Remember that one day when you could wake up without an alarm? When you would get your favorite bowl of cereal and sit between the hours of 8 and 12? This is a blog dedicated to the greatest time of our childhood: Saturday mornings. The television programs you watched, the memories attached to them, and maybe introducing you to something you didn't realize existed. Updated every weekend.
Comedian and actor Jack Carter died on June 28th at the age of 93. You can read the full story here.
Carter's Saturday credits include guest appearances as Larry Madison in an episode of Saved by the Bell: the New Class, Harry
on an episode of Superman: The Animated
Series, and Tiresias on an episode of Hercules:
The Animated Series.
Nintendo’s next hit
came the following year with the Japanese release of The
Legend of Zeldaas one of the launch titles for Famicom’s new Disk System.
Created by the same people who produced Mario,
the game featured a young boy named Link
who sought to protect the kingdom of Hyrule
from the evil Ganon by uniting the
pieces of a powerful artifact known as the Triforce. Who’s Zelda? She’s the princess in distress Link
is often tasked with rescuing. When it was released in America in 1987, it
became the first Nintendo game to sell over a million copies. The sequel was
released in Japan in the following months and in America in late 1988.
Print ad for the cereal.
With two hit games, Ralston saw an
opportunity to give the best of both worlds. Acquiring the license to both
franchises, in 1988 Ralston produced a fruity cereal for Mario and a berry
cereal for Zelda. Mario’s cereal featured shapes representing Mario, Bowser, Super Mushrooms and the two
common enemies Goombas
and Koopa Troopas. Zelda’s
cereal featured Link, health hearts, boomerangs, keys and shields.
But the most unique
aspect of the cereals was that Ralston combined them both in a single box.
Dubbed the Nintendo Cereal System after the NES console, each box contained the
cereals in their own separate bag inside and a perforation along the top flap
allowed you to pour out one at a time. The boxes depicted several scenes from both
the originals and sequels of both franchises, although in drawings meant to
mimic the graphics rather than actual screenshots. During Ralston’s promotional
offer for a hologram t-shirt, the box joined the others in Ralston’s line with
special holograms of Mario and Link in place of the usual box art.
Trading card offer box.
commercials were the first animated effort to feature the new Super Mario design for Mario and the
first for Zelda, a year before they received their animated series as part of The Super Mario Bros. Super
Show!The commercial also made use of Koji Kondo’s score for the
underground levels of the original Super
Mario with lyrics talking about the cereal.
Several of the box designs.
A regular feature of
the box was the offering of tips for both franchises’ games on the side panel.
The cereal also came with a variety of premiums, including 12 different trading
cards to cut off the back of the box, a mail-away poster of either franchise, stickers,
an iron-on transfer for clothing, a miniature pinball game inside, a chance to
win the NES
Power Set, a Game &
Watch game or the Nintendo Power
Glove, and money off of a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine. Unfortunately, the cereal
didn’t prove as popular as the games on which it was based, resulting in its
lasting a little more than a year on shelves.
After several failed
attempts to break into the American video game market, Nintendo finally scored a hit with its game
Donkey Kong in 1981. The game
featured the titular ape kidnapping Pauline, the girlfriend of carpenter Mario (later known as a plumber and
Nintendo’s mascot). Mario was tasked with rescuing Pauline from Donkey Kong at
a construction site, jumping over thrown barrels and fireballs along the way.
The game became incredibly popular and profitable,
spawning a diverse line of merchandise featuring the characters. The following
year, as Donkey Kong’s first sequel was set to
hit arcades, Ralston
entered into a licensing agreement with Nintendo to produce a cereal based on
the game. Released in 1982, the cereal was shaped like barrels, and those who
remember it often compare its taste to that of Cap ’n Crunch. It did not prove as
popular as the game and only lasted a year.
The baseball card promotion box.
The commercials for the cereal were the first
animated appearances of Donkey Kong’s
characters, as it wouldn’t be until 1983 when the game was adapted to be a part
of CBS’ Saturday
Supercade. They featured Mario chasing Donkey Kong around a live-action
breakfast table as kids looked on. The cereal offered several premiums,
including baseball cards and stickers. A sweepstakes allowed kids a chance to
win either the Game
& Watch version of the game or the actual arcade machine.
