The joyful and long-overdue news that Zenith, Grant Morrison’s seminal 80s superhero strip, might FINALLY get reprinted garnered a huge whoop of joy from me today, but when I tried to explain my excitement, nobody knew what I was talking about.  Sure, this sort of thing happens to comic nerds the world over every day, Faithful Spoilerites, but in this case, I was IN A COMIC STORE when the discussion was being had, and while people knew Morrison, they seemed surprised that he did anything before the 1990s JLA.  Sadly, Zenith falls into a strange lacuna of comics history, residing alongside Marshal Law, Reid Fleming and a host of other strange post-black-and-white boom comics (more and more often including the seminal ‘Miracleman’) that I once loved and now nobody has heard of.  Fortunately for me, my long memory and lack of filters means that I’m used to this kind of shmageggi (plus, now I can turn it into a recommendation for Major Spoilers!) but it does beg a query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) hopes to hear about some really obscure hipster stuff today, asking:  What’s your favorite pop-culture pleasure of years past that everyone else seems to have forgotten?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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16 Comments

  1. Dan Hunter
    May 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm — Reply

    I’m with you Matthew: Zenith for the win!
    I hope these re-releases get people interested in the source material and/or check out the rest of the 2000AD re-releases.

  2. Oldcomicfan
    May 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    #1 Captain Kwik and a Foozle – an unfinished work by Marshall Rogers from before he did Batman for DC – a victim of the Independent Comic Book Implosion of the 80s. It was funny, and had great art and we never did get to find out how the story ended.
    #2 Starstruck – It’s had more revivals than the Baptist Bible Belt, and one of the best Sci-Fi epics ever drawn. It puts ALL of the Star Wars comics into the garbage heap. But for some reason – probably because you actually had to engage your brain to read it – it didn’t catch on. It has women drawn by Kaluta! That alone should have insured its success!!!

  3. May 29, 2013 at 2:23 pm — Reply

    Exosquad. I thought that was a fantastic show, which ended in an awful cliffhanger. My freshman year of college, some buddies and I used to watch reruns on Cartoon Network – at least I think it was on Cartoon Network. I believe the show is on Hulu now, but it doesn’t seem to get the love a lot of other action cartoons from the same era do.

    • May 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm — Reply

      I still have some of my Exosquad toys, and miraculously still have two of the VHS released with a few episodes on each. I also have a few of the Robotech toys that were released under the Exosquad toy line (and had really hoped they’d do a crossover of the two since they made a shared toyline).

    • May 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm — Reply

      Ohh yeah, Exosquad was amazing. It’s astonishing that show could have gotten made in the super paranoid-parental climate of the 90’s. It was a top quality show, even after the animation took a dive in the second season, the writing still stayed surprisingly good.

  4. Gary
    May 29, 2013 at 3:59 pm — Reply

    There’s a mid-90s Jerry Lewis movie called ‘Funny Bones’ that pretty much no one remembers that I <3. It's this bizarre, almost surrealist, comedy that stars Oliver Platt and Lee Evans. Some of the physical comedy in it is brilliant.

    One of my favorite scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpSDwcqACB8

  5. B.V.K.
    May 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    There was a short lived comic series by Image that I used to like in the early 2000’s called The Imaginaries. It may have only lasted 3 or 4 issues. The concept was about a land where all kids imaginary friends go when they are no longer needed. The protagonist was an imaginary super hero who gets sent to the land, which is of course ruled by an evil despot, and him trying to acclimate to his new surroundings. It mixed super heroes with some surreal imagery. I don’t know why it was cut so short, but I have never even seen back issues of it.

  6. May 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    I’m not sure if he still counts as he’s enjoying an itsy-bitsy resurgence, but I have loved Dynomutt since childhood, still love him, and would love a revival (especially the pipe dream of actually working on it). I can trace my fondness for robot pets & Frank Welker to this silly, glitchy huskie mix in booties & a mask. He’s been appearing in a couple nostalgia spots, but otherwise he’s kind of forgotten.

    • May 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm — Reply

      I was giddy as a schoolgirl on morphine when I saw him on “Scooby Doo Mystery Inc” and then again when they released the new direct-to-DVD movie. Dynomutt and K-9 (from Doctor Who) are the inspirations for one of the main characters of my semi-superhero sci-fi story I’ve been working on for some time, and Dynomutt is definitely responsible for my acceptance that silly superheroes can work alongside a serious superhero (such as having Plastic Man in the JLA or Marvel’s Slapstick with any of the main Marvel heroes he’s worked with).

  7. Shush
    May 29, 2013 at 8:09 pm — Reply

    Have Gun – Will Travel. A black and white Western starring Richard Boone starting in 1957 and continued till 1963. One of the notable episode writers for Have Gun – Will Travel was Gene Roddenberry. Some of the scripts could even be seen as being reused in Star Trek a couple years later.

    The premise was, if you had a thousand dollars, you could hire Paladin. (Yes, that’s right. Paladin. Just like the DnD character class.) A gun for hire with ethics. Similar to the A-Team, but set in the old west.

    Richard Boone was the driving force of the show. Being the star he often had to carry through and convincingly act with scripts that were, at first, somewhat hokey, given that his character Paladin was initially infallible. And he delivers. His performances are consistently wonderful, keeping the show on track as the first season’s scripts and his character as written were far less consistent than Richard Boone himself and his acting. He’s one of the few actors that can think of that changes from a stereotypically devil, which he looked like naturally whenever he scowled, to that of a charming dandy whenever he broke out the smile and laugh.

    If no one knows what I’m talking about when I mention Have Gun – Will Travel, I forgive them as the series is just so old, having never even made it into the era of color television.

  8. May 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm — Reply

    I’ve mentioned it before here and I know at least a few folks who visit Major Spoilers know of it, but one of my all-time favorite TV shows was a series called “Forever Knight”. It is rare that I come across anyone who remembers it. For those who don’t know, it was a series about a roughly 800 year old vampire who worked as a present day homicide detective and wished to become human again. I have all three seasons on DVD, the three official novels, the official soundtrack and a number of fan-made items (such as wine glasses made to look like they were from the vampire nightclub in the series).

    • May 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm — Reply

      Forever Knight was one of those shows that made me think, “Was that a thing, or did I just imagine it?” Good show. :)

  9. May 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm — Reply

    I’m sure it hasn’t held up well, but I really loved Automan back in the day (hey, it was as close to a Tron TV show as we were going to get. lol)

  10. May 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm — Reply

    Gerry Andersons Space:1999 and U.F.O. Two of the best sci-fi shows from the 60’s .

  11. Rob
    May 30, 2013 at 3:56 am — Reply

    I tend to work on the bases that if I remember it it can be that obscure so I’m constantly supprised to find that noone remembers Jim Henson’s films other than the Muppets.

  12. June 1, 2013 at 2:35 pm — Reply

    Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea.

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