Saturday, June 09, 2007

Saturday Morning Superhero Binge

Each Saturday morning, I'll be posting segments of the series that aired on the History channel. This series provides a history of the superhero genre up to the time of its airing date several years ago. So much has happened since the initial air that it seems as if the comic book medium has hyper-kinetically morphed so far ahead. This past year alone has had mega-hit, mega-series books that have (as cliche as this may sound) changed the lives and landscape of the superhero universe. We've seen Marvel's beautifully illustrated but usually late, "Civil War". One of the repercussions of the war were the deaths of superheroes. Everyone expects the B and C league vigilantes to bite the dust, but no one expected anyone as iconic as Captain America to be assassinated in cold blood.

Not to be outdone, DC Comics produced a year-long, weekly production entitled "52". 52 chronicled the exploits of several characters and their experiences a year later. If you were to pick up a regular monthly DC mag, you'd notice significant changes in the characters. Where have Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman disappeared to? When readers opened up the regular Superman/Action Comics books, they'd see Clark and Lois lounging around with Clark enjoying his newfound life. He simply didn't want to be Superman anymore! However, regular followers of the book didn't know how this happened. Apparently, the storylines take place a year later and 52 was supposed to fill in the blanks. Confused?

However, 52 didn't complete what it set out to least, not entirely. We never found out why Clark wanted to take a break from Superman. We did find out why Batman was gone, though. A year later, the series ends only to spawn a new weekly event (yup, I'm locked in for another year), Countdown. Paul Dini is the head writer, and the series has started out not as introspectively as 52. This series looks to be more entertaining, action-packed and frenetic than 52 and hopefully it'll fill in the blanks that 52 was supposed to fill.

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