Last night at 8:03 p.m., I suddenly remembered that the A&E Network was airing a special documentary on the Superman legacy.
I zipped over to channel 43 and watched “Look up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman.” As a comic-book fan, I greatly enjoyed the first — say 45 minutes of it — but as the 2-hour special wore on, it became less and less special. That first portion of the film covered some interesting ground, particular Superman’s pre-comic origins and then the shockingly quick build up to becoming a national icon.
But as soon as it started in on its discussion of the first “Superman” movie, things started to drag a bit. I love the movie, but it quickly devolved into a pitch for the upcoming “Superman Returns” film and the seemingly countless television series available on DVD.
In particular, once the filmmakers got past the tragic story of George Reeves, the coverage of Superman’s comic escapades dwindled more and more. Other than Lex Luthor and Doomsday, there was no discussion of Superman’s stable of adversaries. There was no coverage of John Byrne’s pivotal reboot of the legend. They barely mentioned how he is the lynchpin in the whole genre of superheroes. And what about the fascinating legal case of Superman vs. Captain “Shazam!” Marvel?
If you were a fan of the non-comics versions of Superman, this was a great refresher in his legacy. If you’re a comic fan, then you were left wanting more. Much more.
LOOK UP IN THE SKY! THE AMAZING STORY OF SUPERMAN
Bad Hat Harry Productions
Directed by Kevin Burns
Two Stars out of Four