "Call me Dexter. It's not my name, but it will do." As a result of that one line of dialogue, in the 1937 serial, X-9 is also known alternatively as "Agent Dexter". But I primarily know of the strip in its 1967-1980 incarnation (during which time the name of the strip changed to Secret Agent Corrigan), written by Archie Goodwin with artwork by Al Williamson. That entire series was reprinted in hardcover in the last few years by IDW. The strip eventually ran through 1996 before being dropped, but X-9 made a surprise return in a Flash Gordon Sunday story that ran in 2000-2001. That sort of inter-strip continuity was highly unusual, outside of Phantom and Mandrake, who (both being written by Lee Falk) cameoed in each other's strips on a number of occasions.
        Last edited by pulphero; 10-09-2014, 03:40 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
          LEX Luthor? It's LOTHAR, not Luthor, Blinky. Sure they're both bald as a cueball, but that's all they share in common. And don't forget who came first. Sorry, pet peeve.
          It's kind of too bad that Lothar is The Phantom right now, because given a chance, I think he could star in his own series, just as LOTHAR. He's kind of the KFS analog to Marvel's Luke Cage.
          My bad--it is Lothar!

          Lothar is known as the first international black comic adventure hero! He has an impact beyond his tour as the Phantom. I am looking forward to him appearing in this storyline to tie up those loose ends from the King's Watch run. It IS going to be a great 100th anniversary for King Features. Great promotion from DE!!

          Yes, Secret Agent X-9 would have also been a great entry to this celebration. Maybe he will make a cameo in the crossover event storyline that these minis are building up to? Maybe he will be the Nick Fury type character of the DE's Defenders of the Earth team (or are we calling them the King's Watch team?)?

          There are other King's Features that could make cameos--Buzz Sawyer, Rip Kirby, Mike Nomad, Captain Easy, Steve Canyon, Terry & the Pirates, Kerry Drake, Johnny Hazard, and King of the Royal Mounted. Maybe a one-shot of some near this crossover event similar to the Avenger, Doc Savage, and the Shadow one-shots specials I just ordered? Maybe a Buzz Sawyer/Steve Canyon/Johnny Hazard special teaming them up in WWII?

          Comment


          • Some great ideas there, Blinky. I sort of had the same feeling about Corrigan/X-9 being kind of like Nick Fury in getting and keeping the rest of the King heroes connected, because he could function as sort of a liaison between the rest of them and the U.S. government. Well, Flash, Mandrake and Jungle Jim are all Americans, anyway... that's sort of presuming that America can still be the "good guys" in any sort of comic story today, especially one where a couple of the heroes aren't American (Phantom/Lothar and Val).

            So, in thinking of these guys as a team, my mind immediately goes to Marvel's Avengers as a sort of analogue, with Lothar similar to Luke Cage (the strong guy), X-9 similar to Nick Fury (the spy guy), and a "man out of the past" (like Captain America when he was first thawed out) in Prince Valiant (who is also similar to Thor in some respects, with an enchanted sword instead of an enchanted hammer). Naturally Mandrake would function as the "Dr. Strange" (the magic guy) of this group. The Phantom is more like "the mysterious guy", closest analog would be Batman - well, I guess that Avengers analogy isn't 100%! I guess that would make Jungle Jim "Hawkeye" (or Green Arrow), sort of the rough-and-ready earthy one, but there's no "Tony Stark" (the brain guy) in this group, so I guess Dr. Zarkov would supply whatever science expertise was needed. Flash Gordon, I'm thinking, would most likely be the natural leader among this bunch, or maybe it's Mandrake. I hope the crossover resolves the search for the true heir to the Phantom legacy, so we can get Lothar back as himself.

            As for what they'd call themselves, maybe "Kings Watch", since they can't use DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH (aw, bummer...); I was kind of thinking about that and I thought a nice title for an ongoing book like that would be KINGS of Adventure (not that that would be "official", as in that they'd go by that name in the story, any more than the characters in MASKS went around calling themselves "Masks")... just sort of a little homage to "King Features" and "adventure strips". I'm thinking more like that they don't need an actual "team name" in the story itself, as they don't have any official charter, headquarters, or that sort of business like the high-powered, high-profile Avengers or Justice League. And if "Adventure" sounds a little bit like "Avengers"... what's it gonna hurt?

