Sunday, February 21, 2010

Episode 5 - "Locomotive Crew Freed"

Listen to Episode 5 - "Locomotive Crew Freed" here!

I'm starting to think that these episodes were named with after-the-fact disregard for any possible spoilers.

Summary: We join Clark Kent in the belly of the Wolfe's lair underneath a railroad yard in Denver. Kent faces his most daunting task to date, namely pretending that Keno's interrogation technique actually hurts. (Seriously, if acting isn't considered one of Superman's powers it really should be.) In walks the Wolfe, and after some wordplay with Kent, he announces his intentions to make the silver clipper disappear as threatened. With typical villainous flair, the Wolfe leaves Kent to starve to death in the basement vault, but not before announcing his destination and how remarkibly solid the vault is constructed. Exit the Wolfe and Keno, stage doomed.
   Kent, of course, recovers from being "knocked out" by Keno and switches over to Superman. He makes short work of his handcuffs and then chills for twenty, to give the Wolfe a sporting head start, apparently. Meanwhile, Keno and the Wolfe head out of town by car, pausing to watch as the Silver Clipper departs Denver.
   With the head start over, Superman flips the flock out on the Vault, peeling out of it as if it were tinfoil. Free, he makes a beeline for the roof of the building, stopping to do a little extra property damage in the form of a locked skylight, first of many fated to be punched by a fist of steel. Superman takes to the night skies bellowing one of the most iconic catchphrases for the very first time.
   Back on the road, the Wolfe explains the entire setup to Keno: by exploiting an old forgotten mining camp's rail system, he can divert a train off of the main line, through a hidden tunnel, and into the bottom of a flooded canyon, which he has already done to the engine and tender that so vexed the rail supervisor the episode before. Proving he has some sort of fetish for leaving people to die slowly and horribly, the Wolfe has captured the crew of the doomed engine (they managed to jump off just in time) and chained them to some rocks at the top of the tunnel.
   Superman, meanwhile, has already caught up and is literally one step ahead of the Wolfe and an increasingly paranoid Keno. He breaks off spying on the two to rescue the locomotive crew, because "they are just the evidence we need!" and, y'know, save their lives but I guess that was implied. He quickly spots the bound and delirious potential witnesses in the dark, frees them, and makes way to a ranch house to leave them. It's a diversion that may cost him, because the Silver Clipper is less than 20 minutes away and already the pieces are falling into place for the Wolfe's watery deathtrap.


  • Superman/Clark Kent
  • Keno and the Wolfe


  • God knows I cherish the Wolfe's voice actor, but he really hams up some of his lines.
  • Yes, this is the first time Superman utters the words 'Up, Up and AWAY!'
  • Superman manages to do some serious property damage. First one trolley in Indiana, then a broken vault and skylight in Denver.
  • For a one time character, that conductor sure gets a lot of references made about him.
  • Superman seems to be going out of his way to downplay his involvement by making it appear that the railway men escaped and crawled to a ranch house on their own, rather than take them to a hospital. It might come off cold, but remember that Superman has vowed to be an observer of mankind before he becomes publicly known. His practical reason, then, is taking the men to a more plausible location. Contrast the 'boy scout' Superman of later years.

Powers Introduced:
X-ray vision: Argue all you like about the physics of it, Superman can see in the dark and through things. He uses it to locate the railway men in almost a passing manner, like how one might casually remind himself he can breathe oxygen.

Superman: Handcuffs, eh? It's a good thing for you I wasn't feeling PLAYFUL!
 This is the single most chilling line I've heard Superman utter yet.

Superman: Now what's this? A skylight! (laughs) Padlocked? Here goes!
Sound of glass breaking
No comment.

In the next episode: Has Superman playing coy put an entire train of people at risk of a watery grave? Will he manage to return in time to stop the Wolfe? Can Superman save... "The Silver Clipper"!

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