In 1983, Brøderbund Software, Inc.
Carlston proposed to programmer Dan Bigham the idea of a computer game that
would get kids interested in geography; a hobby of Carlston and his brother and
fellow co-founder, Doug.
Gene Portwood, Lauren Elliott and
David Siefkin developed the script, graphics and humor (puns, rhymes,
alliteration) featured in the series, while Bigham used another game interface
he was developing as the basis for the game. Early drafts included basing the
series in England and chasing around King
Henry VII and collecting treasures, while another idea had the game based
on the Time Life series of books about world
cities. Gary ultimately decided to use The World Almanacas inspiration.
Siefkin developed an early script based on his experiences with the game Colossal
Cave Adventure. While players there would search an underground cavern
for treasures, he expanded the concept to include real treasures in real
countries around the world. Through trial and error, players would learn about those
countries as clues would be based around languages, cultures and geography.
Several villains were included in his script, including Carmen
Sandiego, who was named for Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda, and the American
city of San Diego, California. Carmen was
eventually elevated to being the main villain of the game.
In 1985 Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?was released, the first in a series. The
game casts players as members of the ACME
Detective Agency in pursuit of the eponymous rogue agent (originally a spy
of multiple allegiances) who had turned to crime after finding no challenge in
stopping it. The player would traverse the world, following clues in pursuit of
Carmen and her henchmen from the organization V.I.L.E. (Villain’s
International League of Evil) after they had committed a spectacular theft in
order to arrest them within the allotted time.
And, along the way, the player learned a little something about the
locations and objects they encountered. As players progressed after Carmen’s
henchmen and successfully captured them with the correct warrant, they earned
promotions and advanced in the ranks of ACME.
Carmen, a woman of Latin descent, was depicted always wearing a red
trench coat and fedora with a yellow stripe, and leather gloves. Both or one of
her eyes would always be covered by her hat, hair or in shadows. For most of
her appearances, she wore a dress matching the stripe on her hat and red
high-heeled shoes, although in later games she was given a catsuit and
practical footwear. Her henchmen often featured pun-laden names, such as Justin
Case, Sarah Nade,
Dee Pockets, Dinah Myte, Don N. Hout, Anita Bath, Rob M. Blind and others.
In space, no one can hear you steal.
The game became Brøderbund’s third successful release on the Commodore
64 system, and they were quick to provide the world with more Carmen. In
1986, they released Where in the U.S.A., followed by Where in Europein
1988 and Where in Timein 1989. In 1989/1990, Brøderbund produced a prototype for a
state-specific Carmen game calledWhere in North Dakota, in
time for the state’s 100th anniversary. Intended to be the first in
a line of state-based Carmen games, it never went beyond North Dakota’s 5,000
copies and instead Brøderbund returned to the broader scope of the series with Where in America’s Pastin
Lynne Thigpen and Greg Lee on the live game show.
As the games continued to be profitable, PBS
was looking for a way to combat the growing concern over American’s lack of
knowledge about geography. Partnering with Brøderbund, PBS created a game show
entitled Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?,
which would feature three contestants between ages 10-14 answering questions to
determine the location of Carmen’s henchmen and ultimately track down and
arrest Carmen herself. The show starred Greg Lee as the host, Lynne Thigpen as the Chief, and
featured musical accompaniment by acapella group Rockapella for the first four seasons. It
ran for a total of five between 1991 and 1995. It returned in 1996, retooled as
Where in Timeand ran
two additional seasons. Thigpen reprised her role for a 1996 update of the game
Where in the U.S.A.
Back in 1990, Brøderbund attempted to bring Carmen to animation with DiC Entertainment,
developed by Phil Harnage. It
took until 1993 to sell the series to the fledgling FOX
network and its FOX Kids
Saturday morning programming block, as FOX needed a show to meet the
requirements of the Children’s
Television Act. Because of FOX’s other offerings usually leaning towards
the violent, Brøderbund insisted on reading and approving every script in order
to ensure the focus was on edutainment and not mindless action.