            I'm imagining something where, in the story, some threat comes up (that they're mostly alerted to by Mandrake, X-9, or Flash, depending on the nature of the threat), and then the story takes off from there, with the plot being the connection between what they're all off doing individually... a lot less of them standing around together in some kind of HQ strategizing, or always being together in the middle of some melee fight scene with the assembled bad guys. That way they all get to do their individual things, and none of them lose the unique identity of their individual strips' flavor, or just two of them team up to accomplish one part of a greater goal. More along the lines of the structure of those old Justice Society stories in ALL STAR COMICS, where they'd meet up, get their own assignments, and go off to do their own little piece of the story, before getting back together to compare notes or for some climactic battle. An ongoing series that's more like a series of ongoing crossover stories, if you know what I mean.
            Last edited by pulphero; 10-09-2014, 01:18 PM.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
              LEX Luthor? It's LOTHAR, not Luthor, Blinky. Sure they're both bald as a cueball, but that's all they share in common. And don't forget who came first. Sorry, pet peeve.
              It's kind of too bad that Lothar is The Phantom right now, because given a chance, I think he could star in his own series, just as LOTHAR. He's kind of the KFS analog to Marvel's Luke Cage.
              Or a combo with Black Panther, as he's apparently a prince (never knew any of this): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandrak...ian#Supporting

              Comment


              • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                To ME, this all seems like absolute primo stuff, but the thing is, somehow it just isn't striking the same chord with the existing comic shop audience; it's not generating the kind of sales all these properties seem (at least to me, and I'm guessing, to Nick B. as well) have the potential to.
                It certainly doesn't help that Diamond keeps it tucked away in the back of the book, rather than with DC Marvel Image Dark Horse etc. As well, we have to poke around the internet for Dynamite's solicits, which seem to be almost randomly promoted by Bleeding Cool, Comics Continuum, etc. rather than by CBR or Newsarama, which give the DC Marvel Dark Horse Image etc. solicits their own feature articles.

                This annoys me. It kind of keeps Dynamite at a sort of lower-tier level even with classic characters and excellent creators who are treated as pretty high-level at other companies.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                  Some great ideas there, Blinky. I sort of had the same feeling about Corrigan/X-9 being kind of like Nick Fury in getting and keeping the rest of the King heroes connected, because he could function as sort of a liaison between the rest of them and the U.S. government. Well, Flash, Mandrake and Jungle Jim are all Americans, anyway... that's sort of presuming that America can still be the "good guys" in any sort of comic story today, especially one where a couple of the heroes aren't American (Phantom/Lothar and Val).

                  So, in thinking of these guys as a team, my mind immediately goes to Marvel's Avengers as a sort of analogue, with Lothar similar to Luke Cage (the strong guy), X-9 similar to Nick Fury (the spy guy), and a "man out of the past" (like Captain America when he was first thawed out) in Prince Valiant (who is also similar to Thor in some respects, with an enchanted sword instead of an enchanted hammer). Naturally Mandrake would function as the "Dr. Strange" (the magic guy) of this group. The Phantom is more like "the mysterious guy", closest analog would be Batman - well, I guess that Avengers analogy isn't 100%! I guess that would make Jungle Jim "Hawkeye" (or Green Arrow), sort of the rough-and-ready earthy one, but there's no "Tony Stark" (the brain guy) in this group, so I guess Dr. Zarkov would supply whatever science expertise was needed. Flash Gordon, I'm thinking, would most likely be the natural leader among this bunch, or maybe it's Mandrake. I hope the crossover resolves the search for the true heir to the Phantom legacy, so we can get Lothar back as himself.

