May 31, 2017


You can read the full story here.

Insana was an actor, writer and producer. He starred as Dr. Reginald Bushroot in Darkwing Duck, Uncle Ted in Bobby’s World, Uncle JoJo and Earl in Pepper Ann and Pig in Back at the Barnyard. He guest-starred as Colonel Carter in an episode of Goof Troop; Baracuda in an episode of The Little Mermaid; Prince Uncouthma in Aladdin; Fat Cat in an episode of Jungle Cubs; and Samsa in an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. He also provided a voice for an episode of Teacher’s Pet. 

May 29, 2017


Comicbook month ended up a bit of a bust, and I apologize for that. Unfortunately, an odd work schedule coupled with several hospital-related things (nothing major, no worries) kinda derailed the plan. I'm hoping to get caught up and kick the next month off without a hitch, so be sure to check back and thanks for your patience.

May 27, 2017


PARENTAL ADVISORY: Some of the content in the provided links are not suitable for children. Viewer discretion is advised.

(Teletoon, September 6-November 29, 1999 CAN
FOX, August 19-October 21, 2000 US)

Network of Animation Productions, TMS Entertainment

Cathy Weseluck – Cybersix/Adrian Seidelman
Michael Dobson – Lucas Amato
Terry Klassen – Von Reichter
Andrew Francis – Julian
Alex Doduk – Jose
Janyse Jaud – Lori Anderson
L. Harvey Gold – Terra

            Cybersix was a series of Argentine comics created by Carlos Meglia and Carlos Trillo. The comic first appeared in 1992 as part of the Italian version of the magazine Skorpio after the publisher came to them to produce a new strip for the book. It was published as a weekly series of 12-page stories beginning with Anno XVI #22, later collected into special editions. In 1994, it was spun off into its own 96-page comic that ran for 45 issues until it was cancelled in 1999. The whole series was published by Eura Editoriale, and was subsequently translated into Spanish and released in Argentina by El Globo Editor and Spain by Planeta DeAgostini, and a French translation done by Editions Vents d’Ouest.

Cybersix vs. Von Reichter's creations.

            The series centered on the title character, Cybersix (or Cyber-6, Cathy Weseluck), who was a genetically engineered human created by former Nazi scientist, Dr. Von Reichter (Terry Klassen, also one of the show’s writers). The Cyber series looked like ordinary humans, but possessed superhuman strength and agility. However, when the Cyber series proved too resistant to his commands, he ordered the entire line of 5000 to be destroyed. Only Six was spared, saved by one of the African slaves Von Reichter kept. They lived as father and daughter until Von Reichter had them hunted down and he was killed. Six made her way to Meridana where she took the place of a young boy, Adrian Seidleman, that recently died in a car wreck with the rest of his family. An earlier version of the concept had Six disguising herself as a man to become a police officer after her father had been killed. 

Von Reichter and his Fixed Ideas.

Von Reichter, however, had not been idle. From his lab in the Amazon he worked on his other creations: the Fixed Ideas, which resembled large Frankenstein’s monster-like beings and performed his grunt work; the Data series, which resembled animals; the Techno series, the more human-like and more loyal upgrade to the Cyber series; and the Type series, which were a further advancement over the Technos. At night, Cybersix would hunt down these creations in the city not only to disrupt Von Reicther’s dreams of world conquest, but to vampirically drain them of the life-giving fluid called “Sustenance” she needed to survive. By day, she would continue to live as Adrian, now a high school literature teacher and friend to science teacher Lucas Amato (Michael Dobson), with whom a mutual infatuation developed.

Cybersix confronts Von Reicther amongst his creations.

            Two things influenced the creation of Cybersix. One was the case of Mario and Elsa Rios; a wealthy couple who had some of Elsa’s embryo’s frozen (which was a new innovation at the time) before both died in a plane crash in 1983. The heirs to their estate wanted those embryos destroyed so as to eliminate any chance that they could claim part of it, which inspired Trillo to wonder what would have happened if the embryos instead fell into the hands of a scientist who sought to create life.

Cybersix facing her Adrian persona.

