Superman Wiki

DC Comics publisher Harry Donnenfeld(left) with Bud Collyer and Joan Alexander

The Adventures of Superman was a radio show depicting the thrilling adventures of Superman, Lois Lane, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen. The show ran in various timeslots and formats from 1940 to 1951, in both an initial transcribed syndicated format and later on the Mutual and ABC radio networks (sponsored for several years by Kellogg's Pep, from 1943 until 1947).

The character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster arrived on radio not long after the comic book, and took on an added dimension with Clayton "Bud" Collyer in the title role. During World War II and the post-war years, the juvenile adventure radio serial was a huge success, with many listeners following the quest for "truth, justice and the American way" 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:

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


When the show began airing in February 1940, the only regular characters in the comic book were Superman/Clark, Lois Lane, and their boss, a newspaper editor named George Taylor (but who was often referred to simply as "the editor" or "Chief"). The radio series changed the editor's name to Perry White, and gave him the irascible, overbearing but ultimately good-hearted nature that became his defining characteristics. Perry appears in the radio series months before he shows up in Action Comics—his first comic book appearance is in November/December 1940, and his full name isn't used in the comic until May/June 1941. (Meanwhile, in the Superman comic strip, the editor is still George Taylor as late as August 1941.)

The radio show also added a fourth major character, a young copy boy named Jimmy Olsen, in April 1940. Jimmy was a radio original—he didn't appear in the comic book until November/December 1941, and wasn't referred to by his full name in the comic until March/April 1942.

The friendly interplay between the four main characters in the radio serial—Clark, Lois, Perry and Jimmy—ultimately became the model for the comic book, the television series, and all future incarnations of the Superman story.

That being said, there was one more major character that originated in the comic book and never moved to the radio series—Superman's arch-enemy, Lex Luthor. Luthor appeared in the comics for the first time in April 1940, and quickly established himself as a major villain. Luthor appeared in the comic strip in November 1940, but, surprisingly, he never found his way into the radio serial. The series created a number of recurring villains, including the Wolf, the Yellow Mask, der Teufel and the Atom Man, but they never had the staying power of Superman's great nemesis. Indeed, when the Atom Man story was loosely adapted for the film serial Atom Man vs. Superman, his character was combined with Luthor.

Because Superman's true identity was a secret, it is often believed that the identity of radio actor Bud Collyer also remained a secret. But while it is true that Collyer was left off the program's credits, as early as September 14, 1942 ,Time ran an article identifying the actor and joshing him for his many Sunday school fans (and similar coverage occurred in radio magazines and industry publications such as Billboard). In 1949, after the series shifted to a half-hour format aiming for a more "adult" audience, Collyer, Joan Alexander (Lois Lane), and narrator Jackson Beck received closing credit billing. Michael Fitzmaurice took over the title role for the final season.

Since there were no reruns at that time, the series often used plot devices and plot twists to allow Collyer to have vacation time. Kryptonite was the most famous of these, allowing Superman to be incapacitated and incoherent with pain while secondary characters took the focus instead. At other times, Batman and Robin appeared in Superman's absence.



The Adventures of Superman first aired as a transcribed syndicated series (with WOR, New York as the main home station) beginning on February 12, 1940, with an origin story, "The Baby from Krypton". The series aired fifteen-minute episodes three times a week until March 9, 1942.

