Introduction to Superhero Culture (02:29)
Host Liev Schreiber wonders how America transformed into a nation where "anyone can be a superhero."
Truth, justice, and the American way seemed to be unraveling by the late 1970s. Warner Brothers planned the first full length film featuring a superhero.
Believable Superhero (02:24)
Special effects were used to make Superman fly in 1978. The audience cared about the character portrayed by Christopher Reeves.
Compensation for Shuster and Siegal (01:42)
Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the original Superman character. A settlement was negotiated with Warner Communications.
Problem with Static Characters (01:55)
Comic book sales of superhero titles fell because the difficulty in reaching new readers. Continuous readers wanted to see change. Stan Lee led the way by having Spider-Man get married.
Mature Batman (03:53)
In 1986, Frank Miller reinvented Batman in "The Dark Knight Returns."
In 1986, Allen Moore and Dave Gibbons began a series about a team of deeply flawed heroes with moral ambiguities.
A diverse group of mutants connected with comic book readers in the 1980s. Stan Lee intended this as an anti-bigotry story. Northstar was the first gay superhero.
This member of X-Men was a hero by restraint who fought his natural instincts to slice people up. Hugh Jackman portrayed the character differently than the comic books.
R-Rated at Image Comics (03:56)
Todd McFarlane talks about redesigning Spider-Man's webbing. Artists started their own company after being denied more power from Marvel.
Death of Superman (04:34)
DC Comics was eager to make Superman relevant again. Writers killed off the superhero in an 11 issue crossover event. A collector's version included a black armband.
September 11, 2001 (03:53)
The terrorist attack in New York City was discussed in comic books. The issue of freedom versus security was addressed.
"Dark Knight" Films (01:27)
In 2005, the Christopher Nolan film version of Batman established him as the man drone of 21st century warfare.
Sexy Spider-Man (02:55)
Superman and Batman had nine films made by the time Spider-Man appeared on the big screen. Special effects made the movie a huge success.
Crossover to Digital Media (03:37)
Fans of all ages can play superheroes in video games or write their own comic books.
Mainstream Fantasy (02:27)
President Obama was featured in a Spider-Man comic after mentioning the superhero.
Facing Adversity (03:59)
Superheroes are used as a symbol of hope to those experiencing conflict around the world.
Credits: A Hero can be Anyone (1980's-today): Superheroes—A Never Ending Battle (01:59)
Credits: A Hero can be Anyone (1980's-today): Superheroes—A Never Ending Battle
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or firstname.lastname@example.org.