Friday, March 5, 2010

Episode 10 - "Fire at the Sterling Tower"

Listen to Superman play god with a young woman's life here!

Summary: After neatly wrapping up the Yellow Mask caper the previous evening, Kent is the hero of the day in everyone's mind but Lois'. But breaking news never sleeps, and a photographer brings news that there's a fire in one of the city's largest buildings. There's a girl trapped in the 20th floor, and her outlook is grim. After some additional info from shutterbug Mike and some needless snark from Lois, we learn that the fire started in the offices of the North Star Mining Co, the same office where the girl is trapped, and that there's the possibility the fire may have been set when two small aircraft collided in midair and crashed into the building by an arsonist. Both Clark and Mike set out for the Sterling Tower at once, and arrive in a sea of hook and ladder trucks and firemen.
Mike makes some idle chat on the way to the ongoing tragedy, and brings up the subject of Lois Lane's icy treatment of Kent. It seems that she's been talking up about how she was rescued by Superman, which strikes Clark speechless, perhaps in fear but more likely, trying not to choke on laughter.
The fire chief is not in a receptive mood to deal with the press, but mentions he's already written off the girl on the 20th floor. Mike and Clark decide to take up position in a building across the street, but Clark first calls back to the Daily Planet to inform them the fire has gone to four alarms. Out on the balcony of the building, Mike's getting some good shots, and Clark spots the girl up high up, still alive and trying to break a window. Clark changes into Superman when a convenient billow of smoke distracts Mike, and zips up to punch into the building, as Superman is wont to do. He finds the office flame gutted but the girl somehow still alive in a closet. With no other option, he scoops the girl up and flies out of the building, and is spotted by the fire chief and his men below. Superman gets the girl to the ground and, as Kent, gets her to an ambulance. He tries to make it seem like the girl found her own way down from 20 stories of fiery death, but the Chief and several other witnesses swear that they saw a man flying up in the sky. Whoops.
The girl comes to, nearly delirious with fright and smoke, and in shock mentions about being assaulted by men who are currently making a getaway. The plot thickens!


  • Clark Kent/Superman
  • Lois Lane
  • Perry White
  • Mike the Photographer
  • The Fire Chief (and his firemen)
  • June Anderson (the trapped girl)


  • Lois acts like being able to write a personal account of being thrown out of a plane by a terrorist and surviving somehow isn't a cool of Clark Kent's exclusive of flying a plane into another plane and surviving somehow. Jealous much?
  • Again another instance of Superman deciding just how much to show himself to the public as Superman, although in this case his hesitance may have cost June her life. Smoke can kill someone very quickly, and here's Clark Kent shooting the breeze with Mike the Photobug on a car ride over.
  • The likely-hood of June surviving as long as she did in the portion of the building where the fire started are pretty slim indeed. There's also the issue with how they knew the fire was set deliberately from 20 stories away on the ground.
In the next episode, Superman pulls a couple of bonerheaded stunts as he waits for the girl to wake up, and in the end fails to prevent "The Stabbing of June Anderson".

Episode 9 - "Threat to the Daily Planet"

Listen to Clark Kent fly a plane here!

