Superman on Radio & Audio
Superman Radio Series - Story Reviews
1945: The Meteor of KryptoniteReviewed by: James Lantz
Original Broadcast Dates: September 24, 1945-September 25, 1945
"The Meteor of Kryptonite"
After Lois Lane is acquitted of murder charges, Clark Kent sees something on the front page of the Daily Planet. The news has given Clark a great shock. Famed meteorologist Doctor John Whistler has died. When a meteor fell somewhere outside of Metropolis over a year ago, Doctor Whistler had discovered that it came from the planet Krypton. Clark had covered the story of the meteor for the Daily Planet. Superman had learned that the rock, which Whistler had called Kryptonite, had robbed him of his superhuman abilities and made him weak when he got within ten feet of it.
Whistler had locked the Kryptonite in his own private vault in the Metropolis Museum at Superman's request. However, with the scientist now dead, there's no telling what will happen to the the lethal meteor. It could even fall into the hands of one Superman's enemies. It is for this reason that Clark is extremely worried to the point that both Perry White and Lois are concerned for his health. Clark tells them there's nothing to worry about. He says he's going back to his office, but he really returns to his apartment to ponder the fate of Superman, Clark Kent and the Kryptonite.
Perry and Lois, still concerned about Clark, arrive at his apartment. It is at this moment that the mild mannered reporter decides to trust them enough to reveal something. Clark tells Lois and Perry of the fantastic origin of Superman. From Jor-El warning the Kryptonian High Council of the planet's demise, to sending his only son Kal-El to Earth, Perry and Lois sit transfixed by what Clark is telling them. Perry deduces that baby Kal-El was Superman.
The reason Clark is telling Lois and Perry of Superman's beginnings is because he needs their help with something that could save the Man of Steel. Will Clark's friends aid Superman the same way he has done so for millions of people all over the world? Can Clark ask this favor of Lois and Perry without revealing that he is in reality Superman? How is "The Scarlet Widow" connected to Superman's reason for needing assistance? All we can do, boys and girls, is tune in for next week's serial in The Adventures of Superman to learn the answers to these questions.
Kryptonite first appeared in 1943's "The Meteor From Krypton." Since then, Kryptonite has been a thorn in Superman's side and has come in a variety of colors
This is the third time the origin of Superman has been told in the radio series. Agnes Moorehead played Lara in the first version.
For this serial to be the shortest in the radio series, the writers put a lot into the story of "The Meteor of Kryptonite." Granted, the bulk of it retells the origin of Superman, but it's told in a way to help set things up for the next episodes. Plus, this arc is done in a way to appeal to both new and established listeners of the shows.
None of the episodes of "The Meteor From Krypton" have been found as of this writing, but "The Meteor of Kryptonite" is done in such a way that the listener is not lost about the discovery of Kryptonite. Much of the dialogue provides very thorough explanations for those that did not listen to The Adventure of Superman in 1943 or are hearing the series for the first time. I found this to be handy and wished that the comic books of today were so user friendly.
While both Lois and Perry seem to genuinely care for Clark, one can't help but wonder if there's something in Ms. Lane's mind that says, "Hey, there must be a story here." I don't want to say too much without revealing some spoilers in "The Scarlet Widow." I'll just say that this is a part of Lois we'll always see. From her first appearance in Action Comics #1 to now, her reporter's instincts have always been at work even when she's relaxing. This is something I think we've all grown to admire about Lois, and it's probably one of the many reasons why Clark loves her so much. This has also gotten Lois into quite a bit of trouble and has exasperated both Clark and Superman to no end. Neither we nor Mr. Kent would have Lois any other way in my opinion. She's been this way for seven decades, and that's provided us with a bunch of great stories.
The actors did a fine job in "The Meteor of Kryptonite." They, especially Bud Collyer, showed such incredible emotional range when performing in this serial. One could almost cut Clark's fear with a knife when he read of Doctor Whistler's death. The concern Perry and Lois have for Clark is also quite palpable. The players, in general, always do well in their parts, but they really shine in this and the previous story arc. The listener can even feel a danger lurking in the shadows of every cliffhanger in this serial. We'll have to wait and see if that danger exists next week when "The Scarlet Widow" weaves her web. Until then, Superfans, don't touch that dial, and remember to keep smiling and look up in the sky.
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