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Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics (2010)

Neal Adams , Neil Gaiman , Mac Carter  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Neal Adams, Neil Gaiman, Geoff Johns, Bob Kane, Frank Miller
  • Directors: Mac Carter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ZHR6Q6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Behind the amazing tales of legendary super heroes is the equally amazing story of the company that told them. So many heroes, so many stories to tell--stories of DC Comics' 75 years of challenges, creativity and triumph. This DC Comics Original Documentary is both a compelling insider's tale and a celebration seen through the inkwell of those who created and lived it, balanced with insights from key historians and filled with interviews, archival footage and a dazzling parade of riveting and splashy DC covers. From the bans to the breakthroughs, from humble pulp beginnings to the literary rise of the graphic novel, the story holds a mirror to an ever-evolving enterprise and the society reflected in its comic book pages. It's an American story.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth $20 November 20, 2010
What can I say? I'm a sucker for most DC stuff. I buy all the DC DVDs because I hope they'll eventually release something I like. (Like a JSA Animated Feature.) But just cause I have to buy it doesn't mean you have to.

I paid $20 for this, and I was disappointed. It's just 90 minute documentary about DC Comics, and sadly I didn't really learn anything new. Then again, I am a well informed DC fan, so there is certainly some good information for those people who aren't as "hardcore" as me. They go over the "behind the scenes origins" of the major characters: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, with some mentions about the Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern. Then they talk about Alan Moore, Swamp Thing, Watchmen, Neil Gaiman and Sandman. And about some of the creators, like Gardner Fox, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Siegel, Shuster, and Bob Kane. Plus the founding of DC comics. Oh, and it's narrated by future-Green-Lantern, Ryan Reynolds.

It's okay, but it's the type of thing I would have liked to watch on TV for free than pay $20 for it. I suggest waiting until it's worth $13 or less if you feel the need to add it to your collection.

There's no extras either, just subtitles.

I should also point out that this documentary is also included in Batman Beyond: The Complete Series (Limited Edition). So, if you don't own Batman Beyond, and you want this documentary, just get that instead.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the Complete Story December 4, 2010
This documentary starts out delightfully, with a cool visual style that takes you into the panels of old books and has insightful interviews regarding not just the origins of DC, but of comics in general. Adequately narrated by live-action Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds, it follows DC throughout some of the most important events in its history. But there's a catch -- this isn't necessarily a documentary of the history of DC Comics. It's more about the social issues of various periods of the 20th century and how the comic book industry responded to them. After the 1970's, this program abandons all information regarding its main characters and continuity altogether, instead focusing entirely on rebellion (the 1980's), minority writers (the 1990's) and 9/11 (2000's).

The funny thing is that the first half of this documentary is very strong and informative. But it lost me when they completely ignored the events regarding the early 80's Crisis on Infinite Earths, which is arguably the most important event in the modern continuity of DC Comics. After the documentary leaves the mid 1970's, the focus is no longer the DC as a continuity-driven comic book publisher. The 1980's only covers Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and Sandman. From here on out it's completely lost its focus and jumps around. I would watch this to get an understanding of DC's beginnings up until 1980; after that you're not getting the whole story, not even close.

Regarding the DVD release, it's a shame that there are no special features whatsoever. The recent DC animated releases have been stuffed with featurettes, animated shorts, and a bunch of TV episodes. This bare bones release is an all around disappointment. Secret Origin is more likely to be watched by a sociology class than enjoyed by a hardcore fan of DC Comics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great overview... December 21, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For long-time DC fans, there's nothing groundbreaking here, but this is still a fun documentary--the rare footage of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Superman's creators) alone is worth the price of admission. For me, this was a great reminder of why I love DC Comics. Extra credit to Mark Waid who provides the film's best insights...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See for even the most casual reader June 22, 2011
These hardcore fans are too self-absorbed. I'm a hardcore fan and I never knew what Irwin Hasen looked like. I never saw any period film clips or photos, like the ones they showed in this doc.

I've heard SOME of these stories before, but not in this detail. Sure, they didn't mention that Dr. Marston, Wonder Woman's creator, was a polyamorist.

And in a way, I don't care if they mentioned the Crisis on Infinite Earths or not. No where else can you find this much information on the history of comic books and in depth interviews with the creators. Finally, a face to go along with the names we read about.

Sure there are fans who go to every comic convention and get autographs, but that's a small number. For even the casual fan, this documentary is required viewing to understand how and why this art form has evolved to a point where guys on the message boards are saying, "Golden Age Comics are an acquired taste." Or a movie review that states, "They actually dumbed DOWN a comic book."

We've evolved. We can't comprehend comics being just for kids anymore. And it's nice to have documentaries such as these.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
DC Comics presents "SECRET ORIGIN: THE STORY OF DC COMICS", this is obviously a 75th birthday celebration in the form of a 90 minute documentary approved by the top brass of DC Comics itself. Great men and women who are keeping alive this medium and bringing in new and extraordinary things for all of us fans to enjoy.

Being a fan of comics books, love both DC and Marvel, very happy with any documentary letting me into their world...expect Marvel would or has done the same thing. Believe we should all let this organization have their day in the sun.

As a collector, I would still purchase this DVD, However, mostly to see some of the rare archival footage and newly recorded interviews with comics veterans. As one reviewer pointed out...Stan Lee built a career out of misrepresenting himself to the unknowing public. So what's the problem with some other reviewers on this DVD release!

That's part of the "Schtick", (is a Yiddish term meaning, a contrived and often used bit of business that a performer uses to steal attention), plus we enjoyed the storytelling and artwork of DC, took us out of everyday life, into a world of adventure through the days of GOLDEN AGE, SILVER AGE COMICS and THE BRONZE AGE, which reinvented itself over and over again.

No special features, this is a downer, but not necessarily a lost cause for the DVD...if you're a hardcore collector and fan, this is a must have for your every growing collection....very much recommend.

For product description and editorial review check this out on the Amazon site above my review.

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 90 min on DVD ~ DC Comics/Warner Bros. Ent. ~ (November 9, 2010)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars DC seeks Young Talent: the Heroic (yet all too human) Quest For Future...
Secret Origins is a title that plays on the idea that comics have an origins story that explains the genesis of heroes and superhero groups. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Khriss Bliss
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great history of dc comics
Published 1 month ago by jollygorilla
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop Culture 101
I first saw this at the new york comic con & immediately loved it. This is an amazing documentary covering DC Comics' early beginnings to the nascent super hero genre to becoming... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chongo
5.0 out of 5 stars Great doc.
There are those who love Marvel, and those who love , Detective Comics or DC for short . I love both orginizations . Read more
Published 15 months ago by C. conway
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Nutshell History
My husband (a big Superman fan) and I enjoyed this documentary. It moves along at a good clip and is entertaining and informational. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Karen Amrhein
3.0 out of 5 stars Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics
If you're a die hard comic book collector - this DVD is for you. Knowing the history of well-known popular DC comic book heroes.
Published 17 months ago by poetRMS-316
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!!!
First off let me say that the seller got this to me very fast and it was in great shape. Couldn't be happier. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Comic Boss
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!!
Fantastic if you like DC comics - wish they had more background on flash and green lantern, but it was pretty great overall!
Published 20 months ago by Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Liked the History
It was a good blend of the history of the characters and the company, surprised that the DC company admitted that Marvel took over, but then that's motivation to come back.
Published 20 months ago by JD
4.0 out of 5 stars It was worth the money, but I expected more...
I enjoyed the dvd, but I expected more. It is worth a view to understand the history of DC Comics.
Published 21 months ago by Landis Odoms
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