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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Excellent for fans and non-fans

8/10
Author: Norman Cook from Orange County, California
23 November 2010

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. Otherwise, it is a thorough examination of the writers and artists who created some of the most famous characters in the world. Loaded with interviews of the creators and clips from movie and TV incarnations, the documentary shows the evolution of the company, the creators, and the characters. As an in-house production, it probably omits some of the less savory aspects of the company, but this is not an expose, after all. It is a celebration of an American art form.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

May Smudge a Few Details, But it Gets the Big Picture Right

7/10
Author: Sean Lamberger from Bradenton, FL
27 June 2011

As a self-serving look at the history of just one of the two major publishers in the comic industry, it shouldn't come as much surprise to hear that a few small liberties are taken with this short history lesson. The broader picture rings true, though, and the producers of this documentary clearly took great pains to ask the right questions of the right people. Long-term fans will be pleased to see appropriate representatives from every significant moment in the company's history in living color, though some of the more embattled personalities such as Alan Moore and Frank Miller only appear via ancient promotional videos. Fresh geeks who don't already know the story will see their horizons broadened by some of the pains and issues DC has confronted and endured over the years, while more seasoned readers will enjoy the refresher course and possibly even learn a thing or two themselves. Worth watching once, at least.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

This is What Comics Mean to Me

8/10
Author: Megatronika from Australia
27 November 2010

Like most comic readers, I am surrounded by people who simply just don't get it. Even in 2010 with superhero movies charting the box office, many people still view comics as simple childish escapism.

Now I can show them this documentary as an explanation of how important the comics industry is to the world. It's our modern mythology. DC comics has been around for 75 years and in that time A lot has happened, not just in the comics but in the real world as well. So naturally there's only so much you can fit into an hour-and-a-half documentary.

But it talks about all the most notable and important moments and people, it shows the evolution of these character and their stories and how they adapted to the times. Comics aren't removed from reality, they make a statement about it.

A common complaint I've heard about this film is that it skips Infinite Crisis completely, not even a single mention made. While I agree it was a significant series historically, I believe it's too complex of a plot to accurately summarize and justify within the time limit. I think it would have completely disrupted the pacing. As it is, this documentary is light easy viewing filled with all sorts of interesting trivia. The kind of thing to bring new people into comics.

Any one of the many things they covered in this documentary could have had their own films. Like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman or any single member of the Justice League could easily fill movie on their own. So I appreciate that they managed to successfully compress a titanic amount of information while still doing it justice.

I also love that it focuses on the personal and emotional connection people make to these superheroes. It definitely sells the idea that there's more gravity to the genre than the reputation would have you believe. And at no point does it seem like the people who are passionate about comics are pathetic losers. It encompasses a wide variety of people, some of them very talented who went on to working in the industry themselves.

If only I could have shown this to my parents when I still had dreams of being a comic artist. Oh well, costume designer is close enough.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I wept like a child when Superman died

10/10
Author: mylucylumpkins
25 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I may just be biased (since DC makes the best superheroes of all time), but I found this documentary moving. I think that it included so many great aspects of the DC journey and that it was put together in a fan pleasing or comic novice friendly way. If you went in knowing nothing, you at least know the major markers on the comic time line. If you are well schooled in comic book lore, you get to relive it all, through the voices of the creators. I have seen a lot of comic documentaries in my time, and this one was the best. While I was watching the part about Doomsday and the death of Superman, the tears swelled up in my eyes. I tried to control myself, thinking about how idiotic it is to cry during a comic book documentary, and even over something that has came and gone, but the narration puts in those emotions. Superman did not just die in the comics, we killed him. The empathic mindlessness of our society killed the last virtuous defender of hope. Of course they brought him back, but the fact he had to be killed to show people that they had strayed to far from moral and wholesome living... wow. They actual had others in the documentary crying over the loss of Kal-El of Krypton. Wrapping it up was a look to the future of comics. I thought the very last sentiment was great. No matter how we receive our media in 100 years, kids will still know who Superman is!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I'm glad I'm a fan of DC comics

7/10
Author: Zackery Burgess from United States
14 July 2011

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 am pleased with this and I can show this to people who are not comic book fans. I'm surrounded by people who are not comic book fans, who think Marvel is better than DC. Which pisses me off to no end. I'm not dissing Marvel, I just hate how the general public thinks of it.

