John Brown is a security guard working at the Bradford robotics laboratory in Riverton, Ohio, run by Artemus Bradford and his daughter Brenda, to whom Brown is attracted. Brenda and Artemus create a lifelike robotic foot as part of the Gadget Program, a program to create cybernetically augmented police officers. Tycoon Sanford Scolex attacks the lab, steals the foot, and has Artemus murdered before escaping in his limo. Brown chases him down in his car, and in the ensuing chase Scolex blows up Brown’s car and leaves him for dead. A bowling ball coming from the blast of Brown’s car crushes Scolex’s hand, forcing him to replace it with a mechanical claw.
Brown barely survives the explosion, and due to his devotion to pursuing her father’s killer, Brenda chooses him to be the first test subject for the Gadget Program. Under Brenda’s guidance, Brown becomes Inspector Gadget, equipped with a variety of crimefighting and investigating tools, as well as a car named the Gadgetmobile run by an AI program. Scolex creates the alias “Claw” and, with his scientist Kramer and minion Sykes, plots to use the technology he stole to make robotic mercenaries to sell to the world. However he is unable to get the foot to function due to a control chip left in the lab. Police chief Quimby, seeing Gadget as merely a publicity stunt and not a true police officer, refuses to let him help on the Bradford case, causing Gadget to procure evidence on his own. With help from Penny, Gadget suspects Scolex, who Brenda now works for. Scolex uses Brenda’s robotics research to manufacture a new control chip for his android, a robotic version of Gadget, “Robo-Gadget,” and sets it loose to cause chaos in Riverton. Gadget infiltrates Scolex’s lab but is caught and deactivated, Scolex crushing his control chip.
Brenda, Penny, her dog Brain, and the Gadgetmobile track Gadget to the junkyard but find him unresponsive. Brenda kisses him, and the power of Gadget’s heart reanimates his body without the need for the control chip. After dropping Penny and Brain off at home, Gadget, Brenda and the Gadgetmobile give chase to Scolex’s limo. Gadget and Robo-Gadget are thrown off and do battle, ending with Gadget detaching Robo-Gadget’s head. Gadget uses his helicopter hat to fly to Scolex’s headquarters, where he is planning to escape with Brenda via a helicopter. In the confrontation, Gadget uses an improvised weapon to forcibly activate Claw’s claw, breaking the helicopter’s control stick and causing it to go out of control. Gadget and Brenda use a parasol to escape safely, and Scolex lands via parachute but is arrested by the police. Penny arrives with a guilt-stricken Sykes who surrenders the technology Scolex stole from Brenda and has told Penny everything about Scolex’s plans. Saluted by Quimby, Gadget departs with Brenda and Penny as Scolex vows revenge.
Knights and Demons
The story so far…
Years of martial arts training never prepared nineteen-year-old Alysia Knight for the battle she has to face. War is raging in the streets of New Jersey, and surviving the apocalypse means staying clear of monsters preying on the citizens. As a teen, Alysia never dreamed her first years as an adult would be spent fighting demons. However, as the chosen warrior of the Turevila, she must defeat them in order to save the world.
In 1998, Marvel Comics, which had just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, asked Quesada to work for Marvel in a more exclusive capacity, and contracted him and his Event Comics partners to produce a line of Marvel books dubbed Marvel Knights. As editor of Marvel Knights, Quesada worked on a number of low-profile characters such as Daredevil, Punisher, The Inhumans and Black Panther, encouraging experimentation and using his contacts in the independent comics world to bring in creators such as David W. Mack, Mike Oeming, Brian Michael Bendis, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Quesada himself also illustrated a Daredevil story written by film director Kevin Smith.
Marvel Knights stepped away from the long-running story arcs and heavy focus on continuity that was a prime feature of Marvel Comics during this period; instead, the imprint focused on strong stand-alone stories and high production qualities.
In 2000, two-and-a-half years after starting Marvel Knights — and in large part due to the imprint’s success — Quesada was named editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics.
