23 June 2011

Crisis of Infinite Episodes - Superman (a.k.a The Mad Scientist)

Original Airdate: September 26, 1941

And we are off...

This first short opened with Superman's origin story which involved something about Krypton, a race of Supermen, and growing up in an orphanage. Next, we learned about his powers, "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, the infant of Krypton is now the Man of Steel, Superman."

Superman faced a mad scientist who is melting the city with his electrothanasia ray. Yikes. Sounds menacing.

Best Part: A couple of the highlights were Superman catching a falling building, and a sequence where he punched back the the electro-euthanasia ray thing.

Worst Part: For some reason, despite the fairly realistic tone of the episode (aside from all the mad scientists, giant lasers, and Supermans), the scientist had this weird anthropomorphic bird following him around like something that escaped from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Episode Count: 0001
In Series Count: (1 of 17)
First Appearance: Superman, Clark Kent, Lois Lane


  1. Re: the bird,

    Before the debut of this episode, cartoons were only funny. No one had ever thought of making a serious cartoon. And that is how this series was pitched to Paramount.

    However, director Dave Fleischer didn't know if the public would buy it, so he included the bird as a bit of comedy relief - just in case the public wanted something funny. Apparently, they didn't need the humor and comic relief was dropped until Jimmy Olsen shows up in the second season (the Famous episodes).

    Also, it is worth noting that this cartoon won an Oscar in 1942.

  2. Its remarkable that these shorts hold up as well as they do 70 years later and I think its impossible to really imagine how groundbreaking they were when they first came out. Thanks for the background on the little birdie :)

  3. Cartons are amazing. It am impressed how the oldies are still better then a lot of the new one. They use to put more thought into them then they do now.

  4. This episode was intended to discredit the inventor Nikola Tesla & his "death ray" He was also found of birds, pigeons to be exact.