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The Adventures of Superman

Batman's Great Mystery

Chapter 1 of 11 - February 3, 1948


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Dated Death

The Adventures of Superman radio program debuted on Monday, February 12, 1940, with Clayton 'Bud' Collyer starring in the dual role of Clark Kent and Superman. The show, like its precursors, the comic books starring Superman, became an instant hit. Intended for juvenile audiences between 10-16, many adults listened to it as well in its heyday.

Opening

Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Look! up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman!

Yes, it's Superman, strange visitor from the planet Krypton who came to Earth with amazing physical powers far beyond those of mortal men. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, wages a never ending battle for truth and justice.

And now, The Adventures of Superman.


Collyer left the show ten years later to make a new career in televison. Michael Fitzmaurice took the role for the final season, with the series ended for good on March 1, 1950. George Reeves took the role when Superman debuted on television in 1951.

Announcer

When Clark Kent, who is really Superman received an urgent phone call from Robin, the young companion of the famous Batman he hurried to the handsome mansion which the dynamic duo occupy in their true identities of Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. Kent found young Grayson greatly agitated. Just as Kent closed the door behind him, the youngster, choking back tears, exclaimed:


Robin

Batman's gone, Mr. Kent, and I'm afraid we'll never see him again!
Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 in June, 1938. Batman appeared a year later in Detective Comics #39. The two characters (along with Robin, the Boy Wonder) met first on radio, not in the comics. (They appeared on covers together).

MUSIC!

A word from your sponsor.


Batman and Robin made their first appearance on The Adventures of Superman on September 5, 1945. They didn't team up in a comic til 1952.

Robin

Oh, gosh, what'll I do, Mr. Kent, what'll I do?


Batman never received his own radio series.

Kent

First thing you must do Dick is pull yourself together and tell me exactly what happened.


Batman and Robin guest-starred on The Adventures of Superman in 13 adventures over the run of the series.

Robin

I can't. I'm so worried I can't even think.


Kent

Nonsense, you've got to. Now, come on, son, what did you mean when you said Batman was gone and we'd never see him again?


Robin

Well, I mean he's gone, forever.


Kent

Forever! He..He's not....dead, is he?


Robin

I'm afraid he is.


Kent

Why do you say that?


Robin

Because he told me before he went away. If he didn't come back within a week and I didn't hear from him I I'd probably never see him again.


Kent

How long ago was that?


Robin

It was exactly twelve days ago.


Kent

I see. Did he tell you where he was going?


Robin

No. No, I asked him, but he said he couldn't tell me.


Kent

Well, that's rather unusual. I mean, for Batman not to tell you, isn't it?


Robin

It's the first time it ever happened


Kent

Hm. Did he give you any idea at all of why he was going away?


Robin

None at all. He just told me that something very important had come up. Something he just couldn't tell me about.


Kent

That's odd.


Robin

And then he said that if he wasn't back inside of a week, he...he might never come back. Now I'm scared, Mr. Kent!


Kent

Ah, ah, take it easy, son, take it easy. Look, were you and Batman working on any particular case when he went away?


Robin

No, for once, everything was nice and peaceful.


Kent

It was, eh?


Robin

Yes, that's why I can't understand it.


Kent

Hm. Did you question Alfred, your butler? Maybe Batman said something to him.


Robin

No, he didn't. I asked Alfred.


Kent

What about the police. Did you call Inspector Henderson?


Robin

Not yet, because I kept hoping Batman would show up.


Kent

I see.


Robin

And besides, he always told me, if ever I was in trouble and he wasn't around, I was to call you.


Kent

Well, obviously he knew he was going into something dangerous or he wouldn't have said what he did, but what gets me is that he didn't leave some clue for one of us, just in case..


Robin

You think he'd do that. But I know he didn't because I..


Kent

Wait, Dick, do you know where Batman keeps his private papers.


Robin

Yes, in a vault in his bedroom. Why?