Carmen's final taunt.
Like the games, the show focused on the ACME Detective Agency’s endless
search to capture the notorious thief and former agent Carmen Sandiego (Rita
Moreno). Each episode would begin with a live-action segment of the player (Jeffrey
Tucker, Justin Shenkarow, Asi Lang and Joanie Pleasant) logging on to the game
on a computer and occasionally even interacting with Carmen, typically at the
end of an episode for Carmen’s final words after she made her escape. The
player remained unseen for the rest of the episode, but was responsible for
helping the detectives by sending them where they needed to go and opening
files for them for researching clues.
Zack and Ivy.
In the first episode, the player’s detectives were selected: the
brother/sister pair of 14-year-old Zack (Scott Menville) and 18-year-old Ivy
(Jennifer Hale). Both were experts in different things, which balanced each
other nicely on cases. However, as they were brother and sister, they often got
on each other’s nerves with their contrasting personalities. Ivy was more of a
no-nonsense type who focused on the cases, while Zack would goof around and
call Ivy “sis,” which she hated. Ivy was also the more physical of the two,
while Zack was the tech whiz. Interestingly enough, although Zack’s name was
spelled traditionally in his introductory scene and in the credits, his army
jacket always had his name spelled “Zak.”
The head of ACME was a giant hologram, well, head called CHIEF
(Computerized Holographic Imaging Educational Facilitator, voiced by Rodger
Bumpass) who provided exposition, information and alerts to his detectives. He
was also the show’s primary source of comic relief; often speaking in a hyper-active
manner, pulling random images out of his databanks in relation to what he was
saying, and popping up in unexpected places to converse with the detectives.
The main character designer on the series was Bill Sienkiewicz, along
with Glen Hill, Donn Greer, Kurt Conner, Todd White and Ed Lee.
Carmen in the middle of a theft.
Unlike the games, the show would show how the spectacular thefts were committed.
Carmen, in the spirit of fun which she approached her crimes, would leave clues
behind for Zack and Ivy to find and deduce her next location. Zack and Ivy
would travel through an instantaneous transportation method known as the C-5
Corridor; a computer-generated hallway rendered by Rez.N8
that allowed the player to access information about their destination with
accompanying images or graphics. A map would appear showing where their
destination was in relation to their current location before they entered the
Corridor. A running gag on the show was that the Corridor was glitchy, often
depositing the detectives in an uncomfortable landing zone a bit away from
their intended stop. Zack and Ivy would always recover what Carmen stole, but
her master plan continually allowed her to escape.
Animatic about William Shakespeare.
Carmen’s minions consisted of gray-suited faceless men, covered from head
to toe with only their noses and mouths exposed. They were little more than
cannon fodder for Zack and Ivy to plow through on their way to solving the
mystery. However, Carmen’s henchmen made frequent appearances to provide even
more of a challenge and give Carmen extra support. Like the games, many of them
had pun-laden names, such as athletic Olympic-themed thief Abe L. Body; Clay
Tandoori, who stole anything related to India; con-man and master art thief
Touriest Classe; Paige Turner, a literature expert who played out her crimes as
inspired by books; ultra-greedy Lars Vegas; Hawaiian expert Hannah Lulu; and
Carmen’s lawyer, Lee Galese.
The second season would introduce the recurring element of time travel,
much like in the games, after Carmen developed her own time machine. Gradually,
the show began to abandon its own format as writers focused more on the
character of Carmen. Carmen was shown as having her own ethical code; stealing
for the fun of it but never intending to harm anyone. Her better nature began
to shine through and her weaknesses explored. During the fourth and final
season, Carmen began teaming up with Zack and Ivy in order to keep genuinely
evil criminals from ousting her from her control of V.I.L.E. Amongst them was Dr. Gunnar Maelstrom (Tim Curry), who wanted revenge
on Carmen for his capture at her hands when she was an ACME agent; Mason Dixon,
Carmen’s former criminal partner who made use of her time machine to steal her
title as the world’s greatest thief; Lee Jordan (David Coburn), another ACME
agent who grew bored and turned to crime but was too conceited for Carmen to
become a part of her V.I.L.E. organization; and Dr. Sarah Bellum, a mad
scientist and Carmen’s gadget-maker who posed as Carmen in order to take over
Ivy in the Roman games.
