January 21, 2010

Princess Powerful Attacks: Marvel Super Special: Xanadu

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Xanadu was a 1980 musical-romance film that was directed by Robert Greenwald.  It starred Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck, and Gene Kelly.  It was an unofficial remake of the film Down to Earth, and an unofficial film sequel to the movie Cover Girl.

Xanadu revolves around an artist named Sonny Malone, who worked as an album cover recreator artist at AirFlo Records.  He returned to his previous job at the record company after failing as a freelance artist.  One day, while he was walking on the beach, he bumped into a mysterious woman.  Later at work, he was given his next assignment; the mysterious woman he met earlier, was on the cover of the album he had to recreate.  Sonny went on a mission to find her, only to run into her at an abandoned auditorium later.  The mysterious woman named Kira, suggests for Sonny to form a partnership and open a nightclub with a man, named Danny McGuire, he met some days prior.

Kira was sent to Sonny and Danny, in order to guide them to their destined paths.

The film was a box office failure, but the soundtrack gained an audience.  Later on, Xanadu became a cult classic.  In 2007, the stage play of Xanadu was surprisingly a big hit.  The film was later re-released onto DVD with a bonus CD of the soundtrack.

During Xanadu’s theatre release, Marvel Comics Group released a comic book adaptation of the film.

Title: Marvel Super Special: Xanadu
Writer: John Marc DeMatteis
Pencil: Richard F. Buckler & Jimmy Janes
Inker: Brent Eric Anderson, Joe Brozowski, Al Milgrom, Mike Nasser, and Bill Sienkiewicz
Color: Eliot R. Brown, Howard V. Chaykin, Michael Higgins, Peter Kuper, Kim McQuaite, George Roussos, and Glynis Wein
Letters: Michael Higgins
Cover: Stock Photo Compilation
Issue: #17
Publisher: Marvel Comics Group
Pages: 68
Price: $2.00
Release Date: Summer of 1980

Side Notes: Marvel Super Special #17, was a comic book adaptation of the film Xanadu.  It is available on auction sites like eBay or through a search online.  The adaptation followed some elements that were lost through multiple rewrites of the Xanadu script.  In an earlier version of the film, Sonny was the freelance artist who painted the mural of Kira and her sisters.  Although the mural was featured in the film, the artist wasn’t credited and the audience had to assume who painted it.

Marvel Super Special #17 had a solid script.  It reflected a better understanding of Xanadu’s plot from a previous script’s draft.  The lines read better in the adaptation than in the movie.  I would like to think it was because the lack of direction the actors had in Xanadu.

Marvel Super Special #17’s art style had the potential of looking great and exciting, if there were more concept work involved during its production.  The artwork looked like it was drawn by a college art student who has the potential of having great paintings in the future.

The animation sequence was the most powerful scene in Xanadu.  If an artist was able to recreate the animation’s style, done by Don Bluth, the comic book would have gained a lot more attention.

The panels in Marvel Super Special #17 wasn’t taking advantage of the space used and the human anatomy was inaccurate.  Most panels had no well thought out compositions, which is an important part of a picture.  The characters had odd looking anatomy or were drawn with awkward expressions.  I expected a more professional look for a pencil drawing in watercolors.

The lettering was decent until the gods started to talk near the end of the book.  The letters blended into the background and it wasn’t clear enough to read.   There were many ways they could have placed the dialogue in each panel if they planned it out better.

Marvel Super Special #17 was an alright book to read.  The dialogue was fine, but the artwork failed in comparison.  I was more impressed with the painting technique used, because working in watercolors is a difficult challenge.  Unless you’re a fan of Xanadu, there’s a chance you might not like to read the comic book adaptation.

“Tuesday’s Wednesday.”

Princes Powerful



  1. The movie is so ridiculously cheesy. The only good part is getting to see Gene dance again.
    I can’t believe they actually made a comic to go along with it.

  2. Drew

    Oh Marvel and their wild movie adaptations (although their adaptation of Logan’s Run wasnt bad)

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  4. I’ve never even heard of this movie!

  5. billy

    Dear lord what a horrible idea this was.

  6. You need to see it Andy. Xanadu beacons you to.

  7. Infinite Speech

    This movie is on right now as I’m typing this and now I remember why my mind blocked it out of my memory. I watched it in school and it was old then lol

    Kristin I agree the only thing good about this is seeing Mr. Kelly work the floor. I see Joel Silver was an exec producer on this…wow. I did turn the channel but Andy you really should subject yourself to this…really.

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