Community Office Hours--Ask Jitsu Your Questions Every Tuesday Night!

This time out, Trivia Corner looks into a " Deadman’s Chest." A closer look at the original run of Deadman, from Strange Adventures. All of which was brought together in a beautiful hc collection in 2001, from DC. And, while not a Space Odyssey, it was still a helluva ride for Boston Brand. A strong and fascinating character, who became even more so, after Neal Adams decided to put his stamp on it.

Editor Jack Miller wanted a continuing feature for his Strange Adventures anthology title. So, he handed the challenge off to writer Arnold Drake. What he returned with a few days later, was a story about the ghost of a murdered man, searching for his unknown killer. Carmine Infantino was the artist assigned to flesh out Drake’s* script. He came up with the imagery for Deadman, and all his immediate supporting cast, as he illustrated the first story, in issue #205. He might have continued with it, but was promoted to Art Director. These responsibilities meant he had to pass the work on to an up 'n coming new talent in the office. His name was Neal Adams. And the rest as they say, was history!

Miller liked the character, and took over scripting with the 3rd story, for the next several issues. But then, handed off the writing to Neal in issues #212 & 213. Neal clearly had plans for the character and began to plot his future. Boston Brand’s next two stories however were handled by other writers. One of which, brought them both into the world of the Batman. In Brave and the Bold #79, the two characters would crossover for the first time, as the Masked Manhunter joined in the hunt, for the hook handed killer. Those fans who loved Adam’s Deadman, went wild for his Caped Crusader. I have to assume that Neal had some say in the story content (as he had been given the reins for Deadman’s future). He certainly controlled the artwork. The image of the Dark Knight we all take for granted today (many would say), truly began with that team-up issue. Leading Julie Schwartz (I’ve no doubt) to bring Denny O’Neil and Adams together on Batman titles, soon after the demise of the Batman '66 TV series. But I digress. This is after all, about Deadman.

Neal returned to Strange Adventures to illustrate a Bob Kanigher helmed tale in issue #214. Neal would finish the series with the next two issues. This was followed by another Batman team-up in B&B #86. Another Bob Haney/Adams classic. Next up (as the series briefly moved into Adventure Comics), was a very strange (pun intended) and somewhat different, 3 issue sci-fi crossover into the world of Aquaman! Neal again handling art and scripting chores. Uniquely apart, and yet very much tied to Aquaman’s main adventure. With the Sea King and Mera having only cameos in the Deadman story. Adams was expanding his “ghost” into the larger DCU, AND I LOVED IT.

The final story in the collection, is from Challengers of the Unknown #74. Story by Denny O’Neil, art by George Tuska and Adams. The same story, seen through different eyes. First told from the perspective of the Challs, up against a deadly “ghost.” Try as they might, they seemed doomed to failure. Then, enter Deadman. He sees what they cannot. Goes, where they cannot. And in the end, saves the life and soul of a little girl. The interplay of story and art, made this a real gem. The Challs, Batman and Bob Haney would go on to figure in Deadman’s not too distant future. But now, without Neal’s involvement.

But the topper in all this, was the re-inking of his first Deadman story. Originally done by George Roussos. For a variety of reasons, Adams didn’t ink his first work on the character. And it almost broke his heart to see what the finished artwork looked like. You’d have to see the original story along side the latter, reworked version, to see the difference. Night and Day doesn’t begin to describe it. Fortunately, when DC was putting together this dream package, they offered Neal the rare opportunity to re-ink and recolor, that story. And for me, it is definitely the cherry on top, of this Deadman/Neal Adams ice-cream sundae!

And now a question Jitsu, if I may. Neal would not return to tell new Deadman tales, until a new 6 issue mini-series came out in 2017. At the end of which we are all left " hanging," as the story was supposed to continue in Batman: Demigods War. Presumably, another mini-series. With Neal gone, what happened to it? Inquiring minds, and all that. :thinking:

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Hello @Jitsu :batman_hv_1:,
It’s your friendly neighborhood Reaganfan78, hope you’re doing well and having a great day. :grinning:
So, what shall we talk about today? I really hate to be the badguy here, I don’t know if you’re reading comments for May comic releases, and it’s not looking good for DC Universe Infinite, you guys are losing subscribers since there’s no archives being added, the only way to keep those subscribers is keep adding archive comics.
I don’t want DC Universe Infinite to shutdown if you guys keep losing subscribers, Marvel Unlimited has added tons of old comics, it be great if DC do the same.

