Monday, June 13, 2011

Superheros on Film

With Captain America getting ready to come out next month, I got to thinking about battling district attorney, Grant Gardner, films first Captain America.

No wings, a tiny little gun, no Nazi's in sight and worst of all no shield.

And yet, 1944's Republic serial, Captain America manages to be action packed fun, with Cap fighting the evil Scarab and trying his best to stop the villain from gaining control of the interestingly named, Dynamic Vibrator.

Cap was good fun, but had no real relationship to the original strip.

On the other hand 1943's Batman manages to get the characters, locations and costume right, but somehow manages to make Batman and Robin dull and slightly stupid.

Oh sure J. Carol Nash does a good job with the stereotypical roll of the evil Japanese scientist Doctor Daka, but everyone else just is just sort of there.

Which is a true shame when considering how good the film actually looks.

I guess the one that came closest to getting the characters right, while adapting for film, was .1941's Adventures of Captain Marvel, starring the great Tom Tyler.

Now this one does make Billy way to old, but the story is fast paced fun, the special effects are exceptional for the time and most of all Tyler is completely believable as the World's Mightiest Mortal.

Easily one of the best of all the movie serials, right up there with the  original Flash Gordon in quality.

Oh yeah before I forget, and mostly because the picture is so cool, here's Tyler again doing a great job as The  Phantom

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