Do You Remember 1992’s Batman Returns The Computer Game?

Batman Returns The Computer Game - 1992 - Konami

When Batman hit screens back in 1989, I just don’t think that folks were quite ready or aware of the levels of Batmania that were about to sweep the country. When it debuted on June 23rd of that year – for a comic book fan it was like a breath of fresh air. Do not get me wrong, there had been superheroes on the small screen that I loved as well as the first couple of Superman films. Batman was something different though as he was one of three of my favorite comic book characters growing up – the other two being Captain America and Captain Carrot. The merchandising blitz for Tim Burton’s take on the Dark Knight was in full swing just a week or two before the film was released, I should remember as I managed to snag T-Shirts, the novelization, and even an audio book before I caught the movie itself. Now if I am going to be absolutely honest I will admit that there are some things about the character of Batman that I question from the ’89 film… but it is still a film I cherish and watch at least once a year. All that talk about merchandising though was because what was produced and marketed for Batman Returns three years later… dwarfed the original film – even if it didn’t fly off the shelves like the previous movie… and managed to court some controversy from parent groups. One of the things I enjoyed most about the merchandising was the still awesome Batman Returns game for the Sega Genesis – although I will admit that I enjoyed the 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System even more.

Video Provided by Pixel Theater’s YouTube Channel.

Batman Returns for the SNES was produced by Konami, the game studio responsible for the likes of Frogger, Pooyan, and Time Pilot for the arcade to name a few. Konami was certainly no stranger to fantastic games for the home consoles either – with Castlevania, Contra, Gradius and many, many more. It was Konami who also produced the Batman Returns computer game which was released on December 15th of 1992 – the perfect time to attempt to cash in on the sequel. Here is the thing though… until I stumbled on it the other day I never knew there was a Batman Returns computer game – but after watching it in action I was incredibly impressed. While it appears there is a bit of combat to this game, it is more of a point and click adventure game – allowing the Dark Knight to live up to his title of World’s Greatest Detective. In addition after watching this Batman Returns the Computer Game longplay, I have to go on record and say that I really dig the covers of Danny Elfman’s music from the film too.

Video and Article Image Provided by Guy From Andromeda’s YouTube Channel.

What about you though, did you ever play the Batman Returns Computer Game back in the day?

Check Out This 1966 Batman Colorforms TV Commercial

Batman Colorforms Set - 1966

I think it is more than fair to say that when Batman debuted on ABC – back on the evening of January 12th of 1966, it quickly became a very big deal. I also believe that the reasons for the television shows popularity are pretty evident – in particular when you take just a moment and check out the amazing collection of actors who made up the Rogues Gallery. The likes of Burgess Meredith, Vincent Price, Julie Newmar, Carolyn Jones, Cliff Robertson, Eartha Kitt, Milton Berle, Cesar Romero, and Frank Gorshin to name just a few. The success of the television series not only helped to get a movie shot and released between the first and second season of the show – but also generated a ton of revenue thanks to the merchandising of Batman as well. Numerous toy and model products, costumes, and even offers for the Cape Crusader’s periscope on the back of Froot Loops – although that latter might not be as awesome as this 1966 Batman Colorforms set!

Video and Article Images Provided by Colorforms 60th Anniversary YouTube Channel.

For what little it might be worth, I was not only a very big fan of Colorforms in my youth but I actually owned this particular Batman Colorforms set – although it was a hand-me-down and missing a few pieces. There are a couple of things of interest that should be pointed about this set… times they do change… which might explain why this set offers up not one but a pair of guns for the Joker and the Penguin to menace Batman and Robin with!

A batarang would come in handy right about now!

I was a little surprised to find that there were no batarangs for the the Caped Crusaders to hurl at their foes – I guess they get by well enough with just some good old fashioned fisticuffs. If you’ve ever followed my work on the Retroist in the past – you know I am going to bring up a glaring omission to that 1966’s Batman Colorforms set… where is the greatest member of the Rogues Gallery? I am of course referring to the one and only Riddler!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrtEmxtO2qQ
Video Provided by Big Daddy‘s YouTube Channel.

There Is Infinite Possibilities For Crisis On Infinite Earths TV Crossover!

