A mad scientist sends a shocking letter to the offices of the Daily Planet. Asking for no ransom, he threatens to strike back at those who laughed at him. At midnight, he will launch his Electrothanasia-Ray at an unspecified location. City Editor, Perry White, asks reporter Clark Kent to cover the s
- This looks like a job for Superman!
Appearing in "Superman"
- Superman (First appearance)
- The Mad Scientist (First appearance)
- Mad Scientist's vulture sidekick (Single appearance)
- Krypton (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "Superman"
A mad scientist sends a shocking letter to the offices of the Daily Planet. Asking for no ransom, he threatens to strike back at those who laughed at him. At midnight, he will launch his Electrothanasia-Ray at an unspecified location. City Editor, Perry White, asks reporter Clark Kent to cover the story, but Clark's rival, Lois Lane, takes the initiative and decides to get the story before Clark.
Acquiring a small, single-engine airplane she flies to the mad scientist's mountain observatory. As the scientist primes his Electrothanasia-Ray he notices the lights from Lois' plane outside the window. Lois approaches the front door of the laboratory, but the scientist grabs her and pulls her inside. He vows to give Lois the "greatest story of destruction the world has ever known". To prove that he means what he says, he fires his massive laser weapon destroying a large portion of the Diamond suspension bridge outside the city.
Radio broadcasts begin reporting news of the bridge's destruction. Clark hears the disturbing tale on the radio and changes into Superman. As he flies off in search of the mad scientist, the villain fires a second shot from his ray-cannon. This one strikes the lower levels of the Daily Planet. Superman catches the building as it begins to topple and pushes it back into its proper upright position.
The scientist takes note of Superman’s presence and fires another shot directly at him. Superman flies towards the ray pounding the energy back with his fists. As he reaches the observatory, he grabs the barrel of the Electrothanasia-Ray and twists it into a knot. A surge of energy travels backwards down the barrel destroying the weapon.
Superman flies inside and rescues Lois. The mad scientist attempts to escape, but Superman nabs him and flies him to prison. Lois writes the article concerning the mad scientist’s evil plot to destroy the city.
- This pilot episode is entitled only as Superman but is also known as The Mad Scientist or The Death Ray in later releases.
- A brief summary of Superman's origin on the planet Krypton is provided in the opening monologue of this episode.
- Actor Jack Mercer provides the voice for the Mad Scientist in this episode (first and only appearance to date of this character).
- In this episode, the Daily Planet building resembles the Empire State Building in New York City. The familiar Daily Planet globe is not seen on top of the building until later episodes.
- In the continuity of the animated series, Superman was raised in an orphanage. No mention is made of his foster parents, John and Mary Kent.
- The Mad Scientist owns a pet vulture, which acts as his de-facto evil henchman. In a moment of humor, often uncharacteristic of this series, the vulture is seen imitating the mad scientist's movements and actions. He even helps him make adjustments on the Electrothanasia-Ray.
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Links and References
- Wikipedia: Superman (animated short)
- Internet Movie Database: Superman (1941)
- Internet Archive: Superman (1941)