The other inspiration came from Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, who had created seventy-five distinct names that he wrote under. That led to the theme of duality that ran throughout the Cybersix series as many of the characters had a completely different side to them. In Six’s case, it was her time as male literature teacher Adrian. For Lucas, not only was he a science teacher, but also a journalist.

            The comic became popular enough to attract the attention of television producers. In Argentina, the comic was adapted into a live-action television series in 1995. Produced by Patagonik TV Group and Television Federal, the show starred model Carolina Pelleritti in the title role. Unfortunately, the series was poorly received and was quickly cancelled after only eight episodes. Shortly after the cancellation, a friend of Meglia’s, Alejandro Dolina, told him of a Canadian producer looking for a cartoon project. The pair sent off several scripts and a sample pilot Dolina crafted on his computer. A deal was struck and the show was taken on by Network of Animation (NOA) Productions.

Jose, a Hitler in the making.

            A new pilot was created by TMS Entertainment in order to shop the series to networks. The show was picked up by Teletoon in Canada and the full series was put into production. TMS stayed on as the primary animation facility and reincorporated parts of their pilot into the show’s intro and scenes within the episodes. Teiichi Takiguchi served as the character designer and kept the look of the show close to Meglia’s art style; from Six’s white-less eyes to the rectangular patches representing hair. However, he did simplify their appearances a bit to make them easier to animate.

A vial of Sustenance.

            While the show largely followed the main plotline of the comics, some changes had to be made for consumption by western audiences. The level of violence was considerably toned down. Meglia worked with the producers for several days to come up with an alternative for Six’s vampiric feeding on Sustenance and came up with the idea that Von Reichter’s creations carried around vials of the stuff on their person and dissipated after Cybersix defeated them. Von Reichter’s Nazi affiliation was kept ambiguous, although it manifested itself in the clothing and movements of his son and right-hand man, Jose (Alex Dodusk). Jose’s origin was changed from being an age-retarded clone of Von Reichter, and the sexual libido Von Reicther gave him to keep him too distracted from revolting against him was removed. Lori (Janyse Jaud), the student in Adrian’s class that was infatuated with him, was changed from a highly promiscuous thug to be a smarter, computer-literate thug. Lucas was no longer a journalist, and his obsession with learning about Cybersix was curbed to make him appear as less of a crackpot conspiracy theorist. The show also left more open for the audience to interpret, whereas the comic explained everything including Cybersix’s outfit coming from one of Von Reichter’s creations posing as a prostitute.

Cybersix and Data-7.

            Cybersix debuted on Teletoon on September 6, 1999. While casting the show, the producers were uncertain whether to cast a male actor for the Adrian role or not. After Cathy Weseluck auditioned for Six, Julian and Jose, they decided she could pull off both and cast her in the lead role. Producer Koji Takeuchi served as one of the series’ writers, along with Judy Valyi, Barry Whittaker, Andrew D. Hammell, Jono Howard, Catherine Girczyc and Michael Van Lane. The series’ beginning and ending themes were composed by series composer Robbi Finkel with lyrics by Robert Olivier and vocals provided by jazz singer Coral Egan who sang it in the first person. Finkel was hired by the producers after hearing his composition for a showing of Cirque du Soleil.

            A second season of 13 episodes was planned, but production ended after the first season when there were internal disagreements between the production companies. The show was translated into several languages and broadcast around the world, eventually finding its way to the United States on Fox Kids. Debuting on August 19, 2000, the show was even further toned down by the network; particularly the intro, which was cut in half in order to remove most of the instances of violence depicted. Even so, it drew controversy over its content and characters due to its being shown so early in the morning between two far more kid-friendly programs: Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue and Digimon: Digital Monsters. This mature tonality was the particular reason producer Herve Bedard wanted to make the show, because he believed that young adults would be the new niche audience to target with animation. Unfortunately, said target audience wasn’t as likely to be up as early and the show was pulled from FOX’s schedule after only 10 episodes aired.

Lucas reassures Cybersix he's never seen Dark Angel.

