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Gladiator

 
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Bogmeister
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Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:45 am    Post subject: Gladiator Reply with quote

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Way back in the winter of 1976, Marvel Comics, under their Curtis Magazines imprint, published Marvel Preview #9. The magazine usually spotlighted a different science fiction property/story each issue.

In this issue, they titled the story 'Man-God'. This title, different from the original story it was based on, was dreamed up by Stan Lee, I believe,

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_____The cover was painted by Earl Norem.

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ABOVE: Hugo Danner goes to war against the German army; the cover of a paperback edition of Wylie's novel.

The interior art, printed in black-and-white, was by Tony DeZuniga, with a script by Roy Thomas.

This was an adaptation of the novel by Philip Wylie, Gladiator, first published in 1930, about the first superman. The central character, Hugo Danner, was the result of an experiment conducted by his father, who had injected Hugo's mother with a special serum when she was pregnant with Hugo.

The child, then the adult, was much stronger & tougher than an average human being. This concept predated the most famous comic book super-hero, Superman, by almost a decade (though Siegel & Shuster conceived their Superman as early as 1934).

The Marvel Preview issue adapted only the first half of the novel. Towards the end of this adaptation, Hugo had just completed his tour of duty as a soldier during World War One.
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Bogmeister
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Joined: 15 Dec 2013
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Gladiator as Legend Reply with quote

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In 2005, Wildstorm comics published a 4-issue mini-series again adapting the novel, Gladiator, by Philip Wylie; this time, they titled it 'Legend' (I guess no one likes the original title?):




The artist on this was Russ Heath, with script by Howard Chaykin. They updated the story to take place later in the century, beginning the tale in the early fifties, when Hugo Danner is born. This time, when he reaches adulthood, he goes off to fight in the Vietnam War.

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BELOW: Hugo Danner goes berserk:

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This time, the writer-artist team had the luxury of exploring Hugo Danner's problematic existence in greater detail (and adding a lot of profanity & sexual scenes in the process). This touches on the aspect of Hugo feasibly having much larger appetites & endurance than the average male, including his relations with the opposite sex, in line with his much-greater strength and invulnerability. They were able to adapt the entire novel this time.


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Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 8537
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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What an amazing essay of these great graphic novels! And those jpegs are astonishing!

I was completely unaware of these publications, and Bogmeister sold me completely on how terrific they are. I hope I get a chance to enjoy the complete novels someday soon. Cool

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
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Gord Green
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Joined: 07 Oct 2014
Posts: 1411
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An audiobook version of the original story is available for free download from Librovox here :

https://librivox.org/gladiator-by-philip-wylie/

It's very well done and a great listen !
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Gord Green
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Joined: 07 Oct 2014
Posts: 1411
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This concept was used by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in the 50's Archie Comics DOUBLE LIFE OF PRIVITE STRONG.



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