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Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked
Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked
Actors: Stan Lee, Peta Wilson, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
NR     2005     1hr 40min

Comic books--serious or escapist fantasy? This feature-length special shows how comic book superheroes reflect their times--from the 1930s to the 21st century--and how these wish-fulfillment figures became role models for ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Stan Lee, Peta Wilson, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 09/27/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An excellent documentary
Erik F | 04/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have to disagree with the last reviewer. I found this to be a superb overview. The authors have an obvious love for the comic genre, and the result is a very consciencious and thorough review.

It proceeds at a fair pace but never feels rushed. Tons of archival material are presented, as well as as some very interesting and unique input from Kevin Smith, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Jim Steranko, Frank Miller ("I find my work kind of...jolly"), as well as execs from Marvel and DC.

The presentation is lavished with a variety of source-material, and it proceeds chronologically, giving a great deal of attention to the formative years of Superman, the role of comics during WWII, both on and off the page, and the mid-50s crisis engendered by Wertham and the Comics Code. It covers up to about 2002, stopping to examine the industry slump of the 1990s as well as the reactions to the September 11th attacks (though this part gets a bit self-important and heavy-handed).

There are a few omissions. The Watchmen gets a great deal of attention ("something like a bar-fight in the industry" opines a DC executive), but nothing else on Alan Moore's work is discussed. There's no mention of Grant Morrison's work, and it would have been interesting to see the industry's reactions to films that have appropriated comic book conventions, such as the Matrix.

Still, these are small concerns given the high quality of the DVD as a whole. A must for even casual fans of the genre."
A homage to an Art form
J. Riley | Lake Havasu City, AZ USA | 02/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD from the History Channel shows how how the superhero evolved from a two-dimensional character intended for kids reading the "funny papers" to character with real depth and problems, showing both resilience and relevance in the modern world. Comics are no longer for just kids anymore and this video reflects that point. Great for history buffs and comic lovers alike. The comic is a legitimate form of art. Buy this DVD and see for yourself."
Paradigm Shift
DD | Louisiana | 01/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have a newfound respect for Superheroes! I had no idea there was such a historical/cultural connection. I will always look at an action figure differently now as a result of this well done documentary. Bravo!"