Superman Homepage reviewer Micah Pickering reviews the Fleischer Superman animated shorts for those nostalgic for the 1940s.
Check out his review of the cartoon titled “The Bulleteers”.
This is one of my personal favorite installments in this series. “The Bulleteers” has plenty of action, cool villains, and an interesting connection to modern pop culture.
Now on to the review!
Rating – 4 (out of 5): This cartoon starts off with a bang as The Bulleteers plow through police headquarters in their bullet car. The bullet car has elements from two other antagonists in this series. It is essentially a missile that is piloted by The Bulleteers, and causes mayhem by crashing through buildings. It soars through the sky with retractable wings, essentially becoming a plane like the robots in The Mechanical Monsters.
When on the ground, it’s essentially a bulletproof car like the train robbers used in Billion Dollar Limited. It’s neat to see the creative process build on itself throughout this series, and to see how ideas evolve over the course of any creative endeavor.
After destroying the police station, The Bulleteers announce that if the city does not hand over its entire treasury, they will destroy multiple targets throughout the city.
Right after this the Mayor of Metropolis utters the response: “We won’t be intimidated by criminal threats!”
That line would become a popular sound byte that would be tattooed in the brains of cartoon watching. It was used on Cartoon Network during the Toonami programming block. To this day I don’t know how or why they decided to sample a Superman cartoon from the 1940s when promoting an anime programming block in the late 90s, but I haven’t forgotten it. It seems that Toonami didn’t forget it either as they used the sound byte in the video below:
As night falls across the city, The Bulleteers begin their reign of terror. They take out a power plant before heading to the city treasury. Lois speeds off to get the story, leaving poor Clark in the dust. Clark does the old phone booth shuffle, and suddenly Superman leaps into action.
Superman stops the bullet car with one punch (eat your heart out One Punch Man), and sends The Bulleteers hurtling through the Metropolis skyline. The villains hit the top of a nearby skyscraper and Lois is trapped in her car under falling debris. Superman frees Lois, which gives The Bulleteers a second chance at their target.
The big climax of this episode comes when Lois is captured by The Bulleteers, and Superman has to leap after them. By the way, this cartoon has Superman clearly leaping, while most of the previous ones have him visibly flying. Superman peels off the top of the bullet car like it was an old school can of sardines. Lois is rescued, the city is safe, and another great cartoon is in the books.