The show ran on Fox Kids through the first two episodes of the fourth
season before being put on hiatus while Fox Kids underwent a management change.
It wouldn’t be until 1998 that the remaining episodes of season four, except
“Cupid Sandiego,” would play on the FOX Family Channel. The
show’s second run began with a special 3-day marathon of all three parts of
“Retribution.” Where on Earth was
nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award
for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program” in 1994, 1996 and 1997 and won it
Zack, Ivy, the CHIEF and Carmen in Junior Detective.
Brøderbund utilized the characters from the series, as well as some new
ones, in their next installment in the Carmen
Sandiego franchise with Carmen Sandiego: Junior Detective, although Carmen’s design was reminiscent of the other games in
the series rather than the show.The
voice actors all reprised their roles for their respective characters, but the
game had little else to do with the actual cartoon. Intended for a younger
audience, it featured a simplified version of the typical Carmen gameplay. Carmen games
would continue to be made, expanding into other educational fields beyond
geography; although ownership of the franchise changed hands when The
Learning Company bought out Brøderbund in 1998. Moreno would go on to voice
Carmen two more times in the planetarium films Where in the Universeand its sequel,
joined by Thigpen once again as the Chief.
In 2019, Netflix launched a reboot
of the franchise called simply Carmen
Sandiego. This version of Carmen
(Gina Rodriguez) was
portrayed as more of a Robin
Hood-type. Orphaned and raised by V.I.L.E., Carmen was determined to become
a world class thief until she learned the lengths V.I.L.E. would go to for
their crimes. She defected and stole a hard drive full of their financial
information, deciding to steal back and return their ill-gotten gains. The
Player (Finn Wolfhard) was
reimagined as a White Hat
hacker who aided Carmen with information, and Zack (Michael Hawley) and Ivy (Abby Trott) became twins from Boston who
befriended and helped Carmen in the field. A.C.M.E.’s Chief
(Dawnn Lewis) was modeled
after both Thigpen and Earth’s
version, being an actual woman who appeared primarily in a full-bodied hologram
projection. Moreno made a cameo vocal appearance as Cookie Booker,
V.I.L.E.’s bookkeeper, in the debut two-parter and reprised the role in a
future episode. The final two episodes would feature this show’s theme (or the
Mozart counterpart—you decide).
“The Stolen Smile” (2/5/94) – Zack and Ivy try to figure out why
Carmen is stealing body parts from various paintings, rather than the whole
“A Higher Calling” (2/12/94) – Carmen brings stolen loot to Ayer’s
Rock in order to contact aliens.
“Dinosaur Delirium” (2/19/94) – Carmen steals four powerful
helicopters to use in her plot to create dinosaurs.
“Moondreams” (3/5/94) – Carmen travels the world to steal a toy, a
rocket and the space shuttle in order to acquire her main target: the moon.
“By a Whisker” (3/12/94) – Carmen abducts white lion cubs to put in
her own personal game preserve.
“The Good Old, Bad Old Days” (3/19/94) – Carmen accepts the player’s
challenge to commit a low-tech crime and sets her sights on the Orient Express.
“Rules of the Game” (4/9/94) – Carmen’s clues lead Zack and Ivy to
Hawaii for a chess game.
“Music to my Ears” (4/23/94) – Carmen steals musical talent and gives
it to two of her henchwomen to give a concert after stealing the Sydney Opera
“Chapter and Verse” (4/30/94) – Literary-themed thefts lead Ivy and
Zack to discover Carmen’s memoirs.
“The Play’s the Thing” (5/7/94) – An actress upstages Carmen in a
theft, so Carmen decides to upstage her in a play.
“A Date With Carmen Part 1” (9/10/94) – Carmen goes back in time and
her thefts begin to alter history.
