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Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle + Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture
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Examines the evolution of superhero characters and the comic book industry, chronicling how disposable diversions that cost just a dime became the foundation for a multi-billion dollar industry whose products are an influential part of our national identity.

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By Ambercc TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Short but very interesting doc. on comic super heroes they do a good job covering all eras of super heroes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Documentary About Super-Heroes Oct. 15 2013
By Daneel Olivaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
This is a review by someone who has been reading super-hero comic books for more than 50 years, including reprints of the great comics that were produced during the 25 years before that. I have no way of judging this three-part documentary from the viewpoint of someone without that immersion in the art form or of someone whose interest in superheroes is based solely on the superhero movies and TV shows that have overtaken our culture.

That being said, I was very surprised (and pleased) that this documentary stuck so closely to the comic books themselves rather than devoting more time to the films, especially since clips from the movies are now so available and many more people have seen a Batman or Spider-Man movie than have actually read the comic books. Oh, there are many clips from the TV shows and movies, from the 1940s serials and Superman theatrical cartoons to the 1950s Superman TV series, the 1960s "Batmania," the 1970s blockbuster Superman movie and so on, but they are only a small part of this three-hour examination of the impact superhero comics have had on our culture.

Much more time is spent on how the content of the super-hero comic book has changed over the past 75 years, from Superman's initial appearance to today, with an emphasis on how the comics have reflected major turning points in society such as World War II, the Atomic Age, McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, Feminism, the disenchantments of the 1970s, and of course 9-11 as the threshold of our current era. Even acknowledging the growing success of super-hero movies, the emphasis is more on what was happening in the actual printed comics: the ways they changed with the times and in some cases how they did not.

Some of comics' greatest creators are interviewed or at least briefly credited during this program, from Siegel and Shuster to Simon and Kirby, from Joe Kubert to Carmine Infantino, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, Neal Adams and Jim Steranko, Frank Miller and Alan Moore and, of course, Stan Lee and his revitalization of this art form in the 1960s with a creative vision that survives even today.

If you are a comic book fan, meaning you recognized all of the names in the previous paragraph, you will find much to like in this documentary, which touches on a very wide number of issues in its examination of this unique art form. If not, I'm not sure how interested you will be in this subject matter since it is not movie-centric, but as a comic book geek I enjoyed it very much.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Documentary Oct. 20 2013
By Chongo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I caught the last hour of this the night it aired on PBS. Daneel Olivaw's review is perfect & spot on. It truly is an all encompassing look into the comic book industry & all the mythology surrounding superheroe's & all it's costumed brethren. This really delves deeply into comic books, the roots of this graphic fiction medium, & it's long lasting impact in popular culture. Personally this is one of the best documentary's on the subject since "Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics" from 2010. Everyone should see this.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A History Lesson Oct. 26 2013
By E. Joseph Delaney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This is the kind of product that should be shown in colleges teaching the Comic Arts and Writing or in Film Schools. Liev Schreiber narrates the nearly 3 hours of material which begins during the Golden Age of comics and runs right up to the current era. It is a fast moving and in-depth piece that to those of us making our own comic works is also inspirational. To comic fans, this is a terrific addition to their DVD collections right up there with Comic Book Confidential, Comic Book Heroes Unmasked, The Mind of Alan Moore, Todd McFarlane-The Devil You Know, and Will Eisners doc on Sequential Art. Add all of these to your comic collection and be inspired as you create your own piece of comic book history. Excelsior!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best superhero documentary to date! April 11 2014
By superman fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a great film that examines every comic book Superhero and their influence to the comic industry. Without the influence of the first Superhero Superman we would have nothing! The impact of the character Superman inspired people to come up with their own Superheroes that people love today, so give Superman a little more respect. Based on my opinion Superhero's are not just for kids, but are for adults as well. Kids may ware Superhero clothes and watch cartoons and movies, but they do not read comic books anymore. Adults Do! If you walk into any comic shop, you will not find a single child in there, except adults. This movie explains everything you need to know about comic book history and is a wonderful dvd to add to any Superhero fans collection. Just to point it out there they show very little photo's toward the end of the film, towards our current time from the movie Man of Steel but say nothing about it and say in no way how it impacted the comic book world like they do with the other superhero movies, You know why? Man of steel was a horrible film that ruined Superman, had no character study, a horrible plot, and was about dumb and unnecessary, non stop fighting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leave it to PBS to get it right Feb. 4 2014
By Johnny Rags - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I originally saw this on PBS and I was amazed at how good it was, so I had to add it to my collection. If you think comics are kid stuff, this will change your mind.

This is very well done, intelligent and respectful story of comics from the begging in the 30's all the up through modern day blockbuster movies. But its more than a retelling of comic book superhero history. Its intelligent and insightful, explaining how historical events and societal attitudes influenced the storylines and characters. This doc makes it clear that writers and artists werent writing kids entertainment, rather, illustrating and interpreting issues of the day. War, racism, you name it, were all discussed within comic pages, making those topics palatable to young audiences.

If you're a comic fan, I guarantee you'll love it. If you aren't, you'll come away with an understanding of why comic are and important artistic medium.
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