Wow! This was too cool! DC, if you don’t know, is a comic company that started out selling comic books. It has evolved into what we see in the DCU today with animated shows, live-action shows, movies, heroes and villains out of the wazoo, and yes, still comics. You can still buy comics in small editions, but you can now buy them in graphic novel format, which is my preference.
When I was in school, with the exception of a few moments in the past, I was bored to tears in history class, but this history lesson was fun to learn. We were told of the beginnings of DC and who started their company. Superman, It was Superman who got the ball rolling. Well, I mean, Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson got things started in the real world in 1935, but it was Superman who was the breakout star. Before there were superheroes, comics were much. I want to say, tamer and of a much lighter tone.
Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, a cavalry officer in WWI, wrote about his adventures in the war and shared them. Eventually, Nicholson started his own comic company with new stories, not just reprinted newspaper comic strips. From that company, Detective Comics was born. Unfortunately, the company was taken from Nicholson just as Superman came out. While Major Nicholson was the creator of DC Comics, Joe Shuster and Jerome Siegel were the creators of Superman.
In this history lesson, I learned that Neil Gaiman is not the creator of the original Sandman, as I had previously understood. He did, indeed, make Morpheus who he is today, but since every so often, creators need to bring someone new to life, they go to the vault and poke around. Mr. Gaiman did this, found Morpheus, and molded him into who he is today. You learn something new every day. Watching this, you will learn more than one new thing.
Batman was the second superhero to come out of DC. Jim Lee is one of Batman’s creators (in the present day), and he speaks at length about both Batman and the importance of superheroes. He also talks about how superheroes have needed to adapt to the changing times throughout history. Bob Kane is credited with the creation of Batman but in a past interview that is featured in the show. He explains that while he came up with the concept, Bill Finger fleshed out the character in both artwork and backstory, along with a lot of the early villains. Seeing them include clips of old footage concerning the company was a pleasant surprise.
The creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, was a strong feminist. We learn why she was tied up so often in the early days. We learn how she touched women and girls because of her strength and femininity. Linda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, was even featured throughout this documentary.
DC has struggled throughout its history. Sometimes it was because interest in comics had waned. Sometimes, it has been because of the times. DC had to change and adapt to stay relevant each generation or when things change suddenly in tragic world events. DC has always supported the American soldiers and has shown it with many episodes in their comics. They have brought out characters from the vault or made new ones, such as Black Lightning and others, to give the black community the spotlight and a voice. DC strives to support its fans from all walks of life without compromising the integrity of its heroes.
Eventually, DC realized that the superheroes needed more grit than Superman, being the perpetual boy scout (they used the term boy scout in the show so that I can do it too). Even he needed to be more human. Humans tend to have a bit of grit and darkness in them but can choose not to let the darkness win. Why wouldn’t our heroes have the same struggle? We see this shift in both the original heroes and the new generations of superheroes like Superman’s kids. We also learn the history of the birth of the multiverse.
This three-episode series is fantastic. We get to hear about the beginnings of the DC company and the origins of the most famous heroes, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. We learn why DC turned from DC Comics to DC Entertainment. James Gun speaks about his spot and creations within the DC family. Ed Boon talked about his collaboration with DC to bring the Injustice game to life—a similar type to Mortal Kombat but with DC characters. We hear the stars talk about their take on the heroes and antiheroes they portray. Why new lines of comics are started under DC but a new name, such as Vertigo, is explained, which is nifty because I never understood it. There is just so much packed into three hours that it is impossible to do this justice in a short review.
You can find Superpowered: The DC Story on Max. As I said, it is a three-episode series, and each episode is around 50 minutes long. It really is worth a watch if you like DC comics. Watch it and let me know what you think in the comments below. Until next time, have fun storming the castle!