Kent

Do you have a key to the vault?


Robin

It's a combination lock. I know the combination.


First appearance of Superman:

Kent

Good. Let's go up to this vault. It's just possible we'll find a clue there.


MUSIC!

June 1938

Kent

Well, we've looked at everything except Batman's will, Dick. Unless there's something in that to give us a lead I'll admit I'm stumped.


Superman gets his own book:

Robin

Might as well open it and see, Mr. Kent.


Kent

Yeah, I suppose so. Well, here goes. It's very short. I Bruce Wayne being of sound mind declare this to be my last will and testament. List several charities he leaves a lot of money to. and I bequeath the bulk of my estate to my friend Richard Grayson - - that's you.


Summer 1939

Robin

Look, are you sure there isn't anything else in his will?


Kent

No, nothing that will give us a lead.


First appearance of Batman:

Robin

Oh, gosh, what'll we do, Mr. Kent?


Kent

I don't know. Somehow this doesn't add up, Dick. I'm sure Batman wouldn't have walked out knowing he might never come back without leaving some tiny hint. Waitaminnit. Maybe he couldn't. Didn't have time!


May 1939

Robin

Didn't have time?


Kent

Look, where were you when Batman...I mean, the last time you saw him?


Robin

Right here. I was asleep in my room. He came in and woke me up.


Kent

Was he alone?


Robin

Sure. Wait a minute! I've been so upset I forgot about it.


Debut of Robin, The Boy Wonder:

Kent

Forgot about what?


Robin

I think there was somebody with him. Somebody who was standing right outside my door.


April 1940

Kent

Can you remember who it was?


Robin

It was too dark to see well, but I think it was the same man Batman was talking to in the study.


Kent

When was this?


Robin

Earlier in the evening. Some man came to see Batman, he took him into the study downstairs.


First appearance of Batman, Robin, and Superman on a cover:

Kent

I see. Did you get a look at him?


Robin

No, I was getting ready for bed when I heard the doorbell. Batman let him in and then I heard there voices in the study.


Spring, 1941. They star in separate stories.

Kent

Did you hear anything they said?


Robin

No, the study door was closed, you see, and I was pretty sleepy. So all I heard was the murmur of their voices.


Kent

I see. And then Batman disappeared that night.


Robin

Yes, and now I'm almost sure that man, whoever he was, was standing right outside my bedroom door when Batman said goodbye to me.


Kent

And that may be why Batman couldn't tell you any more at that time!


Robin

That's right.


Kent

Of course. Come on, Dick, let's go down to the study. I want to have a look around there, with you.


MUSIC

Kent

Any luck, Dick? See anything odd, out of place?


Robin

No, Mr. Kent. I can't find anything in this room that wasn't here before.


A sample wire recording machine:

Kent

I can't make this add up, Dick. Because I'm so sure Batman wouldn't have walked out without leaving us some hint. Or.. Wait a minute, what's this?


Robin

Oh, that's our recording machine. We use it to record important phone calls or some special radio programs.


A Silver Tone Wire Recorder

Kent

I see. When's the last time you or Batman used it, do you remember?


Robin

Sure, the time we were trailing the Umbrella Man.


Kent

Oh?


Robin

We expected him to call up and try to make a deal with us. He did, and a recording of his phone call helped to send him to jail.


Kent

Yes, I remember that story. It was several months ago...


Robin

Yeah, I guess so.


Kent

Well, you must have used it since then.


Robin

No, that was the last time. I remember because I put a new spool of recording wire on the machine just a day or two before Batman disappeared, and we had no occasion to use it since.


Kent

Well, there's something recorded on that new wire, Dick!


Robin

Huh? Holy smokes! Is there?


Kent

Uh huh. And this may be just what we're looking for!


Robin

What do you mean, Mr. Kent?


Kent

If the wire was blank a day or two before Batman disappeared, and now there's something recorded on it, it may mean Batman used the machine when he was with the stranger on the night he disappeared!


