Summary: Superman has defenestrated the Daily Planet for his very first time, giving the building its first Clark Kent-related water-cooler story. Cashless and carrying only the clothes on his back (and his secret identity's clothes God knows where else), he's en route to the American West, to investigate the threats against the Silver Clipper, great American 'crack train' from Denver to Salt Lake City. He declares the Wolfe better watch out, because the other side has Superman. Hell. Yes.
Meanwhile, we meet the Wolfe and his henchmen, Keno Carter ('gunman, gambler, bad man of the Southwest) who are hiding out in a small cabin somewhere in Colorado. It's hinted the two of them get their orders from a higher power, and those orders are 'paralyze the American railroads'. The Wolfe plans on showing the railroads he's dead serious about destroying the Silver Clipper, by sending a landslide onto of another train, the Western Limited. Keno blanches at the idea of murder, but agrees with the plan. He seems aware that defying orders is a terrible career move at Wolfe, Inc. They hear the Limited in the distance.
Superman happens to notice the Limited as he flies over. He debates getting on the train, a slower mode of transport for a super-man, but decides to get on anyway and look things over as Clark Kent (hey, everything is shiny and new to him, remember?). Just before he flies down and boards, he notices Keno up ahead heading up to set off the explosives that will trigger the landslide. He boards and thinks up a way to stop the train and decides to pretend, as Clark Kent, that he's lost his ticket, so they will stop the train and throw him off. Retrieving his suit from his codpiece, he enacts this plan flawlessly, to the point where the conductor will give him the benefit of the doubt... until they reach town. Whoops!
Clark then finds a better way to stop the train, by committing his first (possibly second) crime ever - pulling the emergency cord on the train. The train screeches to a stop, and Kent vindicates himself to a furious conductor when a landslide thunders down in front of the train moments later. Close call. Kent then makes a dash for it, changes into Superman, and sets to work clearing the tracks.
The Wolfe, meanwhile, is back in the cabin overlooking the tracks, and lighting up his 'mission accomplished' cigar. Keno busts in and tells him the bad news - the plan failed. He then explains how he pulled off the most balliest manuever ever attempted in the field of professional henching - he snuck down into the crowd that emerged from the train and found out that it was a reporter named Kent responsible for averting the disaster. The Wolfe is incredulous, more so when the train suddenly started heading west, the tracks now clear. Clark Kent just made a powerful enemy, swears the Wolfe. They make for Denver by plane.
- The Wolfe
- Keno Carter (Karter?)
- The Conductor
- Keno and the Wolfe are Radio Superman's first villains, and are worthy, competent ones at that. The Wolfe has set up an elaborate plan that has baffled railroad investigators and potentially cripple the nation's transportation network. Keno is effective at carrying out orders, skilled at the art of the bluff, and doesn't scare easy. Keno has a conscious; the Wolfe, less so. You should see the heartlessness of the guy they get their orders from (and you will).
- As before, it is stated fog and sleet grounded the as of yet unnamed city of Metropolis. It's mid-Februrary in the show, too.
- Notice that Superman is raring to check things out on the train as Kent, despite being on a time budget.
- Yes, pulling the emergency stop on a train under false pretenses is a crime. Sure, Clark had a good reason, but how was he going to explain it to an angry conductor?
- This is the last we hear from the conductor, but not the last we hear of him. Poor guy was just doing his job.
Powers Introduced:Super-Speed - Superman manages to effortlessly fly hundreds of miles over the span of a few hours. Fittingly, he himself states that he's faster than a locomotive.
Conductor: "Oh, is it? What makes you think so?"
Kent: "Goodbye, Conductor! I'll see you later!"
I know he's new at this whole interacting with people thing, but damn, that seems creepy - especially how he abruptly breaks off the conversation. I get the image of Kent never breaking eye contact and fading backwards into the shadows.
On the next episode, Clark Kent proves himself a brave man, baiting the terrorists to capture him and reveal their secrets. Will his plan work? Listen to the next spoiling-titled episode, "Clark Kent captured by the Wolfe!" Friday 7 PM! And check back before then for a bonus article about Bud Collyer, the talented actor who gave Superman his voice!