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Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics


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Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics + Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics + Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle
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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ZHR6Q6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,003 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics" on IMDb

Special Features

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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

There are those who love Marvel, and those who love , Detective Comics or DC for short .
C. conway
Great men and women who are keeping alive this medium and bringing in new and extraordinary things for all of us fans to enjoy.
J. Lovins
So, if you don't own Batman Beyond, and you want this documentary, just get that instead.
DC_Fan_52

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By DC_Fan_52 VINE VOICE on November 20, 2010
Format: DVD
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 By Robert Hamilton on December 4, 2010
Format: DVD
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 By Frank Battaglia on 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 By Tony Young on June 22, 2011
Format: DVD
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 By GSD on December 11, 2010
Format: DVD
Here's the thing about Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics... It gives you never before seen interviews from guys like Julius Schwartz, Irwin Hazen, Gerard Jones and Denny O'neil/Neil Adams, but the story is nothing new. The first hour is absolutely breathtaking. After the first hour of this 90 minute tribute, things are lost. Too much time is spent on overrated things like The Sandman by Neil Gaiman and explaining the Vertigo line (what's to explain here?) If you're looking for a comic book documentary, look no further than here: http://www.amazon.com/Comic-Book-Superheroes-Unmasked-Stan/dp/B000AABKZE

Overall, it is a good documentary. Not bad, not excellent. Buy only if you are obsessed with comics!
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