The pulp universe currently being published by Dynamite Entertainment has been nothing short of fantastic and if you're not reading these books than from one comic book fan to another, shame on you. Ever since Dynamite began publishing classic pulp characters starting with Zorro back in 2008 they've kept a small focus on the medium but now they've dove in head first with amazing books such as The Spider, The Shadow, Green Hornet, Flash Gordon, Lord of the Jungle, and a super crossover event called “Masks”. These books have all thrilled their readers on many levels and Dynamite is planning on expanding the line with other classic heroes such as The Black Bat as well as some other possible surprises like Mark Waid taking on The Green Hornet and some Year One style stories based on The Shadow. Obviously there is a market for these pulp comics despite the pulp downfall of the 50's and I'm glad that Dynamite recognizes this and is doing their best to help revitalize these classic characters for a wider audience than they've been getting since their popularity demised back before many of this blogs readers were born (maybe even your parents).
This particular blog post is not really meant to be a long and deep account about Dynamite's foray into the pulp market, I've already covered that with a previous blog earlier this year, but instead I wanted to talk about some of the things that Dynamite is trying to do to keep the momentum for these pulp characters going and why you should invest in this line of books. First off the biggest and most important thing is the unification of these characters in Masks, an 8 issue limited-series that features characters such as Green Hornet, The Shadow, The Spider, Zorro, and The Black Bat meeting up for the first time in what could be seen as a Justice League style tale. On top of classic pulp characters we will also see characters from Dynamite's Project Superpowers line of books making appearances to help with the grand scale of this event. This title is wonderfully written by Chris Roberson and the first issue was fully painted by Alex Ross, if you love these characters and ever wanted to know what it would be like if they were all working together than this book is an absolute must buy for you. The first issue was so popular that it cracked the top 25 in the Diamond top 300 ordered comics for the month of November taking the 25th slot, that alone tells you that the market for pulp heroes is alive and healthy as long as you advertise your product. If that isn't enough for you, this book is the launching point for the 1930's pulp hero The Black Bat, a character that Batman was heavily modeled after. So much, in fact, that the owners of The Black Bat at the time took Batman's creators to court due to the similarities between both characters costumes thanks to Batman having his gloves modified to look more like Black Bat's. The acclaim for this series has been nothing short of amazing, almost every major comic review website has rated this book over a 9/10 and some have given the title a perfect 10 rating. That and the fan response has been tremendous with high sales, positive praise, and high orders for the second issue.
The Spider and The Shadow are two books that have really gained the mainstream attention for pulp characters in the modern era and have been insanely successful because of it. The Shadow remains one of Dynamite's top selling books every month and one of the most popular independent comics on store shelves while The Spider has garnered praise for it's deep story and amazing artwork. In order to make these characters relevant for today's audiences Dynamite has enlisted in talented writers such as Garth Ennis, Victor Gischler, and David Liss as well as amazing artists like Colton Worley, Jack Herbert, and Aaron Campbell to lead the creative process. Some changes have been made to these classic characters to kind of take them out of the 30's and into the 2000's with The Spider being given an amazing new costume to wear and The Shadow being given enhanced powers or persuasion thanks to a red stone ring that he wears, to some this may be a drastic change but mostly everyone has been in favor of the changes and it hasn't hindered the experience one bit. Sure, some fans have noted that some of these changes may have been a bit radical to the long-term fan, but what they fail to see is that Dynamite is presenting these heroes to a whole new generation, many of the fans who read these characters back in the 30's-50's are now either dead or are way to old to get out and buy one of these books and that it's the general comic book fans that will keep these titles alive. If you've ever been a fan of pulp characters or have ever been curious about these classic characters than these two ongoing books are sure to excite you, give them a shot and let me know what you think!
With Mark Waid jumping on board with The Green Hornet in 2013 he'll be relaunching the series which will star the original Green Hornet, if you've been reading the current Green Hornet book by Dynamite than you know that these stories have been based on Britt Reid's son and not on Britt Reid himself. The Green Hornet we will be getting is the Hornet that we were presented with in Matt Wagner's amazing Year One tale that Dynamite published some years back, that's a good thing in this reader's opinion. We've also seen a couple different series from Dynamite starring other pulp heroes, books such as Lord of the Jungle, Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist, The Last Phantom, Zorro, and even Warlord of Mars have graced store shelves and with DC loosing the rights to a group of classic pulp characters I could see Dynamite expanding this line heavily over the next two years. I truly believe that it is something they should consider doing as having an identity would be a good thing for the company, right now they just kind of do a mix-n-match of many different titles spanning many different mediums and becoming known as the “pulp company” wouldn't be such a bad thing. I guess time will tell what Dynamite has in store for it's little “pulp-verse” but I'll tell you this: If Dynamite decides to expand the line and bring in other classic characters from the pulp era, I know both myself and many other readers will be more than happy to pour their hard earned cash into whatever it is they're selling. Quote me on that.
As always I want to take the time to thank those who took the time to read my blog, it's much appreciated. Also, you can always check me out at www.twitter.com/manga4life as well as TZ and CBR, feel free to say “hi”.
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