Ok, on a happier note, my pick for community member of the week is @ejdias.95910, :medal_sports: Reason is that he post tons of cute animal pictures & gif at the Cheering Up With Animal Thread, when I first made that thread I had no idea it would be the biggest hit ever, let’s face it, we all love animals whether it’s cats, dogs, or any animals. :slightly_smiling_face::black_cat::dog2:
Anyway have a great evening.

Reaganfan78

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Thank you for the compliment @Reaganfan78 it means a lot but I’ve just been fortunate to find more of these pics lately. Probably because it’s Spring. Besides I’m more of a grumpy old fart. :joy:

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The one bad thing about waiting, is that you always begin to fear the worst. On the plus side, assuming we all get through this (and all is well with Jitsu), maybe the site overlords will give us an extra COH down the road. :smile:

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Apologies, all!

Just some internet issues, but things are sorted now, and I’m in the saddle!

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Woo! Crisis averted!

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Exciting! I’ve only gotten somewhat deeper into Deadman, starting at the end of last year. Definitely a character who left an imprint on me.

I absolutely love his design/suit. It’s so simple, but stands out for pretty obvious reasons.

This is a verrrrrry good question…I’ll have to tap some folks a bit more “in the know” than myself, and see if there’s any information I can share.

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Heyy there, you too!

Don’t worry about being “the bad guy”–I appreciate your feedback, even if it’s criticism. There are a lot of factors that are considered by a lot of people when making decisions like these, and there are a lot of people who work very hard to make sure DCUI continues to be the best it can be.

I love the support for your felllow community members! Especially when it comes to pics of cute pets–definitely bonus points for me!

You too! :thumbs_up_batman:

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Just dropping in to ask how your night’s been! Hope it’s been good!

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Hey hey, thanks for stopping by! My night is going alright–hope yours is too!

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I’ve been alright! Nothing extraordinarily great, but nothing to complain about

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Post error, will return :upside_down_face:

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Hey everyone! Office Hours this week is cancelled–see you all next week at the normal day/time! :thumbs_up_batman:

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What happened?

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Trivia Corner, take two! I think I became aware of Zorro before I ever fell in love with the Disney TV series. And certainly before Miller introduced that movie into the Batman mythos back in 1986. Many, wrongly believe that it was always there, not true. A movie, yes. But never identified as a Zorro flic, until Miller did so. But, adding the movie, and marquee above the heads of the Wayne Family, as they exited a Gotham movie theater (and in all future stories), does play interesting tricks with one’s memories. Although love of this character, by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, is easy to understand. Likewise, everything they “borrowed” from him, for Batman’s development. The foppish by day son of a wealthy landowner, and the dark clad masked vigilante for justice, by night. The hidden cavern beneath his hacienda, accessible by way of a secret passage. A family man servant, who is also his secret partner in crime fighting. A marvelous black stallion, swift as the wind, and loyal to his master. All this was freely “adapted” by Batman’s creators, from the Fairbanks film. Kane always claimed he got the idea for the Bat-cave, from Hollywood. I have my doubts. Which is by no means, meant to shortchange the Scarlet Pimpernel or the Shadow’s contributions in that area. The building blocks of which, still stand strong today. You’re welcome, Caped Crusader!

The Fox, was born in 1919 by author Johnston McCulley. He appeared in the pages of All-Story Weekly, where his first adventure “The Curse of Capistrano” was serialized. It would later be gathered into novel form as " the Mark of Zorro." The first to take notice of Zorro’s potential for the big screen, was the fabulous Douglas Fairbanks. And in 1920, he brought the “Gay Blade” to celluloid life, with flair and derring-do! Considering how verbose characters could be in those old pulp stories, an adaptation to a silent picture, seems somewhat ironic. It proved popular enough that Fairbanks returned with a sequel, in '25. In 1922, McCulley would begin anew, what would become a long association with the Caped Cavalier. producing 3 novellas (in between lots of other work) for Argosy magazine over a 19 year period. During that time, Hollywood (seeing the success of the Fairbanks pictures, perhaps), would go on to launch a Zorro cottage industry, of movies, serials and other related material, from that period on, and into today.

The first feature to follow the silents of the Fairbanks era, was “the Bold Caballero” in 1936. Two serials followed in '37 and '39, before Tyrone Power’s 1940 classic “the Mark of Zorro” would set the standard, from which all others would be judged. 1944, '47 and '49 all saw new serials based on versions of the character. “Zorro’s Black Whip” being the most imaginative, as it starred the beautiful Linda Sterling (Queen of the Serials), as the Black Whip. Perhaps spurred on by Hollywood’s interest in his character (from which he was getting little to no recognition), in 1944, McCulley entered into an arrangement with WEST magazine. From then until 1951, he would produce one short story a month, for a total of 53, before the title folded. His last two, appeared in Max Brand’s Western Magazine and Short Story Magazine, in '54 and '59 respectively.

