The Adventures of Superman: Season 1 Review

Image for The Adventures of Superman: Season 1

Old school Supes rocks up onto DVD.


The 1950s TV incarnation of the Man
Of Steel was based not on the comics, but
a long-running radio show — carrying over the urgent narration and playing up the newspaper and crime angles rather than the sci-fi (no Luthor, no kryptonite, no Brainiac).

The opening episode (Superman On Earth) is a precis of the origin, from Krypton to Kansas to Metropolis, and there’s a pilot featuring midgets from the centre of the Earth (Superman And The Mole Men).

Most shows, however, feature Metropolis’ gangster population being persecuted by representatives of the Daily Planet. Indeed, you could easily mistake them for episodes of a show called Clark Kent: Mild-Mannered Reporter — until George Reeves takes off the glasses and gets into a padded leotard to smash through a wall or have bullets bounce off his S-logoed chest.

These black-and-white episodes zip past faster than the proverbial bullet, have a few demented noir villains and are a lot of fun.