Slugfest, a docuseries focused on the comic book industry rivalry between Marvel and DC, might just draw the ever-potent genre fandom demographic to the 2020-launching streaming platform, Quibi, the billion-dollar-backed, millennial-aimed streaming service designed for short-form stories.
A greenlight has been given to Slugfest by Quibi, adapting the 2017 book by Reed Tucker, Slugfest: Inside the Epic, 50-year Battle Between Marvel and DC. While the prospect of getting a docuseries that gives proper reverence to the comic book industry is exciting to any discerning fan, said excitement should be compounded with the series presence of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who will be involved as executive producers.
Serving as directors for Slugfest are the duo of Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce, who helmed this past June’s fact-based feature film, Framing John DeLorean and Imagine Dragons activism documentary Believer. Pertinently, they also directed the 2017 Hulu comic book industry documentary, Batman & Bill, which focused on the historical lack of acknowledgement for the late Batman co-creator, Bill Finger, who now gets the credit that he properly deserved. They are joined here by producers in AGBO CEO Todd Makurath, Peter Rieveschl (The Amazing Race), Nick Gilhool (Top Chef) and Jen Casey (Extreme Weather).
As a statement from Quibi explains:
“Slugfest will bring to light little-known stories from the history of this uniquely American art form. The men and women who were behind the creation of some of the best-known and most revered characters in the world will share their stories and reflect on the symbiotic relationship between DC and Marvel, whose rivalry pushed the medium to its greatest heights. The series features the stories of the remarkable behind-the-scenes endeavors and achievements that defined these industry titans, from the secret crossover inspired by the Halloween parades of small-town Rutland, Vermont, to the history behind the bone-crushing handshake between Superman and Spider-Man, in the first official crossover. Each story is a gold nugget for fans of both DC and Marvel — helping fans dive deeper into the behind-the-scenes history of their favorite brands.”
The Slugfest docuseries, just as the book it adapts, will start with the storied era of the 1960s, in which Marvel reemerged as a phoenix from the ashes of Timely Comics to become a pop culture juggernaut with renegade storytellers Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko introducing more realistically motivated characters such as the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men, forcing the old guard of Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman home DC Comics to reinvent itself from its sanguine 1950s complacency towards more meaningful stories for its superhero icons in the ensuing decades.
While the rivalry has had quite the evolution, notably with the groundbreaking 1976 DC/Marvel jointly-published crossover, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man: The Battle of the Century (pictured in the title image), it eventually shifted to the big and small screens in the aftermath of the current comic book movie craze. Yet, a context-setting focus on the early war between publishers should make for delightful television.
Slugfest is one of several projects on Quibi’s content docket, with one such project, a horror anthology series developed by Sam Raimi, titled 50 States of Fright, having been recently announced. There’s no release date set for the docuseries, but its platform, Quibi, is set to launch on April 6, 2020.