Although Cybersix the series ended on a cliffhanger, Cybersix the comic managed to bring its story to a conclusion before its cancellation. Cybersix had a second controversy during 2000, as Meglia and Trillo sued James Cameron and FOX over their show Dark Angel. They claimed that the show stole most of the plot and recognizable elements from the comic. Unfortunately, the lawsuit was never resolved as they couldn’t afford to pursue it. The lawsuit likely led to the heavy and unpopular changes made in Dark Angel’s second season, which ultimately led to its cancellation.

The DVD cover.

Despite its short run, Cybersix won a Pulcinella Award and two Leo Awards in 2001. Cybersix was released to VHS in Canada by ImaVision Distribution in both English and French. In 2014, Discotek Media released the complete series to DVD in North America, and by DVDY Films and Declic Images in Europe. All versions of the DVD set contained bonus features. It would go on to be available for streaming on Amazon Prime and other services.

“Mysterious Shadow / La créature mystérieuse” (9/6/99 CAN, 8/19/00 US) – Cybersix befriends Lucas Amato and prevents Jose and Von Reichter’s counterfeiting scheme.

“Data-7 & Julian / Data 7 et Julien” (9/12/99 CAN, 8/26/00 US) – Reichter sends Data-7 after Cybersix while she tries to save Julian from Jose’s clutches.

“Terra / Terra” (9/18/99 CAN, 9/2/00 US) – Reichter creates Terra to go after Cybersix, but his development of free will forces Jose to trap both of them in a burning tower.

“Yashimoto, Private Eye / Yashimoto, détective privé” (9/19/99 CAN, 9/9/00 US) – Jose kidnaps the younger brother of detective Yashimoto in order to blackmail him into hunting down Cybersix.

“Lori is Missing / Lori a disparu” (9/25/99 CAN, 9/16/00 US) – One of Adrian’s students reveals seeing Cybersix in his apartment and ends up kidnapped by Jose’s gang.

“Blue Birds of Horror / Les pigeons bleus”(9/26/99 CAN, 9/23/00 US) – Jose controls a swarm of hostile birds and has them invade the city.

“Brainwashed / Police contrôle” (10/2/99 CAN, 9/30/00 US) – Jose brainwashes six cops to seek out Cybersix and captures Julian in order to lure her into a trap.

“Gone with the Wings / Gare aux gargouilles” (10/3/99 CAN, 10/7/00 US) – Nightly battles with goblins has Data-7 and Julian seek out their eggs in order to destroy them all at once.

“The Eye / Coup d'oeil sur la ville” (10/10/99 CAN, 10/14/00 US) – Jose attempts to capture an eyeball creature that grows in size when it drains a victim’s consciousness.

“Full Moon Fascination / Fascination lunaire” (10/9/99 CAN, 10/21/00 US) – A scratch Lucas receives from his new girlfriend results in his becoming a werewolf.

“The Greatest Show in Meridiana / Jose fait son cirque” (10/16/99 CAN) – Jose and his robotic animals capture Data-7 and Cybersix and force them to perform in the circus.

“Daylight Devil / Le démon de l'aube” (10/17/99 CAN) – Reptilian woman Griselda discovers Cybersix’s identity and battles her on a class field trip.

“The Final Confrontation” (10/23/99 CAN) – Reichter sends a giant living bomb to destroy the city, but Jose wants the city for himself and diverts the bomb back to Reichter.

May 20, 2017


(CBS, September 17-December 10, 1988)

Ruby-Spears Enterprises

Ginny McSwainLois Lane, Janet Kyburn, Ursa, Faora
Lynne Marie Stewart – Jessica Morganberry
William Woodson – Opening narration

For the history of Superman, check out the post here

            As the DC Comics Universe was nearing its 50th anniversary, there were some growing pains to contend with; namely that in that time, the established history of the characters just didn’t mesh. How could Superman be the last son of Krypton if there was an assortment of other Kryptonians running around? How is it that Batman served in World War II and yet still looks to be in his 30s? And just what were they going to do with all those many parallel Earths they had created as an explanation for some of the more out-there stories from the Golden and Silver Age of comics?

A visual representation of the Crisis event.

