The late-1970s must have been an interesting time for comic book fans eager to see live-action adaptations of their heroes. Three heroes made the leap from page to pilot to, at the least, one season: Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and Hulk. One hero that wasn’t so lucky was Marvel’s Dr. Strange. In 1978, CBS produced a pilot for the Sorcerer Supreme that, unfortunately, didn’t get picked up for a full season. Outside of comic book super fans the two-hour pilot has remained mostly forgotten and unseen.
That same year DC smashed through the comic book pages and elevated their flagship hero, Superman, from funny books to the level of a cinematic star. Christopher Reeve defined the role of the Man of Steel in Richard Donner’s Superman. Christopher Reeve would go on to play the hero in three more films.
This weekend at the Balboa Theatre, 1978 will be front and center as the Balboa screens both Dr. Strange and Superman. Those two films are only a small part of comic book film programming taking place this weekend as part of Balboa Con. The historic Outer Richmond theater will be showing no less than 12 comic book-based films including the first three Superman films, Darkman, Hellboy, Tank Girl, and more. According to the event’s Facebook page:
We are very excited to present the first ever Balboa Con! This is going to be a whole weekend dedicated to comic book art, movies, and cartoons! There will be four days of comic book movie programming along with Q&As, special guests, and lots and lots of affordable and amazing art in the lobby.
Dr. Strange will screen on Friday alongside the 1992 cult classic Dr. Mordrid. Dr. Mordrid is essentially Dr. Strange without a mustache because the film was produced by New Moon’s Charles Band who held an expired option for the Marvel character. He made the film with slight changes to the title character.
In addition to comic book-based film the Balboa will screen thematic cartoons and present a number of artists. The full screening schedule is below and artists will be appearing throughout the weekend.