Tag Archives: Superman

Fringe’s Alternate Universe Comic Covers

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Fringe has really come on in leaps and bounds, after a slightly shaky start during the first half of season one, quietly establishing itself as one of TV’s more intelligent sci-fi dramas.

The main story arc involves an impending war between our world and a parallel, alternate reality which is broadly similar to ours but has many subtle differences. It has also been badly damaged by a number of experiments that breached the barrier between the two realities.

Season two concluded this week on UK TV (a couple of weeks after the US airing). The two-part finale mostly took place in the alternate reality and if you were paying attention, there were lots of great little differences and changes from our world to spot.

For comics fans the best touch was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-them set of framed comic books on the wall of an apartment where one of the main characters, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), is taken after he crosses over from our reality to theirs.

They reimagine five of the most iconic and best-known DC Comics covers of the past 40 years, adding in some subtle, alternate-reality twists. It was hard to see them on the wall during the brief scene so here they are, alongside the more familiar covers which inspired them. Our original, real-world versions are on the left, the Fringe variants are on the left.

This one is my favourite, I think. The 1987 Giffen/DeMatteis relaunch of the Justice League, with Jonah Hex replacing Green Lantern Guy Gardner in the line-up:

This one is also very good. The famous “Death Of Supergirl” cover from issue seven of Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985) gets a very different outcome:

The famous Green Lantern/Green Arrow issue 76 (April 1970) – the first issue of the acclaimed, ground-breaking Denny O’Neill/Neil Adams run on the title – gets a colour shift:

Frank Miller‘s revolutionary 1986 miniseries The Dark Knight Returns becomes The Man Of Steel Returns:

And finally, another Batman/Superman swap, as 1992’s Death Of Superman becomes the Death of Batman (which happened for real last year in our reality – sort of):

You can see bigger, high-res scans of the alternate covers here, at the DC Universe blog.


Filed under Comics, Current and recent TV shows, Stuff

Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day: Wonder Woman

In your satin tights, Fighting for your rights…
Make a hawk a dove, Stop a war with love…
Stop a bullet cold, Make the Axis fold…
You’re a wonder, Wonder Woman!

Wonder Woman is one of DC Comics iconic trinity of A-list heroes.

Like Superman and Batman before her, the character found a wider, mainstream audience in a TV adaptation of her adventures (though unlike the boys she has yet, despite repeated attempts in recent years, to make the leap to the big screen).

Wonder Woman, the TV series, debuted in 1975 (after a poorly received, unrelated TV movie the previous year) and ran for three seasons (59 episodes) before ending in 1979.

It starred former model Lynda Carter as the titular Amazon heroine (aka Princess Diana) and her alter ego Diana Prince, with Lyle Waggoner as her partner, US Air Force Major Steve Trevor.

Notable guest stars included a young Debra Winger, who played Diana’s little sister Drusilla (aka Wonder Girl) in three episodes of season 1, and future Airplane! star Robert Hays as a young airman (who if you look at this clip on YouTube, you’ll notice wears the exact same uniform – or a remarkably similar one – that he wore in Airplane!‘s flashback scenes).

The first season of Wonder Woman was set during World War II, the era of Wonder Woman’s earliest comic-book appearances, and stuck fairly closely to the basic setting of those early print adventures. Reflecting this close link to the comic’s origins, the opening titles mostly took the form of animated comic-book panels.

And then there was that wonderful theme song, which everyone remembers. It was written by composer Charles Fox and lyricist Norman Gimbel (who also wrote Killing Me Softly With His Song with Fox and the English-language version of The Girl From Ipanema, among many, may other songs and TV songs).

Here are the season one opening titles, taken from the pilot episode, which also helpfully included a little WWII recap:

In season 2, the show switched from ABC to CBS and the new network demanded the show be updated to the present day. This was explained by having Wonder Woman return to the US from a self-imposed exile on her Paradise Island home after a 35-year absence and team up with original partner Steve Trevor’s look-a-like son.

The opening titles were tweaked to remove the WWII references and the song was also tweaked to make it less militaristic (see below for both versions of the lyrics):

And then it all started to go a bit crap, in what is surely a textbook example of why if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it.

