2010 was a prolific year for superhero shows; and while bigger isn't always better, among this year's output of nuggets there were a fair number of gems. On the other hand some of these nuggets should be tossed aside last last week's left over McDonald's 20 piece. In this part 1, we will revisit shows that arrived during the pre-summer season of 2010.Human Target
In January, Fox launched the second attempt at a Human Target television series based on the Vertigo (DC) comic book series. Although the series found a big enough audience for a second season, dwindling numbers seem to forecast a dim outlook for the show's future.
The Black Panther animated mini-series created in the motion comic style was intended to debut on BET, but ended up hitting airwaves in Australia in January, later arriving online in the US. I am not sure what all the issues were, but the Marvel Disney merger may have had an effect on this release as it did on other animation projects. In any case, its always nice for a new character to headline his own series. Hopefully Daredevil won't be far behind.
February's Direct to Video debut of Planet Hulk was one of the year's early surprises. Many fans of Marvel's animated movies may have felt some Hulk saturation after the Jolly Green One appeared in 4 of the first 6 films. But the 5th time was the charm as this interesting variation offered a fresh take on the character while keeping in plenty of "smash!"
Woody's realistic take on street vigilante's found its way to the US in February earning $44,000 in its theatrical debut and somehow paving the way for a similar themed project for Dwight in Super.
The Justice Society of America
Even though Smallville has been on for years, the 9th season featured the first onscreen appearance of the classic Justice Society of America team, the first superhero team in comics (debuting in 1940). Although members of the JSA had appeared elsewhere previously either solo or as members of the Justice League, this was the first time the JSA got some well deserved attention. Hawkman, Dr. Fate, and Stargirl got most of the focus along with nemesis Icicle.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
In late February, DC countered with a Direct To Video of its own. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths made use of a long dormant script originally planned for as a movie for the Justice League animated series. The story inspired by the Justice League Earth 2 comic saw the League taking on alternate Earth evil counterparts, known as the Crime Syndicate led by the nefarious Owl Man.
Accompanying the Justice League movie was The Spectre, a fantastic ten minute short ushering in DC's new and possible short lived Showcase line focusing on lesser know heroes.
As summer neared, a couple of clunkers hit the big screen starting with The Losers. This A-Team wanna-be team of underdogs failed to capture a mainstream audience. On the other this film gave DC's Vertigo its second live-action adaption of the year.