Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark – A Brand New Broadway Musical Begins

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a Broadway musical directed by Julie Taymor and based on Marvel Comics’ web-slinging crime fighter hit the stage last November 14, but the opening set is scheduled on December 21. With production costs reaching a whopping $52 million, the show has been touted as the most expensive and technically ambitious Broadway show to date.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, A Broadway Musical

For many comic book fans who still couldn’t believe that Spidey now has a musical adaptation, well here it is. Our favorite neighborhood superhero from comics has conquered yet another form of entertainment media, which already include live-action television, animation, Japanese tokusatsu, and even a number of educational series.

As early as now, advanced reviews for the Spider-Man Broadway musical play suggest that it’s going to be a huge success. Most of those who watched the preview performances say that the visual and technical effects are something to look forward to. On the other side of the fence though, there are critics who claim that the show is lacking on all non-visual aspects. Some reviewers even declare that the musical is all about putting the most extravagant show up on stage and has little to do with the Spider-Man mythos.

In defense of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, many of the negative comments were made based on the early performances of the show. For commentaries that really matter, I guess we have to wait until after the opening set is done. But ask any devoted Spider-Man fan and he’ll tell you that the verdict is fixed – this Broadway show is going to be the best comic book superhero musical play ever. And did I mention that music and lyrics were done by Bono and The Edge?

In the end, comic book fans and Broadway musical spectators can only wish that this show does not weaken their respective genres. Also, I can only hope that the guys that hand out the Tony Awards are also avid comic book fans and that they look at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark as a dynamic fusion of a post-modern medium and a classical standard.

Comic Book Review – Action Comics Annual #13

Action Comics Annual #13 is a bombshell. Writer Paul Cornell takes comic book readers down two memory lanes where the young Lex Luthor became an intern of Darkseid and, in the second story, an apprentice to Ra’s Al Ghul. But I must admit that to understand how these two stories play into Luthor’s persona that we know today, one may need some familiarity with the Superman saga.

Cover Art for Action Comics Annual #13

In this annual issue of Action Comics, we see Lex Luthor in his early years, but with the same conceitedness and arrogance. Even back then, he was preoccupied with the idea of attaining ultimate supremacy. But just like any young man, Luthor still lacked the prudence and the far-sightedness that he is known for today. So, we’re basically seeing the hasty or even foolish side of one of the world’s greatest criminal masterminds. If you have been wondering how Luthor lost his hair, I think this issue started it all.

In the first feature, we see Lex Luthor in his very first meeting with Perry White, a newspaper reporter (who would later on become the big honcho at the Daily Planet). Their encounter will put criminal boss Bruno Mannheim in the picture, which will ultimately lead to Luthor working for Darkseid in Apokolips. Meanwhile, the second story gives us a glimpse on Luthor’s stint under Ra’s Al Ghul where Lex almost lost his life due to his unquenchable curiosity.

Overall, this issue dishes out a unique but very interesting style of storytelling. Paul Cornell is a very innovative writer. The art by Marco Rudy is also something to look forward to in this Action Comics Annual issue. His work has that retro feel, with a little dash of noir visual style which I like.