From the start, there are several differences between the radio series and the comics continuity. In the radio show, the baby from Krypton grows up during his trip through space, and lands on Earth as a grown man. Also, Superman takes great pains during the early stories not to appear in public. The first person to see him and recognize him as "Superman" is Jimmy Olsen, seven months into the show.
  • "The Baby from Krypton" (Feb 12, 1940): On the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-L warns that the planet is doomed—but his plan to build spaceships and evacuate the planet meets with jeers. Jor-L only has time to build a model spacecraft. He and his wife Lara send their infant son, Kal-L, off in the spaceship just before the planet explodes. The child is sent off on a one-way trip to the planet Earth.
  • "The Wolf" (Feb. 14-23, 1940, 5 parts): The child from Krypton lands on Earth as a grown-up man. He takes the name Clark Kent, and applies for a reporter job at the Daily Planet. Editor Perry White isn't interested, but Clark wins him over by getting the story of the Wolfe, a mysterious figure who's threatening railway lines in the west. As Superman, Clark brings the Wolf to justice.
Lois Lane appears for the first time in "The Atomic Beam Machine", played by Rollie Bester. She only appears on the series for two weeks, from "Beam Machine" through half of "The North Star Mining Company".
  • "The Atomic Beam Machine" (Feb. 26 - March 1940, 3 parts): Clark's co-worker, Lois Lane, takes an instant dislike to the new "golden boy" reporter. The Wolf's employer, the Yellow Mask, steals an atomic ray gun and threatens to destroy the Daily Planet building.
  • "The North Star Mining Company" (March 1940, 6 parts): Clark discovers that the head of a large mining company is a swindler, an arsonist and a murderer.
The second actress to play Lois, Helen Choate, takes over the role for the next two months. Choate appears as Lois in "The Prison Riot", "The Mystery of Dyerville" and "Donelli's Protection Racket".
  • "The Prison Riot" (March 1940, 2 parts): Lois is at the San Miguel Prison for a feature story, when the Wolfe organizes a prison riot to cover his escape. Superman quells the riot, but the Wolfe gets away.
  • "The Mystery of Dyerville" (March 1940, 4 parts): The Yellow Mask discovers that the Wolfe is plotting against him, and kills his treacherous employee. He then threatens the town of Dyerville with destruction, holding the town hostage for a million dollars. He blows the dam, causing a flood. Superman averts disaster, but the Yellow Mask may return again someday...
  • "The Emerald of the Incas" (April 1940, 6 parts): Superman helps Dr. Beecham, a famous scientist and adventurer, who is being menaced by South American natives who want the sacred emerald that he's brought to America.
Jimmy Olsen makes his first appearance in the next story, which began on April 15th. This is Jimmy's origin; he doesn't appear in the comics until 1941. Only 14 years old at his debut, Jimmy is a scrappy, tough kid -- quite different from the bow-tie wearing young adult that he becomes.
  • "Donelli's Protection Racket" (April 1940, 6 parts): Jimmy Olsen, a 14-year-old who works as a copy boy at the Daily Planet, goes to Clark Kent for help. His mother's candy store is being terrorized by Gyp Donelli and his protection racket. Superman stops Donelli's scheme—but he takes revenge by kidnapping Lois Lane and taking her to a cabin in the woods. The cabin catches on fire, and Lois is trapped in a burning forest.
  • "Airplane Disasters at Bridger Field" (April - May 1940, 6 parts): Clark and Jimmy travel to Bridger Field, where test planes have been mysteriously crashing. The mystery leads them to a nearby circus, where an animal trainer seems to be responsible for the airplane crashes.
Superman displays a new power in the next story -- "telescopic eyesight". He doesn't have X-ray vision yet, but he can see pretty far. He'll develop another new power soon...
  • "Buffalo Hills" (May 1940, 6 parts): Clark covers the unveiling of a new national monument in Boulder City, where the reform-minded governor is threatened by an assassination attempt.
  • "Alonzo Craig, Arctic Explorer" (May - June 1940, 6 parts): Clark's next story takes him to the Arctic, searching for a missing explorer.
The third and final Lois debuts in "Horace Morton's Weather Machine" -- Joan Alexander, who will play Lois for the rest of the series' run. While Bester and Choate played Lois as aloof and hostile, Alexander's Lois is much more friendly and approachable. The chemistry between Alexander and Bud Collyer is immediately apparent. In part 4 of the story, they call each other by their first names -- but only briefly.
  • "Horace Morton's Weather Machine" (June 1940, 6 parts): Lois and Clark visit her Uncle Horace, a meteorologist who's made surprisingly accurate predictions. They discover that he's developed a machine capable of producing freak weather patterns, and that a gang of thugs is using his machine to cover the theft of tons of radium ore.
Superman displays another new power in "Weather Machine" -- he has super-sensitive hearing, and can hear conversations through telephone wires.
  • "Hans Holbein's Doll Factory" (June - July 1940, 6 parts): When a doll factory is destroyed in a mysterious explosion, Lois and Clark discover that the factory owners have been smuggling a new super-explosive inside the dolls.
  • "Happyland Amusement Park" (July 1940, 6 parts): Lois' young friend opens a new amusement park, and the owner of a rival park plots to close her down.
  • "The Lighthouse Point Smugglers" (July - August 1940, 6 parts): While visiting Jimmy's aunt in New England, Clark and Jimmy discover a ring of smugglers.
  • "The Pillar of Fire at Graves' End" (August 1940, 3 parts): Lois and Clark investigate a mystery in the village of Graves' End, where people are being driven away by a pillar of fire.
  • "The Mayan Treasure" (August 1940, 6 parts): Clark accompanies an archeologist on a dangerous mission to hunt for Mayan treasure.
  • "Professor Thorpe's Bathysphere" (August - September 1940, 12 parts): Clark and Jimmy travel to the South Seas to see an experimental bathysphere in action. Desperados try to hijack the bathysphere to steal gold from a sunken ship.
Jimmy Olsen sees Superman for the first time in "Professor Thorpe's Bathysphere", the first time that Superman has been revealed to a major character. In the early period of the radio series, Clark is careful that none of his friends ever sees Superman, only appearing in the dark or when everybody is conveniently unconscious. The truth of Superman's existence leaks out slowly -- Lois doesn't even see him until February 1941.
"The Curse of Dead Man's Island" picks up directly from the end of "Professor Thorpe's Bathysphere" -- the first time that the series presents a continuous serial from one story to the next.
