The Adventures of Superman

Batman's Great Mystery

Chapter 2 of 11 - February 4, 1948

Dated Death


Radio's Clayton ''Bud Collyer'' (center) as Superman
flanked by a radio exec and Joan Alexander as Lois Lane

Announcer

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.


Narrator

Insisting that he was unable to explain, Batman told Robin, his young companion, that he was going away, and he added that if he failed to return after one week, Robin might never see him again. When twelve days went by, and Batman failed to return, Robin summoned Clark Kent, who is really Superman. Together they searched for a clue to Batman's disappearance. And then, in a recording machine, Kent discovered a wire recording of a conversation between Batman and a mysterious man named Jones.


Jones (recording)

I think you'll do as I say, Mr, Wayne, because if you refuse ....


Wayne (recording)

Yes, if I refuse?


Jones (recording)

Then I will reveal to the world that you, Bruce Wayne, are Batman.


Robin

Holy smokes, Mr. Kent, did you hear what that man said?


Kent

Yes I did.


Robin

He knows Bruce is Batman!


Superman/Kent and Lois Lane appeared in the first issue of Action Comics. Superman/Kent did not appear until the second episode of the radio program.

Kent

So it seems.


The first episode told the fate of Krypton, a planet on the other side of our sun. Ned Wever was Jor-L, Agnes Moorehead Lara.

Robin

How did he ever find that out?


Superman arrived on Earth fully grown. He took the name Clark Kent and went to work for a great metropolitan newspaper to 'better study the ways of men.'

Kent

I don't know, Dick. But it appears that somehow he did find it out and he must have used that information to make Batman go away with him, under threat that he'd expose Bruce's double identity if he didn't!


Lois Lane first appeared in episode seven of the radio series. 'She was the only young, adult woman to regularly co-star in this type of afternoon thriller.'

Robin

Right! But who is he? How did he find out Bruce is Batman? And where did he take him?


Kent

You got me. All we know is that the man's name is Jones. Or is it?


Robin

Who knows. And even if it is it's a pretty slim clue. There are only a couple of million people named Jones, you know.


Kent

Yeah. I know.


Robin

So, where are we?


Kent

No place, yet. Look, do you mind if I play this recording once again, Dick?


Kryptonite, deadly to Superman, was first created for the radio series.

Robin

No, but what do you expect to get out of it?


Kent

Well, there was something vaguely familiar about the voice of that fellow Jones.


For most of its run, Superman aired as a fifteen minute serial, Monday through Friday.

Robin

Gosh, do you think you know him?!


It's run: Feb 12, 1940-March 1, 1951.

Kent

Not sure. I think I've heard his voice before. I'm going to start the recording, anyway. Please don't say anything until it's over, will you, Dick.


Robin

Kent

I'll make like a clam, Mr. Kent.


Okay. Good, here goes.


George Reeves, Phyllis Coates, Jack Larsen, and John Hamilton brought Superman to television in 1951. ,p>Wayne (Recording) That's a strange request, Mr., uh, Jones, you said your name was.

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.


Wayne (Recording)

But 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, eh?


Jones (Recording)

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


Wayne (Recording)

I see. You know 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 ...


Jones (Recording)

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


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.


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.


Kent

That's enough.


Wayne (Recording)

And if I refuse?


Wayne (Recording)

I don't go with you.


Robin

Well, do you recognize that guy Jones's voice? Do you know who he is?


Kent

Nope.


Robin

Oh, shucks.


Kent

But now I know definitely that I've heard his voice before, Dick. Oh, If only I could place him!


Robin

I'd like to place him to, at the end of fist!


Kent

Well, you may get that chance. Do you have a pair of shears, Dick?


Robin

Uh huh, there's a pair right here, in this drawer.


Kent

Will you please let me have them?


Robin

Sure, but what do you want 'em for?


Tape, wire, and disk magnetic recorders were all invented about 1900. Tape won in the end.

Kent

I'm going to cut off the last ten or fifteen seconds of this recording wire. The part where Jones tells Bruce he's Batman.


Robin

But why?


Kent

Because I'm going to play this recording for several people and I don't think Bruce would want them to learn his double identity, do you?


Robin

I should say not! Here are the shears.


When one asks for something, one says 'please'. When one receives something, one says 'thank you,' to express appreciation. This custom began dying out during the 1990s.

Kent

Thanks.


Robin

Look, who are you going to pay the recording for, Mr. Kent?


Kent

For the police department, and for the staff of The Daily Planet. Maybe someone can help us identify Jones.


Robin

Swell idea.


Kent

Give me a hand with this spool of wire, please, Dick. We've got to work fast.


Music!

Perry White, Jimmy Olson and Inspector Henderson were created first for the radio series, then made their way into the comics.

Kent

Now Mr. White, Lois, Jim, you too, Beedy, listen carefully to this recording of a conversation between Bruce Wayne and a man he calls Jones. I want you to see if you can recognize Jones's voice. Alright, Dick, turn on the machine.


