26 February 2010

Retrospective 1986

1986 seemed to be the year of the under"duck" when it came to superhero action.

Howard the Duck

In the summer of '86, movie goers cried "fowl" when Marvel Comics Howard laid a giant egg on audiences. You know, to be fair I am not really sure Howard can even be classified as a super hero, I mean, he's no Lobo the Duck. In any case, whenever someone wants to argue how bad the Punisher movies or Elektra were, defenders can always say, "Marvel has done worse."

Defenders of the Earth

And speaking of defenders, 1986 also gave the animated Defenders of the Earth series. The series gave us not only Flash Gordon, but a team up with The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician, And Lothar, AND their kid sidekicks. Now isn't that a recipe for success? I actually remember thinking this show was pretty cool as a kid though I didn't know at the time that the heroes were "real" comic book superheroes. They kind of came off like B-listers. Anyways, the show lasted for 65 episodes which by today's standards isn't too shabby. Back then, it may have been a bit of a disappointment.

Just tell me that theme song doesn't get you energized.

The Greatest American Heroine

Execs also decided in 1986 that it was time to relaunch the dormant Greatest American Hero series that ended in 1983. A pilot was filmed for The Greatest American Heroine, showing Holly Hathaway receiving the hero guise after the original hero's identity was revealed making him a celebrity. The pilot was not picked up, but was instead slapped with the original series theme song and credits and placed in syndication as the final episode of the Greatest American Hero series.

In all seriousness, I wonder when we will get a movie adaptation of the GAH series. Seems like its ripe for an adaptation. In all 1986 may be remembered thanks to Howard, though not too favorably. On the other hand, at least it didn't send a multi-hundred million dollar franchise down the toilets. For that you will have to wait until 1987.

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