Extra Pulp: The 1990s’ Surprisingly Influential Not-Quite Super Heroes

In an article for Crooked Marquee, an article I’ve wanted to write for a long time, I look at the brief period when producers saw the earth-shattering success of Tim Burton’s Batman and decided audiences didn’t want superheroes.

They wanted pulp.

The short pulp hero boom only included Dick TracyDarkmanThe Rocketeer, The Shadow and The Phantom. All movies I disproportionately love despite their respective problems. You’ll be hearing more from me about these.

But read my overview of them all here:


And while you’re on Crooked Marquee, look at all the other movie stuff. It’s swell.


2 thoughts on “Extra Pulp: The 1990s’ Surprisingly Influential Not-Quite Super Heroes

  1. I feel like the Pulp resurgence came twenty years too early. Without superhero saturation, movie audiences and even comic readers weren’t familiar enough with the tropes and story beats to appreciate the pulp roots. Or maybe it was just the “zeitgeist” or something and Depression era heroes and Nazi punching felt out of place in the 90’s. It wasn’t radical enough, dude!


    1. It certainly wasn’t the right time for it. I think the fatal misunderstanding was that the public didn’t flock to Batman because it was a comic book movie – they flocked because it was Batman. Even with a few outliers like the Blade franchise, it took until Iron Man for the public to really embrace even a slightly lesser-known superhero.

      Liked by 1 person

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