Crisis on Infinite Earths - CW - 2019

If I could jump into a time machine and safely navigate the timelines until I reached my youth to tell my younger self that in 2019 – not only would there be Star Wars films still being made but Marvel and DC Comics would be producing both feature films and television series – one of them being 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths… I’d get shot in the face. Because Dark Future Vic Sage has already traveled back in that timeline and warned my younger self – instructing me if this day came I was to take the PKD gun beneath the bed and empty it into this future interloper. Since I don’t have access to a time machine I will just have to share how absolutely exciting the final trailer for the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths is with you – the network certainly appears to be pulling out all the stops with this television crossover event. In fact it begins in just four more days and will give us DC Comics fans the opportunity to see the likes of John Wesley Shipp playing his version of Barry Allen from CBS’ The Flash from back in 1990 once again. In addition to Burt Ward who it sounds like will be playing his character of Robin from the Batman ’66 TV series… and then there is LEGENDARY Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy… getting to play Kingdom Come‘s Bruce Wayne!

That is FAR from the only guest star that will be showing up to try and stop Anti-Monitor from wiping out the multiverse – you also have Brandon Routh who is playing the Superman from Kingdom Come. There are more two more actors playing the Man of Steel – Tom Welling and Erica Durance from Smallville will be showing up as Superman and Lois Lane. Of course you also have Tyler Hoechlin who will be playing Superman too – since that is his role on the Supergirl CW series. In fact I saw a photograph online the other day that shows Routh’s Man of Steel choking Hoechlin’s Superman… considering the Kingdom Come timeline – that is par for the course.

There is even more, like a cameo from Ashley Scott as Huntress from the short-lived Birds of Prey television series. Honestly, I bet there will be more than a few surprises in store when the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover starts on Sunday night – until then we can enjoy this final trailer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fi69xfnl0ho
Video and Article Image Provided by We Got This Covered YouTube Channel.

If Adventure Has A Phone Number It Must Be Indiana Jones!

If Adventure Has A Phone Number It Must Be Indiana Jones - 1989 - 900 Number

It was pretty big news in my Family back in May of 1989 when thanks to Entertainment Tonight we learned that a new Indiana Jones film was about to debut. Especially since five years earlier the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom had divided my families love of the franchise as cleanly as Indy cutting the rope bridge spanning that river of crocodiles. It actually took my Father and myself two attempts to watch the Temple of Doom as I became ill halfway through the film – although I want to point out it didn’t have anything to do with the dinner scene in the movie, which is exactly what my Grandmother blamed my illness on when we took her to see it the second time. But even though my Father and Grandmother didn’t care for the 1984 film – on Sunday May the 28th after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade opened at the Razorback Theater, our whole Family was in attendance. We had an absolute blast and it became a film that thanks to VHS was frequently viewed – this is of course the time when a VHS tape was around $30 bucks to buy at the local Walmart. Did you know though that before the film opened there was a 900 number you could call to experience six new Indiana Jones adventures? Which considering that the tagline for the Temple of Doom was “If adventure has a name… it must be Indiana Jones.” – that would mean that if adventure has a phone number… well… the same thing applies.

Video and Article Image Provided by Steve Herold‘s YouTube Channel.

I actually shared a comic book advertisement for this 900 phone number adventure the other day on the Pop Culture Retrorama Facebook page – which led me to that vintage commercial. My Father has always been exceptionally thrifty when it comes to money so I knew better than to even ask if it would okay to call that 900 number – I wonder if somehow a recording exists – like with the Star Wars 800 number for The Empire Strikes Back? Obviously if you recall calling this 900 phone number to experience an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones, I sincerely hope you will talk about it in the comments sections of this article.

I have a personal story to share about seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade… but I think I will hold off on that until I tackle the franchise on a future Pop Culture Retrorama podcast. However I think I should add that my Father and myself returned to the Razorback Theater a couple of times during the Summer to enjoy what appeared to be the last cinematic journey of Dr. Jones and his own Friends and Family. I believe that it was the number one film of 1989 by the way – that is saying something considering that Batman would come out a month later!

“Eat my dust, Gotham City!”
Video Provided by Movieclips Classic Trailers YouTube Channel.

Pop Culture Retrorama Ep. 05 – The Shadow

For this fifth episode of the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast I dive into the origins of one of the greatest pulp heroes of all time – The Shadow. A character that is certainly a true icon – featured in radio as well as novels and even comic books and film. In the show I give a broad overview of the The Shadow from a humble beginning as narrator for Street & Smith’s Detective Story Hour old time radio show to selling out on the newsstands thanks to the 282 pulp novels written by Walter B. Gibson. In addition I share in this podcast how I was first introduced to The Shadow as well as where I developed my love of old time radio.

