Age of TV Heroes

Age of TV Heroes

Age of TV Heroes

by Jason Hofius and George Khoury


Which is better, TV or comic books? Tough question when it comes to the superheroes. Comic books cost money and Mom always throws them away, but you can read them over and over. TV has better action and explosions but when it’s over, it’s over — at least until you can get the DVD box set. In this extensive and colorful compendium, authors Hofius and Khoury vote “TV,” and make a pretty decent case that video in a box really is better than ink on page. Let the flame wars begin!

Putting comic book superheroes on TV was an easy decision; the characters and stories were pre-sold to a generation of prime demographic baby boom kids. Production could be quick and painless, hundreds of pages of story ideas lurked in back issues, and a few special effects shots could be endlessly recycled. Superman led the pack — he’s been back in a number of incarnations over the years. Other DC and Marvel franchises followed, with various levels of success. The big hits were Swamp Thing, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Hulk, while Flash, Vampirella, and The Tick barely made a ripple in our collective consciousness.

Each show gets a detailed treatment with great behind-the-scenes pictures, interviews with writers and directors, and a decent dose of “This is how TV shows get made.” It reveals the real problem with the boob tube: production demands force the writers, directors, and actors to work at breakneck speed, and producing usable video often outweighs clear or consistent story telling. The Superboy chapter explores this in particular detail. The tales of early optimism for Orlando Film Production are truly hair-raising: Real alligators often interfered with location filming.

The book is densely written, and often the text is printed over oddly colored pages. I found the pink ink and red stripes especially frustrating. Expect to spend some time digging through this loving and even obsessive story, but when you’re done, you’ll be an expert. Whether played straight or for laughs, whether they’re fighting Nazis or global warming, the superhero strikes a chord in all our hearts — someday, a powerful and mysterious being will descend and straighten out everything wrong in our lives. Once they had glowing halos, now they have skin-tight uniforms. All praise to the great god Spandex!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

From the Archives