“A Date With Carmen Part 2” (9/17/94) – Ivy and Zack follow Carmen
through history in order to prevent her from stealing the un-cracked Liberty
“Split Up” (9/24/94) – When Zack’s new invention fails to stop a
Carmen theft, he and Ivy end up in an argument that causes them to go their
separate ways on the case.
“Skull and Double-Crossbones” (2/4/95) – Zack and Ivy team-up with
Russian and Jamaican ACME detectives to stop Carmen from stealing a Russian
“Hot Ice” (2/11/95) – Carmen creates a large diamond that allows her
to disrupt ACME’s systems.
“All For One” (2/18/95) – After Carmen rescues two henchmen from the
police, she has them engage in teamwork-building thefts before attempting their
botched theft again.
“Scavenger Hunt” (2/25/95) – It’s Carmen’s birthday, and she’s decided
to celebrate by stealing famous gifts around the world to give to herself.
“When It Rains” (3/4/95) – Zack and Ivy track down Carmen after a very
uncharacteristic theft only to discover her scientist Sarah Bellum is trying to
“Déjà Vu” (3/11/95) – Carmen steals specific items to lure her
ex-partner Suhara out of retirement.
“Boyhood’s End Part 1” (3/18/95) – Zack takes a vacation, leaving Ivy
paired up with Lee Jordan who rubs Ivy the wrong way.
“Boyhood’s End Part 2” (3/25/95) – Lee is revealed to be working for
Carmen in an attempt for the biggest heist ever.
“The Tigress” (9/16/95) – Carmen’s thefts are being constantly
interrupted by another high-tech thief called The Tigress.
“The Remnants” (9/23/95) – A Wizard
of Oz-themed crime spree leads Zack and Ivy to discover Carmen was an
“Curses, Foiled Again” (9/30/95) – Zack believes he’s cursed when he loses
his lucky rabbit’s foot, and Carmen tries to teach Hannah Lulu not to be
“Birds of a Feather” (10/7/95) – The law has trouble figuring out how
Carmen managed to steal the Star of Africa, the largest diamond in the world.
“Shaman Spirits” (10/14/95) – Carmen seeks a Native American shaman to
interpret her recurring nightmare.
“Follow My Footprints” (10/21/95) – When Carmen is reported dead, Zack
and Ivy have to solve her final caper without the CHIEF before one of her
henchmen becomes the new head of V.I.L.E.
“Labyrinth Part 1” (10/28/95) – Zack and Ivy are discovered attempting
to infiltrate Carmen’s secret underground training facility.
“Labyrinth Part 2: Woman of the Year, 2101” (11/4/95) – Carmen travels
to the year 2101 to stop a theft while Zack and Ivy try to deal with the wacky
future version of the CHIEF.
“Labyrinth Part 3: When in Rome” (11/11/95) – While Zack and Ivy are
put into the Colosseum games in ancient Rome Carmen plans to steal the entire
“Just Like Old Times” (11/18/95) – Carmen gives the CHIEF a virus,
making him believe Carmen is good and Zack and Ivy are thieves.
“The Trial of Carmen Sandiego” (9/9/96) – Zack and Ivy must defend
Carmen against a crooked judge in a mock trial.
“Trick or Treat” (10/31/96) – Carmen sets up a haunted house with her
latest acquisitions as payback for a trick played on her in China.
“Retribution Part 1: Unsinkable Carmen Sandiego” (3/30/98) – Maelstrom
escapes from prison and seeks revenge on the one who put him there: Carmen.
“Retribution Part 2: In Memoriam” (3/31/98) – Believing Maelstrom
dead, Carmen plans to give him a Viking funeral until he appears and challenges
“Retribution Part 3: Maelstrom’s Revenge” (4/1/98) – Maelstrom goes on
a crime spree and frames Carmen for them, ruining her reputation.
“Timing is Everything” (12/5/98) – Mason Dixon steals Carmen’s time
machine to become the head of V.I.L.E.
“Cupid Sandiego” (??/??/??) – Carmen distracts the detectives with
love-themed thefts in order to hide her true objective.
“Can You Ever Go Home Again Part 1” (12/26/98) – Carmen discovers a
painting representing her mother while Lee Jordan decides to take over V.I.L.E.
