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Author Topic: What If?  (Read 6159 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2005, 01:45:46 AM »

Given special effects of the time, mostly extremely high budget like CB DeMille's upside down waterfalls for the parting of the Red Sea type things, I'm not sure what could have made Superman that much better...aside from imposed opticals and stop motion, what was available?
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nightwing
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2005, 02:48:40 AM »

I must be the only person around who thinks the Captain Marvel serial was junk.  I'll grant you some of the flying sequences were creative (and miles above the animated stuff in the Superman serial), but all the characters are dead wrong...Billy Batson is about 40 and Tom Tyler had such an awful voice it's no wonder his other big role was a non-speaking one in "The Mummy's Hand" (as the Mummy, no less!).  This serial, to me, is a good example of a project that lots of money could not help.

I feel funny having to defend a show remembered so fondly by millions, but AOS was a great show for what it was.  Nobody in the 50s considered comic book superheroes to be anything more than goofy kid stuff (well, except those who felt they were subversive and deviant!), so it's hard to imagine any studio spending any money on them.  The reign of the superhero as box office champ is a very recent phenomenon.  As Gerard Jones puts it in his "Men of Tomorrow" book, we are now living in the "Geek Culture."  Today comic book properties are looked upon as box office dynamite, so studios are willing to put money in to get money out.  In 1951 nobody in his right mind would have bet the farm on a superhero film or series catching on with anything but 8-year-olds.

Whether this reversal of fortune should be viewed as a triumph for the comics industry or a sad comment on the intellectual level of most audiences today is a matter for debate.
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Lee Semmens
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2005, 12:40:20 PM »

Actually, Nightwing, Billy Batson - aka Frank Coghlan - was not quite 40, but 25 when he made the Captain Marvel serial, as the following biography shows, but I do agree he looked a little too old for the role:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0169067/
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King Krypton
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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2005, 04:27:04 PM »

Pencil me in as one of the people who thinks Captain Marvel's flying FX were silly. Just how much more swaybacked could Captain Marvel have been when he took flight? I'm sorry, but the mannequin they used should not have had such major curvature of the spine.

As for TAoS, they could have used some of the comic book bad guys. The serials used Lex Luthor, and their budget was next to nothing. They pulled it off nicely, so a few appearances by Lex here and there would have been feasible. "Mr. Zero" could (and SHOULD) have been a Mxyzptlk episode (and really, you'd only ever need to show Mxy once), with a sympathetic Mxy who can't control his powers. Toyman and Pranskter could have been used because they were just thieves and bandits at that point in time. Those guys would all have been manageable under the show's budget. (I'll grant that Bizarro, Brainiac, Metallo, and others would have been out of the question.)

And on another note, Robert Lowery's guest appearance was the perfect opportunity for a Superman/Batman team-up episode. What a waste....
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crazedvillain
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2005, 04:18:13 AM »

Lyle Talbot from the Superman serial brought into the TV series as Luthor would of been great.  It would of been a memorable feature of the series, the Luthor appearences and his clashes with Superman. It would of elevated the show.
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Gernot
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2005, 09:56:11 AM »

I'd've also loved to have seen Luthor in the TV show.  

He could've been a behind-the-scenes villian, as the creator of the giant freezer that took Superman's powers away, for example.  Luthor might not have wasted his time robbing banks, but his minions would only have been too happy to try to take advantage of Superman's weaknesses at that point.  

They could even have used stock footage of Luthor at the end of his episodes reading a paper or listening to a radio broadcast of Superman getting the upper hand saying, "Curses!  Superman still lives!  SOMEDAY, Man Of Steel!  Someday..."

Every season's finale could have had Luthor thrown in jail again, too!  Wink  Most episodes would only have needed little tinkering to have been Luthor plots to destroy Superman.
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nightwing
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2005, 02:14:13 AM »

You know, all this talk of Luthor raises an interesting point.  I've always believed the general public -- who do not buy comics -- know certain things about Superman because of the TV show.  Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Kryptonite, the Daily Planet, etc.  Wander away from stuff on the show...talk to people about Krypto, Supergirl, Kandor, the Phantom Zone and so on...and you get a blank stare.

And yet, everyone seems to know Luthor, even though he never appeared on the show or on radio.  How is this?  I know now they might remember Gene Hackman, but even before the film came out, I knew people who said, "Hackman is Luthor? That ought to be good."  So they must have known him already.  People still use the name "Lex Luthor" to describe mad scientist/supercriminal types, just as they use "James Bond" to describe handy new gadgets.

Batman's rogues gallery barged into households around the world on the 60s show, so I expect people to know the Joker, Riddler, Penguin and Catwoman.  But how is it so many know Luthor?  Any ideas?
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2005, 02:40:18 AM »

In Atom Man Vs. Superman from 1950 Superman battles Lex Luther.. also how can you forget... SUPER FRIENDS!!!
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