View Full Version : Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle

10-16-2013, 08:02 PM
A PBS documentary two years into the making just made its debut on PBS. It features the last thing that both Jerry Robinson (Robin/Joker) and Joe Simon (wirter half co-creator) did before their repsective death Chrsitmas 2011. Its a step up from the mediocre 2002 documentary on the History Channel. It airs in three parts. I suggest those who have not seen it to bookmark it and give it a view.

Refractive Reflections
10-17-2013, 02:21 AM
I usually enjoy PBS documentaries, and I knew it was being advertised on the channel, but I never knew the exact time. I'll have to check it out! :)

10-17-2013, 02:27 AM
I caught most of it, it was pretty well-done. There's rarely any new information presented in these documentaries on comics, so for the more well-versed fans of comic mythology it's always mostly about how well put together they are visually and musically, and this one was very good in those respects. And there really is a lot of good information to be found, it's just not going to be anything overly new and informative for someone who reads Wizard or is a serious collector.

But for anyone who maybe only knows super-hero mythology from movies or TV, has never read comics or studied the history and evolution of the medium, it's essential viewing and very informative. People like me could probably narrate it without a script, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining.

I honestly thought "Man of Steel" would get more of a mention, rather than just a few random clips with nothing actually said about the movie, especially since they made it a point to talk about the Nolan Batman films. And unless I missed it, "Smallville" and "Superman Returns" weren't shown or mentioned at all, but I guess you can't have everything. They talk about the Wonder Woman show, for example, but I didn't see anything about the Supergirl film, and while they talk about Spider-Man kicking off a new renaissance of Marvel Comics films, they don't speak of or show anything from most of those subsequent films like "The Punisher", "Daredevil", and only the briefest glimpse of "Fantastic Four". So as usual, they talk about how comic book characters became "hip" and expanded into pop culture, making even lesser-known properties popular, but then only touch on it briefly before pulling back to talk about Batman and Spider-Man a bit more. They do go into "Watchmen", though, both comic and film, and even though it's brief it was nice to see it represented. I also thought some of DC's "Crisis" events would have been touched on, even briefly, as they not only rejuvenate the DC brand every few years but also sell tons of books. It seemed a bit off to mention "Death of Superman", "Civil War", "The Dark Knight Returns", and "Watchmen" as epic stories that changed comic books, but not touch much (or at all) on "Crisis on Infinite Earths" or Byrne's "Man Of Steel" series.

I guess the moral is, it's great but you can't have everything. The perfectionist in me wishes it was four parts so it would be perfect and cover everything, but that's not likely to ever happen so this is as good as it gets. I might get the DVD of it.