Robin

Here goes, Mr. Kent.


Kent

Listen now, all of you.


Wayne (Recording)

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


Jones (Recording)

Jones is right, Mr, Kent., but strange or not.... VOICE FADES


MUSIC

Robin

Well, nobody at either the police department or the Daily Planet recognized Jones' voice.


Superman in the Fleischer animated movie shorts of the 40s

Kent

Yes.


The radio actors voiced these cartoons as well.

Robin

Well, where do we go from here, Mr. Kent?


Kent

Gosh, I don't know, Dick. Let me think a minute, will you?


Robin

Go ahead. I'm afraid you'll have to do the thinking for both of us because I'm so upset my head's just going around in circles!


Kent

If only we had some idea what he wanted with Batman! And if only I could place his voice!

Robin

Yeah, if.

Kent

Say, listen, Dick, Inspector Henderson was going to have a fingerprint expert go over the study in your house. Have you heard from him yet?


Bakelite telephone

Robin

Not yet. Do you want me to give him a ring?

Kent

No, no, let's wait a little while. then we ....

PHONE RINGS

Kent

Oh, excuse me, will you? Clark Kent speaking. Oh, yes, Inspector, did your fingerprint men turn up anything?

Oh, they didn't, eh? I was afraid of that.

Yes, I'm listening. What? What did you say?


Robin

What's up, Mr. Kent?


Kent

Say that again, Inspector. Oh, no, but that's impossible!


Robin

What is it, Mr. Kent?!



Kirk Alyn stars in the first
Superman movie serial in 1948

Kent

Just a minute, Dick. But I can't believe it! You did eh , your positive? I see. Alright, Thanks inspector. Yes, you bet we will! Right. so long.


Robin

What gives, Mr. Kent?


Kent

Plenty. But don't stop to ask questions now but come with me!


Robin

Where, what happened?


Kent

I'm not sure, but either Inspector Henderson has gone crazy or we have. Come on!


MUSIC!


Narrator

Clark Kent and Dick Grayson who is really Robin have arrived at the Metropolis Auditorium where a huge throng mills around the doors, trying to push their way into the already crowded building. There, Kent flashes his press card and followed by Dick, is ushered into the auditorium to seats in the front row, directly below the empty, flag draped stage.

VOICES MURMUR


Robin

Will you please tell me what this is all about, Mr. Kent? Why are we here? What's going on?


The war-ravaged nations of Europe faced famine and economic crisis after World War II. On June 5, 1947, Secretary of State George Kent This, Dick, is a mass meeting which was announced only this afternoon by an organization of selfish, bigoted people who oppose sending food and other help to Europe!
C. Marshall first called for U.S. assistance for Europe in a commencement address at Harvard University. The Marshall Plan. Robin You mean the Marshall Plan?

Kent Yes, that and any other plan to help war-torn nations.
Robin Then what are we doing here? I don't want to have anything to do with a bunch of selfish mugs who don't want us to help those poor people!

Kent

Neither do I, Dick. But wait!


Robin

Nothing doing! I want out!


Kent

Wait a minute!


Robin

When Batman and I were in Europe we saw people living like... like animals, without anybody to care about them!


Kent

I know. If you'll just listen a moment, Dick..I can tell you why ...


Robin

No I won't listen! I don't want any part of this meeting!


Kent

Now look...

Robin

Besides, I've got to find Batman!


Kent

Please, wait a minute!
When moving past someone, it was customary to say 'Excuse me.' This custom started dying out in the 1990s.

Robin

[fading] Excuse me, I've got


Kent

Dick, come back here and sit down!


Robin

I won't! Let me go!


Kent

Will you sit down! Batman is going to be here.


Robin

Batman! Here!



Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft in the serial Batman, 1943.

Kent

That's what Inspector Henderson said. The police department issued a permit for the meeting just before he called me. And get this. Batman is going to be the principal speaker!


Robin

What?!


Kent

That's right. He's going to..



Batman in his earliest incarnation

Robin

Are you kidding? Why, Batman wouldn't breathe the same air as this rotten crowd!


VOICES RAISED, CLAPPING

Kent

Oh no? Look!


Robin

Huh? What?


Kent

Look up there on the stage! Look whose walking out to speak!


Robin

Christopher Columbus! It is Batman.



Batman in the 1940s

Narrator

His eyes bulging, Robin looks up at the tall figure in skintight costume, gloves, cape, and batlike hood and mask, and recognizes his companion Batman. Can it really be Batman, who is out before the huge crowd, to speak for a movement which he, Robin, Superman, , and other prominent people, have condemned as un-American and selfish?

WHAT CAN THIS MEAN?


MUSIC!

There are more surprises and thrills in tomorrow's exciting episode, fellows and girls, so be sure to listen. Tune in same time, same station, for Chapter 3 of Batman's Great Mystery, on The Adventures of Superman!

This page last updated on February 2, 2002.

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

Thank you
so much

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