Monday, July 16, 2012

Marvel Takes Over the Tube! 1977 Madness! HULK! SPIDER-MAN!

For those old enough to recall, 1977 was a lot like 2012, with all this cinematic Marvel madness that's upon the nation right now! In the late 70s, due to the success of STAR WARS and anything "sci-fi," TV and film producers suddenly clamored for any comic book properties to translate into new (and hopefully successful) live-action blockbusters! Marvel (then the top seller in the comics field) got the bulk of the interest, even tho previous TV juggernauts had come from competitor DC Comics (BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, SUPERMAN)! First up were live boob-tube versions of SPIDER-MAN and the ever-INCREDIBLE HULK! But, in those days, producers still looked to the powerfully successful 1966 BATMAN show as a blueprint, so fans feared these Marvel movies would be similarly campy and lightweight! Not so! Tho many changes were made from page to screen, these efforts came off as well-intentioned and earnest, if not fully successful! The HULK show, of course, was the most popular, tho CAPTAIN AMERICA and DR. STRANGE also got their shots at stardom, before limping away. The proposed HUMAN TORCH, SUB-MARINER, and MS. MARVEL features entered pre-production, but never got beyond those planning stages, as public interest quickly started to wane! Click below to enlarge these advance previews/reviews of these cathode-ray offerings, from Jim Steranko's MEDIASCENE magazine!

Think of how exciting these previews were back in 1977, in those days with no internet, or "inside scoops" on such productions, aside from fan mags like the one above! I recall not even knowing about many of these TV premiers until two weeks before they were broadcast then!

BONUS! Click below for a look at the opening credits to the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1977-1979 CBS TV show!

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