Summary: This is it, kiddies. Heel-dragging and general dilly-dally have whittled a 24 hour deadline to less than a single hour, and put an entire building full of media people in danger (and it being the 1940's, they are people still worth saving). The Yellow Mask has proven to have an enormous amount of chutzpah, having made his threat to destroy the Daily Planet before even having the means to do so. By kicking over the sandcastle like security measures of Dr. Dalhgrien he now possesses the super-weapon - but due to an embarrassing oversight, not its atomic ammo.
   At the end of the last episode, Clark Kent, after sending Lois Lane to get to the police with her car, has just peeled back the safe of the good doctor to find him alive but in shock. Michael, the doctor's newly-ex assistant, has assaulted Dalhgrien and blown his way into the safe and out of the room using dynamite, which admittedly, is a lot better than pretending to be a professor (unless you are this professor).
   As we begin, we see the Yellow Mask watching from the proverbial shadows as the gigantic explosion draws police to the professor's lab anyway, rendering Lois's errand a completely useless one. Speaking of Lois, she already managed to get captured by Michael and is now a prisoner. The Yellow Mask decides to use her as a hostage, although interestingly enough against Kent and not the police. Yes, YM sees a 'mild mannered' reporter as a bigger threat than the authorities.
   Meanwhile, Clark breaks the news to the doctor that his trusty assistant was a mole all along. He leaves the laboratory as Superman. barely avoiding police on the way out. He ponders the next move of the Yellow Mask, but decides to try one last time to get Perry White to evacuate the damn building already.
   Back at the Daily Planet,White dines on his fingernails. His priorities are torn between the reputation of his paper in the face of terrorism or the lives and welfare of his employees. A call from the Yellow Mask rubs it in, threatening to throw Lois out of a plane should anyone try to interfere with his act of shooting a building full of innocent people with atomic ray beams. It's not looking too good for Lois Lane here, folks.
   Suddenly, Clark Kent bursts into the room and takes $#@*ing charge.
   Dismissing Perry's questions, he learns that Lois is hostage, the Daily Planet is still full of innocents, and that Perry is still a prideful asshole. In a split second, Kent has to weigh between losing Superman's low-profile by making a very public rescue, or by doing something bad-ass in his persona of Kent. Perhaps still smarting from being called a coward by Lois, or just to screw with Perry's mind, he goes with the Kent option; he commands the White to call a local airfield and warm up a plane. He runs out of the room and out of sight, not even bothering to open the window before flying out of it as Superman.
   A short while later, the Yellow Mask, Michael, and Lois are in a plane and nearly to the Daily Planet. YM is a cackle a minute, while Michael nervously identifies the shadow far behind them as another plane. After a brief glimpse of Perry White sweating bullets, we return to the plane to find out that the shadow is not only is another plane, but it's definitely flying at them. The Yellow Mask makes good his threat just after firing up the beam machine, by throwing Lois out of the plane. But before the machine can fire, Clark Kent flies his plane into the Yellow Mask's, bad guys, super-weapon, and all. Both explode and debris presumably makes rush hour traffic below most interesting that evening. Superman rushes down to save the plummeting (and fainted) Lois in the nick of time, naturally.
   The episode wraps up the next day, almost as if Clark Kent hadn't flown a plane and killed a couple of bad guys, although the staff of the Daily Planet do seem to be grateful that their new co-worker is a crackerjack pilot and a cold-blooded killer. The exception is Lois, who gives Clark a brush-off. It seems she has a faint memory of being rescued by someone in a flowing red cape...
  Meanwhile, a photographer rushes into the copy room and announces that there's a building on fire and there's a girl trapped on the 20th floor! Kent volunteers to cover it, saying that maybe he could 'do something'.


  • Clark Kent/Superman
  • Lois Lane
  • Perry White
  • The Yellow Mask
  • Dr. Dalhgrien
  • Hapless Daily Planet staff


  • Clark Kent can fly a plane. Clark Kent flies a plane into another plane. Holy. Shit.
  • Clark probably didn't intend to crash into the other plane; more like he ditched it in order to save Lois. Compare this 'acceptable losses' policy to the contemporary 'Superman never kills'.
  • Superman's odd handling of this situation stems from his not wanting Superman to be in the public eye "just yet". In a show where your hero can shrug off bullets, fly faster than sound, and break steel beams apart with his bare hands, tension usually came in the form of 'will Clark Kent blow his cover for this?' besides 'can Superman save Lois in time?'.
  • The way most of the other staff at the Daily Planet acts in face of atomic doom suggests that Perry White may not have given them all the details, and he still hasn't ordered an evacuation three minutes before the deadline given by a villain who has repeatedly demonstrated he can back up the threats he makes.
  • Granted, Lois thinks she was saved by a 'parachute', but she also thinks, as everyone else, that Clark Kent crashed another plane into the Yellow Mask's in order to save them all. She may have a nagging suspicion that Clark may have flown the plane into the other plane regardless if he knew Lois was in it or not.
  • Spoilers: the Yellow Mask has plot armor. Other spoiler: Michael does not. RIP.

Clark Kent bad-ass-ry:

  • Recognized as a legitimate threat by the Yellow Mask
  • Clark Kent can fly a plane. Clark Kent flies a plane into another plane. Holy. Shit.

Superman's Body Count:

  • Michael

In the next episode, Clark again has to weigh the risk of rushing in to save the day as Superman or keep up his facade as Clark Kent. Time is running out because there's "Fire in the Sterling Tower!"

Writer's Block (of cheese!)

I was involved with learning the fine art of making mozzarella cheese yesterday, and other adventures yet again today. I'll be posting episode 9 and 10 back to back today, Friday. Both episodes have Clark Kent extremely out of character to modern audiences, such as piloting and dogfighting in a plane among other things, particularly the concept of acceptable losses. It's an episode I didn't want to half-ass, although I should have thought of that before composing the review in Notepad on a laptop with a shaky charge.

I regret missing a broadcast anniversary and care not to repeat the experience! (not that a lot of people follow this blog anyway to observe said milestone... yet.) However, I just recently found out how to automatically post on a schedule ahead of time, something grownup bloggers have been doing for about 15 years or so.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ahhh Post delayed due to shenanigans!

I lost the text for tonight's post, and tonight's post really deserves the royal treatment! So tune back here (as insomuch you can 'tune in' to a blog) for the climax of the Yellow Mask and the Atomic Beam Machine!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Episode 8 - "Atomic Fuel Cylinders Stolen"

Listen to the Episode, featuring the world's most terribly secured super-weapon!

