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Secret Origins: The Story of DC Comics (dvd review)

Warner Home Video // Released October 9, 2010 // Unrated

The Pitch
An expansive documentary exploring the 75 years of DC Comics, the memorable characters of its universe and the talented artists and writers who brought them to life.


The Review
It’s pretty hard to be completely honest in a documentary produced by the subject, and as a result, this doesn’t feel much more than a promo piece.

The first issue is it’s length.  It’s hard to encapsulate seventy five years worth of history in ninety minutes, especially when it’s easy to imagine a several hour piece.  The other problem is that although a significant number of players are shown as talking heads, most are given too brief screen time and little context to who they are.  Ryan Reynolds narrates, stringing together the majority of the interviews (Gerard Jones, writer and comics historian delivers the bulk of the information).

Missing however, are such important interviewees as Dave Gibbons, Jeph Loeb, Dave McKean, Bruce Timm, Adam West, Lynda Carter, David Mazzucchelli, George Pérez, Warren Ellis, Jerry Robinson, Brian K. Vaughan, Keith Giffen, Marty Pasko, Roy Thomas, Carmine Infantino, Mark Evanier, Nick Cardy, Sheldon Moldoff, Joe Simon, John Byrne, Gerry Conway, John Wesley Shipp, Paul Dini, James Tucker, Darwyn Cooke, Bill Willingham, Dan Jurgens, Greg Rucka, Brian Bolland, Jerry Ordway, Les Daniels, Garth Ennis, Tom Welling, Noel Neill, Jack Larson, Brandon Routh, Richard Donner, Tim Burton, David Goyer, Dean Cain, Kevin Conroy, Michael Keaton, Matt Wagner, Jamie Delano, Peter Milligan, Robert Greenberger, Bob Rozakis, Phil Jimenez, Scott Shaw!, Paul Kupperberg, Mike Barr, Cary Bates, J. M. DeMatteis, Steve Bissette, Jim Shooter and dozens of others.

Secret Origins: The Story of DC Comics is entertaining, but not particularly informative enough for a die hard comics fan, but might spark the curiosity of the uneducated.  A mild recommendation for most audiences, but for a young or curious comic fan, it’s worth seeing.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    November 13, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Among the "dozens of others" one that is noticeably missing is Jenette Kahn.

    Also that such important people to DC's history as Sheldon Mayer, Bob Kanigher, Carmine Infantino, Sol Harrison, Joe Orlando and Dick Giordano go unmentioned.

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