Advertisements

Tag Archive: George Reeves


Rebel Blockade Runner

The most expensive Star Wars prop and the most iconic single Star Trek costume sold at auction this past week.  A new record was set for the highest sale price for a television costume, the market proved yet again that even the slightest Star Wars item takes top dollar, and sci-fi again rules the private collectors’ market for screen-used costumes, props and other entertainment memorabilia.  It all happened at auction house Profiles in History’s latest Hollywood memorabilia auction, held in Calabasas, California over three days September 30 through October 2, 2015.

Profiles in History reported that it tolled $7.3 million in sales in the auction.  The biggest news came from a production model of the Rebel Blockade Runner, the first ship seen at the beginning of the original Star Wars, which set the record for the sale of any Star Wars production piece.  It sold for double the catalog estimate at $450,000.  The prior record for a Star Wars item was $402,500, for a TIE Fighter filming miniature from Star Wars that sold at Profiles in 2008.

George Reeves’ The Adventures of Superman television series earned its rightful place in the history of television, with his supersuit selling for $216,000, the most for any known sale of a television costume.

Superman George Reeves

Star Trek fans saw the most iconic Star Trek costume with the best provenance recorded sell for $84,000.  That was one of Leonard Nimoy’s blue tunics from the original series, accompanied by the documentation whereby a fan won the costume from a studio promotion back in the 1960s.  No other original series piece has sold with better provenance back to the studio.  Other Star Trek items sold included an original series third season McCoy standard blue uniform for $57,000, and an incomplete Class A Spock uniform for $14,000.

Everyone wants to get their hands on original Star Wars items–the most difficult of the major franchises to collect since most items remain with Lucas or Lucasfilm.  A small section of the Death Star barely seen in Return of the Jedi sold for a whopping $39,000.  And even though it wasn’t screen-used, a lot consisting of prototype pieces of the most cosplayed sci-fi outfit ever, Carrie Fisher’s “Slave Leia” outfit from Return of the Jedi, sold for $96,000.  Finally, in the top echelon of sales at the auction, a special effects camera used to film Star Wars sold for $72,000.

Then there’s Indiana Jones.  One of Harrison Ford’s screen-used bullwhips sold for $204,000, a fedora went for $90,000, and one of his shirts and leather jackets each sold for $72,000.

Jurassic Park cane

Other notable, classic, genre pieces sold, including:

From Forbidden Planet, a light-up laser rifle ($66,000), a light-up laser pistol ($27,500), and a Walter Pidgeon Dr. Morbius costume ($24,000).

From Jaws, a Robert Shaw Quint harpoon rifle ($84,000) and machete ($27,000).

Continue reading

Advertisements

Buck Rogers banner

There’s no rest for the weary, and one of borg.com‘s favorite writer/artists, Howard Chaykin, seems to be proving that, producing new stories and art everywhere you turn.  In 2013 he is working on two new comic book series that take a nostalgic look back to the middle of the 20th century.  Chaykin is serving as series artist on Satellite Sam, and artist and writer bringing Buck Rogers and the 25th Century back to comics.  Where the Buck Rogers monthly will be a straightforward classic take on the character, Satellite Sam will look at a TV serial character like Buck Rogers and the actor behind the role.

Satellite Sam Issue 1 cover

Chaykin and writer Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) take a dark look at the Golden Age of television with Image Comics’ Satellite Sam.  The innocence portrayed in 1950s television is contrasted with real life Hollywood when Carlyle Bishop, star of the TV series Satellite Sam is found dead in the not so glitzy part of town.  His son Michael finds a box of sleazy photos, which opens up a detective story into a life far different from that portrayed on TV.  It sounds a bit like it may reflect the type of short and complex lives of real-life actors George Reeves (The Adventures of Superman) and Bob Crane (Hogan’s Heroes) in a Sunset Boulevard setting.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

My exposure to the Lone Ranger was via Saturday movie serials featuring Clayton Moore’s portrayal of the masked lawman and his partner Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels.  I watched these with my dad, and he had watched them in the theaters as a kid.  My exposure to Zorro was via Guy Williams’ portrayal in a similar series I watched with my dad.  Williams, of course, later played Will Robinson on Lost in Space.  Moore and Williams looked alike to me, and I’ll admit if you told me George Reeves (who portrayed Superman in the 1950s alongside these other shows) had starred as Zorro or the Lone Ranger I would not have been surprised.  I mention all three together here because they all could be the same forthright hero played by the same lead actor.  So from my view it is a no-brainer that you would hook up the two Old West characters from this period of classic TV.  (I also was familiar with the Antonio Banderas films The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro).

   

The Lone Ranger: The Death Of Zorro Issues #1-5, published last year, was released this week in a trade paperback edition and it’s one you’ll want to check out if you like Westerns, especially the old Lone Ranger and Zorro serials, or if you’re just looking for something different.

This is not a team-up–It is more like The Godfather, Part 2, in its structure with Don Diego/Zorro in the Don Corleone slot and John Reid/The Lone Ranger in the Michael Corleone slot.

A fully realized historical fiction novel is lurking somewhere between the pages of this book, held back only by the required page count for the comic book format.  Expect something much more complex than, say, the current All-Star Western series by DC Comics (which is brilliant in a different way).  Unlike the Jonah Hex story, this is a shoot ’em up only secondarily.  Like Jai Nitz’s work on Dynamite’s Kato Origins series, Ande Parks delves deeper into the characters we only know on the surface.  I have been getting the vibe reading Dynamite Comics titles in the past year that this rich writing of background and relationships is becoming a hallmark of the publisher’s writer choices.  This trade paperback edition features another stellar retro homage to Zorro and The Lone Ranger by cover artist Alex Ross.

