Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
It's Superman!The Adventures of Superman was comprised of five different radio series which ran consecutively from 1940-1951, all produced by Robert J. Maxwell. Most of the episodes starred Clayton 'Bud' Collyer as Superman, Joan Alexander as Lois Lane, Julian Noa as Perry White and Jackie Kelk as Jimmy Olsen. Aired for the majority of its run on the Mutual Broadcasting System.Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander reprised their respective roles of Superman and Lois for the Superman Theatrical Cartoons and The New Adventures of Superman.
This show provides examples of:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: The introductory narrator in the very early installments announced the show as "the transcription feature, Super... MAN", which seemed to somewhat bury the lede when it came to the character. Everybody else on the show pronounced it the standard way, and within a year the error had been fixed.
- Canon Immigrant: A number of characters, and ideas (plus the name of the newspaper where Clark and Lois worked, as well as their boss) were actually invented for this radio show, but later appeared in the comics, including:
- Jimmy Olsen.
- Kryptonite. Not created to give Collyer a vacation, despite the myth.
- Inspector Henderson, who followed in Jimmy's footsteps and became a Canon Immigrant as well.
- The names "Daily Planet" (for Clark and Lois' newspaper) and "Perry White" (for its editor).
- Catch Phrase
- "Up, up and away!"
- "This looks like a job... for Superman!"
- "Great Caesar's ghost!"
- Clark Kenting: Bud Collyer shifted vocal registers to differentiate between Clark and Superman. Justified since, because it was a radio show, it was the only way for the listeners to tell them apart.
- Counter-Earth: Krypton is said to be this.
- Cowboys and Indians: Legend has it that this trope was ingeniously invoked to discredit the Ku Klux Klan. A journalist who'd infiltrated the KKK gave details of secret meetings, passwords, titles etc. to the show's writers to use in a Supes vs. the KKK storyline. Soon enough, there were kids running around neighborhoods all over America dressed in pillowcases, being beaten up by their friend with the Superman pyjamas. The truth of all this is uncertain but there was such a storyline on the show, which Stetson Kennedy claimed responsibility for in his book I Rode With The Ku Klux Klan.
- Crossover: Batman and Robin appear in many episodes.note
- Da Editor: Perry White of the Daily Planet. Best known in the radio show for being impossible to intimidate; he would often berate criminals and villains who had him in their power without the slightest regard for his own safety.
- Expanded Universe
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: One story revolves around a device that can receive sound from any past event. It isn't destroyed at the end, and the inventor helps Superman in the next story by using it. After that, it is never mentioned again, even when it might have been useful.
- For Great Justice: As stated in the Opening Narration.
- Intrepid Reporter: Everyone who worked for the Daily Planet.
- The Klan: Thinly disguised as The Clan of the Fiery Cross.
- Opening Narration: It varied over the years, but the most familiar version (since it was heavily borrowed from in subsequent adaptations) starts with the page quote and continues:Yes, it's Superman! Strange visitor from the planet Krypton, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, race a speeding bullet to its target, bend steel in his bare hands! And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice!
- Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Collyer's Superman voice was deeper than his voice for Clark.
- Straw Hypocrite: In "The Clan of the Fiery Cross", the Grand Scorpion is shown, near the end of the serial, to be one of these. In his own words, "Don't tell me you actually believe that 'pure American' hogwash! Riggs, I thought you were smarter than that."
- Take Care of the Kids: In this version of The DCUnote , Robin's father asked Bruce Wayne to take care of his son.
- Tar and Feathers: In "The Clan of the Fiery Cross", the Clan attempts to tar and feather a child.
- Those Wacky Nazis
- The Watson: Jimmy was created so Superman could have someone to discuss the plot with.
- Weather-Control Machine:
- One of these was made by Lois Lane's uncle. He decided that The World Is Not Ready after criminals use the device to create storms so they can loot.
- In a post-war story, criminals cause a drought using a slightly more plausible method of cloud-seeding. Neither Clark nor Lois seems to remember the earlier machine.
- World War II: All of the characters were active participants in the war effort.