…and dog pirates
The Doclopedia #1,411
Alt. Superhero Movies: Other Companies
By the 1960’s on Earth 1-G, there were very few comics publishers in the United States. Less than 10, of which only 4 published superhero comics. Marvel and DC were by far the biggest and best known, but the other two, Nedor and Charlton, had been around almost as long. While each had a stable of superheroes, by 1969, they had only two 1940’s serials and a few 1950’s cartoons made about them. Both companies folded in the early 1970’s and their properties were bought up by other publishers.
Starting in the mid-seventies, independent publishers started popping up, many being former Marvel and DC employees. While their comics often did quite well, there were only a handful of movies made based on them. All of these movies were low budget and most were forgettable.
By the 1990’s, the successes or DC and Marvel caused Hollywood to have another look at superheroes from the lower ranks. While budgets for these movies were never on the Marvel/DC level, many were very well done and some became hits. By far the most successful were the movies based on Amalgam Comics heroes.
Amalgam Comics was a strange beast, born of Marvel and DC allowing both their writers and artists, as well as others, to create one shot comics blending properties from both companies. This resulted in comics like Doctor Strangefate, Spider-Boy, Dark Claw, Iron Lantern and Bruce Wayne: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., to name but a few. The comics were big hits and lead to several movies.
Perhaps the most controversial superhero movie from a “second” tier publisher was “Watchmen”, which had been published by Moonlight Comics. As in our world, Alan Moore wrote it and yes, hated the film version. Moonlight also published “V For Vendetta” and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” The former became a moderate hit movie, while the latter (and it’s sequel) was a big hit. Moore hated both.
Very few, as in 3, superhero movies by Other Publishers ever got sequels, usually with good reason, but in some cases because the rights to the properties got bought up by Marvel or DC.
By 2012, the independent comics publishers had given up on the movies and started selling their properties to television, where they did much better.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents (Low budget, weak script)
The Jaguar (Very low budget. Made in Italy. A stinker.)
Fly Man (Just terrible)
Herbie (Actually not bad. Funny. Made money until Disney sued over the name)
The Ghost (Nedor Comics version. A pretty good movie. Made a modest profit)
The Black Crusader (blaxploitation superhero. Pretty good movie. Got 1 sequel)
Revenge Of The Black Crusader (not quite as good as the first. Way more violence)
Robogirl (Medium budget. Decent script. Poor FX)
The Adventures Of Captain Power (big budget flop. very good FX. Acting sucked)
Amalgam: Spider-Boy (big budget. good writing & acting. Made big bucks)
Amalgam: Dark Claw (big hit. dark & violent.)
The Blonde Phantom (moderate hit. good story set in 1940. made money)
Amalgam: Doctor Strangefate (good movie, but not a huge hit)
The Blonde Phantom Goes To War (another good movie. Made decent money)
Amalgam: The Fantastic League (big budget. monster fighting focus.)
The Crow (good movie, but it lost money)
Darkman (just like our version, but spawned a television show instead of straight to video sequels)
The Rocketeer (just like our version, but with Doc Savage instead of Howard Hughes. made decent money)
Amalgam: Iron Lantern (big budget. end of the Amalgam films)
Tank Girl (strange movie. lost money.)
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (big hit. got a sequel)
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen 2 (another big hit)
V For Vendetta (good movie, but did poorly at the box office)
Watchmen (a big hit. kept the original ending)
Wild Cards! (huge budget. made gobs of money. lead to an HBO series that lasted 7 years and 100 episodes)