Thursday, April 28, 2016

On The Shelf: Sometimes, pairing two icons doesn't always work

Dynamite Entertainment pulled a bit of a bait & switch with its just released miniseries, The Twilight Zone: The Shadow. You see, if you go by the cover, you'd think the pulp legend was the subject of an all new tale inspired by Rod Serling's seminal anthology series.

Well, he is.....not.

Writer Chris Roberson's story actually involves a radio actor, who bears less than a slight resemblance to Orson Welles, and not the Dark Avenger itself. I had my doubts seeing the pre-release teasers, but decided to take a chance. I was better off remaining a skeptic. Roberson's attempt at emulating Serling's writing style fails, badly. His recently concluded Doc Savage miniseries wrapped with a villain designed in the image of disabled scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking, and that might not have been by accident. Seems to me he might be going overboard cashing in on the success of the TV version of one of his earlier efforts----iZombie

Rating: C--.

Meanwhile, Dynamite brings back The Six Million Dollar Man for an all-new miniseries, launching in July. If that wasn't enough, they've signed Michael Uslan to script a generational tale that links together two generations of legendary heroes: The Lone Ranger & the Green Hornet. The idea, it seems, would be to imagine the Ranger surviving into the early days of the Hornet's career. Hmmmmmm.

Before signing on to play Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow, John Barrowman had appeared on Doctor Who and its spin-off, Torchwood, the latter of which ended after three seasons, or series, as they're called in England. Come July, there'll be a couple of books on the shelves bearing Barrowman's by-line as a writer. One is a Torchwood book that aspires to be the 4th season of the series, published by Titan Books. The other is a digital first offering from DC, Arrow: The Dark Archer, which offers the "untold story" of Malcolm Merlyn. The digital series is being collected in one handy trade paperback that fans of Arrow that don't invest in the online version will want for their collections. Something tells me DC will look at the sales of the trade and see if they can persuade Barrowman to do a follow-up. He's already done interviews on the project, in case anyone wonders.

If it seems like it's taken forever for Archie to finally relaunch Betty & Veronica, it's because it has. The 2nd volume slogged to the finish line, dropped to a bi-monthly schedule, and even then it was fraught with delays. Now, volume 3 begins in July, with acclaimed writer-artist Adam Hughes on board. The idea here is that the girls are on opposite sides when it comes to a national chain of coffee-themed restaurants settling down in Riverdale. If you've been following the revamped Archie, you know he's not undecided anymore when it comes to these two, but maybe, just maybe........! As with Archie & Jughead, the plan is to have new issues out every six weeks.

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