Robin

You mean Batman might have recorded something on the machine to tell us where he went?


Kent

Could be! Let's play the recording back and find out!


MUSIC!

Announcer

Eagerly, Clark Kent and Dick Grayson prepare to play back the recording. Adjusting the machine, Kent calls out:


Kent

Okay, Dick, turn it on.


Robin

Right, Mr. Kent, here goes.


Wayne (Recording)

That's a strange request, Mr. uh, Jones, you said your name was?


Robin

That's Batman, Mr. Kent.


Jones (Recording)

Jones is right, Mr. Wayne. But strange or not, I insist that you come to my place with me now to discuss the matter.


Kent

Is that the man you heard with Batman that night, Dick?


Robin

Uh huh.


Wayne (Recording)

Why. Why can't we discuss it right here?


Jones (Recording)

Because as I explained before I prefer to discuss such an important matter in my own home, or in some neutral place if you prefer.


Wayne (Recording)

You think I might have spies around here.


Jones (Recording)

Let's just say I prefer not to take chances.


Wayne (Recording)

I see.


Robin

What are they talking about?


Kent

Quiet, Dick. You'll find out.


The phrase may have originated at Stony Stratford in Buckinghamshire, England. The village has two pubs, the Cock and the Bull. Wayne (Recording)

You amuse me, Mr. Jones. You don't want to take chances, but you don't hesitate to ask me to take them. You come here with some cock and bull story...


Coaches between London to Birmingham changed horses at one pub or the other. Jones (Recording)

It's not a cock and bull story, Mr. Wayne. I've told you the truth.


The banter of the rival groups of travellers, from England's two largest cities, resulted in exaggerated and fanciful stories.
The Phrase Finder

Wayne (Recording)

Maybe. And maybe your name is Jones. But, you must admit it sounds pretty fishy. I mean, telling me as little as you have and then asking me to go somewhere with you, alone. How do I know you're not leading me into an ambush.


Jones (Recording)

Why should I?


Wayne (Recording)

Well, I am pretty rich, you know. You may have some ransom idea in your head.


Robin

Gosh, listen....


Jones (Recording)

That's sheer nonsense, Mr. Wayne, as you'll find out. But we're wasting time. Will you come to my place?


Wayne (Recording)

Sorry, Mr. Jones, I'm not a coward, but neither am I a fool. You'll have to tell me more.


Jones (Recording)

And if I refuse?


Wayne (Recording)

I don't go with you.


Jones (Recording)

I think you will, Mr. Wayne, because if you don't...


Wayne (Recording)

Then what?


Jones (Recording)

Then I shall be compelled to reveal to the world that you, Bruce Wayne, are Batman.


Wayne (Recording)

What's that?


Robin

Christopher Columbus!


Columbus was the first European to discover the Americas. Kent

Great Scott!


Jones (Recording)

Yes, Mr. Wayne. I will publicly reveal that you, Bruce Wayne, and the famous Batman, are one and the same


MUSIC!

Radio, circa 1948

Announcer

Shocked, Clark Kent and Dick Grayson stare at each other in wonder and dismay as the recording completes its playback. Who is the mysterious and threatening Mr. Jones who has somehow discovered the secret of Batman's double identity? The secret Batman cherishes as much as Clark Kent guards his own identity as Superman. And what has happened to Batman? Tomorrow, Kent and Robin receive an even greater shock. So don't fail to listen, fellows and girls. Be sure to tune in same time, same station, for Chapter 2 of Batman's Great Mystery on The Adventures of Superman.

Music.

Superman is a copyrighted feature appearing in Superman DC Comics Magazine, and is brought to you Monday through Friday at this same time.

This page last updated on August 15, 2002.

If you wish to contribute or correct information, please email us at Dossier Contributors.



Sources/Links
DC Comics Official Superman radio site
SupermanCollectors and SuperPlanet Chronicle
The Adventures of Superman

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