The first superhero from New Jersey is getting a makeover. Shockmeisters Troma Films’ mascot, the Toxic Avenger, will be remade by the guys who brought you THE MASK movie, among many other comics-to-film projects like JONAH HEX, THE LOSERS and BATMAN & ROBIN (this is from Deadline). Toxie (as his friends call him) was a 98lbs tutu-wearing geek who, after a dive into some radioactive waste, mutated into a hulking, misshapen tower of muscle that drove evil polluters out of his home town. The announcement of this project comes off the success of TOXIC AVENGER: THE MUSICAL, an off-Broadway production that’s been nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award.
It’s fitting that one of these producers’ credits include THE MASK. Anybody who’s read the Dark Horse comic will know that John Acurdi and Doug Mahnke’s ultra-violent slapstick comic was a far cry from the family-friendly Jim Carrey movie. These producers have intentions to similarly soften the X-Rated cult icon into a PG-13 flick that promotes “green living.” Before any Toxie fans throw their arms up, I’ll point out that this approach was already tried 20 years ago with TOXIC CRUSADERS, a Saturday morning cartoon that similarly cleaned up the mop-wielding monster’s act for an environmentally conscious agenda. Check out the opener for the series below and be befuddled…
== TEASER ==
This is probably a good starting point for a discussion about dark comics that get toned down for mass media. Aside from THE MASK, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and MEN IN BLACK are other dramatic examples of this. See, I was a fan of TOXIC CRUSADERS as a kid, so when I went to the tape store and saw THE TOXIC AVENGER on the shelves, I naturally wanted to rent it (and was able to, since it was unrated). Needless to say, six-year-old lil' Tommy P was mighty shocked by the swearing, sex and gore on the tape and actually got in trouble when his Mom caught him watching it. So there’s proof of the blowback of this kind of thing! Let’s hear some similar stories along that line, because I KNOW you’ve got some, oh scandalized Comic Vine community.
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this April - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.