After two meet-up issues, Wonder Woman and The Bionic Woman are back in their 1970s TV action mode in the DC Comics/Dynamite Entertainment crossover series Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman, Issue #3, hitting comic book shops today. And Max, the bionic German Shepherd, joins the team.
Writer Andy Mangels (Star Trek & Star Wars) and artist Judit Tondora (Grimm Fairy Tales) have at last tapped into that 1970s nostalgia fans of classic superhero TV shows have been looking for. Today the duo takes on fembots, and the series reintroduces characters and plot points footnoted to specific episodes of the original TV shows.
The series features great covers and variants by artist Cat Staggs, Alex Ross, and others. Check out some past and future covers from the series above and after the break, followed by a preview of Issue #3:
More than fifty years ago Newton Minow, the first FCC commissioner, called television a vast wasteland. The prospect of 500 channels available and nothing to watch was forecast back in the 1970s and today it sometimes seems like it’s a truism more often than not. But if you get tired of new programming–and make no mistake plenty of great television shows are airing this year–a few recently added channels to your local line-up may remind fans of classic TV why they jumped onboard in the first place.
Three channels: MeTV, COZI TV and LAFF, are a destination for those who just want to pop in now and then for a dose of the past. Even pay channel Starz has begun broadcasting classic television series. No doubt much of the programming may not hold up to current audiences. Clothes, hairstyles, and stale, formulaic half-hour and hour plots may not keep your 21st century attention. Yet many shows seem to hold up quite well. As time goes on two of my favorites, Simon & Simon and Magnum, P.I., seem to drift farther and farther away, yet the comedy of Night Court and Cybill remains laugh-out-loud funny.
Classic TV gold, like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, may be a bit much in big doses. Only a diehard fan would stream these beginning to end. Yet, try popping in once in a while and it’s like visiting an old friend. M*A*S*H and The A-Team hold up quite well. In particular, the formula established by The A-Team, no doubt based on decades of series that came before it, can be found continuing on to this day in series like Leverage and Burn Notice. Even series like Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels can be fun, if you don’t take their 1970s approach to TV too seriously. And you may find yourself engrossed in Quantum Leap all over again.
So what’s playing, where, and when?
I began collecting my first “non-sports” trading cards back in 1976 with presidents cards produced by local bread companies such as Colonial Bread. I then moved on to Star Wars cards thanks to a very small run of cards released in Wonder Bread loaves. Hooked on images of Star Wars in an age before VHS, in 1978 I moved to the Topps series with their red and then gold series of Star Wars cards. Thanks to collecting dimes that fell out of my older brother’s pockets I was able to pick up a pack per week from the Kwik Shop down the street. At the age of seven, I learned more than you might think from these cards. I learned vocabulary words. Words like “peril,” “chasm,” “evacuate” and “triumph,” and I can point to those individual cards that formed part of my education, much like kids today probably credit the Harry Potter series with similar learning experiences. (I also learned great words from Marvel’s Star Wars comic books, like “armageddon” and “behemoth”). Star Wars as teaching tool? Who knew?
Only later I learned I had missed an entire series of Star Wars cards, the original blue cards with a white star field. None of these Topps series ever got very expensive so I picked up a complete set of the original blue series cards for $10 in college. Here is what all five of the original series look like:
As part of the lead-in to Episode VII, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Topps has produced a new series of 110 cards called “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” They are made to match the style of the original blue series, but also come with rarer background color cards and stores like Target, Toys R Us, WalMart and Walgreens have even more variants by store. You’d go crazy finding them all, so don’t. Just pick up the complete sets from eBay card retailers who do the sorting for you. Or take your chances by the pack. But don’t look for the bubble gum or classic bubble gum scent of the cards. You’ll need to find an original set for that.
Here are the checklists of what you will find (click to enlarge):
Review by C.J. Bunce
It’s almost a shame this weekend’s big screen release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a retelling of the 1960s television series. It’s an adaptation in that it takes the framework of the show—an American and a Russian working together as Cold War era spies—yet director Guy Ritchie makes this work stand completely by itself. The fact that it’s based on a classic series may turn away viewers who may be tired of other remakes of 1960s shows like Get Smart and The Avengers (both of which were good standalone films). But that would be a great loss, as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is not only as stylish as advertised in our favorite trailer of the year, it’s a classy and smart story and a superb re-creation of the early 1960s.