                  As for what they'd call themselves, maybe "Kings Watch", since they can't use DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH (aw, bummer...); I was kind of thinking about that and I thought a nice title for an ongoing book like that would be KINGS of Adventure (not that that would be "official", as in that they'd go by that name in the story, any more than the characters in MASKS went around calling themselves "Masks")... just sort of a little homage to "King Features" and "adventure strips". I'm thinking more like that they don't need an actual "team name" in the story itself, as they don't have any official charter, headquarters, or that sort of business like the high-powered, high-profile Avengers or Justice League. And if "Adventure" sounds a little bit like "Avengers"... what's it gonna hurt?

                  I'm imagining something where, in the story, some threat comes up (that they're mostly alerted to by Mandrake, X-9, or Flash, depending on the nature of the threat), and then the story takes off from there, with the plot being the connection between what they're all off doing individually... a lot less of them standing around together in some kind of HQ strategizing, or always being together in the middle of some melee fight scene with the assembled bad guys. That way they all get to do their individual things, and none of them lose the unique identity of their individual strips' flavor, or just two of them team up to accomplish one part of a greater goal. More along the lines of the structure of those old Justice Society stories in ALL STAR COMICS, where they'd meet up, get their own assignments, and go off to do their own little piece of the story, before getting back together to compare notes or for some climactic battle. An ongoing series that's more like a series of ongoing crossover stories, if you know what I mean.
                  Kings of Adventure sounds good! i agree they do not have to call themselves that but they should act like a version of Marvel's Defenders--a non-team that gets together when times require a team up. With Mandrake as the magical/supernatural springboard of stories, Flash being the extraterrestrial springboard of stories, and X-9 (or the Phantom) being the international spy/crimefighting springboard, this team could work even if they never call themselves a team. I too like your idea of having a series of specials similar structure of Garner Fox's All-Star Comics where each character would get his own spotlight in the course of an adventure or mission. Maybe a quarterly comic, using this format, would appear between the series of mini-series focusing on the Kings Feature characters. DE will need to step up its promotion of this project as outside the Phantom and Flash Gordon, the other mini series particularly Jungle Jim will have to work hard for their customers. I know I plan on buying these titles.

                  Comment


                  • G'day,

                    The real problem they have here is with Prince Valiant. They can pull him out of the Dark Ages for an adventure or two but he really does need to get back to his own time period. And they need to give him a memory wipe every time too because you can't have him put back in the 6th Century with knowledge of the 21st.

                    Regarding a permanent team-up my thinking was an updated Knights of the Round table. You want no more the 12 permanent members :

                    TEAM FLASH: Flash Gordon, Dale and Zarkov Boys 2 Girls 1 (Action, common sense and brain power)
                    TEAM MANDRAKE : Mandrake, Lothor, Karma Boys 2 Girls 1 (Narda gone evil in the Dynamite stories but Lothor girlfriend has magic)
                    TEAM PHANTOM: The Phantom, Heloise Boys 1 Girls 1 (the brother and sister)
                    TEAM JUNGLE JIM: Jim and female sidekick Boys 1 Girls 1 (He had an Asian male sidekick I would give him a Asian female martial artist as a companion)
                    TEAM VALIANT the Prince and Aleta Boys 1 Girls 1 (Prince Valiant is really lost without his wife, they go together like Tarzan & Jane, John Carter & Dejah)

                    I purposely tried to ensure plenty of heroines as well as heroes. One of the criticisms people had of Masks was the lack of female heroes and Dynamite seem to like action girls anyway. You can certainly move around and play with the characters and numbers but that a pretty powerful lineup

                    ta

                    Ralph




                    Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                    Kings of Adventure sounds good! i agree they do not have to call themselves that but they should act like a version of Marvel's Defenders--a non-team that gets together when times require a team up. With Mandrake as the magical/supernatural springboard of stories, Flash being the extraterrestrial springboard of stories, and X-9 (or the Phantom) being the international spy/crimefighting springboard, this team could work even if they never call themselves a team. I too like your idea of having a series of specials similar structure of Garner Fox's All-Star Comics where each character would get his own spotlight in the course of an adventure or mission. Maybe a quarterly comic, using this format, would appear between the series of mini-series focusing on the Kings Feature characters. DE will need to step up its promotion of this project as outside the Phantom and Flash Gordon, the other mini series particularly Jungle Jim will have to work hard for their customers. I know I plan on buying these titles.
                    Last edited by ralphuniverse; 10-09-2014, 03:45 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                      G'day,

                      The real problem they have here is with Prince Valiant. They can pull him out of the Dark Ages for an adventure or two but he really does need to get back to his own time period. And they need to give him a memory wipe every time too because you can't have him put back in the 6th Century with knowledge of the 21st.

