Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Superman 75 Years Of History Film By Zack Snyder and Bruce Timm

From the beginning talks about Superman's 75th anniversary to the details of what would be on the Man of Steel Blu-Ray collection, there were rumors of a collaborative animated short conceived by Bruce Timm and Zack Snyder. The film was supposed to highlight Superman throughout the years with an eye towards his many incarnations.

Well, turns out the rumors were true!

 The short was shown at the NYCC Superman 75th panel, then embedded in an Entertainment Weekly on-line article and finally showed up on YouTube. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouzoJZvDfbY

Now I didn't envy this task when I first heard about it. We knew early on this thing was going to be, at most, a couple of minutes long. How do you cover 75 years of Superman history in 2 minutes? Some things are going to be left out. And how do keep all the fans happy?

I have mixed feelings about the final production and some of those are based on what must have been tough decisions.

There is one 'blink and you'll miss it' Supergirl moment, 49 seconds in, lasting about 1 second. It is squarely in the Silver Age section. Funny the skirt is red there, not actually accurate, but the look I prefer. Also ... Streaky!!

But I really thought there would be a Crisis #7 cover bit, as that is such a defining moment the industry and Superman. I was also worried there might be no Supergirl at all! So I suppose I should be happy with 1 second.

There is a lot of great stuff in the piece from a Fleisher Studio bit to a boxing match montage from Superman vs Muhammed Ali.

But there are some Superman elements woefully underused.

Lois is in the piece for about 1 second as well and in the Animated Series section. One second of Lois?

Luthor isn't seen at all (maybe we see his back if he is the bald guy getting punched through a brick wall). No Luthor??

Plus no Legion! Or Lois and Clark! Or really Smallville (although written on a water tower).

And maybe we see just a little bit too much of the New 52 Superman slugging it out with Darkseid and the Man of Steel Superman as well. There are 4 seconds each of those versions - the former being around for only 2 years, the latter for 4 months!

 I know .... I know ... if you included everything it would be really long. But couldn't it be 3 minutes? And does Superman Red/Blue deserve as much time as Lois??

I mean ... 1 second of Lois???

What did you guys think?


Supertorresmo said...

The bald guy is really Luthor. And it was a very important issue because it was the first time Superman was up against someone with superpowers. (In the story Lex Luthor found out a way of gaining temporary superpowers).

About the ending being too long on the New 52 and Man of Steel, well, I think it is to be expected, they want to advertise the current products...

Gene said...

Many comic book documentaries such as Secret Origins, and that one that aired on PBS last week often skip COIE for whatever reason. Many times Supergirl is left out entirely when it comes to these things. So its good that Kara got 1 second this time.


Anonymous said...

Yeah the best we can hope for in a situation like this, is an honorable cameo from The Maid of Might. Thats what she got, thats what she deserved, me am happy. Of course, no one at Warner Brothers is gonna allocated one red cent for a short animated feature celebrating Supergirl's say...60th Anniversary in 2019...


AndNowInStereo said...

It definitely needed more Lois and more Lex. And while it's sorta cool to see Streaky, Beppo and Krypto, there's something just not right about only depicting Supergirl alongside the pets. To me that's reflective of the Crisis-era attitude that she's an extraneous and quaint part of the mythos, which some Superman fans still express to this day. As someone who got into Supergirl first and Superman later, I'm not OK with that.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments. I can't really complain given that Lois and Lex get almost no screen time.

And at least it was a live Supergirl. I would have been upset if the only image was COIE 7.

Anonymous said...

According to Super Boys, a biography of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (creators of Superman), Jerry Siegel did some writing for Supergirl and did mention that the Silver Age Supergirl's skirt was reversible between blue and red.
-- DW

elknight20 said...

I hoped to see more variations of both Lois & Supergirl, in there! It was lacking, in some bits!

Anonymous said...

A good animated short, althought no perfect.

1 second of Supergirl is too short. Sadly, like other commenters pointed out, the Maid of Might often gets shafted when it comes to these things. Here, she at least got an appearance, which is the bare minimun she deserves. And she was clearly Kara Zor-El rather than a device to keep the Supergirl name trademarked.

And since Lois and Luthor's appearances are just so short and Perry is absent, I guess 1 second of Kara isn't so bad.

I guess they could have used the Crisis on Infinite Earths iconic image, but: firstly, I like seeing Kara alive for a change; and secondly, I'm SO sick that Supergirl and Batgirl are defined by Crisis on Infinite Earths and The Killing Joke... Both characters have been around for decades, but a lot of people, including fans and comic journalists think the only noteworthy things they have done are getting killed by the Anti-Monitor and getting shot by the Joker.