Sunday, October 20, 2013

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

I just watched one of my most comprehensive looks at superheros, comic books and the entire fandom and pop culture. I learned so many amazing facts and information about this entire industry. They had a star studded cast of interviewees including Stan Lee and Lynda Carter. This has to be one of the best documentary I have ever seen. It's three incredible hours of geeky goodness. It's available for downlond on itunes or on the PBS website on DVD and Bluray. I purchased it right away.. this is definitely something I want to have in my library. Seriously if you're a geek and love comic book and/or superheroes you must pick up this documentary.. you will not be disappointed.

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. It's a 3 part documentary... here's a brief description: SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is the first documentary to examine the dawn of the comic book genre and its powerful legacy, as well as the evolution of the characters who leapt from the pages over the last 75 years and their ongoing worldwide cultural impact. It chronicles how these “disposable diversions” were subject to intense government scrutiny for their influence on American children and how they were created in large part by the children of immigrants whose fierce loyalty to a new homeland laid the foundation for a multi-billion-dollar industry that is an influential part of our national identity.

Part One “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” (1938 - 1958)

During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation. When the thrilling “Adventures of Superman” is broadcast on the new medium of television, America’s first and greatest superhero leads the entire comic book industry to renewed strength.

Part Two “Great Power, Great Responsibility” (1959 - 1977)

A new breed of superhero emerges in the 1960s, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring artists of the time. The pop art movement draws heavily on comic books, with superhero images appearing in the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Civil rights in America and other social issues make their way onto the page as black superheroes emerge with powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage. The pages of “Green Lantern/Green Arrow” address social issues in their relevant storylines, and comic books are forced to confront the reality of an increasingly complex world.

Part Three “A Hero Can Be Anyone” (1978 - Present)

This episode captures the enthusiasm for superheroes as they are embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic “Superman” movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen brings new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the burgeoning new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture with feature films, television shows and video games complementing a new generation of web-based comics that bring superhero adventures to every corner of the world. 

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