Monday, July 30, 2007

OTR: The Masked Marvels - The Adventures of Superman


The final shows on the Radio Spirit compilation have Bud Colyer, as the voice of Superman/Clark Kent in the11-part “Batman’s Great Mystery”. It might seem that putting SUPERMAN in a set called “Masked Marvels” is out of place, but the story does feature BATMAN & ROBIN, both of whom do wear a mask & cape.

It seems funny that the Dynamic Duo never had their own radio show (as far as I know) given how popular they were. They appeared not only in several titles, but also in a movie serial. What with so many other comic characters popping up on the airwaves, I would not be surprised to learn that their appearance on SUPERMAN wasn’t a trial run for such a series.

I haven’t heard all that many of the Superman radio shows before, so it was a surprise to discover some differences in the program from what I have seen in reprints of the era’s comics. At some point Perry White had become Mayor of Metropolis, giving up his editor position, but still remaining involved in the stories Clark & Lois are working on. (I don’t know how this would work in real life? Although, I’m sure New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg still kept a firm handle on things in his media empire.)

Just as in the comics, Batman & Superman know each other’s identities, but it seems that Robin isn’t in on the fact that Clark is more than just a friend of Bruce. Speaking of Bruce & Dick they have a great relationship, although hearing Dick call Bruce “Pappy” on a number of occasions is odd. I’m not familiar enough with the ‘hip’ lingo of that era, so it might only be something akin to “Dude” or “Bud”. Anybody know if Robin used the same speech pattern in the comics of that day?

The plot features Robin seeking out Clark, after Bruce/Batman has disappeared for a number of days. It seems that someone discovered Bruce’s secret identity and used this to get him to go to an unknown location. As the Caped Crusader had left instructions for such a situation, Robin does as instructed and goes to Kent. The story becomes involved with isolationists, a phony Batman and the stealing of the Wayne fortune before it’s over.

The whole thing made me want to seek out some more of the Superman radio shows, especially the immediate follow-up to this story, “Kingdom Under the Sea.”
Post a Comment