Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #58 (January 1988)

Well, it looks like we’ve been hit by the wacky “Time Warp Bugaboo” again! Now, at the end of June, I’m writing this capricious column at top speed, hoping to make Editor Slim-Jim Salicrup’s deadline before he throws the book at me! (And if he does, with my luck it’ll be a DC comic!) But, by the time you read these passionate paragraphs, you’ll probably be celebrating Octoberfest! (I can just picture you dancing in the streets in your snowshoes!)

And, to make it even more confusing, even as your awe-struck eyes are relishing this highly acclaimed column (Yeah, “highly acclaimed.” My next-door neighbor said the typing looked real near!), at this very moment you can bet that I’m frantically writing my next column – which won’t see the light of day in print till 1988!)

Hey, we could probably come up with a great science-fiction plot about a time-spanning mishmash like this! But keep it under your hat, hear? Brand Echh spies are everywhere!

Okay, On to matters of intergalactic import…

First of all, I wanna formally welcome our nifty new Editor in Chief and High Muckamuck of Marvel’s Batty Bullpen, none other than Terrific Tom DeFalco, our own low-keyed and lovable Renaissance Man! I’ve known and worked with TDF for many years and I suspect that when you get to know him as well as yours truly, you’ll consider this multi-talented and warm-hearted guy one of your all-time favorite editors, just as I do. And, he’s a dynamite writer, too, as most of you know! But don’t believe the sneaky rumor that Tom was given the job because his natty new beard will make him so easy for editorial cartoonists to caricature! Not a word of truth to it! And if you don’t believe me, ask him yourself – as soon as he finishes posing!

But we can’t conclude this emotional ceremony without a friendly “so-long” to another great talent. Jaunty Jim Shooter has stepped down from his previous Editor in Chiefdom to follow new pursuits. In the years that he’s been at Marvel’s editorial helm, he’s helped us to grow and to thrive and he’ll always hold a unique place in the hearts of Marveldom Assembled. All of us wish you the very best in whatever path you take, Jim, and we hope you’ll never fully sever your ties with the old gang at Marvel. Happy trails to you, High-Pockets!

If you’ve finished drying your eyes, let’s move on, troops. There’s a lotta heavy stuff comin’ down the pike!

Now it can be told! The screenplay for DR. STRANGE is almost finished! It’s being polished by its author, one of my dearest friends and the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, Blushin’ Bob Gale, the co-screenwriter of BACK TO THE FUTURE! We haven’t selected the cast yet, but I can promise you this is one film that’ll rock the industry! It’ll be a knockout New World Picture, of course, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

But wait, there’s more! Lemme tell you about one of everybody’s favorite artist/writers, Fearless Frank Miller! The two of us girded our loins recently and headed for an exciting meeting with the New World Pictures top brass. By the time the dust settled, it was arranged that The Fearless One would tackle the writing chores of a prime-time TV series for none other than ol’ hornhead himself, the ever-delightful DAREDEVIL!

But hold your applause, frantic ones – we’re just getting started!

How about Capricious Chris Claremont? Have you heard that my man Christopher, one of the world’s best-selling authors (That’s right! Hardly anything outsells THE X-MEN!) has agreed to come up with the story for a big-budget movie starring – oh, how I wish I could see your expression when you read this – none other than…WOLVERINE! Taa Daaaaaaa!

And next ish, if the excitement hasn’t felled me by then, I’ll have some more sensational screen stuff for you – like what we’re planning to do with SUB-MARINER, IRON MAN and wouldja believe, ANT MAN? But no sense giving away the whole kawalla in one column! (Picky, picky, picky! I dunno what “kawalla” means either – big deal!)

Now look, I wouldn’t be doing you justice if I only clued you in to the New World pix based on Marvel heroes. Those jocular geniuses over at NWP have a whole other kaboodle of goodies that I think you’ll flip over. Try these on for size…

INVASION EARTH! (Opening in October) Picture this: A buncha aliens descend on a small town theatre and splice the most incredible montage of science-fiction movie clips this side of George Lucas! Why? Hey, that would be telling!

JANE AND THE LOST CITY! Remember Jane, the far-out British comicstrip heroine? Well, this is her first film adventure – and it’s WIIIIIILD! It stars Sam (FLASH GORDON) Jones, Maud Adams, and Kristen Hughes as Jane. ‘Nuff said!

HEART! No, no Irving, it’s not a medical documentary! Brad Davis (of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) stars as a has-been boxer who gets a second chance at the brass ring – but he knows it may cost him his life! Talk about drama – this is it!

But we don’t want to fabulous New World TV department to feel ignored, so let’s see what treats they have in store for us on the titanic tube…

TOUR OF DUTY! This one’s for all you ‘NAM lovers! Terrance Knox, former star of “St. Elsewhere,” is featured in this, the first TV series focused on the Vietnam war! It’s positively a must!

New World’s other sparkling shows, RAGS TO RICHES, CRIME STORY, SANTA BARBARA and the fast-moving, furiously-funny SLEDGE HAMMER will all be back this fall – and wait’ll I tell you about our newest TV hero, CAPTAIN JUSTICE, who’ll be leading off the ABC Saturday night line-up! Guess who plays a cameo role in this towering little TV triumph? No, it’s not Willie Lumpkin – though that was a good guess, Bunky! Here’s a hint – you’ll finally get a chance to see if I look as corny in real life as I sound on paper!

Whoops! Almost forgot! Good ol’ NWP has one of the all-time great line-ups of video cassettes, too! Can’t turn you loose without telling you to watch for THE FANTASY FILM WORLDS OF GEORGE PAL! Anyone who remembers the great films of George Pal is bound to be a fan, and for those who haven’t seen ‘em, this cassette will prevent you from being culturally deprived! Thus spake Zarathrustra!

Well, True Believer, I guess that’s it for fun and games. And if any of you missed Spidey’s wedding this time around, not to worry – I’ll try to get you tickets to the christening of his baby, if and when!

So, till the Tidal Wave of Destiny again washes us up on the Shining Shores of Comicdom, keep thy webs untangled, they mutants hidden, and thy sinews limber – you never know when you’ll haveta hug an alien!

Excelsior!

–Stan

PS: Hey, I just remembered, in next month’s Soapbox you’ll get the result of our big reader poll “Should Iron Man be a movie or TV series?” Better reserve your copy now – the whole world’s waiting!