Industry insiders like Stan Lee and Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) reflect on the way their colorful creations reflect society at large. They have spread from the pulpy pages of nickel comics to Saturday morning cartoons, the big screen and beyond. They have evolved from simple, All-American heroes to tortured, complicated characters reflecting the dreams, desires and fears of modern society. From Superman to The Sandman, Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked is a fascinating, feature-length look at the evolution of an art form that has proved remarkably adaptable and enduring. Filled with classic images from DC and Marvel Comics as well as extensive interviews with modern masters of the graphic novel like Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns), this documentary, originally aired on the History Channel, goes far beyond the superficial escapist fantasies to probe the forces that shaped the characters who have become legend. In the adventures of The Incredible Hulk, Spider Man, The... Written by
This is a feature delving into comics, telling the history of them(spanning seven decades, from the 1930's to present day) and offering marvelous(pun intended) insights. It consists of interviews, clips of footage that fits(almost none from the movies, whilst that is also a subject one could explore, this stays on the aforementioned topic, and is better for it) and a number of covers, frames and panels, several of which are famous, with the whole thing narrated by the booming, powerful voice of Keith David(the order of those two names make a tremendous difference). It is rather informational, as well as entertaining, interesting and, believe it or not, engaging. Those who get a chance to talk have things to say, if one could have wished a greater amount of time was spent on some of these magnificently talented men, but I suppose they didn't want to lose focus, and this doesn't ever become the story of one specific hero(whether or not favoring is entirely avoided here is up for debate). The tone is respectful and you never feel talked down to or judged, it is presented in a neutral way and the viewer gets to make up their own mind, with a few exceptions. The editing is nicely done, and while containing a little flash, similar to what the media often does, it does not get to be obnoxious or campy. While she is listed as a host, I did not see Peta Wilson in this, I don't know if I watched an alternate version or such. There is a tad of sexuality, violence and other controversial material in this, as seen in various releases(and anyone bothered by the... appearance of Dr. Manhattan may want to avert their eyes at one particular point in this), and an occurrence or three of mild language. I recommend this warmly to any graphic novel fan, and/or anyone who wants to learn more about comic books... honestly, it's so open, anybody could watch it. 8/10
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