Superheroes Documentary Coming to PBS

A three-part documentary series about the history of comic books, titled Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle, will debut on Public Television in October 2013. Hosted by Liev Schreiber, who played the villainous Sabretooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the PBS specials will include interviews with comics legends Stan Lee and Jim Steranko, author Michael Chabon, actor Adam West and actress Lynda Carter, and more.

The first episode will be "Truth, Justice, and the American Way," examining the birth of the superhero genre with the debut of Superman in 1938 through 1958 and the hit TV show starring George Reeves as the Man of Steel.

The second episode, "Great Power, Great Responsibility," chronicles 1959 through 1977 with the rise of Marvel and the inclusion of more social issues in the comic book pages.

The final chapter is "A Hero Can Be Anyone," tracks the evolution of costumed heroes from 1978 through the present as superhero movies become a blockbuster genre and graphic novels emerge as a literary force.

A book will be published to coincide with the show. Written by Laurence Maslon, Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture is a densely illustrated tome that showcases how superpowered comicbook heroes came to dominate popular culture.