A look at the history of the comic book publication that launched such legendary characters as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
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This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) For long-time DC fans, there's nothing groundbreaking here, but this is still a fun documentary--the rare footage of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Superman's creators) alone is worth the price of admission. For me, this was a great reminder of why I love DC Comics. Extra credit to Mark Waid who provides the film's best insights...
Had a chance to see this screened at NY Comic Con. About 90 Minutes long and just really fantastic for any DC fan. Funny, informative, and much of it very moving. There are some great men and women who have done extraordinary things to keep this medium alive.
This documentary starts out delightfully, with a cool visual style that takes you into the panels of old books and has insightful interviews regarding not just the origins of DC, but of comics in general. Adequately narrated by live-action Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds, it follows DC throughout some of the most important events in its history. But there's a catch -- this isn't necessarily a documentary of the history of DC Comics. It's more about the social issues of various periods of the 20th century and how the comic book industry responded to them. After the 1970's, this program abandons all information regarding its main characters and continuity altogether, instead focusing entirely on rebellion (the 1980's), minority writers (the 1990's) and 9/11 (2000's).The funny thing is that the first half of this documentary is very strong and informative. But it lost me when they completely ignored the events regarding the early 80's Crisis on Infinite Earths, which is arguably the most important event in the modern continuity of DC Comics. After the documentary leaves the mid 1970's, the focus is no longer the DC as a continuity-driven comic book publisher. The 1980's only covers Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and Sandman. From here on out it's completely lost its focus and jumps around. I would watch this to get an understanding of DC's beginnings up until 1980; after that you're not getting the whole story, not even close.Regarding the DVD release, it's a shame that there are no special features whatsoever. The recent DC animated releases have been stuffed with featurettes, animated shorts, and a bunch of TV episodes. This bare bones release is an all around disappointment. Secret Origin is more likely to be watched by a sociology class than enjoyed by a hardcore fan of DC Comics.
Here's the thing about Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics... It gives you never before seen interviews from guys like Julius Schwartz, Irwin Hazen, Gerard Jones and Denny O'neil/Neil Adams, but the story is nothing new. The first hour is absolutely breathtaking. After the first hour of this 90 minute tribute, things are lost. Too much time is spent on overrated things like The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and explaining the Vertigo line (what's to explain here?) If you're looking for a comic book documentary, look no further than here: http://www.amazon.com/Comic-Book-Superheroes-Unmasked-Stan/dp/B000AABKZEOverall, it is a good documentary. Not bad, not excellent. Buy only if you are obsessed with comics!
I for one have always been a big fan of comics especially the brandmade by DC, my favorite is "Batman". And after watching thisdocumentary "Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics" one can respect andenjoy the companies start and history even more. As you see with thetimes and as each decade past DC changed the content of it's comics tofit the times more in a social, political, and demographic manner. Thecomics would become more dark and they would begin to have a graphicedge to them.From the start as you watch this educational and informative film youwill see how DC created the Super hero, using many of the early storiesto fit the times of war and depression. Then you see how DC tied inwith Warner Bros, and this would lead to broader appeals for Superman,Batman, and Wonder Woman in the form of radio, TV, and big screenmovies. As with each decade passed DC would shake things up changingstories in each comic to meet the ever changing times. The stories weremore outspoken taking on political corruption as it was almost likethat super heroes had to fight leaders and authority figures. Thru the75 year history this lead to more writers and artist with an edge asthey produced more modern and serious graphic novels.As shown in the film comic books, and super heroes give us hope theyare our dreams and escape from an ordinary way of life, as you feelthat way and you even get that take during the film with interviewsfrom well known historians, comic book inventors, and the film showshow comics and DC even though challenged impacted society, yet it'sstaying power is proved with TV, film and merchandise. Overall nearexcellent film that's informative and educational as you learn somestuff about DC that you may not have known. A must see for any comicbook buff and history lover.
