Archive for the ‘Smallville’ Category

This is a new column where I’ll look at how a single comic book character or team has been adapted throughout the years. Think of this as the opposite of The Unadapted (The Un-Unadapted, if you will) in that this will be chronicling characters who have made multiple appearances in expanded media. My first subject will be everyone’s favorite gun-for-hire: Deadshot!

Daniel LuVisi’s beautiful cover to
Secret Six, issue 15

Deadshot (AKA Floyd Lawton) first appeared in Batman’s comic way back in 1950. He was a gimmick villain who posed as a hero trying to abdicate the Dark Knight’s throne as the top crime fighter in Gotham. He was eventually found out and sent to prison. At the time, he wore a costume consisting of a top hat and domino mask. Upon being released from prison, he was rebranded as a marksman for the highest bidder. Along with the change came a new costume consisting of a targeting reticle over his right eye which has become an iconic part of the character’s attire.

Since his early days, the character has evolved into more than a run-of-the-mill villain. He is a father who is devoted to making a better life for his daughter, a nihilist who isn’t afraid to die when the time comes and a good friend to those he deems worthy. He’s also become a fixture in DC’s Suicide Squad, surviving more missions than just about anyone else. He even made the transition to the New 52 version of the team. With his devil-may-care attitude, it’s no wonder he’s been so popular outside of the printed page.

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Promotional ad for Starman #0

Starman is a character that dates back to the Golden Age of Comics. For those who didn’t bother with the link, the Golden Age was a time from about 1938 to 1950 when superhero comic books were churned out like crazy and comic publishing became a big business. Many of DC’s sizeable stable of characters were created in this period. Among them was Ted Knight AKA Starman, a science-hero from the 1940’s who had a baton that enabled him to fly and shoot energy beams. It was powered by star-light, hence the name. The character was a member of JSA and All Star Squadron where he was often overshadowed by his teammates and rarely got a chance to shine (Ha! Puns). The character languished until he was revived in a post-Zero Hour series in the mid-90’s created by James Robinson and Tony Harris.

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Comic-Con International in San Diego has recently wrapped up its 2014 programming. This year, there was a huge focus on comic-based television. The fall TV schedule brings us The Flash, Gotham, Agent Carter and Constantine (plus iZombie as a mid-season replacement). Combine that with returning shows Arrow, The Walking Dead and Agents of SHIELD and it seems that the box office dominance of comics is making it’s way to the small screen. They’ve always had a presence in television (dating all the way back to George Reeves as Superman) but it’s only recently that it’s become so accepted in the mainstream. I realize shows like Batman: The Animated Series and JLU were popular and critically acclaimed, but they failed to capture the general public in the same manner that we’re currently seeing. In fact, almost every live-action comic-based show in the last 15 years failed spectacularly.
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