Summary: Superman, realizing that he's dealing with another case of an old man putting lives unnecessarily at risk for the second time in the same week,  makes his way towards the laboratory of Dr. Dahlgrien, curiously located on the terrible side of town. Already at the lab is Clark Kent's brand new 'frienemy' Lois Lane, who thinks she covering a story about mixing red chemicals with blue ones in order to create a cuter breed of kitten. Given that someone deliberately cut off the Doctor's frantic call to the Daily Planet, however, it's more like she's headed into her very first of many super-villainous death traps - the frequency of which, oddly, dramatically spiked within the first few hours of meeting Clark Kent.
   As we listen to a secret broadcast being transmitted from inside the lab, we discover the real reason why Michael failed to prevent the robbery of the atomic beam machine earlier - because he was working for the Yellow Mask all along. In hindsight, then, the half hour of gloating YM gave before making a casual getaway was a well earned reward for being a magnificent bastard. Then again, considering that his mark set up his lab in a run-down neighborhood and (as we are about to hear) in the process of demonstrating his "secret" security measures to a member of the press, it probably wasn't exactly the caper of the century.
   Doctor Dalhgrien reveals to Lois what he was about to tell Perry and Clark before their phone connection was cut: the stolen beam machine only had two atomic cylinders inside of it, and both were spent demonstrating its power to the 'professor'. The rest of the ammo (and an older copy of the machine) are locked up in an elaborate safe, which, in keeping with his character of showing highly classified information to unproven strangers, he shows to Lois. Lois (perhaps humoring the good doctor, perhaps not) seems to think that the security measures are more newsworthy than the terrorist threat against her employer.
   Superman, meanwhile, finally finds the Doctor's lab and lands in time to listen to the Yellow Mask transmit a second (totally redundant) short-wave radio message reminding Michael that shit is, in fact, about to go down. Superman takes note of the name, and off-handedly mentions he can, in fact, hear radio transmissions. He changes back to Kent, greets the good Dr. Dalhgrien, gets the expected icy-cold reception from Lois, and explains why he's there. After a quick comparison of notes all around, it's concluded that a) the Yellow Mask has a deadly super weapon which he intends to use to destroy the Daily Planet, and b) lacks the ammunition to use it. In the most awkward way possible, Kent asks about Micheal, and after an uncomfortable explanation of why he asked, learns the identity of the lab's mole.
   As Dalhgrien wanders off for some reason or another, Lois berates Clark for abandoning the staff of the Daily Planet to their supposed fate at his earliest opportunity despite that she did the exact same thing. Clark rightfully protests being labelled a coward but fails to call Lois out on her hypocrisy. He instead attempts to call Perry White, only to find the line cut and tapped. Just then, the doors to the Doctor's precious safe begin to close with him inside and causing Lois to flip out. Inside the safe, we hear as  Michael gives Dalhgrien his official two weeks notice in the form of assault, battery, and nitro-glycerin. Clark gets Lois out of the room to get the police (how is not exactly clear since the phone is down and the neighborhood is deserted) and peels the safe door open to find the doctor alive but shaken. The Yellow Mask takes time from his busy pre-terrorist act checklist to taunt the two via the elaborate dictaphone system Michael has installed over the years.

  • Superman/Clark Kent
  • Dr. Dalhgrien
  • Lois Lane
  • The Yellow Mask
  • Michael
  • Seriously, why is this man allowed to build weapons of mass destruction in the most least secure place in the city?
  • Despite having shown he can fly vast distances in a matter of minutes, Lois has quite a bit of time to interview the doctor before Superman arrives. Then again, Lois might just be a fast driver, possibly related to Professor Sheriff.
  • Superman must be bordering psychic, considering he knows what Lois Lane's car looks like after just meeting her.for the first time. The other explanation would be he's been peeping on her for some time before formally being introduced, and that's terrible.
  • The second transmission to Michael wasn't even useful as a plot device - the Doctor cries out Michael's name as he's being attacked, making it obvious (to Superman) the identity of the mole (although it is kind of fun listening to him stumble over asking about the name).
  • Another logical flaw: if the Yellow Mask has had Michael on the take all this time, shouldn't he have already known about the ammo? Or the extra copy of the machine? Why even bother with the 'professor' ruse? Why not just blow the safe in the first place?
Powers Introduced
Super-sonic (sub-sonic?) hearing - although Superman has demonstrated he has very sensitive hearing and can listen in on phone conservations and other soft sounds from a distance, this is the first time he shows he can listen to radio transmissions which is considerably more impressive.


Superman: Michael? Who's Michael?

In the next episode, the Daily Planet has an hour before it's destroyed by SCIENCE! How will Superman deal with this "Threat to the Daily Planet"? The answer will shock and amaze you! Don't miss it!