Friday, February 26, 2010

Episode 7 - "The Atomic Beam Machine"

Listen to Episode 7 here!

Summary: Clark Kent may now be the golden boy of the Daily Planet, but there is no rest for the wicked (or super powered illegal aliens, either)! His success with the train story out west scored him a steady job and a brand new enemy-for-life: the Yellow Mask, the man who backed the Wolfe. While Superman is still in the realm of 'crazy urban legend' in the public and evil-doer eye alive, the YM doesn't deal with meddling reporters very well either, and so promises to destroy an entire building full of them within 24 hours, for revenge. But before all that fun panic sets in, we cut to Dr. Dalhgrien and a Prof. Schmidt in the formers' deathtrap-laden lab. Apparently, some party is after Dalhgrien's new invention, which has driven the Dr. to these extreme measures to protect it. He shows Schmidt the raw power of this device, which can reduce any object whatsoever into the sound of breaking glass. Seconds after he demonstrates this, 'Schmidt' unveils his true identity - the Yellow Mask, of course - and with the help of a gun, absconds with the device. Dalhgrien laments this turn of events to his useless lab assistant Michael, who did nothing to stop the robbery.
   Meanwhile, 22 hours later, it's 4pm and two hours to go and no sign of any explosives in the building. Perry is sweating bullets. Clark is about to: enter Lois Lane. Yes, good old Lois Lane debuted on the radio exactly 70 years to the day of this post. Superman's girlfriend, Clark Kent's bane, sassy "girl reporter" and Silver-Age Petty Bitch. She walks in and gosh darn it, you know what? She hasn't really changed a bit. She even calls Kent a 'farm boy' in this opening salvo, which is proof enough that there is rhyme and reason to the cosmos, after all. Lane is not impressed with Kent being the current apple pie of Perry White's eye. She sneers as Kent hears a plane buzz overhead, which makes her assume Kent is some kind of bumpkin. White returns and says that a local scientist, one who doesn't grant interviews, has just called to arrange an interview. One named Sven Dalhgrien. Hmm. Terrorist threat or not, White still has papers to sell, so he dispatches Lane to interview the good Doctor as a human interest story.
   As Lane leaves, White bemoans the situation. Perry, who never will be all that great in making good decisions concerning the lives of his employees, decides against evacuating the building. Just then the Doctor calls, adding some helpful information that may have been of some interest and probably maybe should have been brought up in his first call to the Daily Planet: the Yellow Mask boasted he is going to destroy a newspaper before he goes on to rule the world. Then the line goes dead. Hmmm.
   Kent puts two and two together, and gets 'this looks like a job for Superman!' He gets White's permission to check on the doctor, heads down the hall and gets some ribbing from jealous, doomed newspaper employees, and ducks into a locker room and makes with the whoosh.


  • Dr. Dalhgriem
  • 'Professor Schmidt'/The Yellow Mask
  • Michael
  • Clark Kent/Superman
  • Perry 'Thunderbolt' White
  • Lois Lane (first appearance)


  • The Yellow Mask sure has a set of giant brass marbles - he makes a death threat against a building and doesn't even have the means to carry it out at that time.
  • Lois isn't always mean to Clark, and her resentment is somewhat justified. A woman reporter in the 1940's probably worked long and hard to get to the point where Lane is today, and some guy from out of no where gets there within days. Later her attitude softens to that of almost-friendly rivalry, but her early appearances often come off as ice cold. Even after Kent (as Kent, and not Superman) has saved her life many times.
  • Lois here is also a far cry from the mean-spirited, petty Lois Lane as depicted on Silver-Age comic covers. Modern depictions (noticeably the DCAU version) seems to have moved back to Radio Lois Lane personality.
  • Incidentally, Lois Lane comes from a proud tradition of superhero-related first and last names that start with the same sound. She is the third so far. (Clark Kent and Keno Carter came first)
  • Superman may still be learning the limits of human hearing compared to his own. For him, I imagine it's like a person with normal hearing trying to imagine being deaf. It's a very subtle depiction of his superpower.
  • Also another case of common sense ('evacuate the building') not being considered a superpower, but probably should.

Dr. Dahlgriem: Watch closely what happens to that glass on the edge of the table! Watch!
sound of glass breaking
Professor Schmidt: It's amazing! The glass was shattered!
Dr. Dahlgriem: Now, watch that small steel ball!
same sound of glass breaking
Lois: Now, look Mr. Kent, this is a big town. You'll find quiet a few planes flying around here all day and all night! If it bothers you, you'd better go back to the farm.
Perry: Oh, I got a job for you, Lois.
Lois: A good job?!
Perry: No.
In the next episode: The plot thickens. What's cut off the line? Is Lois headed for her very first brush with certain death? Most likely, as the "Atomic Fuel Cylinders Stolen"!

No comments:

Post a Comment