The next Hercules of film is not the Disney Hercules, nor the Marvel Hercules, nor any of the various DC Comics Herculeses, nor the actual Hercules taken straight from myth. There’ve also been Herculeses from Topps, Dell, Charlton, Quality, and Gold Key.
No, the recipient of a film treatment is the Radical Comics Hercules, written by marquee talent Steve Moore. Radical is one of the “comics-to-film” publishers that’s emerged in the last decade as filmmakers in increasing numbers have turned to comics for their ideas. Its 52-page graphic novella Hercules: The Thracian Wars will never be anywhere on Diamond Comics’ top sellers’ list, but who cares? They have eight projects in film development right now, and only one of them needs to hit.
Whether it will be this one, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and directed by Brett “Nearly Sank The X-Movie Franchise” Ratner, is left as an exercise for the reader.
PetSmart has teamed with Marvel to… you already know this is going to be good… release Marvel-themed tennis balls, chew toys, frisbees, dog T-shirts and dog bandanas. Nothing identifies your pet quite like a bandana declaring her allegiance in the coming Avengers vs. X-Men struggle.
Hey, remember that time Superman leaked the secrets of our nuclear program to the Nazis, so we actually lost World War II? Of course you don’t, because the Nazis weren’t looking at our comic books to perform their military espionage for them. But when the words “cyclotron” and “atom-smasher” showed up in a 1945 Superman comic strip, J. Edgar Hoover took an interest. Jerry Siegel had to reveal that he used a ghostwriter on the strip, and that ghostwriter, Alvin Schwartz, then had to explain he’d found the terms in an issue of Popular Mechanics. (Hat tip: Chicago Tribune.)
Somehow ERB, Inc.’s lawsuit against Dynamite Entertainment for producing Tarzan and John Carter books has gotten even more ridiculous, as Marvel Comics has announced its own John Carter series. No word from ERB whether these books show enough skin to “damage the reputation of the brand.” All this fuss over Tarzan, a public-domain character who’s had about 164 comics adaptations before this, and John Carter, a public-domain character whose movie nobody seems to want to watch. J.D. student Caroline Grousser unpacks the justifications for the suit, but concludes it’s “unlikely to succeed.” With luck, Dynamite may be able to recoup the legal fees by producing special “2 Hot 4 ERB!” editions.
Finally, a reminder to fans of Justice League video movies (especially those written by the late Dwayne McDuffie): this is Doom-sday.