Last Son’s 10pm screening time didn’t seem to deter folks from showing up, paying their six bucks and taking in the documentary about Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Glenville, Ohio-native creators of Superman. The film has a very somber tone, befitting, I suppose, of the Depression Era origins of Siegel and Shuster that helped birth their legendary creation. Ricca also hints at the mystery around the death of Siegel’s father that is fictionally expanded upon in Brad Meltzer’s 2008 book, The Book of Lies.
Although the framing device being used to market the film is not quite as successful in execution as it probably seemed like in concept, Ricca does a nice job in the film itself of contextualizing the time and making some educated leaps into what may have influenced the young boys to create the world’s first super hero. Everything from the death of a father figure to the pulp fiction of the era to early use of the phrase “superman” are all explored. The film reminded me a lot of the types of music-related papers and presentations you see given at the Pop Conference. And from a pop culture perspective, Last Son was a successful, entertaining 65 minutes.