“Can You Ever Go Home Again Part 2” (1/2/99) – Carmen is forced to
steal to rescue her father from Lee, and top on his list of demands is the
destruction of ACME.
Well, here we are.
The 1 year mark of SATURDAY MORNINGS FOREVER. For those not in the know, SMF
began as a book concept I had. There were books about every Saturday-like
subject, from cereals to cartoons, but never anything focusing SPECIFICALLY on
Saturday morning fare. Saturdays were very memorable for me, and I’m very
nostalgic for the times when I had nothing to do but relax after a long week at
school and veg out for an entire morning. I know many of you out there are too,
otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this thing today.
So, why the blog?
Because I got impatient working on entries and not being able to show them to
anyone until I was ready to publish who knows when. These things take a LOT of
work, from research to writing to fact checking to finding episode guides to work
off of when full episodes are not available to re-watch. We live in the
information age, that’s true, but sometimes I find myself being the pioneer of
said information. It’s not always easy, and my schedule doesn’t always allow me
to spend ages doing it. But, I try, and I share, and hopefully you’ve enjoyed
my efforts thus far.
Celebrating Sonic's 20th.
When I decided to do
the blog, it was the week of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 23rd anniversary.
Since I was a fan of his SatAM show (as its fans know it), I decided to begin
there. To celebrate mine and his anniversaries, I had planned to bring you
another Sonic offering with Sonic
Underground, but somehow I had mistakenly gotten the idea that it was a
Saturday show. How? I don’t know. That was a product of early initial research.
To replace it, I had planned to do Sonic
X—a Japanese import that WAS actually on Saturday, but that thing proved to
be a bit complicated for a quick research and write-up, so I need to dedicate
more time on that. You’ll also notice Baby
Looney Tunes never made it up during our Babyfication month. Same reason.
Hey, I’m not perfect, but I try to make as few mistakes as possible. Hopefully,
the smattering of Sonic commercials I’ve posted will make up for that.
A smattering of Saturday toons and friends.
Where does that leave
us? Well, minus the two goofs, we’re 78 shows into our 1,000 show journey to
recreate Saturday morning memories for everyone. Along with sonic, we’ve
celebrated the anniversaries of Saved bythe Bell, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbustersand Hello Kittywith their related shows. We
marked the release of Dumb and Dumber II with
our first theme month (not counting the recurring Halloween theme preceding it)
celebrating cartoons based on Jim Carrey movies. We joined the rest of fandom
in commemorating the historic and long-awaited release of the 1966 Batman series on DVD with the one cartoon starring both Adam West and Burt Ward in their iconic roles. In 2015,
we began our monthly theme months with Black History Month, and have many more
coming up this year and planned for next. We also began increasing our focus,
going into comics based on Saturday shows. How cool is that?
We're going on..to the future!
So, here’s to the
next however many years I’ve got left to go on this thing before I can compile
it all, re-edit it and make it into the book of my dreams. Thanks for joining
me for the ride so far, and hopefully you’ll continue to stick around. If we
hadn’t gotten to your favorite show yet, I’m sure it’s coming soon.
Covers: Bernard Chang & Marcel Maidlo (regular), Kalman Andrasofszky (variant)
Batman Beyondwas an animated series by the people who brought you Batman: The Animated Seriesand the rest of the DC Animated Universe from 1999-2001. Set in the future, Bruce Wayne had long-since retired and Gotham City, now Neo-Gotham, continued on without him. Teenager Terry McGinnis stumbled upon Bruce's secret and wormed his way into becoming the new Batman; utilizing a technologically advanced suit that could fly, turn invisible, and gave him enhanced physical abilities.
Beyond's integration into the DC main continuity.
In the decade since the series ended, DC Comics has resurrected the franchise. A six-issue mini-series leading into an ongoing incorporated elements of the cartoons with current DC history, setting it in the future of the comics' universe. From 2014-15, New 52: Future's End, a weekly event series set 5 years in DC's future, saw Terry traveling back to the past to stop Brother Eye, an A.I. created by Mr. Terrific and Batman, from conquering his home in the future. During the series, McGinnis died and a retired Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, took up his mantle. The series ended with Drake shunted forward into McGinnis' future.