  • "The Curse of Dead Man's Island" (September - October 1940, 6 parts): Having wrapped up the bathysphere adventure, Clark and Jimmy find a turtle with a message scratched on its shell: "Dead Man's Island, Help". They find a huge castle built on the deserted island, inhabited by a madman who has a machine that dashes all approaching ships into the rocks.
  • "The Yellow Mask and the 5 Million Dollar Jewel Robbery" (October - November 1940, 15 parts): On the train back to Metropolis, Clark and Jimmy witness the handoff of a valuable collection of jewels, stolen by the Yellow Mask. Clark, Jimmy, Lois and Commissioner Malone are captured by the Yellow Mask, and locked in a concrete tank.
Lois and Clark have a date to go to dinner and the theater in "The Invisible Man" -- the first sign of a thaw in their relationship. The story is also the first time that the Daily Planet goes on a crusade against a "crooked" government official -- a theme that they'll return to often in the coming years.
  • "The Invisible Man" (November 1940, 6 parts): Clark, Lois and Perry investigate a crooked District Attorney who's been making deals with gangsters. They're startled to discover that the DA has an invisible ally, who plants a bomb in the Daily Planet printing room.
The "Invisible Man" story concludes two-thirds of the way through part 6, and the rest of the episode is a lead-in to the next story -- the first example of this device, which will soon become the standard format. The show is gradually becoming more of a continuous serial, with stronger cliffhangers.
  • "The 5 Million Dollar Gold Heist" (November - December 1940, 8 parts): A train car with five million dollars worth of gold is detached from the train, and secretly rerouted into a cave. When Clark and Lois investigate, the crooks responsible try to push Lois in front of an oncoming train. Superman discovers the mountain and lures the mysterious figure known as "the Boss" out of hiding, then has to save the train Jimmy is on from speeding over a wrecked bridge.
Jimmy sees Superman holding up the wrecked bridge, but Perry still refuses to believe any of his "super-nonsense"...
  • "The Howling Coyote" (December 1940 - January 1941, 14 parts): Perry is visited by his old friend, Comanche Joe, an Indian who owns a series of oil fields out west. Joe is concerned about a mysterious coyote that howls every time a terrible accident is about to happen. Clark and Jimmy travel with Joe to investigate. Jimmy is made a member of the Comanche tribe, with the Indian name "Laughing Squirrel". He also befriends an old cowboy, Tumbleweed Jones. Comanche Joe's ranch foreman is the villain of the piece, using the coyote's howl and manufactured "accidents" to scare Joe into selling his oil holdings. He arranges for Jimmy to be thrown from a horse, and sets fire to Comanche Joe's oil wells. Comanche Joe, Tumbleweed and the villainous foreman end up trapped in a cave-in, and the Indians call on the "flying eagle who looks like a man" to save them. At the end of the story, Tumbleweed Jones joins his new friends on the train to Metropolis.
"The Howling Coyote" is the first story featuring Jackie Kelk as Jimmy; Kelk stays in the role through 1949.
  • "The Black Pearl of Osiris" (January - February 1941, 11 parts): Clark, Jimmy and Tumbleweed return to Metropolis. Perry gives Clark and Jimmy a new assignment—interview Dr. Sidney Ryecroft, a British explorer who's recently returned from a trip to Egypt with her uncle, Sir Charteris Andrews. When Clark and Jimmy get to Dr. Ryecroft's hotel room, they find a dagger stuck in the door. When they meet the explorer, they're surprised to learn that she's a woman—Dr. Sydney Ryecroft. Seeing the dagger, she explains that when she was in Egypt, she broke the seal on the Great Tomb of Osiris, and was warned that she would face death at the hands of an Osiran cult. Superman saves her from a kidnapping attempt, but when Clark returns to the Daily Planet, he's introduced to a man who claims to be Dr. Sidney Ryecroft. Baffled, Superman returns to the woman's hotel, where he finds that she's been kidnapped again—this time, by a group of Egyptian fanatics. Houmi, the leader of the Egyptians, accuses the woman of stealing the sacred Black Pearl of Osiris, a charge which surprises and horrifies her. She denies stealing the Pearl, and produces a gun which Dr. Andrews gave to her just before leaving Egypt. Tumbleweed Jones finds the missing woman just as Houmi has wrested the gun away from her, and he shoots Tumbleweed in the leg. Superman finds them and rescues Tumbleweed and the woman, but the Egyptians escape. Tumbleweed is taken to the hospital, but then he's kidnapped by the man who claimed to be Ryecroft. Superman manages to save Tumbleweed, but the man hires a triggerman, Sleepy Sam, to try again. Tumbleweed doesn't understand why anyone would want to kidnap him—and he's even more baffled when Houmi interrupts Sleepy Sam's kidnapping attempt and takes Tumbleweed himself. In the end, it's revealed that the woman is the real Sydney Ryecroft, and the sacred Black Pearl was stolen by her uncle and planted on her when she went to America—hidden as a bullet in her gun, which was fired into Tumbleweed's leg.
This is the story that takes The Adventures of Superman into the realm of surrealist farce. As with all farce, the storyline involves improbable coincidences, disguises, mistaken identities and broadly stylized characters -- especially the comedy sidekick Tumbleweed Jones, and the comedy gangster Sleepy Sam. The story moves from one baffling twist to another, with two sets of villains pulling elaborate cons. Clark goes to a magic show and is then informed that the magician died ten years ago; he visits a hotel room and is later shown that the room hasn't been used for years. All of the characters, good guys and bad guys, spend most of the story completely confused by what everyone else is doing. And yet the story works -- pulling the audience along from one confusing cliffhanger to another, allowing them to piece together the answer to the mystery before the characters do. Taking a turn towards the weird and funny, the show takes a huge step forward in quality.
  • "The Dragon's Teeth" (February - March 1941, 10 parts)
  • "The Last of the Clipper Ships" (March - April 1941, 20 parts)
  • "The Nitrate Shipment" (April - May 1941, 9 parts)
  • "The Grayson Submarine" (May 1941, 6 parts)
  • "Dr. Deutsch and the Radium Mine" (May - June 1941, 12 parts)
  • "The White Plague" (June - July 1941, 8 parts)
  • "Fur Smuggling" (July 1941, 6 parts)
  • "Dr. Roebling and the Voice Machine" (July - August 1941, 16 parts)
  • "Metropolis Football Team Poisoned" (September - October 1941, 15 parts)
  • "Crooked Oil Association" (November 1941, 10 parts)
  • "The Silver Arrow" (November 1941, 7 parts)
  • "The Pan-Am Highway" (November - December 1941, 15 parts)
  • "The Mechanical Man" (December 1941 - January 1942, 10 parts)
  • "Nita the Leopard Woman" (January - February 1942, 12 parts)
  • "The Ghost Car" (February 1942, 8 parts)
  • "A Mystery for Superman" (February - March 1942, 5 parts)