Who knows what Evil lurks in the hearts of men…

As always I do my best to share with you the elements of The Shadow that hooked me from my youth. Mainly the fact that many of the things I love about the character of Batman all began in 1931 when newspaperman Walter B. Gibson began to build the mythos for this avenging and dark agent of justice – such as having a dual identity – being wealthy and using various gadgets in his effort to wage war against criminals. Although in thee case of The Shadow as I point out in the show itself – his alter-ego is entirely a different person – at least that is how it went down in the original pulp novels. In addition I was able to find some facts about Gibson and the character I wasn’t aware – courtesy of the ShadowSanctum.Net!

I do touch upon the numerous creators that helped bring The Shadow to not just the printed page but on the airwaves – a radio series that ran for 17 years and featured the likes of Orson Welles for a brief time in the role of Lamont Cranston and the Shadow as well as Bewitched‘s Agnes Moorehead who played Margo Lane. I give a rundown of some of the differences from the pulp incarnation and the radio versions – and explain why when all is said and done I actually prefer the old time radio character of The Shadow.

Having said all of that I will admit that I managed to avoid going to much into the 1994 big screen adaptation for The Shadow – not because I didn’t care for the film but because I’ll probably devote an episode to it in the future.

Video courtesy of Taylor Daynes Vevo channel.

Now then, it is time to delve into the history of The Shadow… here on the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover
in a future episode -or possibly you have comments on the current show
itself, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact
me on Twitter and on Facebook. The theme used at the beginning and ending of this episode was provided by Earl Green, if you enjoy his work, make sure to check out his exceptional spot on the internet – TheLogBook.com – let him know we sent you.

Subscribe to the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)

Directly download the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)

Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast Ep. 02 (Starman – DC Comics 1994)

Friends, welcome back to a new episode the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast, I apologize about this second show being a little late – but I was under the weather for a good amount of January. This show I focus on James Robinson, Tony Harris, and Peter Snejbjerg’s incredible Starman comic book series that originated back in 1994. If you’ve not had the pleasure of reading the comic – in a nutshell – Robinson manages to craft a story that beautifully connects and pays homage to the then 50+ year history of Starman characters that have been published by DC Comics.

In this episode I attempt to do my best to boil down the many elements that made Starman so stellar. It was not just from the power of Robinson’s writing because the series was certainly boosted by the artwork of Tony Harris (Ex Machina) and later on in the comic’s run, the illustrations provided by Peter Snejbjerg. The basic story of Starman focuses on the Knight Family – while Superman has Metropolis and Batman protects Gotham City – it is Opal City that the Knight’s call home. Ted Knight was the original hero to call himself Starman and managed to secure a place for himself at the table of the Justice Society of America alongside the likes of the Flash, Green Lantern, the Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, Hourman, Hawkman, The Spectre, and the Atom to name a few members of that team of Golden Age heroes.

After the events of a DC Comics miniseries known as Zero Hour, Ted was forced into retirement and what occurs when his Son’s take up the mantle – is the main story for James Robinson’s Starman. It is however so very much more, Robinson’s writing on the series was definitely different than your standard comic book back in the early ’90s. Managing to make the comic about not just the legacy of the Golden Age heroes of the DC universe but making a statement about Family, Love, and even taking responsibility for yourself and others.

This was a hard episode to nail down, in fact I feel it was the toughest show I’ve ever managed to produce. Trying to take a comic book series that ran seven years and give enough information about it – about the comics that came before it and inspired Robinson – and NOT dip into major spoilers was hard for me. Hopefully by the end of this show you’ll want to seek out Starman and add it to your own personal collection.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode -or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. The theme used at the beginning and ending of this episode was provided by Earl Green, if you enjoy his work, make sure to check out his exceptional spot on the internet – TheLogBook.com – let him know we sent you.

Now then, join me as I point out some of the beauty of Opal City and it’s inhabitants featured in DC Comics’ Starman on the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast!

Subscribe to the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes (MP3)

Directly download the Pop Culture Retrorama Podcast:
Episode Mirror # 1 [MP3]

Episode Mirror #2 [OGG]