The Good

For their time, these episodes were a lot of fun.

The Bad

I think there should have been more commentary tracks on this Second Season collection.

The Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season is a 5 disc assortment that looks at one of the earliest incarnations of The Man of Steel. Still in their lush black and white from, these shows give us the indelible characters of Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and others. With titles like "Five Minutes to Doom," "Superman In Exile," "Jungle Devil" and "Around the World with Superman," it is apparent that these well intentioned shows are going for a certain, unabashed, devilish camp. That said, it is still great fun seeing Superman protect Metropolis, get on with Lois and deal with his dual identity.

While the effects of The Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season might make these shows stand out for all the wrong reasons, overall, if taken in their proper context I think that fans of the genre and fans of this show will certainly get a kick out of this early effort.

Features

Documentary "The First Lady of Metropolis"

This is a profile of Noel Neill who played Lois Lane on the show. We get Neill herself, as well as Jack Larson (who played Jimmy Olsen) and people like critic/historian Leonard Maltin talking about what this character meant to the show, the franchise, and the world at that time. Until Neill's portrayal of Lois Lane, there really hadn't been a woman on TV like that before. It is very interesting hearing all the anecdotes and one can only wonder what could be done with Lois Lane (on TV) in the 21st Century.

"Stamp Day for Superman"

Commentary Tracks

Noel Neill and Jack Larson provide commentary tracks for two episodes on this DVD. They have a lot of fun remembering what it was like doing this show, working with the production, and of course doing the scenes with George Reeves. What makes these things a must for Superman fans, is the fact that these two bring such a historical perspective to these commentaries. Neill and Larson were on the ground floor of something really special, and it's apparent that they are very happy to have been there.

Video

Aspect Ratio - 1.33:1. These black and white episodes have been compressed very nicely. Warner Bros. has done a fine job of storing them and keeping them in their most pristine condition. I actually decided to watch these on a few different screens to see how they fared when shown in different sizes. While of course blowing up the image takes away some of it's finer edges, overall I think that these episodes have been compressed to hold up over time and across TV screens.

Audio

English - Dolby Digital 1.0. Subtitled in English, Spanish, and French. The audio all across these 5 discs sounded quite solid. I didn't hear any sound problems and I didn't notice any dropouts in the soundtrack. Considering how long ago these things were created, I wouldn't have been surprised if there had been audio glitches, but once again Warner Bros. releases a set that can proudly bare it's name and logo.

Package

A somewhat misleading color image of the inimitable George Reeves graces this front cover. While I love the way the color touch up job looks, I can't help but think people might buy this set thinking that the shows on here are in color. The back shows off some pictures from the episodes, it gives a description of what The Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season is about, it offers up a Special Features list, and some system specs. All 5 discs are neatly stored inside this packaging, which contains even more Superman artwork on the inside. Overall, a fairly succinct packaging job for a 683 minute 5 disc set.

Final Word

George Reeves, from what I understand, may not have been too excited to play this role. Nor might he have appreciated all the accolades that came his way, because he didn't simply want to be known as a man in tights and a cape. What is the most interesting thing, for me, about watching The Adventures of Superman: The Complete Second Season, is seeing how they pulled off the various stunts on this show. Also, if you watch a show like The Greatest American Hero or even Lois & Clark, I don't think the flying scenes in those shows look too much better (and many years had passed in between them!). My biggest point is that I think that The Adventures of Superman should be given credit for what it brought to the effects medium, as well as the excitement it tries to give viewers with this show.

Adventures of Superman was released .