Tag Archives: Superhero

All The Legends & Lore That Inspired Shazam

20 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Amongst Baby Boomers, The Adventures of Captain Marvel defined the pulp-action superhero who would later be known as Shazam. For Gen X’ers, The Shazam/Isis Hour was a maligned television show of the mid-70s and it has its cult appeal. Jump to 1981, The Greatest American Hero showed how Stephen J. Cannell developed a fun, purposeful superhero sporting a different kind of symbol who wants to do what’s right in a cop buddy sitcom formula. The problems the character faced as the series progressed include learning how to use his powers, talking to the aliens in why he was selected and trying to keep those he loved safe.

To bring all those previous iterations of a superhero sitcom movie, Shazam, took several decades of storytelling in the television world to experiment with and the payoff is terrific. Ignoring the troubled property when it was first introduced in the ’40s to its reinvention by DC Comics, this 2019 movie borrows on many comedic tropes from the small screen as Billy Batson (Asher Angel) tries to figure out what being a superhero means. He has no book to guide him. He only has a comic book superhero obsessed foster brother Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) to offer tips and his own moral compass to keep him pure. The only misfire is in how nothing new is added to make it stand out.

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History & The Pulps are Featured in War Bears, A Comic Book Review!

21 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released Sept 05, 2018

With two incredible Canadian talents, Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy, get together to create a comic book, the industry better pay attention. Published by Dark Horse ComicsWar Bears offers two well-meaning stories than one; the main narrative sees Alain Zurakowski as a struggling artist in an era where life is a struggle. The early 20th century was tough for many; not only did a world have to deal with and recover from two World Wars, but also the Depression made getting employed tough. In a dog eat dog world of 1943, this young man manages to get a job at a Toronto-based comic book company (not New York, where the action was at) and has to deal with ornery coworkers. One particular individual steals this kid’s ideas, and the conflict may well run deeper in later issues.

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The Little Tears in Captain Underpants, A Movie Review

4 Jun

captain-underpants-new-posterBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

DreamWorks adaptation of Dav Pilkey‘s Captain Underpants, The First Epic Movie is deserving of one half juvenile delinquency at its finest and the other, I don’t get it. The humour can garner giggles to a very select crowd of young boys but for everyone else who are not familiar with the source material, this film is better off skipped.

I admire this studio’s original work and many adaptations because the writing teams often create a well-meaning tale about relationships. Whether that’s between unlikely personalities, family members or brothers in arms, the joy is in seeing how the bond becomes firm. Underpants is a tale about two mischief fourth graders, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, dealing with elementary school life. They try to brighten up life there because the place feels like it should belong in Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and they also fear where their friendship will go if the mean principal, Mr. Krupp, separates them.

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