Dynamite and Pulp: A Love Story

Masks

Over the ten years of its existence, Dynamite has brought new life to so many classic pulp titles. The company has almost made its name in the pulp genre. The idea crested when Dynamite released its Project Superpowers series. Project Superpowers was responsible for resurrecting so many golden age heroes that Dynamite had created for itself a veritable arsenal of pulp-era do-gooders. Created by Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross, the series focused on bringing the classic heroes into the modern day, in a fashion similar to Captain America in the 1960s. Project Superpowers served as a sturdy launching point for all of its pulp series, even though the only character to survive outside the series and spin-offs was The Owl.

Project Superpowers ended in 2010, and in 2011, Dynamite laid their hands on the licenses for The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Kato, and The Spider. Dynamite joined these heroes together in 2012 (along with Zorro, The Bat, and others) into the limited series titles Masks. This time, Dynamite had teamed Alex Ross up with Chris Roberson, who has been writing in the early 20th century style since his debut in 2008. Roberson treated the characters well, creating the fast paced tension that came so readily in the days of Street & Smith.

After the Masks series ended, each of the team had their own series. David Liss helmed The Spider, giving the character the costume worn in the 1940’s serials. This series, unfortunately ended in 2013 after a well written, but poorly received run. The Zorro series began in 2008 with Matt Wagner (another legend in modern pulp comics) adapting Isabel Allende’s novel before penning his own series. The character also featured prominently in the limited series Lone Ranger/Zorro: The Death of Zorro. Wagner has recently returned to the character, along with famed director Quentin Tarantino, to create a team up series with Tarantino’s character Django. The Green Hornet and The Shadow would team up again in The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights, a mini-series. Dynamite has also published several other Green Hornet series including a comic version of Kevin Smith’s original (and incredible) script for the Green Hornet film. The Shadow is currently the most successful of Dynamite’s pulp characters, and has been featured in a Year One series, The Shadow: Now (a present day version), The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow, and his own ongoing series.

ShadowWagner

On the other side of the spectrum, Dynamite has also maintained a large catalogue of pulp era adventurers. The company has the rights to Doc Savage, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, and Flash Gordon. The last three, collectively known as the Kings, have crossed paths several time over the years. Of particular note is the Kings Watch, where the characters battled to stop an invasion of earth from the planet Mongo. This ended in Flash being trapped on the other side of a portal, stranded on Mongo once again. The company has announced another King crossover starting in 2015. Doc Savage, while holding down his own ongoing series, is also part of the new Justice Inc. story. The series debuted in August and will run for six issues. The team consists of Doc Savage, The Shadow, and the Avenger, and Michael Uslan’s story is great.

Dynamite has always been faithful to their pulp catalogue, pairing the characters up with high-caliber writers and artists to create fantastic and imaginative series. For fans who have long been familiar with the characters, and also for new readers, Dynamite is an excellent place to turn. The company is ten years strong now and shows no sign of quitting.

 




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