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Rough chronology of Dynamite's pulp line

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  • Rough chronology of Dynamite's pulp line

    For anyone with the slightest interest, here is the chronology I have come up with for a sizable chunk of Dynamite's pulp line. Yes, I know it leaves out some things--some definitely don't fit in the same continuity (reimaginings of the characters in the present day, for instance), and some, like Chaykin's Shadow, are a tad grim for my tastes. (It's really meant to suit no one but myself.) I have the Red Sonja, Tarzan, and Warlord of Mars stuff separate from this, and the Gold Key and King Features stuff separate as well. (I suppose this 1930s Flash Gordon can be in the pulps, and the King Features universe--with the reimagined present-day one--on its own.)

    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 ZORRO #1-4 (OF 4) ----- 1807 (tentative)
    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: MORIARTY LIVES #1-5 (OF 5) ----- 1891
    Sherlock Holmes (2009 Dynamite Entertainment) ----- 1895.1 October
    THE SHADOW #0 ----- 1925 (tentative)
    Shadow Year One (2013 Dynamite) ----- 1929
    DOC SAVAGE ANNUAL 2014 ----- 1931.09 Fall of 1931, right from the horse's mouth
    Doc Savage (2013) ----- 1933 (continues to present day)
    Merciless Rise of Ming (2012 Dynamite) ----- 1933 Prequel to Zeitgeist
    DOC SAVAGE #1 ----- 1933
    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
    DOC SAVAGE #2 ----- 1949
    DOC SAVAGE #3 ----- 1961
    Codename: Action #1-6 ----- 1965 Roberson says so
    DOC SAVAGE #4 ----- 1977
    THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 #1 ----- 1978.091
    THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 #2 ----- 1978.091
    THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 #3 ----- 1978.091
    THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 #4 ----- 1978.091
    THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN: SEASON 6 #5 ----- 1978.091
    DOC SAVAGE #5 ----- 1988
    DOC SAVAGE #6 ----- 2000
    DOC SAVAGE #7 ----- 2014
    DOC SAVAGE #8 ----- 2014 tentative

  • #2
    No way do I see stuff like the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns and Six Million Dollar Man as having any sort of pulp sensibilities, except as pulp fiction influenced all popular fiction in the most general sort of way possible. Battlestar Galactica owes more to pulp fiction than those things do, ditto for Vampirella and Dark Shadows. Unless DE had something based on the cliffhanger serials, I'd just leave stuff that originated in movies or on television out of it completely. I wouldn't want to see a crossover series with Doc Savage and the $6MDM. About all you can say is that those stories take place in times other than the present day.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
      (It's really meant to suit no one but myself.)
      .............................

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
        For anyone with the slightest interest, here is the chronology I have come up with for a sizable chunk of Dynamite's pulp line. Yes, I know it leaves out some things--some definitely don't fit in the same continuity (reimaginings of the characters in the present day, for instance), and some, like Chaykin's Shadow, are a tad grim for my tastes. (It's really meant to suit no one but myself.) I have the Red Sonja, Tarzan, and Warlord of Mars stuff separate from this, and the Gold Key and King Features stuff separate as well. (I suppose this 1930s Flash Gordon can be in the pulps, and the King Features universe--with the reimagined present-day one--on its own.)
        Nice job!

        So your assessment would be that the Green Hornet in Codename: Action and the one from Blood Ties are not the same? I kind of sold myself on the idea that they are, but did not dwell into it too much to avoid proving myself wrong.

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        • #5
          I don't recall my reasoning, but I seem to recall considering the Kevin Smith GH (to which Blood Ties is a prequel) in a different category than the other GH.

          Really, this is more like selecting an array of flowers for a bouquet than an exact science.

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          • #6
            As a side note--again, for those who care, and with a full understanding that hardly anyone but me will have the slightest desire to do it this way--skipping Queen Sonja and its related stuff altogether, I have the Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, and Lord of the Jungle stuff in with my Dark Horse Conan/Kull/REH stuff and with my 2000-2004 Marvel stuff (including, of course, the Spider-Man/Red Sonja miniseries). (Conan and Sonja (and Kull, etc.) were once part of the Marvel Universe, and even though they can't be referred to by name there right now, I am happy to consider the current/recent stuff to be collected with that iteration of Marvel.) Otherwise, I suppose I might put them in with this pulp timeline...

            And Legenderry is its own universe, of course.

