Oral History of Legends of the Superheroes

Way back in January 2009, I wrote about a pair of hour-long NBC specials broadcast under the title “Legends of the Superheroes.” I gave the specials a relatively brief examination. At the time, they had never been available commercially. In October of 2010, however, Warner Archive released the specials on DVD. Now, author Marc Tyler Nobleman has put together a wonderful oral history of Legends of the Superheroes.

Nobleman, who has written a substantial number of books including one titled Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, has tracked down a number of cast members from Legends of the Superheroes as well as co-producer and associate director Chris Darley. You can find an introduction here, the interview with Darley here and the first half of the interview with the cast members here (the second half has yet to be published).

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7 Replies to “Oral History of Legends of the Superheroes”

  1. No offense, Marc- but I remember watching both of those specials- and it was an embarrassement! If Fred Silverman, president and chief programmer of NBC at the time, thought the best way to showcase DC’s greatest superheroes was through a sitcom format [with an unnecessary laugh track]- he was mistaken. And that’s why there were only TWO specials. Warner Archive should be ashamed of themselves for resurrecting such a terrible idea!

  2. Barry – If you’ve read the interviews, you will see that even the people who made the two shows acknowledge that they did not work. Doesn’t mean people aren’t interested in the behind-the-scenes! They are cult classics now.

  3. I know most people are interested in the genesis behind the specials, Marc. And I’ve read some of the interviews, and they ARE fascinating! I’m just saying that if anyone can actually WATCH both of those specials straight through without…they may be “cult classics”, but—if any of you reading these comments DO watch one or both of those specials- watch out!

  4. I became absorbed with the story behind these too-quickly-put-together specials, and was particularly taken by the stories of the female performers who played The Huntress, Black Canary, and Giganta. “Danuta” has IMDb listings under two different surnames and now goes by her married name (Pfeiffer), Barbara Joyce seemed like such a card in MTN’s posthumous profile I had to check out her 1958 low-budget film “Hothead” (on Amazon), and Aleshia Brevard as Giganta has the most interesting story of all–which I won’t spoil here, but you can get from her website. I hope he gets around to interviewing the other two.

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