TV Review: Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop!
2014 marks Marvel’s 75th anniversary, and as part of the celebrations fans can catch an original, hour-long primetime special of our full history from 1939 to present, plus an extraordinary peek into Marvel’s future!
The show starts what most will know, the movies of today, but the show quickly goes to the past and gives a solid history for the masses.
Starting with Timely Comics, the episode puts comics in perspective, even giving DC Comics a nod. There’s not just a ticking off of what was coming off, there’s also some historical context which is very nice. Touching upon Wertham and the Seduction of the Innocent, to the comics code, in the first twenty minutes you get a good sense of the boom and bust of Marvel Comics, and comics as a whole. Any of these topics could be a special themselves, so there’s only so much you can cover.
But, what’s really nice is that there’s a warts and all approach. The show touches on the shame of writing comics for many after a while. It gives credit to Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Stan Lee. It does well as a beginner’s guide to Marvel’s history.
Through the 70s, the 80s, 90s, and today, even touching upon dark times like the bankruptcy. The show brought back a lot of memories for me. There’s some glossing over of the bad deals made with Sony and Fox concerning Spider-Man and X-Men, but it’s hard to touch upon that without really starting some shit.
The show even gets up to modern times with the growth of the female market, new footage of Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Secret Wars. As much as you’d think the hour would be one massive advertisement, all of that was actually subtle, crammed into the last five minutes or so.
Here’s hoping those that watch it get interested enough to do a bit more digging and find out more about the history of what is one of the most important pop culture companies today.
Overall rating: 9