Tim Drake comes to the future in the series preview during Convergence.
Now, this isn't your older brother's Batman Beyond. Neo-Gotham is now the only city left unaffected by Brother Eye's takeover. McGinnis' mother is gone and his little brother Matty now lives with one of the resistance against Brother Eye. Also, Batman's suit has an A.I. program named after and based on Wayne's faithful butler Alfred. After taking out some Jokerz, Batman promises Matty to rescue those imprisoned by Eye and looks to infiltrate one of Eye's concentration camps.
The Jokerz ain't no joke.
GRADE: B-. DC has tried very hard to suck all the fun and joy out of their books since the New 52 reboot in 2011, and it's finally reached their future. While some of the names are the same, there's very little here tying this book into the animated series on which it's based. That's not to say that Dan Jurgens and Bernard Chang haven't delivered a well-done comic; but considering the brand they're playing with it will come as a surprise for anyone who was a fan of the original series and hadn't read or read-up on Future's End. In fact, they've gone so far as to alter the title logo to drive that fact home. Carried over from Chang and Marcelo Maiolo's run on Green Lantern Corpsis the colorization of certain action panels with just red and white. It adds an interesting touch to some action scenes, emphasizing the impact much in the way the screen would flash during fights throughout the original DC Animated Universe.
Bats from above!
This issue came with two covers, seen below. What did you think of this issue? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook by clicking the link on top of the right-hand menu.
Covers: Dan Schoening & Luis Antonio Delgado (regular, convention, Nerd Block), Erica Henderson (subscription)
The first issue to IDW's ongoing series.
When IDW acquired the Ghostbusters license back in 2008, they had a bit of trouble finding their footing; producing two lackluster mini-series. Things changed when they began releasing a series of one-shots, before finally beginning a new ongoing series by Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening. Set in the movie universe and following Ghostbusters: The Video Game, the series was well-received by fans new and old.
The series was rebooted with a new #1 when the main cast was trapped in another dimension and replacements were filling in for them, running an additional 20-issues before ultimately ending again. However, just in time for both franchises' 30th anniversaries, IDW released the crossover everyone dreamed about: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters.
Now, IDW gives us another unlikely combination, as their Ghostbusters team-up with the versions from The Real Ghostbustersanimated series. A primordial god named Proteus has a grand scheme and aims to remove the Real Ghostbusters from the equation before they can think about stopping him. However, a good turn the Ghostbusters performed saves them and has them ending up in the IDW Ghostbusters' universe.
GRADE: A+. While the Real team had shown up in a fashion during the ongoing (particularly through Easter eggs drawn by Dan Schoening), this is the first time they've been central to an IDW comic. As the primary team for the duration of IDW's ongoing series, the creators here continue to bring their A-game in respect to that franchise.
Story-wise, not much happens beyond setting up the rest of the series. However, what a set-up it is. Erik Burnham's writing is as spot on as it has been for the duration of his run on the main book. The dialogue is sharp and crisp, blending comedy with pseudo-science almost as if he actually wrote the movies himself. This story also builds on the previous crossover mini, utilizing the teleportation device the team used to send the Turtles back to their own universe as a potential way to send the Real team back.
But the standout portion of the book is Schoening's artwork. He gets a chance to shine by rendering all characters in the Real universe as if they were drawn by the Korean animators who worked on the show; although you can see a bit of his style shining through. And his style is in all its glory with his IDW standard characters. If anything, this series will showcase Schoening is not just a one-trick pony and can adapt his style as required.
Luis Delgado's colors drive everything home. Everything in the Real universe keeps shadows minimal as the were in the show, but he adds more to those characters when they're in the IDW universe. In fact, all scenes in the Real universe almost seem as if they were ripped straight off of the show's DVDs. While the contrasting styles are a bit jarring, it works as well as it did when the Turtles had their own crossover in animated form for their 25th anniversary (however, in contrast, the comic is a lot more respectful of their 80s counterparts).
This issue came with four covers. What did you think of this comic? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page by clicking the link at the top of the right-hand menu.