Everyone has a favorite superhero. When I was a kid I went back and forth between Batman (as played by Adam West) and Superman (as played by both George Reeves and Christopher Reeve). Their handsome looks aside, I loved what made them “super” - Batman’s neverending supply of outrageous yet effective gadgets or Superman’s ability to fly faster than a speeding bullet.
As I got older, my tastes in superheroes evolved. I was drawn to the Uncanny X-Men because of their diversity: how cool was it to see Storm, an African woman who looked like me, command the elements? I followed Spiderman because he was using his great power responsibly to protect the streets of New York City, my hometown.
This evolution of superhero characters, powers, styles and sensibilities is profiled in the special "Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle” which airs tonight on GPB at 8 p.m.
What is fun about it is to see how our favorite superheroes came into being and legendary comic creators like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby tell their origin stories. For instance Stan Lee explains that there wasn’t much thought into the science behind Spiderman or the Hulk’s transformations.
“For example when Spiderman became Spiderman, I had him bitten by a radioactive spider,” says Lee. “I thought that sounded logical and believable and scientific. I had the Hulk, he was inundated with gamma rays. Again I thought that sounded good.”
It’s also interesting to see how superheroes and comic book storylines evolved with the times taking on modern issues and how radio and television made them more popular.