As a self-serving look at the history of just one of the two majorpublishers in the comic industry, it shouldn't come as much surprise tohear that a few small liberties are taken with this short historylesson. The broader picture rings true, though, and the producers ofthis documentary clearly took great pains to ask the right questions ofthe right people. Long-term fans will be pleased to see appropriaterepresentatives from every significant moment in the company's historyin living color, though some of the more embattled personalities suchas Alan Moore and Frank Miller only appear via ancient promotionalvideos. Fresh geeks who don't already know the story will see theirhorizons broadened by some of the pains and issues DC has confrontedand endured over the years, while more seasoned readers will enjoy therefresher course and possibly even learn a thing or two themselves.Worth watching once, at least.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) I read the reviews before I made this purchase...and I did my best to listen to what all the reviewers had to say. However, I have to wonder if some of the reviewers actually watched this, particularly the more negative ones. Yes, there are stories and histories that have been repeated in some form ad nauseum, but there were interesting spins that made them well worth hearing again. Yes, they glossed over (didn't mention) the fall-out between Siegel & Shuster and DC, but that legal battle is in part still going, so it was probably wise to let it be. But, this was not a 'we are great' promotional video - there was some brutally honest, biting commentary, and it was refreshing. And you cannot separate the historical events from the evolution of comics, as the former had to influence the latter, or comics would have surely failed long ago. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will be something I will watch repeatedly - even if it's ultimately just for background noise while I'm working at home.
I enjoyed this very much and I haven't read comics since I was a kid.I'm not one of those people who thinks comics are for kids either, Ijust lost interest in them when they just started getting too out ofhand (probably when I was in the 7th grade). I enjoyed this for themost part because it's another important piece of American history. Theway comics affected society was very important - especially during thewar years when people needed escapism. It's also important how much thereligious section had so much hold over pop culture in the earlier daysresulting in the comics code (which if you ask me is stupid). If I wasa kid in the 50s I would have loved those monster and scifi comics (Iread Creepy, Vampira and others when I was a kid in the 70s - I lovedJohn Severin) I wanted to know exactly when DC actually became DC andthat was never discussed and I think there was too much on movies andcartoons (stuff that happened as a result of the comics) so this wasmore of a history of Superman and Batman with a history of DC comics asa backdrop but still was interesting. I don't know anything about anyof the current stuff (unless it's been made into a movie and I've hatedmost of it) but it was all fascinating.I would like to see an identical documentary on the history of Marvelas well.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) It was a good blend of the history of the characters and the company, surprised that the DC company admitted that Marvel took over, but then that's motivation to come back.
I have read them all from Superman issue #1 to the silver age retelling, to Man of Steel to Birthright.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) I read the reviews before I made this purchase...and I did my best to listen to what all the reviewers had to say. However, I have to wonder if some of the reviewers actually watched this, particularly the more negative ones. Yes, there are stories and histories that have been repeated in some form ad nauseum, but there were interesting spins that made them well worth hearing again. Yes, they glossed over (didn't mention) the fall-out between Siegel & Shuster and DC, but that legal battle is in part still going, so it was probably wise to let it be. But, this was not a 'we are great' promotional video - there was some brutally honest, biting commentary, and it was refreshing. And you cannot separate the historical events from the evolution of comics, as the former had to influence the latter, or comics would have surely failed long ago. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will be something I will watch repeatedly - even if it's ultimately just for background noise while I'm doing something else.
This is an excellent documentary for both comics fans and non-fans. It omitted mention of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which I feel is a milestone in DC's history, but perhaps this is too arcane for casual viewers.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) While it contains many items that will be familiar to folks who have viewed various comic book histories over the last few years, this has some footage and interviews not normally seen. Fascinating insights and a good overview although, personally, I thought they were awfully kind to the scoundrels that passed for writers during the Dark Ages. Hope they get to do an update in another 75 years.