With this we get the history of DC comics. Where it started with one title to franchises. We get to see how Superman and Batman became part of the pop culture. We see how comics evolved. We get to see how comic books came into other media such as movies and cartoons. I know a lot people have this complaint, but they skip over major events such Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour and the New Teen Titans comics were also a big part of DC comics history since it was one of the most popular comics of the 1980s.

Overall some things are not mentioned, but then again most comic book documentaries are like that. I could show this to people who aren't comic book fans or Marvel fanboys, is that without DC comics, we wouldn't have the first Superman movie, we wouldn't have Christopher Nolan's Batman films and without DC we wouldn't have companies such as Marvel,Image,Darkhorse and many more.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A good piece of American history (from a non-comic book guy)

8/10
Author: F_Jenkins from la
5 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

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, I just lost interest in them when they just started getting too out of hand (probably when I was in the 7th grade). I enjoyed this for the most part because it's another important piece of American history. The way comics affected society was very important - especially during the war years when people needed escapism. It's also important how much the religious section had so much hold over pop culture in the earlier days resulting in the comics code (which if you ask me is stupid). If I was a kid in the 50s I would have loved those monster and scifi comics (I read Creepy, Vampira and others when I was a kid in the 70s - I loved John Severin) I wanted to know exactly when DC actually became DC and that was never discussed and I think there was too much on movies and cartoons (stuff that happened as a result of the comics) so this was more of a history of Superman and Batman with a history of DC comics as a backdrop but still was interesting. I don't know anything about any of the current stuff (unless it's been made into a movie and I've hated most of it) but it was all fascinating.

I would like to see an identical documentary on the history of Marvel as well.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good historical and informative documentary of how DC changed it's comics along with the times and culture as each decade past.

9/10
Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
27 July 2011

I for one have always been a big fan of comics especially the brand made by DC, my favorite is "Batman". And after watching this documentary "Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics" one can respect and enjoy the companies start and history even more. As you see with the times and as each decade past DC changed the content of it's comics to fit the times more in a social, political, and demographic manner. The comics would become more dark and they would begin to have a graphic edge to them.

From the start as you watch this educational and informative film you will see how DC created the Super hero, using many of the early stories to fit the times of war and depression. Then you see how DC tied in with Warner Bros, and this would lead to broader appeals for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in the form of radio, TV, and big screen movies. As with each decade passed DC would shake things up changing stories in each comic to meet the ever changing times. The stories were more outspoken taking on political corruption as it was almost like that super heroes had to fight leaders and authority figures. Thru the 75 year history this lead to more writers and artist with an edge as they produced more modern and serious graphic novels.

As shown in the film comic books, and super heroes give us hope they are our dreams and escape from an ordinary way of life, as you feel that way and you even get that take during the film with interviews from well known historians, comic book inventors, and the film shows how comics and DC even though challenged impacted society, yet it's staying power is proved with TV, film and merchandise. Overall near excellent film that's informative and educational as you learn some stuff about DC that you may not have known. A must see for any comic book buff and history lover.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The universe of DC comics at its best and less best

9/10
Author: shazzeldazzle from Romania
26 March 2011

This is an excellent documentary that highlights the uniqueness of the mythology behind DC comics and its ever growing universe.It contains numerous interviews with big names from the industry that explain the origins of the company( thus resulting the name of the documentary )and its evolution throughout history.With the expansion of the mythology to TV,movies and video games it's important to see the extent at which the story evolved through the comics and the importance of this medium in general in providing great stories.Therefore this is a great example of documentaries being attractive to a core audience (of comic readers) as well as to the general public who just want to find out more about the mythology of their favorite character(s).

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