In early 2006 Quesada announced that all ongoing titles under the “Marvel Knights” banner would move to the Marvel Universe imprint and that “Marvel Knights” would afterward contain high-profile limited series. Quesada explained that Marvel Knights…
“is the showcase for “evergreen events” — self-contained limited series that think outside the box, that challenge readers to re-think their favorite Marvel characters and re-evaluate the legends that surround them. In other words, Marvel Knights will be a place for top talent to work without constraints, and deliver the kind of product fans deserve!”
The change began with Daredevil #82, Black Panther #14, Moon Knight #1, Squadron Supreme #1, and Wolverine #42. Marvel Knights Spider-Man became The Sensational Spider-Man with issue #23, and Marvel Knights 4 (featuring the Fantastic Four) became simply 4 with issue #28.
Fury: Peacemaker, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, was the first limited series to launch under the redefined imprint in February 2006. This was followed by Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski and Esad Ribić (2007), Spider-Man: Reign by Kaare Andrews (late 2006), Ghost Rider by Garth Ennis and Clayton Crain (2007), and Captain America: The Chosen(September 2007).
Marvel Knights editor Axel Alonso wrote in a press release:
These stand alone stories won’t just challenge readers to re-think their favorite Marvel legends. . . . Oftentimes, we’ll focus on characters that are off the beaten path — boiling these archetypes down to their cores. We want to build on the tradition of limited series like Ennis and Crain’s Ghost Rider, Frank Cho’s Shanna, the She-Deviland Robert Rodi and Ribić’s Loki — each of which offered very distinct visions for Marvel characters, and each of which — judging by sales numbers — were embraced by fandom.”
Marvel Knights became dormant after 2013.
The first arc opens with Jason Blood and Madame Xanadu arriving at the town of Little Spring. While in the local tavern, they find themselves among the likes of Vandal Savage, Sir Ystin, Al Jabr, and Exoristos. Outside the town, the impending horde of The Questing Queen and Mordru composed of barbarians, magically enchanted dinosaurs, and mechanical man-powered dragons is heading towards the town. The Queen wishes to go through Little Spring to reach the rich city of Alba Sarum and take it by surprise. When the horde meets resistance from the heroes, the Queen decides the only choice of action is to contain and destroy the town. Vandal tells the villagers that the only means of survival is to evacuate, having once served in the Questing Queen’s horde. However to save the town from an oncoming fireball, Xanadu creates a magical barrier sealing Little Spring inside and out until sunrise. The Horsewoman is able to get through the barrier and heads to warn Alba Sarum and bring reinforcements. As the heroes and villagers prepare for the battle to come, Sir Ystin receives a vision from Merlin. He reveals to Ystin the source of his immortality and his yearning to seek the holy grail. Merlin also explains that Camelot itself is a city which is reincarnated over the centuries, meaning to be the best of humanity but always falling before its time. Vandal defects to the Queen, escaping Little Spring by an underground passage, and is made general for her forces. Finally day breaks, and Xanadu’s barrier falls. The result is a brutal slaughter of the villagers of Little Spring. Vandal reveals his real intentions were to capture the horde’s supply lines for himself but is discovered by the Queen. She open fires on her own forces which causes routing and chaos. The forces of Alba Sarum arrive and force the Questing Queen to retreat but Little Spring and its people are devastated.
