Who are the 50 greatest science fiction characters in television history? We answer that question with the latest edition of Hero Complex: The Magazine, which will be distributed for free at the doorstep of Comic-Con International this week in San Diego.
We’ve printed up 100,000 copies of the glossy magazine for fans headed to the world-famous pop culture expo – but if you’re not headed to the San Diego Convention Center you can also pick up a copy at six comic book stores: Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles; the Earth 2 Comics in Sherman Oaks and Northridge; and any of the three Midtown Comics in New York City.
The choice we made for our cover portrait is completely logical: Mr. Spock of the USS Enterprise as portrayed by Leonard Nimoy on “Star Trek” in the 1960s. How many other Starfleet names are on the list? What 1940s character gets special recognition for service to the sci-fi universe? Who is the only nonfiction name that made our list? Is Superman really a sci-fi character? In the “Firefly” vs. “Battlestar Galatica” comparison, which show finished first? We only had room for one doofus alien on our list — so was it Mork, Beldar Conehead or Alf?
Also in the issue, Neal Kirby, the only son of Marvel pioneer Jack Kirby, writes an exclusive, candid and evocative essay about his late father’s 1960s glory years. He writes: “I think about Dad a lot lately, especially when I see Thor, Captain America, Magneto, or the Hulk on a movie poster. My father drew comics in six different decades and filled the skies of our collective imagination with heroes, gods, monsters, robots and aliens; most of the truly iconic ones are out of the first half of the 1960s, when he delivered masterpieces on a monthly basis. I treasure the fact that I had a front-row seat for that cosmic event.”
The issue features the work of key Calendar writers from Los Angeles Times (Steven Zeitchik and Rebecca Keegan among them) and their focus is on the biggest movies of the moment. Keegan writes about “Brave” and the changing portrayals of princesses; while Zeitchik catches up with Rhys Ifans, the man behind the Lizard in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” This issue also features my interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the hitman with a time-traveler problem in “Looper” and a new Gotham city lawman in “The Dark Knight Rises.” And we celebrate this year’s 25th anniversary of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” with both a Jonathan Frakes interview and a trivia challenge that beams you back into Federation space.
– Geoff Boucher
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