June 11 marks the anniversary of the first appearance of comics' first superhero. Nah, not that lantern-jawed fellow in the red cape. The guy in the black cape and top hat who debuted a full four years earlier. Yeah, that guy. Mandrake the Magician.
Mandrake the Magician
This week marks the release of Prince Valiant #1, and with it, the final building block in the foundation of Dynamite's increasingly weird "King" universe. Built around the King Features characters that are best known as newspaper strips --- and in the case of The Phantom, a Billy Zane movie that invited viewers to 'slam evil!' --- the line got its start in the Kings Watch crossover in 2013. While Flash Gordon has stuck around and been pretty fantastic, it's only in the last month that the rest of the characters have rolled out into their own books to flesh out the world.
Now, with everything in place, the King line has pulpy sci-fi, mystic adventure, superhero action and swords and sorcery from the days of King Arthur all jockeying for position and trying to come together as a cohesive unit. And to be honest, it's actually pretty awesome to see.
Today, Dynamite announced that they were bringing The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Flash Gordon back to comic books with the team of Jeff Parker and Marc Laming. The big return is set to take place in an all-new series called King's Watch, in which the Ghost Who Walks, the Savior of the Universe and... uh... Mandrake find themselves battling against forces that threaten the entire world.
Hollywood has never had a first come, first serve policy for which comics heroes get their own feature films, but the oldest of old-school heroes may finally get his turn on the silver screen: According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog, Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to make