New segment time! Under the Radar is going to be a reoccurring segment that features certain films, shows, games, and comics that might have slipped through the cracks due to their release time, shitty marketing, lack of financing…whatever. The point is sometimes some great stuff comes out, but we miss out because Halo came out the same week. So lets start this off with one of my favorite comic themed documentaries Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics.
Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics is a documentary focusing on the history of DC Comics from it’s humble beginnings in the mid 1930’s, to the multinational power house it is today. One of the reasons this film may have slipped through the cracks as that it was never released in theaters. Yes, for some reason DC decided this film would best be served as a direct to DVD feature. It’s hard to blame them, considering the success they have had with their direct to DVD animated films, but it still kind of sucks that we never got to see it on the big screen.
I really like this film. It does a fantastic job of tracing the history of DC all the way back to the 30’s and hitting all the major story arcs and characters along the way. The film makers spent quite a deal of time focusing on the Green Lantern/Green Arrow cross over from the 1970’s. Which is awesome, due to it’s political implications and what that meant to comics as a whole. It also dives into the creation of all the major DC characters. Superman, Batman, Green Lantern…it’s awesome. What sucks is the what motivated the company to make this documentary.
This film was released in 2010 and narrated by Ryan Reynolds. Uh oh. Yes, it’s true, although this film was full of awesome information and insight on one of the major players in comic books, it appears to have an arterial motive. Secret Origin was a piece of promotional material for the upcoming live action Green Lantern film staring Ryan Reynolds. We all know how terrible that film turned out to be and it is unfortunate that Secret Origin will always be tied to it. Let me be clear, even though this movie was designed to get people excited about Green Lantern, that shouldn’t take away from how good it is. It’s not on Netflix so you’ll actually have to track a copy down but it’s worth it. If you enjoy comic books, whether in print or movie or whatever, give Secret Origin a viewing. It’s a great film that unfortunately flew under the radar.