The Adventures of Superman

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The Adventures of Superman was a long running radio serial that originally aired from 1940 to 1951, adapted from the DC Comics character.

The serial came to radio as a syndicated show on New York City's WOR on February 12, 1940. On Mutual, it was broadcast from August 31, 1942, to February 4, 1949, as a 15-minute serial, running three or, usually, five times a week. From February 7 to June 24, 1949 it ran as a thrice-weekly half-hour show. The series shifted to ABC Saturday evenings on October 29, 1949, and then returned to afternoons, twice-a-week on June 5, 1950, continuing on ABC until March 1, 1951.

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Man of Tomorrow first appeared in Action Comics #1 in 1938. The following year, the newspaper comic strip began and four audition radio programs were prepared to sell Superman as a radio series. When Superman was first heard on radio less than two years after the comic book appearance, the character took on an added dimension with Bud Collyer in the title role. During World War II and the post-war years, the juvenile adventure radio serial, sponsored by Kellogg's Pep, was a huge success, with many listeners following the quest for "truth and justice" in the daily radio broadcasts, the comic book stories and the newspaper comic strip. Airing in the late afternoon (variously at 5:15pm, 5:30pm and 5:45pm), the radio serial engaged its young after-school audience with its exciting and distinctive opening, which changed slightly as the series progressed. Most familiar is the television opening, but the most oft heard radio opening through the mid 1940's was:

"Presenting the transcription feature, Superman." (followed by Superman's "flying" audio effect). Then,

Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
It's Superman!

"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."

By the Sept. 5, 1945, the opening, (repeated at the close), had morphed into:

"Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.'
Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird!
It's a plane!
It's Superman!"

Episode Number Episode Title Aired Datesort descending
1 The Baby From Krypton Monday, February 12, 1940
2 Clark Kent, Mild-Mannered Reporter Wednesday, February 14, 1940
3 Keno's Landslide Friday, February 16, 1940
4 Clark Kent-Captured by the Wolfe Monday, February 19, 1940
5 Clark Kent-Imprisoned Tuesday, February 20, 1940
6 Menace to the Silver Clipper Friday, February 23, 1940
7 Atomic beam machine Monday, February 26, 1940
8 Atomic Fuel Cylinders Stolen Wednesday, February 28, 1940
9 Threat to the Daily Planet Friday, March 1, 1940
10 Fire in the Sterling Tower Monday, March 4, 1940
11 Stabbing of June Anderson Wednesday, March 6, 1940
12 North Star Mining Company Friday, March 8, 1940
13 Steamship Madison Monday, March 11, 1940
14 Plane to Canyon City Wednesday, March 13, 1940
15 Left to be Killed Friday, March 15, 1940
16 Prison Riot Monday, March 18, 1940
17 Steam Plant Wednesday, March 20, 1940
18 Mystery of Dyerville part 1 Friday, March 22, 1940
19 Mystery of Dyerville part 2 Monday, March 25, 1940
20 Mystery of Dyerville part 3 Wednesday, March 27, 1940
21 Mystery of Dyerville part 4 Friday, March 29, 1940
22 Emerald of the Incas part 1 Monday, April 1, 1940
23 Emerald of the Incas part 2 Wednesday, April 3, 1940
24 Emerald of the Incas part 3 Friday, April 5, 1940
25 Emerald of the Incas part 4 Monday, April 8, 1940
26 Emerald of the Incas part 5 Wednesday, April 10, 1940
27 Emerald of the Incas part 6 Friday, April 12, 1940
28 Donellis Protection Racket part 1 Monday, April 15, 1940
29 Donellis Protection Racket part 2 Wednesday, April 17, 1940
30 Donellis Protection Racket part 3 Friday, April 19, 1940
31 Donellis Protection Racket part 4 Monday, April 22, 1940
32 Donellis Protection Racket part 5 Wednesday, April 24, 1940
33 Donellis Protection Racket part 6 Friday, April 26, 1940
34 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 1 Monday, April 29, 1940
35 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 2 Wednesday, May 1, 1940
36 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 3 Friday, May 3, 1940
37 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 4 Monday, May 6, 1940
38 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 5 Wednesday, May 8, 1940
39 Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field part 6 Friday, May 10, 1940
40 Buffalo Hills part 1 Monday, May 13, 1940
41 Buffalo Hills part 2 Wednesday, May 15, 1940
42 Buffalo Hills part 3 Friday, May 17, 1940
43 Buffalo Hills part 4 Monday, May 20, 1940
44 Buffalo Hills part 5 Wednesday, May 22, 1940
45 Buffalo Hills part 6 Friday, May 24, 1940
46 Lalonzo Craig Artic Explorer part 1 Monday, May 27, 1940
47 Lalonzo Craig Artic Explorer part 2 Wednesday, May 29, 1940
48 Lalonzo Craig Artic Explorer part 3 Saturday, June 1, 1940
49 Lalonzo Craig Artic Explorer part 4 Monday, June 3, 1940
50 Lalonzo Craig Artic Explorer part 5 Wednesday, June 5, 1940

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