In 1949 McCulley assigned Zorro’s ownership over to Mitchell Gertz, for reasons unknown to me. Soon after, in 1952, we would see the first foreign film interpretations of the Fox, from Italy. This would be followed by 26 more, between then and 1975. Mexico, Spain, France and even Belgium all took their shot at depicting the heroic Spaniard of America’s early West. They really love him over there! And, not to be forgotten, “Zorro, the Gay Blade” in 1981, was a comedy/western classic (starring George Hamilton), that had fun with the character’s (then dated) terminology, when " gay blade," referred to a " dashing swordsman."

America’s love of the character was rekindled after the smash box-office hit “the Mask of Zorro” in '98, with Antonio Banderas. Which led to a well received sequel in 2005. When I was growing up, my Zorro was Guy Williams. As much Zorro as Tyrone Power ever was. Walt Disney’s series of the late 50s, was and remains a true classic. Two Disney films were released in '58, with Williams. But these were only edited episodes from the series. The popularity of the show, spun off all kinds of children’s merchandising, as you might expect. Over the decades, the heroic swordsman continued to turn up on our small screens. Both in animated and live-action series. The most successful being a somewhat updated version, for a new audience, starring Duncan Regehr. In 1990, at 6’4" this handsome, athletic, Canadian born actor brought everything needed to the role. Popular enough, it ran four seasons, for a total of 89 half-hour episodes. Henry Darrow co-starred. Trivia nugget! Darrow was appearing in his 3rd Zorro series. First, giving voice to and then playing the hero himself. Pleasant surprise casting, as he was the first Latino to don the well known regalia on the small screen.

PB novels and HC books have all provided stories of the Fox. My first introduction to “painted comics” were from the Little Golden Books, by Simon & Schuster back then. In addition to a newspaper strip (illustrated by Tom Yeates & Tod Smith), Zorro has appeared in comics (off 'n on) for well over 60 years. Dell (now Western) and Gold Key produced adaptations of the Disney stories. With much memorable art, by the great Alex Toth. Others, like Marvel, Topps, Dynamite, Moonstone (produced many prose short stories, ala McCulley), Papercutz and American Mythology Prod. are just the ones I know about. A new live-action series came out this year, on Amazon Prime. I wish it well. These days, a lot of ill-will and animosity is directed at people of color along our Southern Border, and elsewhere. We can sure use a hero like El Zorro right now!

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Hello @Jitsu :batman_hv_1:,
It’s your friendly neighborhood Reaganfan78, hope you’re doing great. What shall we talk about today?
How about Community member of the week? It’s so obvious that this person deserve to be Community member of the week for his trivia knowledge, beside @HubCityQuestion, this person is definitely a trivia expert and I think you know full well who I’m talking about. @wrightline1.42741 is a Community member of the week! :medal_sports:
Love Zorro, when talking about one of my favorite hero, and know his history very well, that my friend, makes you a Community member of the week. :slightly_smiling_face:
Well not much is going on, playing WWE 2k24 & Minecraft. I did saw Iron Claw on Max, that was a sad movie. Hope you have a great evening.

Reaganfan78

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Like @ejdias.95910 before me, you do me a kindness. To be placed along side HCQ is high praise indeed. And like yourself, I too share a love of the Caped Cavalier. I always strive for accuracy in my research. So, in the case of Diego de la Vega, I hope I haven’t let ya down. Enjoy your evening, my friend!

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While my love for Zorro came a bit later–with the 90’s iteration featuring a 25 year-old Antonio Banderas–I’ve watched a ton of Zorro content since! I was even Zorro for multiple Halloweens as a kid!

I’ve always appreciated Zorro, particularly as a Hispanic person, but I admittedly never took too much time to correlate to thematic inspirations for Batman.

I always loved her Black Whip costume.

I admittedly didn’t know there was a live-action show running! Just watched the trailer–I might give it a go!

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Pre-scheduled engagements–I was at a show that night!

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Hey there–same to you!

Fully agreed! The two of them combined would make a Mr. Terrific-level genius as far as DC goes!

I’ve been interested in seeing that one! I’m not a huge wrestling fan–at least not as much as I think you are (correct me if I’m wrong there!), but it does look like a solid flick.

Hope you have a great night as well! :thumbs_up_batman:

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