Are you just starting to get into the comic universe? Curious about the history of comic book development over the past 75 years? Hop onto Netflix.
In 2013, PBS created a 3 part documentary tracking the course of comic books since the 1930s and the influence of world events on those stories. Whether you know a lot or a little about this art form, this special is an interesting and informational look at comics.
Until watching this documentary, I had no idea how much world events, such as World War II and September 11 affected the comic world. Characters such as Captain America were created in response to the war. Other roles were conceptualized to further the cause of equality when racism seemed at an all-time high. When a president, a government official to be trusted, was found doing the opposite, comics went in a new direction with the growth of “anti-heroes” to pursue the cause of justice.
One of the reasons the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier was so wildly successful was because it tied a world of superheroes and fantasy with real world problems such as American freedom and privacy of US citizens. This has been shown to be a fundamental piece of the comic puzzle over the decades.
While the delivery method of comics had evolved from paper comics to digital format, television, and movies, the idea is still the same. The comic universe provided an escape from every day life, connecting a mythology to our world and giving us something to strive toward.
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle is a great documentary for the comic novice or expert. I highly recommend watching it for a better understanding of the comic world beyond the pop culture phenomenon it is today.