Almost seven years after the release of Season 1, Warner Home Video finally delivers the remaining episodes of this iconic series, keeping in mind that the series did include Superboy episodes which are not found here.
In 1966, Filmation brought the Man of Steel to television (CBS) in the first animated version made specifically for the small screen. Legendary producers Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer along with Alan Ducovny gathered together extraordinary vocal talent including Bud Collyer, Joan Alexander, Jack Grimes, Ted Knight, Bob Hastings, Jackson Beck, Julie Bennet, Cliff Owens, Gilbert Mack, and Janet Waldo, and they created a series that was beloved by children of that era.
It would be easy for the baby boomers to sit down on a Saturday morning with a Jethro Bodine-sized bowl of frosted cereal and the newly released two-DVD set in hopes of recapturing their youth by enjoying all 32 episodes. Unfortunately, they may be disappointed. As children, most were not bothered by the simplicity of these six-minute installments that featured repetitive scenes and animation. We were too busy enjoying the vocal talent and music combined with the appearance of characters such as Lex Luthor and Brainiac who, up to this point, had only been seen in our comic books. Now, adults may start to ask questions. Questions such as; why is the staff of the Daily Planet dressed in suits at the annual company picnic? Why don’t all of the stories make sense? How did those two guys in the series’ opening sequence possibly mistake that man in blue and red for a bird and a plane? Why are there characters in these episodes named Nympho and Kinky? Did our parents notice those character names?
Sharper pictures, clearer sound, and some bonus material would have made it easier to ignore the questions popping up as we watch these cartoons, including season three where the stories were expanded into two-part episodes. Unfortunately by then, the writers (primarily Oscar Bensol) appear to have tired of the task of generating new adventures.
Sure, one may wonder how we enjoyed this stuff as much as we seem to recall, but if you are able to truly appreciate what was accomplished almost 50 years ago, you will find enough enjoyment here, and certainly something to share with your young grandchildren.
Recommendation: If you have Season 1, you need this new release. If you enjoyed this show as a child, the cost of less than $20 makes the viewing of at least some of these stories worth the investment. It won’t matter if you laugh out of enjoyment of the fond memories or at the interesting errors that you now see through adult eyes. Either way, you’ll experience some super medicine courtesy of Filmation, DC, and Krypton’s favorite son.