                      Regarding a permanent team-up my thinking was an updated Knights of the Round table. You want no more the 12 permanent members :

                      TEAM FLASH: Flash Gordon, Dale and Zarkov Boys 2 Girls 1 (Action, common sense and brain power)
                      TEAM MANDRAKE : Mandrake, Lothor, Karma Boys 2 Girls 1 (Narda gone evil in the Dynamite stories but Lothor girlfriend has magic)
                      TEAM PHANTOM: The Phantom, Heloise Boys 1 Girls 1 (the brother and sister)
                      TEAM JUNGLE JIM: Jim and female sidekick Boys 1 Girls 1 (He had an Asian male sidekick I would give him a Asian female martial artist as a companion)
                      TEAM VALIANT the Prince and Aleta Boys 1 Girls 1 (Prince Valiant is really lost without his wife, they go together like Tarzan & Jane, John Carter & Dejah)

                      I purposely tried to ensure plenty of heroines as well as heroes. One of the criticisms people had of Masks was the lack of female heroes and Dynamite seem to like action girls anyway. You can certainly move around and play with the characters and numbers but that a pretty powerful lineup

                      ta

                      Ralph
                      One of the things I liked about the King's Watch series is that it DID include the supporting characters of the big 3 (Mandrake, Phantom, Flash). Dale is an action hero of her own. As is Ming's daughter, Aura. Heck, Flash has many action oriented girlfriends on Mongo (one of the things that makes Flash one of my favorite heroes--one can not have too many girlfriends). I like that this version of Lothar's girlfriend Karma has powers of her own (I miss the model look although).

                      Ralph's idea that the team would be similar to a King Arthur Round Table might lead to future team ups and the teams name--the King's Watch (tying into King Arthur/Prince Valiant). Although a time-lost Prince Valiant might emerge into a natural leader for the team as he longs for the days of the knights of the Round Table, I too like Valiant in the past. Stories of King Arthur's time are great so maybe those stories might be regaled from Val in flashbacks. We could have the best of both worlds. Val could be the type of character like Icabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow who makes comments of the irony of the 21st century.

                      Again, DE needs to promote this event! The press release I saw on Newsarama was good. But some of these characters are nearing 90 years old. And, unlike the Green Hornet, Lone Ranger, and John Carter, there seems to be no movie in the works for any of these characters. Perhaps, DE can expand its web site and post free film clips of Defenders of the Earth, Phantom 2020, Flash Gordon cartoons,Prince Valiant cartoons, Mandrake radio shows, Jungle Jim movies/tv series, etc. to support this project as younger audiences could see some video versions of these characters. A true multimedia push to promote these characters.

                      Comment


                      • All three of the Kings Feature big three (Flash Gordon, Phantom, and Mandrake) have movie serials that could be in the public domain. But given what appears as a healthy working relationship that DE has with Kings Feature, obtaining rights to put such stuff on web site would be easier. I want this project to succeed. Such an interactive feature on the web site could generate newer fans to these great characters.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ralphuniverse View Post
                          The real problem they have here is with Prince Valiant. They can pull him out of the Dark Ages for an adventure or two but he really does need to get back to his own time period. And they need to give him a memory wipe every time too because you can't have him put back in the 6th Century with knowledge of the 21st.