In August 31, 1942, the series moved to the Mutual Broadcast Network, where shows were now broadcast live.


The new series premiered on August 31, 1942, and aired five days a week. The revival began with two individual episodes, and then returned to the cliffhanger serial format. The stories were of varying lengths—some stories were only five parts, while others could go into the dozens. Some of the longer stories include "The Hate Mongers' Organization" (25 episodes) and "Superman vs Kryptonite" (33 episodes).

The longest sequence involved the Scarlet Widow stealing the only existing chunk of kryptonite and splitting it between four of Superman's enemies. Part of the meteor was used to power "the Atom Man", a young Nazi imbued with the radioactive power of kryptonite. After defeating the Atom Man, Superman tracked down the remaining pieces of kryptonite, aided by Batman and Robin. This epic sequence spanned 76 episodes, airing from September 1945 to January 1946.

  • "Superman Comes to Earth" (August 31, 1942)
  • "Eben Kent Dies in Fire, Clark Goes to Metropolis" (September 1, 1942)
  • "The Wolfe" (September 1942, 12 parts)
  • "The Tiny Men" (September 1942, 8 parts)
  • "Mystery in Arabia" (September - October 1942, 10 parts)
  • "The Black Narcissus" (October 1942, 9 parts)
  • "The Headless Indian" (October - November 1942, 18 parts)
  • "The Midnight Intruder" (November - December 1942, 13 parts)
  • "The Lost Continent of Atlantis" (December 1942, 9 parts)
  • "The Mystery Ship" (December 1942, 7 parts)
  • "The Tin Men" (January 1943, 15 parts)
  • "Trouble in Athabascus" (January - February 1943, 9 parts)
  • "The Island of Ghost Ships" (February 1943, 11 parts)
  • "The Model Plane Mystery" (February - March 1943, 16 parts)
  • "Dr. Cameron's Helicopter" (March 1943, 4 parts)
  • "The Vulture and the Thunderbolt Express" (March - April 1943, 16 parts)
  • "The Bainbridge Disaster" (April 1943, 12 parts)
  • "Master of the Dream World" (April - May 1943, 14 parts)
  • "The Ghost Squadron" (May - June 1943, 10 parts)
  • "The Meteor from Krypton" (June 1943, 7 parts)
  • "Society of the Flamingo" (June - July 1943, 15 parts)
  • "Mr. Prim and the Dragonfly Adventure" (July 1943, 12 parts)
  • "The Genie in the Bottle" (July - August 1943, 8 parts)
  • "The World of the Future" (August 1943, 11 parts)
  • "The Civil Air Patrol" (August - September 1943, 14 parts)
  • "Penrose Salvage Company" (September 1943, 8 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Death Plane" (September 1943, 4 parts)
  • "Adventures in the Capitol City" (September - October 1943, 7 parts)
  • "The Nazi Spy Ring" aka "The German Submarine Menace" and "The New German Weapon" (October 1943, 19 parts)
  • "The Mystery of Prince Philip" (October - November 1943, 14 parts)
  • "Military Espionage" (November - December 1943, 16 parts)
  • "Stolen War Information" (December 1943 - January 1944, 16 parts)
  • "Lois and Jimmy Disappear" (January 1944, 8 parts)
  • "The Green Death" (January 1944, 9 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the $100,000 Stamp" (January - February 1944, 12 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Transport Plane" (February 1944, 6 parts)
  • "Lighthouse Point" (February - March 1944, 7 parts)
  • "The Rocket Plane" (March 1944, 4 parts)
  • "The Mystery of Clifftown" (March 1944, 14 parts)
  • "The Golden Homing Pigeon" aka "The Mystery of the Golden Pigeon" (March - April 1944, 21 parts)
  • "The Mystery of Desert Springs and the Birdmen" (April - May 1944, 21 parts)
  • "The Hurdy-Gurdy Man" (May - June 1944, 12 parts)
  • "The North Woods Story" (June 1944, 15 parts)
  • "The Seagull, North Pacific Adventure" (July 1944, 9 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Aviation Freight Lines" (July 1944, 11 parts)
  • "The Society of the Crimson Robe" (July - August 1944, 11 parts)
  • "Ghosts of the Air" (August 1944, 10 parts)
  • "The Scorpion" (August - September 1944, 9 parts)
  • "Der Teufel's Atomic Pistol" (September 1944, 13 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Mummy Case" (September - October 1944, 21 parts)
  • "Dr. Roebling and the Voice Machine" (October - November 1944, 9 parts)
  • "Planet Utopia" (November - December 1944, 12 parts): A strange man named Anthar arrives at the Daily Planet, asking for Clark Kent. Told that Clark is in a meeting and can't be disturbed, Anthar tells Jimmy Olsen that he's a visitor from Utopia, a doomed planetoid. The evil regent of Utopia, Siram, plans to invade Earth within days, and Anthar has come to ask for Superman's help. To prove his story, Anthar brings Jimmy to Utopia, where Siram puts him in prison. Superman has to follow Jimmy to Utopia in order to save him, and prevent the invasion of Earth. At the end, Superman brings Jimmy back to Earth, along with Poco, a Utopian jester who only speaks in rhymes.
  • "Lois' Phony Uncle John" aka "Lois' Uncle John and the Missing Plans" (December 1944, 11 parts)
  • "The Missing Santa Claus" (December 1944, 6 parts)
  • "The Man in the Velvet Shoes" (December 1944 - January 1945, 11 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Sleeping Beauty" (January - February 1945, 20 parts)
  • "The Space Shell" (February 1945, 12 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Waxmen" (March 1945, 12 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Golden Nail" (March 1945, 12 parts)
  • "The Ghost Car" (April 1945, 9 parts)
  • "The Boy King of Moravia" (April 1945, 9 parts)
  • "Lair of the Dragon" (May 1945, 14 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Counterfeit Money" (May 1945, 10 parts)
  • "Valley of the Giants" (May - June 1945, 10 parts)
  • "The Desert Adventure" (June - July 1945, 19 parts)
  • "The Underseas Kingdom" (July - August 1945, 19 parts)
  • "The Flood" (August 1945, 7 parts)
  • "The Black Market" (August - September 1945, 8 parts)
  • "Dr. Bly's Confidence Gang" (September 1945, 14 parts): Dixie LaMarr, a member of a criminal gang run by the smooth Dr. Bly, has shot a federal agent in broad daylight. Bly discovers that Dixie is an exact double of Lois Lane, and he engineers Lois' kidnapping. He dresses Lois in Dixie's clothes, and delivers her to the police, doctoring evidence that suggests that Lois was leading a double life as Dixie. As Lois goes on trial for her life, Batman and Robin search for the real Dixie LaMarr.
  • "The Meteor of Kryptonite" (September 1945, 2 parts): Dr. Whistler, the head meteorologist at the Metropolis Museum, dies, and Clark worries that the chunk of kryptonite that fell to Earth last year may fall into the hands of his enemies. Desperate for support, he tells Lois and Perry about the destruction of Krypton, and that kryptonite can rob Superman of his powers.
  • "The Scarlet Widow" (September - October 1945, 11 parts): Ignoring Clark's warnings, Lois prints a story in the paper about the kryptonite, explaining that the chunk of kryptonite will be removed from the museum tomorrow and dumped in the ocean. The devious Scarlet Widow reads the story, and sends her Cockney assistant, Sniggers, to steal the kryptonite. She offers to split the kryptonite into four parts, and sell them to four of Superman's enemies—Der Teufel, the Laugher, the Vulture and Papa Rausch. Der Teufel steals his share and escapes, planning to return to Germany and create an "Atom Man" that will help him to pick up where Hitler left off. Enraged at der Teufel's betrayal, the Scarlet Widow sends her agents to find him and retrieve the stolen chunk of kryptonite.