            Marv Wolfman and Len Wein proposed a plan to help clean-up DC’s convoluted continuity with an event called Crisis on Infinite Earths (named for the annual Justice League/Justice Society crossovers that began with “Crisis on Earth-One”). The story followed a cosmic being known as the Anti-Monitor as he began destroying the parallel worlds of the DC Universe, and various heroes and villains from the five remaining ones banded together to put a stop to him. Ultimately, the five realities end up merged as one. Crisis on Infinite Earths ran as a 12-issue maxi-series between 1985 and 1986.

The Man of Steel #1, depicting baby Kal-El's escape from Krypton.

            A few months after Crisis concluded, writer/artist John Byrne—fresh off a split from rival Marvel Comics—was tapped to pen the official new origin for Superman. His six-issue mini-series, The Man of Steel, gave a rundown in the key moments of Superman’s life. The post-Crisis Superman had a specific set of largely reduced powers (no more towing entire planets with giant chains); Martha and Jonathan Kent were still alive (their status changed quite often, with one or both of them being alive or dead at different points in Superman’s life, as well as being depicted at different ages); Lex Luthor went from being a mad scientist to a corrupt billionaire industrialist; Superman no longer had costumed adventures as Superboy in Smallville and only first donned the costume when he went to Metropolis; all other Kryptonians disappeared with Supergirl becoming an artificial being created by Lex, amongst other changes.

Ruby-Spears' Superman.

            In 1988, the year of Superman’s 50th anniversary, Ruby-Spears Productions acquired the rights to produce the third solo Superman series, and his second on Saturday mornings. The series was the first representation of the post-Crisis Superman outside of comics and closely followed the mythology established in The Man of Steel (unlike the live-action Superboy series that debuted the same year). However, it was also heavily influenced by the Superman film franchise starring Christopher Reeve as evidenced by its portrayal of a bumbling Clark Kent to distinguish his identity from Superman (Beau Weaver), and the use of a re-orchestrated version of John Williams’ “Superman March”. It also paid homage to previous incarnations through the introductory narration from The Adventures of Superman, which was spoken by William Woodson from the just-concluded Super Friends franchise, and Superman’s constant utterance of “Up, up and away!” whenever he took flight. 

Superman flying with roboticized Lois and Jimmy.

            Wolfman served as the series’ story editor, as well as writing several of the scripts himself. Artist Gil Kane provided the character designs. Other comic creators who worked on the show were Buzz Dixon, Martin Pasko and Steve Gerber, as well as regular television writers Karen Wilson, Chris Weber, Michael Reaves and Larry DiTillio. Ron Jones was the show’s composer, and the show was animated overseas by Toei Animation and Dae Won Animation.

Lex Luthor and Jessica Morganberry.

            Superman, also known as Ruby-SpearsSuperman, debuted on CBS on September 17, 1988. Each episode was broken up into two segments. The primary segment focused on the adventures of Superman and his battles against evil. The show utilized a variety of new villains created specifically for the show, but did feature Lex Luthor (Michael Bell) as a recurring foe, complete with Superman-repelling Kryptonite ring. Lex was a cross between the ruthless businessman established by Byrne and the eccentric portrayal of Gene Hackman in the films. 

Superman facing the Shadow Thief.

Other villains from the comics included the lethal joking Prankster (Howard Morris); a version of Shadow Thief whose suit allowed him to blend into the shadows; Kryptonian war criminal General Zod (René Auberjonois) who was assisted by his wife/lover (depending on the story) Faora, and Ursa (both Ginny McSwain, also the show’s voice director), who made her first appearance in Superman: The Movie. Futuristic cyborg Cybron (Frank Welker) was a stand-in for villain Brainiac, whose post-Crisis status was still undetermined at the time of the show. A newly created character was Lex’s ditzy girlfriend Jessica Morganberry (Lynne Marie Stewart), who was inspired by the character of Miss Tessmacher (Valerie Perrine) from the films.

Baby Clark hovers above the Kents.