In the middle of season 2, the wonderful song we all remember and love was replaced by an instrumental version and, perhaps less damaging, the animated comic-book visuals were replaced with clips of the character in action:

And so on to season 3 and another change to a more disco-fied (and awful) instrumental version of the theme tune and a new montage of action clips:

And, for the sake of completeness, here’s the final variation of the opening titles, from the final episode of season 3 which, in an apparent set-up for a season 4 that never happened, Wonder Woman moves from Washington DC to Los Angeles and Steve Trevor was written out. The opening titles were tweaked to remove Waggoner, though the rubbish version of the theme tune remains:

Good though Lynda Carter was in the role, and much as I enjoyed watching the show when I was 10, she’s actually only my third-favourite TV Wonder Woman. My top two are a bit more contemporary.

Here’s number two on my list (sorry can’t embed it, so you have to click through to watch it on YouTube):

And here’s number one:

And finally, as promised, here are the lyrics from the two versions of the theme song. First, the season 1, WWII era version:

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All the world is waiting for you,
And the power you possess.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for your rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
Now the world is ready for you,
And the wonders you can do.

Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth.

Wonder Woman.
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.

All our hopes are pinned upon you,
And the magic that you do.

Stop a bullet cold,
Make the Axis fold,
Change their minds
and change the world.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You’re a wonder. Wonder Woman.

And now the season 2, modern-era version:

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All the world is waiting for you,
And the wonders that you do.

In your satin tights,
Fighting for our rights
And the old Red, White and Blue.

Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.
All of us are counting on you,
And the power you possess.

Putting all your might
On the side of right,
And our courage to the test.

Wonder Woman.
Get us out from under, Wonder Woman.

Here to fight the force of evil.
And your chance won’t be denied.

Woman of the hour,
With your superpower.
We’re so glad
you’re on our side.

Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman.
You’re a wonder. Wonder Woman.


Filed under Classic TV, Comics, Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day, TV Themes

Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day: Smallville

I’m not much of a Superman fan. Even though (like Art Brut) I’ve always been more of a DC Comics fan than a Marvel fan (I used to be a major reader/collector of comics but for the past decade, I’ve somewhat lapsed), I always preferred The Dark Knight to the Man Of Steel.

Similarly, I can take or leave the Superman movies (with the notable exception of brilliant Superman II) and I have always largely avoided the TV incarnations.

Not counting the various animated shows, in my lifetime there have been three TV series based on the character: Superboy (1988-1992), Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997) and now Smallville, which began in 2001 and is currently airing its ninth season.

Superboy pretty much passed me by completely and, despite the popularity of Lois & Clark at the time, I was never that impressed.

When Smallville started, it seemed a bit too much of a soap opera – and besides, who needed yet another Superman show? So I watched the pilot and then gave up.

However, over the years, I’ve heard many reports about how the show has developed and improved as it has gone on.

And, more interestingly for the eternal fanboy in me, I have also noted with interest the increasing trend towards incorporating into the show elements not only of the established Superman comics mythology but also elements of the wider DC Universe (albeit often heavily modified from the source material).

So, when the Sci-Fi channel in the UK started showing Smallville from the start back in November, I decided to give the show a go. It’s airing five nights a week and we’re up to the start of season three – and I have to say that overall, I’m enjoying it.

Yeah, it’s a bit schmaltzy at times and the over-reliance thus far on Kryptonite-influenced storylines can get a bit tiresome but I’m still watching. I’m sure that seeing it nightly without long breaks between seasons, instead of weekly, stretched out over years, makes it easier to forgive the weaknesses but still, there’s some good stuff in there.

Allison Mack as Chloe is a close second in the Choob’s list of best things about Smallville but for my money, top spot has to go to the relationship between Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum).

The show’s “twist” of having the pair start out as friends makes for some fantastically painful pathos. The series is, in a sense, a tragedy, since we know that ultimately, Lex’s dark side will win and the pair will end up mortal enemies.

Anyway, I’m sure all this has been said back when the show first started so, without further ado, here is the reason we are really here today- the show’s theme tune.

The song is called Save Me, performed by Remy Zero from their 2001 album The Golden Hum. Since I’m only up to season 3 in my viewing, I’ve gone for the opening titles that were used for seasons 2 and 3:

And here is the music video for the full version of the song:

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Filed under Current and recent TV shows, Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day, TV Themes, Video Killed The Radio Star

Lex Luthor Defeated By The Credit Crunch?

When LexCorp is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, what’s a self-respecting villain such as Lex Luthor supposed to do when he needs $100billion to fund his latest nefarious plan..?

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That’s Mad Men‘s John Hamm helping out old Lex, there.

more about “Lex Luthor Defeated By The Credit Crunch“, posted with vodpod

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