  • "The Atom Man" (October - November 1945, 19 parts): Under an assumed name, der Teufel travels to Germany with the kryptonite. There, he meets up with an underground group of scheming Nazis, including a brilliant chemist, Professor Milch. Milch and der Teufel liquify the kryptonite, and inject it into the veins of Milch's son, Heinrich. With the liquid kryptonite in his veins, Heinrich becomes the Atom Man, imbued with the awesome radioactive power of kryptonite. Der Teufel instructs Heinrich to infiltrate the Daily Planet newspaper, which seems to have contact with Superman. Heinrich, who was educated at an American college, travels to Metropolis under the name Henry Miller, and gets for a job as a Daily Planet reporter. Clark returns to the Daily Planet, and finds that he grows weak when he meets Miller. Later, Miller notices that Superman also becomes faint in his presence, and der Teufel guesses that Superman and Clark are the same person. Miller lures Jimmy out to der Teufel's beach hideaway, and then calls Clark, claiming that they've been attacked. Superman speeds to the rescue and finds Miller, revealed as the Atom Man. The pair engage in a titanic struggle, with Superman pounded by the kryptonite lightning shooting from the Atom Man's fingers. Jimmy escapes, not quite understanding what he's seen. Der Teufel stops Miller, explaining that he may exhaust his kryptonite power—and if he does, they'll have to get more kryptonite from the Scarlet Widow. Crazed with his power, Miller destroys der Teufel, then buries Superman's body and makes his escape. When Jimmy returns with the police, they find that der Teufel is dead, and Miller has escaped. Later, two duck hunters come across Superman's body. His costume has been burned beyond recognition, but he's still struggling for life. He's taken to a hospital, where the doctors fear that the stranger may not recover. Meanwhile, the Atom Man travels to the observation tower of the Metropolis bank building, and prepares to destroy all of Metropolis with his atomic power...
  • "The Atom Man in Metropolis" (November - December 1945, 19 parts): Miller finds that his atomic power is exhausted. He makes contact with a master spy named Sidney, who buys Papa Rausch's share of the kryptonite for a million dollars. Sidney dissolves and injects the kryptonite into Miller, who becomes the Atom Man again. They learn that Superman has revived, so Sidney traps him by telling Clark that he's writing a book that will reveal Superman's true identity. Clark comes to Sidney's house to investigate, and Miller knocks Clark out with his kryptonite powers. They plan to keep Superman in a secret room until he starves to death—but they squabble, and Miller kills Sidney. Crazed, the Atom Man destroys the Metropolis Stadium, and boasts to the mayor that he'll destroy the dam and drown the city. Jimmy and Candy Meyer manage to find Clark, starving and helpless. Superman revives just in time for a final, climactic battle with the Atom Man.
  • "Looking for Kryptonite" (December 1945 - January 1946, 25 parts): Looking through Sidney's apartment, Clark and Jimmy find a coin with the symbol of a crescent moon and star—which leads them to the Crescent and Star mob, a secret organization run by a mysterious hypochondriac, Mr. Jones. Realizing that he needs help, Clark contacts Bruce Wayne (who is actually Batman) and reveals himself as Superman. On the trail of the Crescent and Star gang, Batman and Robin are captured and placed into "Room Zero", a special room with a ceiling that slowly descends to crush them. Superman tracks them down just in time, but Jones gets away. Jones tracks down the Scarlet Widow and discovers that she sold kryptonite to the Laugher; then he shoots her. Using the Laugher's chunk of kryptonite, Jones captures Superman and brings him to Mount George, where a Japanese scientist traps Superman in a cyclotron with the kryptonite. Superman is saved by Batman and Robin, all the bad guys go to jail, and all of the kryptonite is accounted for... or so Superman thinks. (See the 1947 story "Superman vs. Kryptonite" to find out what happened to the fourth piece!)
  • "The Mystery of the Talking Cat" (January 1946, 14 parts): Lois has a nervous breakdown and comes to Perry White's office with a gun, accusing him of persecuting her. Subdued by Clark, she reveals that she received a Siamese cat from an unknown admirer for Christmas—and at night, the cat talks to her, warning her that Perry is her enemy. On her way to visit friends for a rest, Lois is abducted—and later, Perry and Jimmy hear Lois' voice coming from the cat, calling for their help.
  • "Is There Another Superman?" (January - February 1946, 13 parts): Batman tells Clark about a rash of bank robberies in which the vault doors have been ripped off their hinges. The thief wears a blue costume and a red cape, and escapes by taking off into the sky. Batman is convinced that there's another Superman around, but Superman wonders if he's somehow suffering from amnesia and pulling off the bank jobs himself...
  • "The Radar Rocket" (February - March 1946, 20 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Dragon's Teeth" (March 1946, 10 parts)
  • "The Story of the Century" (April 1946, 11 parts)
  • "The Hate Mongers' Organization" (April - May 1946, 25 parts)
  • "Al Vincent's Corrupt Political Machine" (May - June 1946, 14 parts)
  • "Clan of the Fiery Cross" (June - July 1946, 16 parts)
  • "Horatio F. Horn, Detective" (July 1946, 14 parts)
  • "The Super Sleuth" (July 1946, 8 parts)
  • "The Secret Menace Strikes" (August 1946, 15 parts)
  • "Candy Meyer's Big Story" (August - September 1946, 8 parts)
  • "George Latimer, Crooked Political Boss" (September 1946, 17 parts)
  • "The Dead Voice" (September - October 1946, 15 parts)
  • "Counterfeit Money" (October - November 1946, 14 parts)
  • "The Disappearance of Clark Kent" (November 1946, 13 parts)
  • "The Secret Letter" (November - December 1946, 7 parts)
  • "The Phony Song Publishing Company" (December 1946, 8 parts)
  • "The Phony Housing Racket" (December 1946, 9 parts)
  • "The Phony Restaurant Racket" (December 1946 - January 1947, 8 parts)
  • "The Phony Inheritance Racket" (January 1947, 8 parts)
  • "Drought in Freeville" (January - February 1947, 16 parts)
  • "The Monkey Burglar" (February 1947, 10 parts)
  • "Knights of the White Carnation" (February - March 1947, 14 parts)
  • "The Man Without a Face" (March - April 1947, 16 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Lost Planet" (April 1947, 13 parts): Clark writes a news story about Superman's strangest adventure, leading into a repeat of the 1944 story "Planet Utopia".
  • "The Phantom of the Sea" (April - May 1947, 12 parts): Lois Lane and Horatio Horn travel to a fishing village in Canada, where the locals refuse to send out their boats for fear of a terrifying monster in the bay. In a Scooby-Doo-like twist, Lois and Horatio discover that the "monster" is actually a disguised submarine, which is being used to cover for a secret salvage operation.
  • "Superman vs. Kryptonite" (May - June 1947, 33 parts): Dying in prison, the Laugher tells crooked political boss Big George Latimer where to find the last remaining piece of kryptonite. When Latimer is released from prison, he finds the Kryptonite and takes Superman prisoner. Batman and Robin search for Superman, while Perry White and Jimmy Olsen look for the missing Clark Kent. A Nazi scientist helps Latimer break down the kryptonite into liquid form, which they feed to Superman, causing him to lose his memory. Superman breaks free from Latimer's hiding place, but he has no idea who he is. He ends up taking a job as a baseball player, and breaks world records as a pitcher and batter.

