Superheroes have come a long way, baby. From comic books and radio serials to cheesy TV and blockbuster movies, those costumed do-gooders have defended us from evil for nearly a century in a “never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.” Watch it all unfold at Cinefamily's Superhero Saturday Marathon, opening with Jerry Beck's “History of the Animated Superhero,” a time-capsule rewind of cartoon heroes, from Max Fleischer's Superman to Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Director Phillipe Mora appears in person for a screening of his 1983 film The Return of Captain Invincible, a superhero musical-comedy starring Alan Arkin and Christopher Lee, with Rocky Horror–esque songs by Rocky Horror's own Richard O'Brien and Richard Hartley. Abar, the First Black Superman, follows (“5:30 p.m.-ish”), and dig this crazy plot: After moving his family into an affluent, and completely racist, L.A. neighborhood, a black scientist administers a mind-expanding super-serum to his bodyguard, transforming him into a white-ass-kicking master of mental manipulation. (Oh, 1977!) Director Frank Packard and Abar himself, actor Tobar Mayo, appear in person for a Q&A after the film. Guillermo del Toro's 1994 Hellboy tells the story of a reluctant demon recruited by a shadow agency to battle the worst of the worst of the underworld, and then it's time for “Mondo Superhero!,” a collection of offbeat clips and a feature film TBA, co-presented by Everything Is Terrible.

Sat., April 30, 1 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly