You Ought to be on DVD: This Looks Like a Job for a DVD Release

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With the recent craze of superhero movies, is it time for some TV shows to reveal themselves once again to the world?

The most requested TV show that fans most want to see according to is, the 1967 Batman TV series. It’s somewhat remarkable that the series, still well-beloved, popular, and fun for its campy comedy has not yet received a DVD release. The problem comes down to rights issues between Fox (the producer of the program) and Warner Brothers and DC comics, the current owners of the Batman character.

This series remains an inconic television classic that remains popular in reruns to this day and it’s astonishing that these sides can’t get together. Of course, it’s far from the only superhero program to have difficulty getting to DVD.

There’s a similar problem with Superboy. The character of Superman as a a boy in Smallville has been put on hold due to a dispute between DC Comics and the families of the character’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Only those properties specifically calling the character Superboy, so the TV series Smallville has had no problems. However, the 1960s Cartoon Superboy has been stuck in limbo as has the latter seasons of the 1980s and 1990s Superboy Television show. (Update: After I wrote this piece but before I published it, Season 2 of Superboy was cleared for release.)

However, other than these exceptions, DC has been good about getting most of their superheroes to DVD. The only other exceptions is a 1960s Batman Animated shorts that aired as part of the Batman-Superman Adventure hour.

Marvel has quite a few programs not released on DVD. Among them are five 1960s Cartoon Series featuring the Fantastic Four, Captain America, Thor, The Incrediblue Hulk, and Submariner. In addition, the live action Amazing Spider-man Television series from the 1970s was not released. The list of programs spans more decades with the 1970s Spider-woman cartoon and Fantastic Four programs not being on DVD. Also missing are the 1980s Incredible Hulk program along with two separate Spider-man programs along with the highly acclaimed 1990s Spider-man television series being limited to four collections of scattered episodes , in addition the Spider-man Unlimited TV series has not been released.

The major Marvel Series facing any legal issue is the 1960s Fantastic Four Series which has its rights owned by Hanna-Barbera which is a rival to Disney. This is a shame as the series features two well-known radio actors in prominent roles. Mr. Fantastic was voiced by Gerald Mohr (Philip Marlowe) and The Thing is played by radio jack of all trades Paul Frees.

To be fair, some of these Marvel programs have enjoyed streaming time on Netflix. However, that’s not the same as an actual DVD release that anyone with a DVD player can enjoy and own.

Each of these programs in their own way took a unique look at these men and women in tights, and most have a different spin than modern incarnations. Based on the fact that comic book companies have realized that their original Golden and Silver Age books have strong demand, it seems bizarre that they would practically abandon the sales of these older television shows to black and gray marketers. By releasing these programs particularly with the current popularity of superhero movies, all companies involved can make money while allowing these programs to be enjoyed by new generations.

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