The Adventures of Superman took a summer vacation in 1947. The final episode of "Superman vs. Kryptonite" aired on June 27; the show returned with "The Secret Rocket" beginning on September 29.

  • "The Secret Rocket" (September - October 1947, 19 parts)
  • "The Ruler of Darkness" (October - November 1947, 24 parts)
  • "Pennies for Plunder" (November - December 1947, 19 parts)
  • "Hunger Inc." (December 1947 - January 1948, 11 parts)
  • "Dead Man's Secret" (January - February 1948, 14 parts)
  • "Batman's Great Mystery" (February 1948, 11 parts)
  • "The Kingdom Under the Sea" (February - March 1948, 15 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Stolen Costume" (March - April 1948, 17 parts)
  • "The Skin Game" (April 1948, 9 parts)
  • "The Crossword Puzzle Mystery" (April - May 1948, 13 parts)
  • "The Ghost Brigade" (May 1948, 11 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Sleeping Beauty" (May - June 1948, 18 parts)
  • "The Secret of Meteor Island" (June - July 1948, 17 parts)
  • "The Voice of Doom" (July 1948, 18 parts)
  • "The Secret of the Genie" (August 1948, 10 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Letter" (August 1948, 11 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Silver Buffalo" (August - September 1948, 11 parts)
  • "The Secret of Stone Ridge" (September - October 1948, 17 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Unknown" (October - November 1948, 17 parts)
  • "Murder Scores a Touchdown" (November 1948, 10 parts)
  • "The Riddle of the Mystery Message" (November - December 1948, 13 parts)
  • "The Vanishing Killers" (December 1948, 11 parts)
  • "Superman's Secret" (December 1948, 8 parts)
  • "The Return of the Octopus" (December 1948 - January 1949, 16 parts)
  • "The Mystery of the Spellbound Ships" (January - February 1949, 11 parts)