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            • #7
              Do you consider 2000-2004 Marvel to be a different continuity from earlier and/or later Marvel stuff? Not sure when it happened exactly, but after the whole Dark Reign/Siege thing I slowly stopped reading a lot of Marvel stuff. Quit Captain America and Winter Soldier when Ed Brubaker left, and about the only thing I was reading earlier and still continued on was Daredevil and Iron Man. Of the more recent stuff, only All New Invaders, the Winter Soldier miniseries, and Silver Surfer are doing anything for me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                Do you consider 2000-2004 Marvel to be a different continuity from earlier and/or later Marvel stuff?
                I treat it that way, yes; it's in the longer essay here on my somewhat neglected blog. This, indeed, would be part of what I call "Earth-J." It mostly starts around 2000, circa Maximum Security, and splits around mid-2004, before Avengers Disassembled (and before Sins Past, for that matter). In this world, Peter and MJ never lost their marriage (yay!), House of M and Decimation and Civil War never happened, etc., among other things. Indeed, in terms of publishing, that Spider-Man/Red Sonja team-up mini was the very very last time we saw the Spider-marriage at all... (Started Oct. 2007, and One More Day was Nov. 2007.)

                For things to make the most sense in these articles, because Tumblr puts the latest stuff at the top, it's best to read them in "reverse" order, starting with the one at the very bottom which explains why I came up with the system in the first place, and then the one explaining the system.

                Of course, again, it's idiosyncratic to suit my own tastes, and one can do such things however one likes. The key thing here is that it's there for maximum reading enjoyment, and this arrangement suits me. Everyone else's mileage may vary!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                  Of course, again, it's idiosyncratic to suit my own tastes, and one can do such things however one likes. The key thing here is that it's there for maximum reading enjoyment, and this arrangement suits me. Everyone else's mileage may vary!
                  I think that's true to some extent for mostly everyone. We embrace the stuff we like, and try to assiduously ignore the stuff we don't, so our own personal versions of someone else's universe make central the characters and storylines that are "true" for us, and the remaining puzzle pieces are discarded as useless or counterproductive to our personal vision of things as we'd like to have them. After a while, if you cease to embrace the greater part of the whole universe as it's being presented across the company's line of many titles, your part of that universe becomes limited to just the universe of a few titles that you approve of. It's a much bigger problem for me with Marvel and DC than it was 10 or 20 years ago because of the constant pressure of line-wide "events" that happen with unrelenting frequency. Once upon a time I mostly embraced those kind of things, but now I just find them tedious and annoying.

                  Still, I think we need to recognize that such idiosyncratic organizations of selective information and purposeful ignoring of the "common core of experience" or "consensus reality" is leaning in the direction of solipsism. It also tends to make it difficult to have any sort of meaningful discussions with other comics fans, because it means we are indeed "living in our own little world". I guess ultimately it comes down to rejecting the traditionally-accepted concept of "continuity" as having any real value; or, depending on your point of view, recognizing that with so many individual writers and artists working on so many different characters over many decades, any real consistency is nearly impossible without rock-solid (some might say "heavy-handed") editorial oversight, and that's dependent on the presumption that the editors actually know what they're doing (which they don't always).
                  Last edited by pulphero; 05-05-2014, 02:06 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Oh, I don't think I'm in danger of solipsism here; these are, after all, fictional characters. And I'm able to have conversations with other fans just fine--any difficulties with that have not been over my approach to continuity, but (usually) about whether various characters ought to be written thus-and-such. (I disliked Civil War and its relevant connections for precisely the same reason I dislike much of the New 52.) Remember, I'm not discarding things per se--I'm just putting, say, the Marvel from 2000-2004 into "Earth-J," 2004-around Children's Crusade and Schism as "Earth-B," and the current stuff as "Earth-AA." (That doesn't mean I'm going to go and get back issues featuring bad guy Tony Stark any more than having a category of "Earth-N"--the New 52--means I'm going to go get Scott Lobdell's comics; in that sense, I guess you could say I'm ignoring it, but only in the sense that I'm not getting books I don't like.)

                    If anything, really, this system allows me to have books from any company or era without worrying about whether they contradict each other in story or in tone.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                      Oh, I don't think I'm in danger of solipsism here; these are, after all, fictional characters. And I'm able to have conversations with other fans just fine--any difficulties with that have not been over my approach to continuity, but (usually) about whether various characters ought to be written thus-and-such. (I disliked Civil War and its relevant connections for precisely the same reason I dislike much of the New 52.) Remember, I'm not discarding things per se--I'm just putting, say, the Marvel from 2000-2004 into "Earth-J," 2004-around Children's Crusade and Schism as "Earth-B," and the current stuff as "Earth-AA." (That doesn't mean I'm going to go and get back issues featuring bad guy Tony Stark any more than having a category of "Earth-N"--the New 52--means I'm going to go get Scott Lobdell's comics; in that sense, I guess you could say I'm ignoring it, but only in the sense that I'm not getting books I don't like.)