                          Regarding a permanent team-up my thinking was an updated Knights of the Round table. You want no more the 12 permanent members :

                          TEAM FLASH: Flash Gordon, Dale and Zarkov Boys 2 Girls 1 (Action, common sense and brain power)
                          TEAM MANDRAKE : Mandrake, Lothor, Karma Boys 2 Girls 1 (Narda gone evil in the Dynamite stories but Lothor girlfriend has magic)
                          TEAM PHANTOM: The Phantom, Heloise Boys 1 Girls 1 (the brother and sister)
                          TEAM JUNGLE JIM: Jim and female sidekick Boys 1 Girls 1 (He had an Asian male sidekick I would give him a Asian female martial artist as a companion)
                          TEAM VALIANT the Prince and Aleta Boys 1 Girls 1 (Prince Valiant is really lost without his wife, they go together like Tarzan & Jane, John Carter & Dejah)

                          I purposely tried to ensure plenty of heroines as well as heroes. One of the criticisms people had of Masks was the lack of female heroes and Dynamite seem to like action girls anyway. You can certainly move around and play with the characters and numbers but that a pretty powerful lineup

                          ta

                          Ralph
                          You know, I don't think knowledge of the 21st Century really affects anything Val does that much, back in the 6th Century. I mean, if he tells everyone back home about smartphones, YouTube and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it's not like anybody in the 6th Century is going to go and invent those things ahead of time, thus screwing with "history as we know it". The main thing would be to keep Val from learning to read modern English, and as far away from Wikipedia as possible, so he wouldn't learn anything about the near future of his own time. It's not a subject that tends to come up too much, apart from historians. Now, as far as Aleta goes, if she jaunts to the year 2104, who's taking care of the kids while she's gone? I don't recall Aleta being the sword-wielding ass-kicking warrior woman either (not that that's a put-down, she obviously has a lot of intelligence and other good qualities, otherwise Val wouldn't have married her), so what good's it going to do to put her in harm's way?

                          Look at Jonah Hex, he's traveled in time, and he doesn't seem all that changed by the experience. He was not particularly impressed, and didn't do a thing with anything he learned about in the future.

                          Maybe Mandrake just comes up with a magic "Boom Tube"... say a doorway that has two sides, one in the 6th Century, one in the 21st, and as soon as the current Crisis gets wrapped up, Val can go home to dinner with Aleta and the kids. Maybe it's even simpler than that, and you yourself provided the clue -- Phantom has Excalibur in his Treasure Room in the Skull Cave, and the Singing Sword is Excalibur's twin; those two blades share a mystic connection, even through time. Now, I figure that if John Carter could use astral projection to travel to Barsoom, and Carter was just a rank amateur, thaumaturgically speaking, then Mandrake's an adept at astral travel, and probably can work the same in reverse - "astral summoning". By focusing on Excalibur, and its mystic connection to the Singing Sword, Mandrake can summon Prince Val, even through time (as long as he's holding the Sword). Presto and alakazam, Val's in the 21st Century! And Mandrake can send him back just as easily by the same method.
                          Last edited by pulphero; 10-09-2014, 05:19 PM.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Blinky McQuade View Post
                            All three of the Kings Feature big three (Flash Gordon, Phantom, and Mandrake) have movie serials that could be in the public domain. But given what appears as a healthy working relationship that DE has with Kings Feature, obtaining rights to put such stuff on web site would be easier. I want this project to succeed. Such an interactive feature on the web site could generate newer fans to these great characters.
                            All three of those have been released on DVD, Blinky. The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician by VCI home video, and all three Flash Gordon serials by... a whole bunch of companies. I recommend you get the ones originally released by Image Entertainment on laserdisc, and later re-released on DVD, more than once, in different packaging. Those are the best quality transfers (and most complete) that I've seen. Be particularly wary when purchasing Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe on DVD, since there are a dozen fly-by-night PD outfits releasing that one. VCI also released the 1936 JUNGLE JIM serial (starring Grant Withers as Jim) on DVD, and the two SECRET AGENT X-9 serials (1937 and 1945) as well. VCI usually does a good job finding the best/most complete prints available, so it's worth it to spend a few extra bucks to get their version on DVD.