Note that this is not a Zorro book as much as a Lone Ranger book, as the Spanish masked hero dies early on, which should be no surprise based on the title.  But his spirit and legacy fuels the actions of the Lone Ranger and the rest of the story.  The audacity of killing off one of the heroes so early was surprising, but in that good way just as Steven Seagal had shared billing in the trailers with Kurt Russell in Executive Decision, yet was eliminated within minutes of the opening credits.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see Parks and artist Esteve Polls branching off on some past Zorro stories down the road.  Polls’s artistic style for this book has a very classic Western look and feel.

Look for themes of honor, loyalty, racism, brutality, corruption, Civil War aftermath, Spanish influences in America, the legacy of Native Americans–all here.  There is plenty woven into this story.  Parks even works in a subplot involving bushwhackers who have a James brothers vibe.  Plenty of strong-willed characters can be found here, and villains who are not just the guys in the black hats but characters with their own rules and motivations, however clouded or deluded as seen through the eye of hindsight from the modern reader.

You need only have a passing interest in the Old West to get sucked in.  Those who wouldn’t think to give the genre a try are missing out on some good storytelling.  Place this story alongside DC Comics’ El Diablo: The Haunted Horseman as a good entry point for new readers (Parks served as inker on El Diablo) as Dynamite currently has several titles featuring The Lone Ranger available.

Ande Parks will be known here to fans of Green Arrow as inker for several years on the DC Comics title, along with artist Phil Hester.  He also has written several works, including Capote In Kansas, Union Station, and The Green Hornet: Blood Ties.

The Lone Ranger: The Death Of Zorro is now available at Amazon here.

Superman has been around since June 1938, with his alter ego Clark Kent, first appearing in DC Comics’ Action Comics #1.  As we approach the restart of the DC universe with a new Action Comics #1, and the coming Man of Steel feature film beginning production, let’s run down how television and film has reflected the Man of Steel over the past seven decades.

It took ten years before Superman made it to the silver screen.  Kirk Alyn was the first actor to don the cape as the man from Krypton who could leap tall buildings with a single bound.  Here he is in 1948 in the first Superman feature film, titled simply Superman:

And here is how Superman appeared in the comic book at the time:

Not a bad match at all!  But there are two sides to Superman.  Here is Alyn as Clark Kent:

Pretty familiar?  Let’s move on to the next actor to play Superman, George Reeves, in the 1950s series Adventures of Superman:

And Superman in the comic book in the 1950s:

And Reeves as Clark Kent:

Maybe because I grew up watching reruns of George Reeves as Superman when I was a kid, I really think Reeves was the best actor cast as the Man of Steel of all the actors to take on the role.  His Clark Kent is both serious when required and slightly humorous, especially when excusing himself to change into his suit.

In the 1960s?  No Superman on TV or on film.  A sign of the times, maybe?  But here is Bob Holiday in a stage production on Broadway in 1966.*  Good casting!

Here is Superman from the 1960s comic books.

The next actor to take on the role was Christopher Reeve in 1978’s Superman and its three sequels in the 1980s:

And Superman in the comics in the 1970s-1980s:

Reeve seemed to reflect a leaner Superman in the comic books series.  And yet his Clark Kent was in step with the Kents of the past:

In the 1990s we had a successful TV series, Lois and Clark, starring Dean Cain as the Man of Steel:

And here is Superman in the comics of the 1990s:

Definitely a more “pumped up” Superman was favored in the 1990s.  But again, a hardly changed alter ego compared to past actors (maybe minus the hat and definitely Superman is younger in this incarnation):

And even younger yet, between 2001 and 2011 Smallville focused on the teen years of Clark Kent with actor Tom Welling hardly donning a cape at all (as a reflection of decade of the 2000s, is this a statement of the times–who needs a costume?):

And Superman in the comics of the day–can’t get away with no suit in the comic books!

But as Clark Kent, Welling veered far from past incarnations.  But that was the point of the show, much as Lois and Clark did,  appealing to modern, young viewers, Smallville was more of a teen soap a la 90210 than an action show:

With Superman Returns in 2006, an apparent sequel to Superman II, the studio made an effort to take us back to probably the most popular actor to play Superman, Christopher Reeve, with the young Brandon Routh, who seemed to summon Reeve in putting forth a great performance.  Overlapping the span of the Smallville TV series, Routh looks the part, too:

The heroic Superman of the comic book in 2006 still stands strong:

And Routh carries off the classic Clark Kent, too:

By all accounts, Routh was being primed to play the Man of Steel in the next feature film.  Any why not?  He nailed the character in Superman Returns.  But then the studio changed its mind and went with someone new.  The new actor must be someone far superior or they wouldn’t have moved away from someone as solid as Routh, right?

Then the studio announces Henry Cavill and reveals this photo:

He sort of looks like Adam Baldwin (Chuck, Firefly), doesn’t he?  Not really consistent with prior casting.  A darker vibe, no bright colors, maybe appealing to the Dark Knight audience, since the Batman franchise has been more successful lately? And the suit material looks like some type of mottled rubber.  Hrm.  Here is a photo of Cavill in glasses, before being cast:

So maybe there’s hope yet?  Here is a recent photo of Cavill with the “Superman curl” that has been circling the Net:

He may just look the part after all.  Of course we won’t really know for a few years.  And finally, here is Superman in Action Comics, as we approach the end of a comic book era:

Man of Steel is planned to hit theaters June 14, 2013, starring Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.

Editor’s Note:  Hey, those of you reading this from the Facebook movie fan page, please check out Borg.com on Facebook!  And if you like this and have comments please let us know!

*Updated. Thanks for the heads up on Bob Holiday from William Alexander.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg