Stan’s Soapbox – Marvel Age #59 (February 1988)

You won’t believe it!

After all this waiting, all this suspense, the results are finally in! The most important audience survey of all time has been completed! But you won’t believe the outcome!

Well, maybe you will; after all, you know comic book persons never speak with forked tongue! And now, may I have a roll of drums and a blare of trumpets – Ta DAAAAA! – (thank you) as we announce the pandemonious verdict of Marveldom Assembled as to whether New World’s upcoming live-action production of IRON MAN should be a movie or a TV series!

Now here’s the part that’s hard to believe. With all the hundreds and hundreds of letters that poured into our offices, the final tabulation turned out to be – a furshlugginer TIE!

Yep, that’s it. You heard it right. Countless hordes of mellow Marvelites told us in no uncertain terms that ol’ Shell-Head simply had to be produced as a full-length motion picture, while an absolutely equal amount of Marvel madmen want the tempestuous tribulations of Tony Stark to be presented as a primetime TV series!

See why I’m on the horns of a dilemma, caught between a rock and a hard place? After spending millions (wouldja believe thousands? Hundreds? Okay, a couple’a bucks) on the world’s greatest public opinion poll, we’re still as undecided as ever! And if you think that’s rough on us, poor Tony Stark is thinking of trading in his armor for a crystal ball!

But not to fret, Frantic One! We’ll call a major meeting at the stadium-sized New World conference room and settle this burning question yet! One thing you can be sure of – whatever the outcome, you’ll be the first to know!

And, continuing our perpetual progress report, the screenplay for SUB-MARINER, THE MOVIE (well, what did you think it was, Sub-Mariner The Egg Salad?) is now about two-thirds finished! That means we’re rapidly approaching that dramatic day when you’ll see ol’ fish-face battling the hordes of evil on behalf of the fabled realm! Y’know, it’s hard for me not to get all misty-eyed when I think of all the wondrous cinematic treasures we have in store for you!

Oh, did I tell you last ish that we’re also planning a movie based on THE PUNISHER? If I didn’t, we are. (And even if I did, we are!) Know what our biggest problem is? Finding someone rotten enough for him to punish! I mean, when this cat does punishing, he’s not about to waste all that talent on a litterbug or some jaunty jay-walker, right? But fear not, when it comes to digging up rotten rascals, we’re world class excavators! We’ll see to it that the Punisher’s penchant for mayhem doesn’t go to waste!

Want more news? (Sounds like I’m auditioning to be a TV anchorman!) Look, instead of just telling you about all the great New World movie and TV productions that are in the works based on our Marvel super heroes, I’ll save that for next ish and tell you, instead, about a few red-hot New World projects that are causing a ton of excitement among your whole bashful bullpen! And, since you asked so politely, here’s what they are –

APPRENTICE TO MURDER! This mystical movie stars Donald Sutherland (remember how great he was in EYE OF THE NEEDLE?) as a guy who has to battle the Devil! Admit it now! It’s not the kind of story you run into every day! I don’t know about you, but this is one thriller that Smilin’ Stan isn’t gonna miss. (Aw, I wasn’t being absolutely truthful. I do so know about you. And I know you won’t wanna miss it, either! Can you ever forgive me for sounding as though I doubted you?)

FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC! No, no, Irving Forbush, it’s not a home decorating story! It’s about some kids who have to stay hidden, locked in an attic till an old man dies! It’s sort of an off-key horror story and, even though it’s not based on any of our own titanic titles, I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s done in the somewhat spectacular though moderately maddening Marvel manner! And I can bestow no great accolade!

But now, hang onto your hat – or, if you’re not wearing one, grab your darlin’ little point head! Here comes the great new video cassette of – CREEPSHOW 2! What’s it got? Oh, not very much; not much more than incredible animation, eye-popping live action and pulse-pounding goose bumps, gargoyles and grotesqueries! It’s directed by Michael Gornick who was the cinematographer for the original CREEPSHOW. Yep, I’m betting this one’s got it all! Or, if it doesn’t, it’ll sure know where get it!

But what about television? Hey, I thought you’d never ask! First though, I’ve just gotta tell you this, because it cracks me up! When New World decided to do a TV series based on one of the most unusual super heroes of all, named (wouldja believe?) Captain Justice, they scrounged around for a far-out title and finally decided to call the show BELIEVERS. But, another movie beat them to the title and so they caucused for a while and elected to change the name to TRUE BELIEVERS! (Nah, I didn’t sue ‘em! Hey, we’re all friends!) Next thing I know, they changed the name again, to TRUE COLORS! Then, just when I was starting to get used to that one, I learned it’s now called ONCE A HERO! At least, that was the name an hour ago! So, look for ONCE A HERO on ABC-TV, Saturdays at 8:00 PM – or for anything that sounds like some kind’a super hero show at that time and channel; I mean, with this goofy gang, they might change the name again right after I finish this column. Like I always say, nothing like being precise!

And, for all you Elvis fans – which includes practically everybody – New World is starting to prepare a 4-hour miniseries about The King! Yep, four full hours jam-packed with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about one of the world’s greatest super stars, and you’ll be able to see it all on ABC-TV sometime in the near future! It’s based on the best-selling book by Priscilla Presley, named ELVIS & ME. (Naturally! What didja expect – Howard the Duck? Sheeesh!)

As you can imagine, there’s a lot more coming up as well, but you know me – I don’t wanna spoil you! Besides, it embarrasses me to think of you sitting there, reading and treasuring each and every one of these priceless words with tears of gratitude trickling down your trembling cheeks. After all, you’re only human. I’m really not sure how many of these emotional, highly-charged sessions you can take before you crack!

Well, speaking of cracking, the time has come for me to take leave of the workaday world and re-enter my own private little universe where everything’s bigger than life and we never run out of exclamation points!

So, till next ish when we’ll figuratively fling ourselves into each other’s arms once again, this is your cavortin’ compadre admonishing you to Hug a Hog for Happiness and, wherever you go, whatever you do, never ever forget eh, uh, ah, well waddaya know – I forgot!

Oh, yeah! Now I remember –

Excelsior!

–Stan