The second segment was “The Superman Family Album”. Primarily written by Cherie Wilkerson, these four-minute segments served as a prequel to the overall series by focusing on Clark’s childhood. They began with his being discovered by Jonathan (Alan Oppenheimer) and Martha Kent (Tress MacNeille) up until he moved to Metropolis where he began working at The Daily Planet with Lois Lane (McSwain), Jimmy Olsen (Mark Taylor) and Perry White (Stanley Ralph Ross)—not to mention also becoming Superman. While the segments adhered to the post-Crisis continuity of Clark not having any adventures as Superboy, it deviated a bit by having all of Clark’s powers present while he was a newborn. Those powers often served as the source of comic relief and conflict in the stories. Wolfman and Meg McLaughlin wrote two of the segments, respectively.

Superman teaming-up with Wonder Woman.

            Despite the high quality of the production, the show was plagued by several problems including budgetary constraints, high licensing fees and poor scheduling that pitted it against Disney powerhouses Gummi Bears and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. As a result, the show never went beyond its single season. It was notable, however, for being the first television appearance of the post-Crisis Wonder Woman (Marry McDonald-Lewis) from George Perez’s acclaimed reimaging of the character, and her last Saturday appearance until 2016’s Justice League Action (although the character would star in 2001’s Justice League). It was also the first appearance of S.T.A.R. Labs outside of comics; which would come to factor into a variety of future DC Comics-based programs. 

The DVD collection.

            In 2009, Warner Home Video released the complete series to DVD. It was also made available for streaming on Amazon.

“Destroy the Defendroids / The Adoption” (9/17/88) – After Lex Luthor’s crime-fighting robots drive Superman away, he uses them to rob a Fort Knox train. / The Kents take baby Kal-El to the orphanage and end up adopting him when his powers drive others away.

“Fugitive From Space / The Supermarket” (9/24/88) – STAR Labs discovers an alien spaceship and Superman has to figure out which of its occupants is a policeman and which is a criminal. / Martha tries to conceal Clark’s powers during his first trip to the market.

“By the Skin of the Dragon’s Teeth / At the Babysitter’s” (10/1/88) – After Luthor buys the Great Wall of China, he accidentally brings a Dragon King statue to life. / Young Clark uses his powers to get away from his babysitter and avoid bedtime.

“Cybron Strikes / The First Day of School” (10/8/88) – Lois’ birthday is interrupted by a hostile cyborg from the future who can turn people into robots. / Clark’s first to day of school introduces him to Lana Lang and trouble when he’s blamed for letting the class guinea pig escape.

“The Big Scoop / Overnight with the Scouts” (10/15/88) – Lex steals a device that allows him to see the future and discovers Superman’s identity. / Clark goes camping with the scouts and they share ghost stories around the fire.

“Triple Play / The Circus” (10/22/88) – Prankster forces Superman to pitch for his baseball team for the lives of the various people he’s captured. / Clark ends up joining the circus.

“The Hunter / Little Runaway” (10/29/88) – General Zod, Ursa and Faora arrive and create a creature called The Hunter who takes on the properties of Kryptonite. / Tired of his home, Clark tries to run away only to discover his life wasn’t so bad after all.

“Superman and Wonder Woman vs. the Sorceress of Time / The Birthday Party” (11/5/88) – Superman stops a meteor and accidentally frees a prisoner on Themyscira as a result. / Clark gets a surprise at his birthday party.

“Bonechill / The Driver’s License” (11/12/88) – A bookstore owner uses a talisman to gain powers over various monsters. / Clark takes his driving test.

“The Beast Beneath These Streets / First Date” (11/19/88) – Researchers discover a sunken part of old Metropolis where mad scientist Dr. Morpheus plans to steal Superman’s powers. / Clark goes on his first date with Lana.

“Wildsharkk / To Play or Not to Play” (11/26/88) – Superman tries to stop Wildsharkk’s ship hijacking in the Bermuda Triangle. / Clark wants to play football, but his powers give him an unfair advantage.

“Night of the Living Shadows / Graduation” (12/3/88) – Lex invents a suit that makes its wearer become a living shadow and instigates a crime spree. / It’s graduation day, and Clark’s robe ends up dirty right before the ceremony.

“The Last Time I Saw Earth / It’s Superman” (12/10/88) – An alien abducts the shuttle Lois and Jimmy are on in order to steal proteins from their bodies to become immortal. / Clark moves to Metropolis and begins his life as Superman.

Originally posted in 2017. Updated in 2018.