Everyone loves a good superhero – from the feminine strength of Wonder Woman to the outlaw allure of Wolverine, it’s great to think there are people in the world with extra special powers who can save the day.
In honor of all those superhero dreams, CET and ThinkTV16 will be presenting a three-hour superhero special from 8pm to 11pm Tuesday, Oct. 15, called Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. Here are each of the one-hour segments and what they’re all about:
Truth, Justice and the American Way (1938-1958)
During the Depression, the popularity of dozens of superhero characters opens the door for a new generation of artists and writers. World War II creates a patriotic fervor for star-spangled adventurers to represent the American spirit at war and on the home front, but in the 1950s, superheroes are caught in the fire of government scrutiny and regulation.
Great Power, Great Responsibility (1959-1977)
In the 1960s, a new breed of superhero emerges in pages of Marvel Comics, inspired by the age of atomic energy and space travel and, in turn, inspiring the pop culture and pop artists of the time. Spider-Man, the Hulk and others are the first to have “problems” with which an adult audience can identify, and contemporary social issues make their way into comic books. Black powerhouses such as the Black Panther and Luke Cage also appear on the scene.
A Hero Can Be Anyone (1978-Present)
Superheroes are enthusiastically embraced in all forms of media and by all demographics, beginning with the historic Superman movie featuring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. In 1986, Batman is overhauled as The Dark Knight to reflect the nocturnal underside of his character, and Watchmen brings new sophistication to comic book narratives, illuminating a violent and politicized world. In the new millennium, superheroes have taken over popular culture.