Have you ever wanted to take a look behind the scenes at DC Entertainment? Jessica Chobot of “Nerdist News” hosts a tour of the company’s top secret Burbank headquarters in the premiere episode of Variety’s “Hollywood HQ,” a YouTube series that reveals the inner workings of some of Tinseltown’s greatest studios.
The tour kicks with an interview of Jim Fletcher, Executive Director of DC Collectibles, who shows off the “funnest of the fun” limited edition toys, including a soon-to-be-available three-foot Batwing, from Batman: The Animated Series,” which holds two figures, lights up, and has retractable landing gear; as well as a replica utility belt that took three years to make. However, the most exciting replica prop is the exquisite Dream’s Helm favored by Morpheus in Vertigo’s “Sandman” comic books. Chabot tries it on, but Fletcher has to admit that DC is still looking at how to get it produced, as the company is hoping to manufacture the massive prop as a helmet that fans can wear.
Chabot then tries as-of-yet to be produced replicas of Wonder Woman’s shield and sword, from the upcoming film helmed by Patty Jenkins, after which she freaks out over a “Wonder Woman Garage Set” statuette, which depicts a tattooed Diana leaning against a motorcycle.
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The next stop is the company vault that holds treasures that hearken back to DC’s early beginnings, including cels from the Max Fleischer “Superman” cartoons, and a copy of “Action Comics” #1. Next to this full-color first printing of the world’s most valuable comic book is a copy of an “ashcan edition” of the title with an alternative cover. DC Comics Library Manager Benjamin LeClear explains the existence of this black-and-white version that was not meant for publication: “In the early days of comic books, we were in a race to basically copyright names, and that’s what gave us the rights to the name ‘Action Comics.” He adds that it is only one of three copies left in the world.
Other gems that are unearthed during this segment include a sheet of William Moulton Martson’s “Wonder Woman Enterprises” letterhead, and a copy of Sensation Comics #6, with a cover that depicts Wonder Woman riding a giant Kangaroo (Kanga) while roping in a bad guy. “To make Paradise island more exotic, they would use kangaroos instead of horses,” quips LeClear. “Which is what I like about the Golden Age. It is absolutely so insane, I love it.”
The segment concludes with a presentation of Henry Cavill’s “Man of Steel” costume, Christian Bale’s “The Dark Knight Rises” bat suit, and Gal Gadot’s full regalia (complete with a fur cloak) from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.
Enjoy the video because the chances that you’ll ever view these wonders with your own eyes are slim. As noted in the 6-minute segment, the DC headquarters building bears no identifying external logos, and only two people in the entire organization have access to the magnetic key that opens the vault.
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