BY BORROWING A PAGE from the founder of MARVEL COMICS now Parent Company, the Comics producer was able to at once give us an on screen History of the company and at the same time get the public to watch what was essentially an Infomercial.
IT MAY BEEN about the ups & downs of publishing 4 color illustrated stories, but it was much more. Much as Walt Disney's DISNEYLAND TV Show, the unbridled plugging of both TV and Theatrical films in production passes for entertainment.
AS FOR THE overall effect and intent of the production we are left with mixed emotions. While a good deal of its content was nothing more than this aforementioned self-promotion, on the other hand, it brought out so much previously unseen bits of comics history.
VINTIGE PHOTOS OF people like Joe Simon & Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Publisher, Martin Goodman,. were presented to us. Added to that are countless likenesses of historical and now priceless$$ collector$ item$.
INCLUDED ARE RECENT interviews with a sort of veritable WHO'S WHO IN THE COMICS World. These people's participation make the project highly worthwhile; raising the film a notch or two in the scheme of things. As the years go by, we will truly appreciate what has been done here.
IF WE MAY be so bold as to offer one other objection to the handling of the story of the Super Hero Comic, it is that it was glossed over too quickly and omitted any mention of some other very important contributors to the Art Form of Sequential Art. The impetus generated by the appearance of the Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster collaboration of SUPERMAN in DC's ACTION COMICS no. 1 is mentioned, but only in passing.
OTHERS WHO CONTRIBUTED so much to the business deserved to at least get an honorable mention, such as: Will Eisner and his Comic Book/Strip THE SPIRIT, Bill Parker & C.C. Beck's CAPTAIN MARVEL and Creator/Writer/Editor, Jerry Iger.
BUT THEN AGAIN, this was MARVEL'S Show and it's only fair that they should enjoy the Lion's share of the Spotlight for both their printed and celluloid "Joke Books."*
PERHAPS WE'LL SOON see a more Comprehensive & Multi Episode program covering all aspects of the business.
RED'S SUGHGESTION BOX: How about someone adapting something like Steranko's HISTORY OF THE COMICS to the screen? And just you remember Mr. Hollywood Producer, who suggested it!**
NOTE * There was no mention of any previous adaptations of Timley/Atlas/Marvel Comics to the screen, of which there was one. The production of the CAPTAIN America Serial (Republic Pictures, 1944) is the only one prior to 1966's animated MARVEL TALES TV. The revisionists had a field day, though, as very little was left of the Simon & Kirby's World War Comics hero. His name (from Steve Rogers to Grant Gardner), his occupation (from Soldier to District Attorney) were casualties of the pen. There wasn't any connection to the War, although it was out in 1944!
NOTE ** Before we call it a day, let us make mention of a story that has been circulating around for some time. The tale is that of a proposed SUB-MARINER Live Action TV Series that never materialized. It was said to have Richard Egan in the role of Atlantian, Prince Namor. Lord, if that were true, all the athletic & muscular Mr.Egan would have needed was a set of "Mr. Spock" ears!
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