COMICS & PULP-STYLE COSTUMED HEROES AND VILLAINS
COMICS/PULP-STYLE COSTUMED CHARACTER SERIALS
The Squadron offers the highest-quality available edition of THE SPIDER'S WEB,
created from a new Rank Cintel transfer of a rare 16mm print, and new editions of many
highly-regarded Republic serials from new 2k digital transfers, stabilized and fully restored.
THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS features the black-caped and helmeted villain "The Lightning,"
the inspiration for Darth Vader in STAR WARS.
ADVENTURES OF FRANK MERRIWELL featuring the once-popular dime novel character, is one of the highest-quality releases available from the Squadron or anyone else for that matter.
✦✦✦✦ (1938, 15 Chapters)
Warren Hull, Iris Meredith D: Ray Taylor, J. Horne
The mysterious white-robed Octopus raids one industry after another in a systematic grab for power. The Spider, a masked vigilante who looks upon the underworld as his own private shooting gallery, is feared by criminals and civilians alike. When these two powerful figures fight to destroy each other, the result is bloody mayhem. An exciting pulp story come to life, packed with non-stop action.
Influenced: All pulp-avenger-style serials and films which followed, including the Darkman series. The Spider was the first costumed pulp character to appear on a movie screen.
Transfer Quality: From 16mm; transfer quality excellent, very sharp picture, stabilized, exposure-corrected, with normalized and noise-reduced audio. BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE OF THIS TITLE.
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THE MOVIE SERIAL
Republic, 15 Chapters
Blu-Ray / DL-DVD Upgrade
FEATURING DICK PURCELL
and LIONEL ATWILL
D: John English, E. Clifton
This title has been upgraded 5/2021
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE ANYWHERE OF THIS TITLE
A serial killer known as “the Scarab” drives former members of an archaeological expedition to suicide using “purple death” poison. Relentless District Attorney Grant Gardner decides he’s going to go after the fiend dressed as a comic book character, gets ahold of a Captain America costume missing its shield and boots and he and his trusted secretary Gail Richards work hard to put a stop to the Scarab's seemingly never-ending crime spree related to his quest for Mayan treasure.
Republic's most expensive serial, adapted from an unused script prepared by Republic Pictures for the Fawcett comics character Mister Scarlet. This serial gets random and crazy at times, with things like the Dynamic Vibrator (which destroys buildings), the Fire-Bolt, a remote control self-driving truck, a machine which brings people back to life, and a chamber which will fill with gas that turns one into a "withered mummy" all coming and going before you realize what's going on -- it is like a wild and sometimes completely off-the-wall golden age comic book brought to life.
This new set is a remastering of the original Squadron-produced transfer with complete, corrected chapter openings and closings (all in the right place now), fully stabilized, with improved sharpness, audio, damage/artifact removal, picture clarity and motion. Audio is full-volume and sharper than before but not perfect because the original tracks required a lot of hiss and hum removal.
Also includes a Captain America mini-documentary, cast bios, image collection, the re-release trailer, and a short subject on the Captain America collection at Wade's Comic Madness.
Influenced: Captain America, The Avengers films
Extras: Stills/memorabilia/character and serial history slideshows with music, interview with Captain America collector Wade Shaw, Re-release trailer
NOTES: This is not a "perfect" studio release. It is the best that can be done, however, with the available versions of the original, nicely stabilized and superior in quality to any other circulating version of the serial (most of which are just unauthorized copies of the Squadron's version from 2003!) It is best viewed on medium-size TVs, not really big ones. Check the quality in the sample video, and get the real thing, from those who did the restoration work.
Get the Blu-Ray
Includes 4.5 hours of content
All 15 episodes painstakingly stabilized and restored, Still Gallery, History, Cast Bios, Re-release Trailer, and other extras.
Image: 720 x 480, Standard definition, sharp picture, about 7GB of data.
