As a long time comic book fan and (part-time) follower of the Superman mythos, I feel obligated to watch this show whenever I get a chance. I find it interesting to see how creators of alternate medium would perceived the iconic character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster in the summer of 1938. For the most part, the writers of “The Adventures Of Superman” maintain the style and feel of the Superman universe as it was presented in the 1950s. Clark Kent is no longer the bumbling, misanthropic news reporter, but rather, a capable and highly respected member of the journalistic community. Lois Lane, still has a strong independent edge to her, but allows her emotions to get the better of her on too many occasions (which was stereotypical of the second-rate heroines at this time). Fortunately, the weight of any apparent sexism is lessened by the incompetence of ace reporter Jimmy Olsen.
On the whole, I don’t really enjoy the show that much. I find it pretty formulaic and the characters, while true to type, are not entirely convincing or compelling. George Reeves had a pretty simple job here. All that was required of him was to arch his shoulders proudly and occasionally wink at the camera as he ‘pulls one over’ on tired, ole Lois.
But even though age and style has taken its toll on this classic program, it still boasts one of the more memorable gaffs of television history. Who doesn’t remember the numerous classic moments when Superman would smugly allow bullets to bounce off his chest only to sheepishly duck when the villain would then subsequently throw the unloaded gun at him after running short on ammo?
A show like this can really only be appreciated if one allows their minds to keep it in the perspective of the time period. I respect the show for its contribution to pop culture history and for allowing the myth of Superman to spread out into the mainstream culture. For those who want to learn more about the yesteryear concepts surrounding this American hero, I would rather refer them more towards the Dave Fleischer animated shorts. Those provide some fantastic examples of the Man of Tomorrow as he evolved from the Golden Age into the Silver Age of comic history.