                            Your idea for DE's website is a good one. Implementing the suggestion might be more problematic. You can't even get DE's monthly solicitations on their own site, until long past the time where they've appeared everywhere else. I'm guessing the web site isn't the top priority for DE, and it has less bells and whistles than other comic book companies' sites, so streaming video might be a technological leap compared to the existing site.
                            Last edited by pulphero; 10-10-2014, 07:03 AM.

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                            • Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                              Look at Jonah Hex, he's traveled in time, and he doesn't seem all that changed by the experience. He was not particularly impressed, and didn't do a thing with anything he learned about in the future.
                              I thought--unless you mean the old Hex series--that it was precisely the opposite. He seemed to kind of go crazy after seeing his own dead body (or what seemed to be it--perhaps it even was and the timeline is now changed?), which led to the drunk motorcycle accident that led to his face finally being fixed, and as a result of that, he was able to have basically a happy ending--even winding up with averting his own apparent original death. I'd say that the ending of All-Star Western was hands-down the greatest amount of change the character has ever had, and it was all rooted in his trip to the future. He didn't start investing in anything or betting on things, but then I don't think that's the kind of person he is.

                              Val might really try to avert the fall of the Round Table, though, out of a sense of duty. Though I did love Roy Thomas' depiction of Sir Justin, the Shining Knight, hearing of Guinevere's unfaithfulness to Arthur and insisting it must have been a lie of Mordred's...

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                              • G'day,

                                I was thinking one way to solve the Prince Valiant problem would be to have two of them. The 6th Century Prince stumbles onto some quantum time machine that teleports a version of him into our time while the original version stays in the Dark Ages. I would write it happening without the Singing Sword. The adventure would have him finding the sword stuck in a rock so he can do the old "sword in the stone " trick. Once regaining the sword he could access the memories of his past self. Interesting story opportunities there. But apparently the writers will have Prince Valiant traveling through time so we will find out soon enough.

                                Regarding Aleta. Theres the Dynamite Effect. Lothar's girlfriend was just a model in the strips now she has magical powers. They can make her a warrior girl if they want too.

                                However I like your Kings of Adventure idea but I think finding the original Round Table and have the heroes sitting around it would be really cool.

                                ta

                                Ralph




                                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                                You know, I don't think knowledge of the 21st Century really affects anything Val does that much, back in the 6th Century. I mean, if he tells everyone back home about smartphones, YouTube and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it's not like anybody in the 6th Century is going to go and invent those things ahead of time, thus screwing with "history as we know it". The main thing would be to keep Val from learning to read modern English, and as far away from Wikipedia as possible, so he wouldn't learn anything about the near future of his own time. It's not a subject that tends to come up too much, apart from historians. Now, as far as Aleta goes, if she jaunts to the year 2104, who's taking care of the kids while she's gone? I don't recall Aleta being the sword-wielding ass-kicking warrior woman either (not that that's a put-down, she obviously has a lot of intelligence and other good qualities, otherwise Val wouldn't have married her), so what good's it going to do to put her in harm's way?

                                Look at Jonah Hex, he's traveled in time, and he doesn't seem all that changed by the experience. He was not particularly impressed, and didn't do a thing with anything he learned about in the future.

                                Maybe Mandrake just comes up with a magic "Boom Tube"... say a doorway that has two sides, one in the 6th Century, one in the 21st, and as soon as the current Crisis gets wrapped up, Val can go home to dinner with Aleta and the kids. Maybe it's even simpler than that, and you yourself provided the clue -- Phantom has Excalibur in his Treasure Room in the Skull Cave, and the Singing Sword is Excalibur's twin; those two blades share a mystic connection, even through time. Now, I figure that if John Carter could use astral projection to travel to Barsoom, and Carter was just a rank amateur, thaumaturgically speaking, then Mandrake's an adept at astral travel, and probably can work the same in reverse - "astral summoning". By focusing on Excalibur, and its mystic connection to the Singing Sword, Mandrake can summon Prince Val, even through time (as long as he's holding the Sword). Presto and alakazam, Val's in the 21st Century! And Mandrake can send him back just as easily by the same method.

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