Stan Lee, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment and of course famed Chairman Emeritus of Marvel, will be teaching a new online course along side of Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of the Dark Knight Trilogy and a Professor at the Indiana University Media School. The two of them will be joined by David Uslan. The course, “Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture,” is being brought to us courtesy of Smithsonian Institute via EdX.
Complete course description:
About this Course
Join the Smithsonian, and comic book industry legend Stan Lee, to explore the history of the comic book and the rise of superheroes. The ancient gods of Egyptian, Greek and Roman myths still exist, but today, they have superpowers, human foibles and secret identities. They come from comic books and graphic novels, and have taken over pop culture on the stage, screen, video games, and animation. From Superman® and Spiderman®, to The Avengers® and The Hulk® and beyond, who are these heroes? And, how have they evolved from folklore and myth, across all cultures and religions?
Learn from Smithsonian and industry experts including:
Stan Lee, who created the modern superhero template. His early comics featuring Spiderman, Iron Man®, The Hulk, Thor®, and The Avengers led Marvel to success. He continues to reinvent himself to create modern global superheroes and appear in cameos in superhero films and TV, such as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Michael Uslan, executive producer of top grossing, award winning movies, including The Dark Knight series, Lego® Movie, the animated Batman films and Batman® VS Superman.
In this course, we explore the following questions:
Why did superheroes first arise in 1938 and experience what we refer to as their “Golden Age” during World War II? Why did the superhero genre ebb and flow in popularity over the decades? How have comic books, published weekly since the mid-1930’s, mirrored a changing American society, reflecting our mores, slang, fads, biases and prejudices? Why was the comic book industry nearly shut down in the McCarthy Era of the 1950’s? How did our superheroes become super-villains in the eyes of the government, clergy, educators, and parents of the mid-20th Century? When and how did comic books become acceptable again, and eventually become valid teaching tools in universities and schools? When and how did comic book artwork become accepted as a true American art form as indigenous to this country as jazz? Finally, when and how did comic books become “cool” and the basis for blockbuster movies, hit TV series, top-selling video games, and acclaimed animation, while also impacting fashion and style- and even the moral and ethical codes of children- around the globe?
Notes & Fine Print
For the first time ever, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is excited to offer the opportunity to go into the collection and see why superheroes are a dominant cultural force in today’s world. Not only will students be taught by Smithsonian experts, and three industry leaders – Stan Lee, Michael Uslan and David Uslan, but they will also get to ask questions and chat online with them around coursework. At last, fans, students and seekers of knowledge have the opportunity to enroll in the ultimate comic book course. SmithsonianX thanks Metropolis Comics-Collectibles in New York for providing their location for our video shoot. Superman, Batman, Constantine®, Catwoman® and The Spirit are Trademarks of DC Comics. Spiderman, The Avengers, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Fantastic Four® are Trademarks of Marvel Comics, Inc. Lego is a Trademark of the Lego Company. Carmen Sandiego® is a Trademark of HMH IP Company. Archie® is a Trademark of Archie Comics. Doc Savage® is a Trademark of Conde Nast Publications.
Even more fine print regarding pricing:
Pursue a Verified Certificate Plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, career advancement, or school applications? Then work toward a Verified Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment. A minimum fee applies. Audit This Course Audit this course for free and have complete access to all the course material, activities, tests, and forums. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you’ll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.
EXCLUSIVE! When you complete a verified certificate in this course it will feature original artwork with both Stan Lee’s and Michael Uslan’s signature.
In a press release, Stan Lee said:
“It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people…Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.”