What can I say? I'm a sucker for most DC stuff. I buy all the DC DVDs because I hope they'll eventually release something I like. (Like a JSA Animated Feature.) But just cause I have to buy it doesn't mean you have to.I paid $20 for this, and I was disappointed. It's just 90 minute documentary about DC Comics, and sadly I didn't really learn anything new. Then again, I am a well informed DC fan, so there is certainly some good information for those people who aren't as "hardcore" as me. They go over the "behind the scenes origins" of the major characters: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, with some mentions about the Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern. Then they talk about Alan Moore, Swamp Thing, Watchmen, Neil Gaiman and Sandman. And about some of the creators, like Gardner Fox, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Siegel, Shuster, and Bob Kane. Plus the founding of DC comics. Oh, and it's narrated by future-Green-Lantern, Ryan Reynolds.It's okay, but it's the type of thing I would have liked to watch on TV for free than pay $20 for it. I suggest waiting until it's worth $13 or less if you feel the need to add it to your collection. There's no extras either, just subtitles.I should also point out that this documentary is also included in Batman Beyond: The Complete Series (Limited Edition). So, if you don't own Batman Beyond, and you want this documentary, just get that instead.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) I enjoyed the dvd, but I expected more. It is worth a view to understand the history of DC Comics.
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (Amazon Instant Video) Fantastic if you like DC comics - wish they had more background on flash and green lantern, but it was pretty great overall!
As far as DC Comics is concerned right now is a pretty good time for them as they have struck gold with Nowlan's Batman movies and they have that upcoming summer movie with that guy and his lantern. Unfortunately once you start watching this documentary it is painfully obvious that they love the "Silver Age" period and damn it you should too!Getting together a who's who of current and former DC Comics employees you would think that this is going to be a very informative doc but nope as they rush through everything except the origins of DC, Silver Age and the brief time that comics came under attack for corupting the youth. At this point they hit on the usual standard of the birth of the comics code and the troubled times they had after WWII, it is then they're able to get to the #1 subject they wanted to talk about which is the silver age where both Geoff Johns and Dan Didio who are major silver age lovers( if you open a current DC comic today it's painfully obvious ).Sadly once that's done they makers of this doc pretty much stop caring which is sad because there is a lot of stuff they could have expanded on but chose to gloss over. The biggest of which is DC publishing the Milestone comics, who were not only very successful but also offered the most diverse characters in comics which as one of the creators Dwayne McDuffie pointed out DC themselves have not been able to do without reverting to sterotypes thanks to their silverage regression. It then moves past that to spend time with Jim Lee and his Wildstorm imprint which by that time he sold it to DC was well past it's hayday during it's time with Image then goes on to mention current stuff like Batman Begins and etc.If you love DC's silver age then this is the dvd for you but there have been other well done comic docs that are way better then this( A&E did a great one ) as in all they give you some parts but keep you in the dark about other things going on
This review is from: Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (DVD) First off let me say that the seller got this to me very fast and it was in great shape. Couldn't be happier.Now this is a sublime look at the origins and history of DC Comics. You hear from some of the top talent the has ever had. From Neal Adams, to Louise Simonson, Len Wein, to Wark Waid. They all speak with candor, love, and eloquence.I couldn't recommend this film more to a comic fan. But I would more recommend it to non-fan more. By the time your done watching this you will understand the devotion of these characters legions of fans.
a great insight for long time DC fans and the respect to those who keep it alive for us year after year, I loved it and also who better to narrate than our own Green Lantern
I am a big fan of DC comics. I love their characters. I love Superman,Batman,Wonder Woman,Green Lantern, etc. Now as a comic book fan, I ampleased with this and I can show this to people who are not comic bookfans. I'm surrounded by people who are not comic book fans, who thinkMarvel is better than DC. Which pisses me off to no end. I'm notdissing Marvel, I just hate how the general public thinks of it.With this we get the history of DC comics. Where it started with onetitle to franchises. We get to see how Superman and Batman became partof the pop culture. We see how comics evolved. We get to see how comicbooks came into other media such as movies and cartoons. I know a lotpeople have this complaint, but they skip over major events such Crisison Infinite Earths and Zero Hour and the New Teen Titans comics werealso a big part of DC comics history since it was one of the mostpopular comics of the 1980s.Overall some things are not mentioned, but then again most comic bookdocumentaries are like that. I could show this to people who aren'tcomic book fans or Marvel fanboys, is that without DC comics, wewouldn't have the first Superman movie, we wouldn't have ChristopherNolan's Batman films and without DC we wouldn't have companies such asMarvel,Image,Darkhorse and many more.