Liked your review of Once a Hero, agreed w/most of your points. Have been trying for years to run down a copy of the unaired Adam West episode, alas, in vain. Thought I'd throw out an FYI regarding something you brought up, namely, Marvel Comics' involvement. Here's the story, from someone who was working there and watching the bodies fall.
As it happens, the movie and subsequent show were the product of New World Pictures' TV division, and New World was, at the time, the brand-spanking-new owner of--Marvel Comics. "Hero" had been in development before the sale was final, hence the decision to do an original character and not a previously established Marvel hero. But ownership did give them the go-ahead to include lower-echelon-but-still-recognizable Marvel characters, in order to lend some alleged credibility to "Pizzazz Comics". The thinking behind the sale was to try and generate the same sort of multi-media synergy enjoyed by Warner Communications, which has owned the DC Comics stable of characters since the late '70s. Marvel was desperate to hook up with somebody with deep pockets,to help them make a successful transition into TV and feature films. New World, in turn, considered Marvel a breeding ground for pre-sold characters and concepts to adapt. Why any sane, sober human being ,capable of looking at New World's track record to date, would expect anything but low-rent product was beyond many of us, but hey! That's show biz !
The "Captain Justice" comic book covers that appear in the title sequence are all Marvel covers (mostly from the '70s, mostly from the "Captain Marvel" comic) with crudely-drawn CJ figures pasted in. In a feeble attempt at the aforementioned synergy, Marvel did publish a "Captain Justice" comic book. It lasted only two issues, consisting of a two-part adaptation of the pilot film, and if memory serves, was released after the show had already been canceled. The only side-effect of this experiment that was even more horrible was the equally short-lived "Sledge Hammer" comic. But the less said about that, the better.
- James W. Fry