                      If anything, really, this system allows me to have books from any company or era without worrying about whether they contradict each other in story or in tone.
                      Of course, when I say "solipsism", I mean it in context of the subject matter, i.e. the fanboy version of solipsism. Of course, you aren't going to have any problems discussing your preferences with other fans over whether you like or dislike the way such-and-such a writer writes some particular character. But when it comes to continuity, your particular approach and arcane rule system (yes, I did attempt to read your blog, until my eyeballs began to glaze over) is SO idiosyncratic that it's meaningless relative to the average fan's concept of the word "continuity". I think you at least need to have some recognition that nobody else particularly cares about how you choose to group your collection together in boxes... not trying to be mean here, just honest, so please take it under advisement in the spirit of 'constructive criticism'... so everything you wrote after "I'm just putting, say, the Marvel from 2000-2004 into..." is 'all Greek to me'. Again, not trying to be a parade-rainer here, if it pleases you in some way, it's harmless, but as far as I'm concerned, you could have just told me you filed all your comics in separate boxes by week, month, and year of release, regardless of company, character, or issue number. All issues dated May 1974 go in one box, June 1974 in another. It's yours and yours alone. I think the eyeballs glazed over right about where you started to explain (on your blog) how 1976 (for some reason you failed to elaborate) was the beginning of the "Iron Age". No offense. When it occurred to me that you were slicing the universes into pieces so thin that within a single "universe" there could be no real evolution or growth of characters (because the minute there is, it becomes a different universe -- at least that's what I got out of it) I mentally checked out. Again, not trying to be snide, just honest.

                      And this is coming from a guy who has actually read, and owns, the late Mark Gruenwald's Omniverse fanzine.
                      Last edited by pulphero; 05-05-2014, 05:02 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pulphero View Post
                        I think you at least need to have some recognition that nobody else particularly cares about how you choose to group your collection together in boxes
                        Hence the phrases "For anyone with the slightest interest" and "again, for those who care, and with a full understanding that hardly anyone but me will have the slightest desire to do it this way."

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                        • #13
                          If I ever get around to writing it, the whole 1976 thing will indeed be explained. This was meant to be part of a regular thing, and it's all very clear in my own head, but there are so many other things to deal with that I just haven't done it. (And of course if no one is likely to read it, well, that's part of why it's all several years old.)

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                          • #14
                            Re character development, my wee system here is meant to allow for character development to happen and then not get undone. A given writer will come up with a story arc which leads to a character changing, getting new relationships, etc., and over years of writing by other people down the line, a lot of that gets undone (sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes not). It isn't even with formal universal reboots, or things like One More Day--there are arrays of retcons, "Everything you know is a lie!" etc. Sometimes part of the issue is that I just like both versions, and this gives them both a home. I've enjoyed, for instance, the Roy Thomas story in which Dian Belmont died during the Golden Age--and I've enjoyed, in a different way, Sandman Mystery Theatre, in which she's alive and went on later to a ripe old age. I loved Roy Thomas' Infinity Inc., with Hector and Lyta going off to live happily ever after, and because I put that in a different world, I can freely enjoy it and the Sandman issues dealing with the notion that Hector was actually still dead. Roy Thomas was obviously not planning on that being the reality behind Hector's reappearance at all, and to go back and re-read those stories while constantly thinking, "Oh, but really Hector's still a ghost" would be sort of awkward for me.

                            And of course, this is all because we are dealing with shared universes in which different writers and editors have different takes on the characters at different times. Things change, and I'm OK with that. I loved the married Spider-Man, and despite my loathing for the basic concept of One More Day (hinging on Peter and MJ making a deal with Mephisto, yuck no thank you), I am really enjoying Dan Slott's stuff--Superior Spider-Man got me hooked. They're mutually exclusive takes on the character, and I like enjoying them both.

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                            • #15
                              Things might have been different IF the comic book industry had developed around a creator-owned paradigm, or IF company-owned shared characters were treated like real living breathing people who grew older, aged and died at the same rate as their readers in the real world. In the former model, only the original creators' work (or their creator-sanctioned work-for-hirelings and successors) would be "true". So you probably weren't barking up the wrong tree in positing a universe in which one writer's work comprised a universe unto itself. In practice though, and as things stand, people tend to ignore the inconsistencies (aided and abetted by imperfect memory, and the fact that they haven't read every single story), to amalgamate their own homogenized vision of the characters that are true for them. We like to think of them, for the most part, (with the exception of those readers who doggedly insist on their idealized version of the character remaining static) as growing and evolving, and reflecting the current cultural zeitgeist, even as we ourselves are not the same as we were (and not just physically) in earlier stages of our life. Grant Morrison has a theory that incorporates everything that has happened in Batman comics as being part of the same character... yes, he's changed, but all of those stories happened; perhaps its just our perspective or interpretation of the events that change.

