Commando Cody

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Commando Cody
Codyframe.jpg
Commando Cody in Radar Men from the Moon
Created byRepublic Pictures
Portrayed by
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationCommander
NationalityAmerican

Commando Cody is the hero in two 12-chapter science fiction serials made by Republic Pictures, played by George Wallace in Radar Men from the Moon (1952) [1][2][3][4][5] and Judd Holdren in Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe (1953).[6]

Zombies of the Stratosphere[edit]

Another 12-chapter "rocket man" movie serial, Zombies of the Stratosphere, was written as the direct sequel to Radar Men from the Moon.[7] The name of the serial's main character was changed from Commando Cody to the more prosaic "Larry Martin" when the shooting schedule began. This lead character renaming happened after the footage shot for the first three episodes of Republic's proposed science fiction syndicated television series, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe. This was first released (for contractual reasons) to movie theaters instead of TV. Republic, meanwhile, released both of the "rocket man" serials during 1953.[4][8] A feature film was made from the King of the Rocket Men serial called Lost Planet Airmen, later inspiring the name of the rock group Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen.

Because of Sky Marshall's original television production origins, the longer length (approx. 25 minutes) of its weekly serial chapters, and their lack of traditional cliffhanger endings, many entrenched serial fans refuse to acknowledge the theatrical release of Sky Marshal as a true movie serial. This despite its having been released weekly to theaters and having a storyline that progresses through a dozen numbered and titled "chapters" until the villain is finally defeated in the 12th.[6] Sky Marshal was finally syndicated to NBC television in 1955 as a dozen 30 minute episodes (including commercials).

Confusion with other serials[edit]

Commando Cody serials are sometimes confused with King of the Rocket Men (1949), because the rocket-powered flying suit and helmet costume worn by the title character, Jeff King, was recycled to become the flying suit worn by Cody. To add to the confusion, serial hero Larry Martin, who started out to be Commando Cody, wore the same costume again in Zombies of the Stratosphere.

Referring to these different Republic characters wearing the same costume collectively as "the rocket man" was a retro concept formulated decades later by Dave Stevens' Rocketeer (best known for its 1991 film adaptation), which was in turn a nod to the various Republic "rocket-suited" serial characters.

A similar character with a similar name was Commander Corry, hero of the ABC TV and radio series Space Patrol, which ran from 1950 to 1955. Corry's title was "Commander-in-Chief of the Space Patrol".

References in other media[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clayton Moore (1998). I Was That Masked Man. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 132. ISBN 0878332162.
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom (2009). Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews. McFarland. pp. 254–255, 278–282. ISBN 978-0786482153.
  3. ^ Glassy, Mark C. (2012). Movie Monsters in Scale: A Modeler's Gallery of Science Fiction and Horror Figures and Dioramas. Commando Cody (1952): McFarland. pp. 223–226. ISBN 978-0786468843.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ a b Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "11. New Masks for New Heroes "Get That Masked Trouble Maker"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 288–290. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  5. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "5. A Cheer for the Champions (The Heroes and Heroines)". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 75. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  6. ^ a b Weldon, Michael (1996). The Psychotronic Video Guide To Film. Macmillan. pp. 116, 621, 635, 636. ISBN 0312131496.
  7. ^ Roman, James W. (2005). From Daytime to Primetime: The History of American Television Programs. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 144. ISBN 0313319723.
  8. ^ Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "5. Shazam and Good-by". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 141. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.
  9. ^ Star Wars: Clone Wars volume II DVD commentary

External links[edit]