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CAPTAIN AMERICA DL-DVD
✦✦✦✦ (Universal, 12 Chapters)
Don Briggs, Jean Rogers
New restored state-of-the-art 2K HD film-scanner transfer
The dime novel super-sportsman come to life, with Flash Gordon's Jean Rogers. A very high-quality new HD transfer of the complete 12 chapter serial with long-missing opening and closing titles and musical cues restored.
-- A mini-documentary about the character
-- The theatrical trailer
View the Fardale Fight Song Video
Get the BLU-RAY
✦✦✦✦ (Universal, 12 Chapters)
Onslow Stevens, Walter Miller, Ada Ince D: Louis Friedlander
Stanley Stanfield seeks to right the wrongs done by corrupt businessman Wade Barnett to his father using a device created by local genius and robot-maker Professor Van Dorn which when strapped to his body can make him invisible but for his shadow. Barnett’s daughter joins Stanfield in opposing her conniving father and his gang. Full-quality restored edition, never before made available in DVD quality. This is the original high-quality first-generation transfer of this title.
Influenced: The Shadow radio series
Transfer Quality: Sharp digital transfer from high quality stable original film print. Excellent quality picture and sound throughout.
DVD Contents: Complete serial
Featuring Frank Lovejoy
24 Complete stories, noise-reduced and with enhanced fidelity; Dolby digital sound -- 9 Hours of content
Sweeping down upon the underworld to smash gangland comes a friend of the unfortunate, enemy of criminals, the mysterious all-powerful character who is a problem to the police, a crusader for law! In reality Dan Garrett, a rookie patrolman, loved by everyone but suspected by none of being . . . the Blue Beetle. As the Blue Beetle, he hides behind a strange mask and a suit of impenetrable blue chain armor, flexible as silk but stronger than steel!
Each episode is a complete story in itself; the originally 2-part stories have been conveniently presented as single half-hour format shows. BTW, we did the restoration work on these files which have since been copied by others; this disk is the original, not a copy.
1 Origin of the Blue Beetle/The Opium Gang
2 Sabotage and Liquidation
3 Murder for Profit
4 Blasting the Dynamite Gang
5 The Invisible Ghost
6 Death Rides on Horseback
7 Death Strikes from the East
8 The Sea Serpent
9 The Frame-up
10 Spirits Don't Talk
11 Thoroughbreds Always Come Through
12 Smashing the Arson Ring
13 Rounding Up the Payroll Bandits
14 Crime Incorporated
15 Saved By a Hair
16 Finesse in Diamonds
17 Sabotage Incorporated
18 Smashing the Restaurant Racket
19 Two Rackets in One
20 The Underworld Goes Underground
21 Dancing Ghost of Rocky Hill
22 The Whale of Pirates' Folly
23 The Asylum of Dr. Drear
24 The Jewel Mystery of Channel Island
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THE SPIDER RETURNS
(1941, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Warren Hull, Kenne Duncan and The Gargoyle
The Gargoyle, an espionage giant with a machine that can see through walls, seeks to paralyze the United States by employing sinister technology. The Spider (Richard Wentworth, relying heavily upon his Blinky McQuade guise), infiltrates underworld society to bring down the mastermind’s unruly gang.
This sequel to The Spider's Web was ordered to be less bloody than the original and includes some thrilling deathtraps and occasional zaniness with its over-the-top costumed villain.
Finally we will be able to see this in an HQ transfer from an excellent quality print.
Status: Pushed forward in schedule -- The original print of this serial is scheduled for required cleaning and will be transferred when that process is complete.
"No wonder my plans never succeed. These wild parties must stop!" —The Gargoyle, The Spider Returns
THE IRON CLAW
(1941, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Charles Quigley, Charles King and The Iron Claw
Reporter Bob Lane and photographer Jack "Flash" Strong investigate mysterious doings at the Anton Benson mansion after the murder of Anton's brother and discover that a gangster called Silk and his hoodlums would like the treasure that Anton is desperately trying to move to safer territory. Equally active in mischief is the Iron Claw himself, who thrives on sliding panels and elaborate lethal devices. Inspired by the silent-era Pearl White serial, this one is full of frantic action and danger.
Status: Print requires cleaning. In line for transfer to 1920 x 1080 HD