                              Comics didn't invent "Everything you know is a lie!". Sometimes, as in real life, there is actual lying involved (although in comics, since they are fictional, the lying would be more 'theoretical' than 'actual'). That's because the "history" that we THINK we know is just that -- "his story". That's why there are "apocryphal" books of the Bible, because some "continuity cop" decided that certain books belong to the history of "Earth-B" (i.e., "not the real Earth", but that's contingent on belief, isn't it?). Speaking of continuity contradictions, I wonder how many "universes" I could slice the Bible into?

                              Comics, perhaps more than any other medium, are desperately dependent on the willing suspension of disbelief, and the other side of that coin is "I WANT to believe" (useful for people who read history books, religious believers, ufologists, believers in astrology, and comic book fans, among others). Even though we "know" comics are "fiction" (but so did Barry Allen), our brains continue to follow in the same pathways we use for everything we "know", but do not have any direct experience of. All mythologies (whether those of the ancient Greeks, the ancient Hebrews, or modern UFOlogy lore) have inconsistencies, and for the people that are keenly interested in them, comic book universes are mythology. We tend to create the illusion of reality that we want, using the same "persistence of memory" that convinces us that what we see at the movies is not a series of still photographs, but an unbroken window into something that actually happened (even if it was just actors on sets wearing costumes and reciting dialogue written for them).

                              To give a real-world example, I "know" (or thought I knew) the story of Will Eisner's creation of Wonder Man for publisher Victor Fox. Eisner told it many times, and always the same way: he had refused to lie under oath on the witness stand when National Periodical Publications (or Detective Comics, Inc., or whatever they were calling themselves back then) took Victor Fox to court to sue him for copyright infringement of Superman by publishing the Wonder Man character. As a result, Fox lost the suit, and Eisner lost about $3000 in money owed him by Fox for work already produced. This I "knew", as part of the history of the comic book industry. No one had ever disputed Eisner's story as anything but the unvarnished truth. Would Will Eisner lie about a thing like that? But lo and behold, I nearly fell over when I learned that "Everything I knew was a lie!". I mean, literally. Recently uncovered court transcripts of Eisner's actual testimony prove that in fact, Eisner DID lie under oath in court to protect Victor Fox. Then, he LIED when he said he didn't lie? Faith in one of the "founding fathers of comic books": shattered. Sense of reality, and what you THINK you know as real and true history: shaken. Eisner's history had been retconned!

                              Some people like to dissect, sort the like from the unlike, compartmentalize, put things in boxes and smaller boxes inside the bigger boxes. Ultimately there's no end to splitting hairs, in ever-finer distinctions. You can be as fussy (or obsessive-compulsive) as you want to be, using whatever hierarchy of critera seems important to you. (Psychiatry will never admit to this, but OCD can be fun!) After all, there are an infinity of possible universes. But most people just homogenize as they go, based on incomplete information (not having read every comic ever published) and imperfect memory, and discarding the odd bits and bobs that don't fit the big picture, if that's what it takes the maintain the suspension of disbelief in their favorite characters. Frequently you can no longer maintain that suspension, and you quit reading things that you'd rather not read about, because it's no fun any more. Other times you just recognize that things like Sandman Mystery Theatre and the Golden Age Sandman from Adventure Comics are not the same, despite superficial parallels; but I'm not sure anybody was ever really trying to convince anybody that they were... why put a Vertigo label on it, then? Not much different than slapping the word Ultimate, or Elseworlds, or Alterniverse on it, IMO. Labels can be helpful to some degree, but I can do without the endless Earth-alphanumeric designations. That sort of went out the window after Crisis on Infinite Earths at DC, and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes (2005) just makes me chuckle, when I think about how Marvel used to razz the 'Distinguished Competition' for their 'confusing' (pre-Crisis) multiverse, while holding themselves up as paragons of consistent continuity. Just commit those numbers in the OHOTMU:AU to memory, and we'll all be on the same page, right? Well, maybe not ALL of us.

                              If I can be sure of anything, it's just this: "It's all just lines on paper, folks!" (tip o' the hat to R. Crumb)
                              Or maybe Gardner Fox really WAS receiving mental reverberations from another vibratory plane... (maybe a tinfoil hat would have helped with that?)

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