An Advanced Look at PBS Upcoming Series “Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle”
Much like the other co-owners on this website it was my love for comics that spurned me to want to start it. The age of myths has never been stronger with the tales we tell of god like figures from another planet, women from mystical islands, and dark figures in the night seeking to avenge lives that can never be brought back. It was stories like these that have driven me to be better, smarter, and more imaginative, but it is the men and women who have spun these tales that have always interested me the most.
When I received the e-mail about PBS airing a story about the people who created, write, draw, and bring comic book characters to life all airing October 15th at 8pm. I responded that day asking for an advanced copy. I needed to watch this, to learn more, to obviously hear stories I’ve heard a thousand times before, but also to get a better grasp on the history that is comic books. Hosted by Liev Schreiber this gold mine of information takes you on three very separate, but very intertwined trips through the history of comics.
The first part is called “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” speaks on the inception of comic books from 1938 to 1958, spanning the creation of all the characters we love today, and what the conditions of the job were back then during the Great Depression. This one part speaks to the legends that are still with us, and even the late Jerry Robinson who had a big part in creating one of the greatest Batman villains to date the Joker. Obviously Stan “the Man” Lee is spoken to about his obvious hand in the creation of some of comics most known characters, and he is, as always, very candid about his hand in their creation as well as why he took the pen name Stan Lee.
The second part entitled “Great Power, Great Responsibility” and it spans 1959 to 1977. Out of all three episodes this one is my favorite, mostly because this is where the characters we have today come from. This one speaks on the Civil Rights issues in America, superheroes appearing in artists like Andy Warhol’s work, and how comics was forced to deal with an ever changing and far more complex world. One of my favorite series of all times is Green Lantern/Green arrow, and although I had not even been born during this generation I will always remember the first time I saw the cover of GL and GA looking at Speedy by the table with the drugs. It just seemed to capture how hard life truly is in that one picture, and that and many other comics within that time span are spoken about.
The third and final part is “A Hero Can Be anyone” and deals with comics from 1978-Present Day. This one part shows the evolution from the late 70′s to what comic books and comic book movies are today. From Superman with the late great Christopher Reeves to the Man of Steel with Henry Cavill taking on the ‘S’ shield we see the opinions, the variations, and the emerging popularity of something that was once considered a lowly art form. We see the emergence of the Watchmen and see how the effects comics as a whole, and you get to hear stories of what comic book movies once were to how they have become Television based, movie based, and digital platform based.
As a whole this DVD will be a part of my collection for a long, long time. It has the things I love in a very detailed setting with legends like Stan Lee,Jerry Robinson, and Neal Adams, to some of the biggest names in the industry today like Geoff Johns speaking on the history of comics as whole and how they were effected by them. Definitely give these episodes a watch this October and pick up the DVD/Blu Ray when it goes on sale.
PBS has always been a part of my life growing up, and seeing that they can still draw me in with something that peaks my interest and makes me keep coming back makes me happy to say the least. Below is a small information based press release about the DVD/Blu Ray release check it out. And as always share, follow, and tweet about ComicBookTherapy.com!
PBS Distribution will release the DVD and Blu-ray version of SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE on October 15, coinciding with the airing of the series on PBS. The DVD will be available for a suggested retail price of $24.99 and the Blu-ray will be available for a suggested retail price of $29.99. The running time is 180 minutes and will include special extra features. The DVD and Blu-ray will also include subtitles in English.
SUPERHEROES: A NEVER-ENDING BATTLE is produced by Ghost Light Films in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting. Along with PBS, major funding for the series was supplied by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Founded in 1996, Ghost Light Films created the critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated six-part PBS series MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: THE FUNNY BUSINESS OF AMERICA, which was hosted by Billy Crystal and produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with BBC-TV. In 2005, Ghost Light Films produced three hours of documentary material to accompany the 40th anniversary re-release of the film The Sound of Music, including a documentary hosted by Julie Andrews. That same year, Ghost Light garnered the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction series for BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL with Thirteen/WNET New York, NHK Japan and BBC in association with Carlton International. Most recently Ghost Light created BROADWAY MUSICALS: A JEWISH LEGACY (narrated by Joel Grey) for the GREAT PERFORMANCES series on PBS. www.ghostlightfilms.net