new karate kid

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RIP John G. Avildsen (1935-2017) - Oscar winning director from the first Rocky (1976) and also behind The Karate Kid trilogy (1984, 1986, 1989), passed away today. His film debut was in Turn on to Love (1969), and some of his credits include Joe (1970) which predates Taxi Driver in similar themes of urban violence and alienation; Save the Tiger (1973), which gave Jack Lemmon his 2nd Oscar; The Formula (1980), the comedy Neighbors (1981), the short film Traveling Hopefully (1982), earning a second Oscar nomination; Happy New Year (1987), Lean on Me (1989), Rocky V (1990), The Power of One (1992) also a boxing themed film; 8 Seconds (1994), Inferno (1999). He was currently developing a return with Nate & Al (2018).

The Chronological Superman 1966:

Jim Shooter, all of fourteen years old, makes his debut as scripter for The Legion of Super-Heroes with Adventure Comics vol.1 No.346. In this story, the Legion accepts four new members – Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, the doomed Ferro Lad and Nemesis Kid – only to find out that one of them is a traitor and a turncoat. Just a thought, but I bet it’s the guy with nemesis actually in his name.

Shooter was famously the frequent target for ill-tempered editor Mort Weisinger’s excoriations, and yet he kept plugging away, all the way to EIC at Marvel Comics two decades later. He has sticktuitiveness.

Shooter’s name became synonymous with the Legion for a significant run on the series, and infamous in some quarters as well – he penned an alarmingly well-researched document on the Legionnaires’ sex lives published in a fandom magazine in 1976. Personally, I don’t see the problem with his somewhat obsessive chronicling of the (ahem) ins-and-outs of Legion tomfoolery. Shooter was, himself, a teenager during the years in which he first wrote the Legion, and I think it’s only natural for a teenager to assume that the many teenagers he’s writing – and who all live together in a big, unchaperoned rocketship – are banging like a screen door on shoddy hinges. That kind of underrepresented catalog probably helped him flesh out the interpersonal dynamics and, hell, probably helped him through adolescence.