Not Cheap Or Disposable: PBS' Documentary About Superheroes and Americana

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster

The PBS documentary, Superheroes: A Never Ending Battle, is a collection of American comic book’s greatest hits. For 75 years, superheroes are intertwined with the once-cheap medium. Battle tries to go through every era, from the metallic Ages to today, covering as many highlights as possible within three hours. The three chapters, directed by Michael Kantor and written by Kantor and Laurence Maslon, are “Truth, Justice, and the American Way,” “Great Power, Great Responsibility,” and “A Hero Could Be Anyone.”

A Never Ending Battle bookends with the ultimate superhero, Superman. You may know the origins of Supes: two struggling cartoonists trying to sell their powerful hero until the company that would later become DC Comics brought Superman to Action Comics in 1938. At the end, after all the movie mentions and mingling with pop culture, Superman not only endures, but still stands.

Unlike the Shadow or Man of Bronze, Doc Savage, merchandising opportunities have always been very good the Last Son of Krypton. Continue reading “Not Cheap Or Disposable: PBS’ Documentary About Superheroes and Americana”

Comic of the Day: Mad #1 (1952)

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Alternate name: “The Melvin Issue”

Comixology is offering the first issue of Mad today for free, but this isn’t the Mad that zings pop culture from “the usual gang of idiots.” It’s the original Mad comic that took aim at then-popular genres like Westerns and Futuristic Sci-Fi.

I’m not sure how young audiences who are exposed to Mad via the Cartoon Network show are going to take in panels that are sometimes dense in text and genres that fascinated people in the 1950s. Mad #1 is still an awesome historical curiosity. Continue reading “Comic of the Day: Mad #1 (1952)”

Superman Unchained #1 Review

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“The Leap,” published by DC Comics.
Main story written by Scott Snyder, penciled by Jim Lee, and inked by Scott Williams.

What a Super-barrage! Man of Steel comes out soon and Comixology has made Superman (Volume 1) #1 & All-Star Superman #1 free. Siegel & Shuster’s Superman #1 offers 64 pages of action, while Morrison & Quitely’s All-Star #1 presents an awe-inspiring man of wonder. For the five-dollar asking price, how much entertainment is there for the 22 story page Unchained? Continue reading “Superman Unchained #1 Review”

Superman Diamond! 75 Years of the Man of Steel

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75 years is said to be the “diamond” anniversary, depending on your age or location. What an appropriate name for Big Blue superhero with the diamond crest.

June is the 75th anniversary of the cover date Superman’s first appearance of Action Comics #1. While Action #1 was released a few months before, Supermania probably began by the summer of 1938. There have been nearly countless adaptations of the Metropolis Marvel and DC Comics has launched a Super-campaign that should add to Superman’s legacy. Continue reading “Superman Diamond! 75 Years of the Man of Steel”