Beginning on February 7, 1949, The Adventures of Superman became a thrice-weekly series on ABC, with the episodes expanded to 30 minutes each. Each episode had an individual story title.

  • "The Frozen Death" (February 7, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Golden Eagle" (February 9, 1949)
  • "The Riddle of the Chinese Jade" (February 11, 1949)
  • "The Curse of the Devil's Creek" (February 14, 1949)
  • "The Lost Civilation" (February 16, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Voice Machine" (February 18, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Little Men" (February 21, 1949)
  • "The Story of Marina Baum" (February 23, 1949)
  • "Death Rides the Roller Coaster" (February 25, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Singing Wheels" (February 28, 1949)
  • "The Case of the Poisoned Town" (March 2, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Ten Thousand Dollar Ghost" (March 4, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Flying Monster" (March 7, 1949)
  • "The Case of the Double Trouble" (March 9, 1949)
  • "Superman's Mortal Enemy" (March 11, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Disappearing Diamonds" (March 14, 1949)
  • "The Cat as Big as an Elephant" (March 16, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Walking Doll" (March 18, 1949)
  • "The Return of Terror" (March 21, 1949)
  • "How Time Stood Still" (March 23, 1949)
  • "The World's Greatest Secret" (March 25, 1949)
  • "Crime by the Carload" (March 28, 1949)
  • "Fangs of Fury" (March 30, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Citadel of Doom" (April 1, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Death Train" (April 4, 1949)
  • "Terror Under the Big Top" (April 6, 1949)
  • "The Man of a Thousand Faces" (April 8, 1949)
  • "The Lost King" (April 11, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of Skull Cave" (April 13, 1949)
  • (Untitled Story) (April 15, 1949)
  • "The Secret of the Sahara" (April 18, 1949)
  • "A Voice from the Grave" (April 20, 1949)
  • "The Deadly Double" (April 22, 1949)
  • "The Adventure of the Impractical Joker" (April 25, 1949)
  • "An Experiment in Danger" (April 27, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Phantom Fleet" (April 29, 1949)
  • "The Triangle of Crime" (May 2, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Vibrating Death" (May 4, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of Butte Valley" (May 6, 1949)
  • "The Eye of Balapur" (May 9, 1949)
  • "The Horsemen of Doom" (May 11, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the New Face" (May 13, 1949)
  • "The Vengeful Ghost" (May 16, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Flaming Forest" (May 18, 1949)
  • "The Winged Horse" (May 20, 1949)
  • "Death on the Diamond" (May 23, 1949)
  • "The Riddle of the Tapestry" (May 25, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Singing Wheels" (May 27, 1949)
  • "The Speedway of Terror" (May 30, 1949)
  • "Crime at a Bargain" (June 1, 1949)
  • "The Vanishing Ships" (June 3, 1949)
  • "The Case of the Double Double Cross" (June 6, 1949)
  • "The Portrait of Satan" (June 8, 1949)
  • "The Ghost of Shipwreck Island" (June 10, 1949)
  • "Eleven for Death" (June 13, 1949)
  • "Forecast for Crime" (June 15, 1949)
  • "Murder on the Midway" (June 17, 1949)
  • "The Borrowed Corpse" (June 20, 1949)
  • "Killer at Large" (June 22, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Frozen Monster" (June 24, 1949)
  • "The Case of the Courageous Cobbler" (June 27, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Walking Dead" (June 29, 1949)
  • "The Case of the Courageous Cobbler" (October 27, 1949)
  • "The Mystery of the Walking Dead" (October 29, 1949)

Starting on November 5, 1949, the series moved to Saturday mornings, and aired once a week until January 21, 1950.

  • "The Million Dollar Mystery" (November 12, 1949)
  • "One Minute to Death" (November 19, 1949)
  • "Puzzle of the Poison Pomegranate" (November 26, 1949)
  • "Death Rides the Roller Coaster" (December 3, 1949)
  • "Mystery of the Mechanical Monster" (December 10, 1949)
  • "The Diamond of Death" (December 17, 1949)
  • "Highway to Murder" (December 24, 1949)
  • "Mystery of the Little Men" (December 31, 1949)
  • "The Ghost of Billy Baker" (January 7, 1950)
  • "Voices of the Dead" (January 14, 1950)
  • "Dead Men Tell No Tales" (January 21, 1950)


The series then took a break for five months, and returned as a twice-weekly series on June 6, 1950, with Michael Fitzmaurice replacing Bud Collyer in the role of Superman. The series aired twice a week until the final episode on March 1, 1951.