It’s no surprise that this film relishes its Bond influences–Henry Cavill’s character Napoleon Solo was created by Ian Fleming, the same Ian Fleming that created Bond. Yet the movie is fresh and new. The story and Cavill’s performance evoke Matt Bomer’s role of stylish and cocky ex-art thief-turned government man on TV’s White Collar. In fact Cavill is a dead ringer for Bomer. Likely it’s just a coincidence but if you loved White Collar you’ll love this film. And any doubts you may have as to Cavill’s acting because of the poorly written part he was stuck with in Man of Steel will be wiped away with his confident and suave Solo. Even better is Armie Hammer’s performance as Illya Kuryakin. Any doubts you may have as to Hammer’s acting from his lead role in The Lone Ranger will also be wiped away. Hammer’s performance as a KGB agent in need of some anger management is nuanced and layered. The idea of putting some Ennio Morricone musical queues behind Hammer and adding a Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry twitch are simply inspired. This is a great team and a film that sets itself up for an exciting sequel.
As commanding a presence as Cavill and Hammer have, they are almost upstaged by the equally important roles played by Alicia Vikander as the German daughter of a rocket scientist and Elizabeth Debicki as the ultimate Bond villain. The villainy in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is surprisingly as powerful, seething, and fun as any 1960s Bond film. All of this is a credit to Ritchie’s bankable directorial and writing prowess. A fan of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Ritchie knows how to get the best out of partnerships here, just as he did with his Sherlock Holmes movie series.
Director John Carpenter announced this week that Hot Wheels will be issuing a die cast metal version of his famous car Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury from his horror film based on Stephen King’s novel. It doesn’t have a sound chip for playing Little Richard’s “Keep a Knockin'” but it’s still going to be a cool mini-ride. Other new releases include Richard Dreyfuss’s truck from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Emergency! red rapid response truck from the 1970s TV series. Not familiar with the retro entertainment line from Hot Wheels? It gets better.
So far the Hot Wheels plant has rolled out something for everyone, coming up with a pretty broad array of vehicles. Remember the green GMC mobile home “Urban Assault Vehicle” from Stripes? It’s coming in 2015. Remember Mr. Miyagi’s yellow 1948 Ford–the one he gives as a gift to Daniel-san for finishing his karate training in The Karate Kid? They’ve got that, too.
The gold old days. Life was simpler then. Back then we didn’t have the Internet.
Every generation looks back with a sense of nostalgia for those artifacts of a time long ago. Yet in contemporary times you wouldn’t have thought we’d ever look back one day with any positive thoughts. Real typewriters, not the electric ones, that gave your fingers early stage arthritis. A pick-up truck with manual steering that gave your arms a workout every time you made a turn. The vibrant, eye-popping scent of mimeograph machines and the purple ink that wouldn’t wash off your skin. The sting of mercurochrome on an open wound. Ah… the good old days.
Then there are those things that really do carry nothing but positive feelings. Back in between 1959 and 1972, Fisher Price released toys for little kids wanting their own high-tech fun. If you’re like us here at borg.com, you remember playing with most of these as a kid. In reality these toys were low-tech, yet, if the gift recipient was young enough these toys really were a hit. They have vanished for decades but are back now, and in time for your Black Friday gift buying quest.
If your kid is old enough where he has his own xBox and iPhone, don’t bother with these. These are for kids who haven’t been tempted by those zombie toys of the adult set. So here they all are: the 1966 High-Def television, the 1959 iPod, the 1961 smart phone, the 1969 electronic keyboard, the 1968 digital SLR, the 1972 iPad, and the 1971 CD player. You don’t remember an iPod in 1959? Maybe Fisher Price didn’t use these terms back then, but maybe current kids would have the same fun with the appropriate spin on what they were playing with.
Here’s your post-modern online retro toy catalog to save you some time at the holidays, with our own added updated names, available at discount prices from Amazon.com. Click on each photo for details.
The Original Smart Phone
1961 Chatter Phone
1966 Two-Tune TV