After the battle, the group is summoned by the Princesses Alba and Sarum. They have built their city in the hopes of creating a new Camelot and even had Merlin aiding them. Yet Merlin himself was mysteriously murdered and without his help, the princesses are unable to fulfill their promise of creating a new Camelot and will be unable to marry. Xanadu explains that the only means of resurrecting Merlin is to retrieve his soul from Avalon. The princesses give them a ship and weapons to travel to Britain and find a way into Avalon. Meanwhile, Etrigan plans with his master, Lucifer, to take Avalon for themselves. After a battle with pirates while crossing the English Channel, the heroes arrive in Britain which has been recently plagued by giant ravenous animals. They track the source of the monsters to the abandoned ruins of Camelot. The only remaining structure is now an eerie tower which beams sickly green light. The heroes are then attacked by an undead incarnation of King Arthur as the light turns all of the Demon Knights into monsters which resemble their darkest desires save for Madame Xanadu. The undead King Arthur leads them to a cave where he uses the waters of Camelot to revert their transformations. With the help of the Demon Knights, Arthur leads an assault on the tower. As they enter, it is revealed that the source of the dark magic about the ruins is the work of Morgaine le Fey. Morgaine captures King Arthur and the Demon Knights and explains that she plans to use them as sacrifices to leave her own decrepit form and possess Merlin’s. After escaping, the heroes confront Morgaine but she uses her magic to possess Arthur instead. With his last ounce of strength, Arthur destroys the magical center of the tower and brings it crumpling down. While Morgaine is stopped, the knights are unable to find passage into Avalon and an enraged Etrigan sends them all to Hell.
In hell, the Demon Knights are faced with their own individual torments as Lucifer and Etrigan plan their next move. Exoristos’s torment is to be chained to the shores of Themyscira, unable to reach it. Lucifer appears before her and offers her release if she carries a black diamond back to Earth. This leaves Jason Blood behind in the ruins of Camelot and prepares to enter Hell to save Xanadu until he is interrupted by the Questing Queen. The Queen makes a deal with Jason to force the swap between him and Etrigan so that he may rescue Xanadu. Meanwhile, Sir Ystin breaks free from his torment and begins rescuing the other Demon Knights and they make plans to escape to Avalon with Merlin’s body. Meanwhile, both the Questing Queen and Lucifer makes plans to invade Avalon and take it for themselves. It’s during this that Sir Ystin explains to Exoristos, after she tries to make a pass at him, that he is “not just a man or a woman. [He is] both.” The heroes finally make their way to Avalon but are attacked by Avalon’s forces as well as those of Lucifer and the Questing Queen. A massive battle between the forces of Earth, Heaven, and Hell erupts as King Arthur appears with his knights from across the ages. Merlin is slowly rejuvenated by the magic of Avalon and tells them to create rain which Al Jabr provides. The rain of Avalon weakens Lucifer’s demons and cleanses the enchantments on the Queen’s dinosaurs. With both forces defeated, the Demon Knights are victorious and Merlin dubs them the first incarnation of Stormwatch. On their return to Earth, the Demon Knights go their separate ways.
Thirty years later, the Demon Knights are brought together again by an aged Al Jabr (being the only non-immortal). He says that the vampire Cain is making his way across Europe with a horde of vampires and plans to turn the warriors of Themyscira into his own unstoppable undead army. The Demon Knights finally reunite but are too late as Cain’s forces set sail towards Themyscira. Using Xanadu’s magic, the knights create a makeshift raft and help the Amazons in repelling Cain. However, Sir Ystin believes this battle will mark him being turned into a vampire as told to him by his vision. Though they manage to defeat Cain, Ystin is bitten.
The Cherokee Kid, 1996, USA
A young homesteader stumbles his way around the Old West–and becomes a legend–in this amiable comedy-western. Sinbad plays Isaiah Turner, whose quest to avenge his mother’s death and find his elder brother leads him to fame and glory.
The Cherokee Kid 1996
When greedy land-grabber, Bloomington (Coburn), destroys his family, Isaiah (Sinbad), knows nothing about the world, but vows to someday get revenge. He learns about good and evil by being forced to rob a bank and then capturing the gang. He learns how to live off the land from Otter Bob (Reynolds), the “Best Mountain Man in Texas”. He learns about friendship and loyalty after saving the life of Cortina (Martinez), the “Hero of the Mexican People”. He learns how to shoot from Nat Love (Hudson). He learns about love from Stagecoach Mary (Lewis). It finally comes down to a showdown with the notorious Undertaker (Hines), who’s working for Bloomington. But there’s something about The Undertaker that makes this worse since there’s a rumor that he killed Isaiah’s brother, Jedediah.