Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Green Light (Unpublished)

In 1996, writers Jean-Marc Lofficier, Randy Lofficier and Roy Thomas joined artist Ted McKeever in creating Superman's Metropolis. Retroactively set on DC Multiversal Earth-1927, this Metropolis merged the familiar DC continuity with that of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent science fiction film of the same name. Jon Kent was the Great Architect of a thriving future city build on the toil of the lower classes after "The Time of Smoke and Soot." Jon Kent was in love with Marta, as was fellow scientist and architect Lutor. Marta was murdered and Jon Kent mesmerized to Lutor's will. Clarc Kent-son was eventually exposed to the inequality of Metropolis by schoolteacher Lois Lane. After much struggle, Clarc became the Super-Man, succeeding his father as Master of Metropolis following the killing of Lutor.

In 1999, without Roy Thomas, the same creative team produced a second mash-up of public domain German expressionist film and DC heroes with Batman: Nosferatu. Along with the unlicensed Dracula adaptation of yore, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was also an established influence. This one involved the murders of various members of the Batman supporting cast by the Laughing Man under the direction of the evil Dr. Arkham. Bruss Wayne-son was eventually turned into the Nosferatu by the sentient machines under Metropolis, and did battle with the insane cyborgs originally crafted by Lutor. The Nosferatu killed the Laughing Man, committed Dr. Arkham, and was hailed as the master of the lunatics. The Super-Man was against such shadowy figures in Metropolis, and engaged the Nosferatu in mortal combat, until both were saved by the sentient computers. The Super-Man recognized the need for Nosferatu.

2003's Wonder Woman: The Blue Amazon picked up threads from the two previous installments while playing very loosely with threads from the films The Blue Angel, Dr. Mabuse the Gambler and seemingly The Island of Dr. Moreau.

According to the Lofficiers' web site, "A fourth and final volume was proposed, entitled The Green Light, which would have introduced counterparts of The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter (based on Leni Riefenstahl's The Blue Light (1922) and Arnold Fanck's Weiße Rausch - Der Neue Wunder des Schneeschuhs (a.k.a. The White Flame) (1931) (which also starred Leni Riefenstahl), and a female Aquaman (based on Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Die Herrin von Atlantis (a.k.a. The Mistress of Atlantis) (1932)). The book would have dealt with the rediscovery of Earth."



mathematicscore said...


LissBirds said...

Wow. I've never heard of any of these!

Funny how easily Metropolis lends itself to Superman mythology...maybe that's why it's one of the few silent dramas I actually like. Batman/Nosferatu is a maybe little too on-the-nose for me, but the art (at least the cover) looks really nice. It's too bad the fourth one never came to fruition. I really like seeing J'onn pop up in Elseworlds stories. Heck, I just like Elseworlds stories.

I miss the days when comics weren't afraid to play with some literary ideas. Could you imagine a trilogy of stories based on German cinema in published today?

Diabolu Frank said...

It's tough to build any momentum when 3-4 years lapse between installments, but they always struck me as being so odd, the memory stuck. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Didio killed volume 4, because this kind of cerebral stuff is way over his head. I'm not shedding any tears, based on how badly "The Blue Amazon" turned out, but it was still daring in a non-commercial/sensational way.