  • "The Wall of Death" (June 5, 1950)
  • "The Plunging Planet" (June 7, 1950)
  • "The Riddle of the Chinese Jade" (June 12, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Golden Eagle" (June 14, 1950)
  • "The Lost Civilization" (June 19, 1950)
  • "The Man of a Thousand Faces" (June 21, 1950)
  • "An Experiment in Danger" (June 26, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Flaming Forest" (June 28, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the $10,000 Ghost" (July 3, 1950)
  • "The Borrowed Corpse" (July 5, 1950)
  • "Superman's Mortal Enemy" (July 10, 1950)
  • "The Adventure of the Impractical Joker" (July 12, 1950)
  • "The Winged Horse" (July 17, 1950)
  • "The Deadly Double" (July 19, 1950)
  • "A Voice from the Grave" (July 24, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Disappearing Diamonds" (July 26, 1950)
  • "The Vengeful Ghost" (July 31, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of Butte Valley" (August 2, 1950)
  • "The Triangle of Crime" (August 7, 1950)
  • "The Portrait of Satan" (August 9, 1950)
  • "Eleven for Death" (August 14, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the New Face" (August 16, 1950)
  • "The Eye of Balapur" (August 21, 1950)
  • "The Curse of Devil's Creek" (August 23, 1950)
  • "The Crime at a Bargain" (August 28, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Vibrating Death" (August 30, 1950)
  • "The Speedway of Terror" (September 4, 1950)
  • "The Case of the Double Double Cross" (September 7, 1950)
  • "How Time Stood Still" (September 12, 1950)
  • "The Cat as Big as an Elephant" (September 14, 1950)
  • "The Lost King" (September 19, 1950)
  • "Crime by the Carload" (September 21, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Phantom Fleet" (September 26, 1950)
  • "Death on the Diamond" (September 28, 1950)
  • "The World's Greatest Secret" (October 3, 1950)
  • "The Ghost of Shipwreck Island" (October 5, 1950)
  • "The Riddle of the Mysterious Tapestry" (October 10, 1950)
  • "The Case of the Double Trouble" (October 12, 1950)
  • "Forecast for Crime" (October 17, 1950)
  • "The Horsemen of Doom" (October 19, 1950)
  • "The Vanishing Ships" (October 24, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Fortress of Fear" (October 26, 1950)
  • "Killer at Large" (October 30, 1950)
  • "Terror Under the Big Top" (November 2, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of Skull Cave" (November 7, 1950)
  • "The Return of Panic" (November 9, 1950)
  • "The Frozen Death" (November 14, 1950)
  • "The Mermaid's Ghost" (November 16, 1950)
  • "Murder on the Midway" (November 21, 1950)
  • "The Story of Marina Baum" (November 23, 1950)
  • "The Swiss Clock Killers" (November 28, 1950)
  • "The Secret of the Sahara" (November 30, 1950)
  • "The Achilles Heel" (December 5, 1950)
  • "Napoleon's Death Head" (December 7, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Voice Machine" (December 12, 1950)
  • "Glass Diamonds Spell Death" (December 14, 1950)
  • "The Case of the Precious Papers" (December 19, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Fabulous Fortune" (December 21, 1950)
  • "The Mystery of the Madcap Monkey" (December 26, 1950)
  • "Death in Disguise" (December 28, 1950)
  • "Fangs of Fury" (January 1, 1951)
  • "The Mystery of the Walking Doll" (January 4, 1951)
  • "Murder with Music" (January 9, 1951)
  • "The Case of the Mysterious Midgets" (January 11, 1951)
  • "The Mystery of the Stolen Costume" (January 16, 1951)
  • "Operation Danger" (January 18, 1951)
  • "The Mystery of the Reasoning Robot" (January 23, 1951)
  • "The Lizard Men" (January 25, 1951)
  • "The Ghost of Johnny Johnson" (January 30, 1951)
  • "The Counterfeit Murderers" (February 1, 1951)
  • "The Mystery of the Singing Wheels" (February 6, 1951)
  • "Death Sells a Picture" (February 8, 1951)
  • "The Diamond of Doom" (February 13, 1951)
  • "The Murder Trap" (February 15, 1951)
  • "Ride of Death" (February 20, 1951)
  • "The Diamond Pigeon" (February 22, 1951)
  • "The Marked Witness" (February 27, 1951)
  • "The Mystery of the Prehistoric Monster" (March 1, 1951)

The show left the radio in 1951, as plans were being made to bring Adventures of Superman to television. The TV series premiered in syndication from September 9, 1952, and ran until April 28, 1958.

"Clan of the Fiery Cross"

The series is also credited with dealing a powerful blow against the Ku Klux Klan's prospects in the northern USA. The human rights activist, Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan and other racist/terrorist groups. Concerned that the organization had too strong connections to the government and police forces, Kennedy decided to use his findings to strike at the Klan in a different way. He contacted the producers of the Superman series and proposed a story where the superhero battles the Klan. The producers, looking for new villains, eagerly agreed to the idea. To that end, he provided information—including secret codewords and details of Klan rituals—to the writers. The result was a series of episodes, "Clan of the Fiery Cross," in which Superman took on the Klan. Kennedy intended to strip away the Klan's mystique, and the trivialization of the Klan's rituals and codewords likely had a negative impact on Klan recruiting and membership.

Reportedly, Klan leaders denounced the show and called for a boycott of Kellogg's products. However, the story arc earned spectacular ratings which prompted the food company to stand by their support of the show.

The story arc was loosely adapted into the 2019 DC Comics mini-series, Superman Smashes the Klan.


The scripts by B.P. Freeman and Jack Johnstone were directed by Robert and Jessica Maxwell, George Lowther, Allen Ducovny and Mitchell Grayson. Sound effects were created by Jack Keane, Al Binnie, Keene Crockett and John Glennon.

External links