28 September 2011

Retrospective 1995

Tank Girl

Tank Girl, based on a British comic book of the same name wasn't really a superhero movie. It was however a disaster which coincidentally "tanked." Ha Ha. Banking just $4 million, the April film's failure led to the collapse of Deadline, the comic's original publisher.

The Maxx

Later in April, an animated series based on the Image Comics character the Maxx made its debut on MTV. Although several non-DC or Marvel superhero series made their debuts between 1994 and 1996, the Maxx stood out for its unique blend of animation styles and complex story that bounced between the real world and an alternate reality. All 13 of the 11 minute episode remain free for viewing at MTV's site.

Batman Forever

Batman Forever was the beginning of the end for Batman fans. This third in the "90's" series of Bat-films was ironically heralded for returning the Dark Knight to a lighter tone... and we know where that led. While Batman Returns at least had Catwoman, and Batman and Robin was so bad that at least it could be written off, far too many people remember this as one of the good Batman movies and it really wasn't. The incredibly popular at the time Jim Carrey put his odd stamp on the Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones destroyed Two-Face. Nevertheless, the movie was a hit and so was its merchandise... and to be fair compared to some of the other live-action offerings in '95 it was the best of the rotten batch.

Judge Dredd

Also opening in June was a lesser known superhero, Judge Dredd which cost $90 million to make and earned $35 mil. The movie also earned Sly Stalone a nomination for the Raspberry award for worst actor. This British character is a law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges combine the powers of police, judge, jury and executioner. I missed this one, but I don't much regret it.

Black Scorpion

A step down from Jusge Dredd and at least two down from Batman Forever, was Black Scorpion a made for Showtime movie featuring a Batman-like powerless superheroine who fought crime with gadgets and martial arts. The effort was popular enough to earn a sequel and a spin-off series a few years later.

The Mask: The Animated Series

Hot of the heels of the Jim Carrey smash hit the year previous, and continuing the tradition of non-DC or Marvel characters earning increased exposure, the animated Mask stormed airwaves in August of 1995 running for 3 seasons and 55 episodes.

Darkman II: The Return of Durant

Hoping to build on Darkman's modest success in 1990 Darkman II was produced as a direct to video affair. The synthetic skin angle made recasting a breeze and the follow-up did well enough to earn yet another Darkman movie a year later.


September brought yet another animated superhero series. Freakazoid! a superhero comedy was a product of Steven Spielberg, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and the Kids' WB building upon the successes of Tiny Toons and Animaniacs.The series gained a cult following, earning just 24 episodes over two seasons.

The Savage Dragon

In October it was another Image superhero getting his big break. This time, the Savage Dragon got the green light for a 26 episode run.


Last, and possibly least, 1995 also saw the premier of the Ultraforce animated series. The Malibu Comics team series lasted just 13 episodes before being relegated to near obscurity within just a couple of years. The title and in fact the entire Malibu line has since been bought and permanently shelved by Marvel Comics.

No comments:

Post a Comment