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Superman, Vol. 2 [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Eleventh Hour
The year is 1942, America is at war with Japan, and American reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane are under house arrest in a Yokohama hotel. Unbeknownst to Lois, Clark manages to elude his captors every night at 11 PM--at which time he assumes his true identity as Superman in order to commit various acts of sabotage against the enemy. Certain that the Americans are responsible for this michief, the Japanese High Command sentences Lois to death by firing squad if another ship or munitions plant is destroyed--and now Superman must figure out how to rescue Lois while simulatenously accomplishing his deadly mission. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Japoteurs
The first of the Superman cartoons filmed under the aegis of Famous Studios, Japoteurs begins with a Daily Planet headline letting the audience know that the U.S. has developed the world's largest bomber plane and that it will soon be making a test flight. The paper's top reporters, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, are allowed to take a tour of the plane prior to its flight, and see that, in addition to its other features, it can also serve as an airstrip for launching smaller planes. Lois stows away after the tour is over, but she's not alone -- a number of Japanese spies have also stolen aboard, and they hi-jack the ship soon after it takes off. The spies plan to fly the plane to Tokyo, but Lois manages to radio for help, and Superman flies to the rescue. Upon his arrival, he learns that Lois has captured and the spies threaten to release her from the bomb bay doors if Superman doesn't leave. He obeys, but the spy releases Lois anyway, but Superman saves her. Beaten, the agents have set the controls so that the bomber will crash into Metropolis, but Superman uses his massive strength to catch the plane just in time. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Jungle Drums
A military plane carrying American Army lieutenant Fleming and reporter Lois Lane crashes in the jungles of darkest Africa. Before he dies, Fleming entrusts a packet valuable documents to Lois, warning her that the papers must not fall into enemy hands. Unfortunately, Lois is promptly captured by a tribe of hostile natives, led by a "white god" who is actually a Nazi agent in disguise. Rushing to Lois' rescue, Superman is faced with the triple dilemma of recovering the documents, destroying a convoy of Nazi submarines and preventing the plucky girl reporter from being burned at the stake. Don't miss the closing scene with a disgruntled Hitler listening to a robust rendition of Frank Loesser's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition". ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Underground World
The offices of the Daily Planet are visited by a man named Henderson. He tells the assembled that he is an explorer, as is his father, who has been missing for some time. Henderson wants to launch an expedition into the deep, mysterious caverns that his father was exploring when he disappeared, and he wants the Planet to finance it. Reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent join the adventurer, with Lois to travel immediately with him down a river into the caverns, and Clark to join them via a separate boat. Lois and Henderson find land and disembark, but their boat slips away and crashes into a cavern wall, where it explodes. They are then captured by some fierce creatures, half-bird, half-man, who plan to sacrifice them by throwing them into a pit of fire. Clark, who had heard the earlier explosion, discovers what is going on and switches to his alter ego, Superman. Superman quickly mops up the birdmen, saves Lois and Henderson, and seals up the caverns leading to the birdmen's land. At the end of the film, editor Perry White burns Lois and Clark's story, saving he can't print it because it is too unbelievable. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Destruction Inc.
Going undercover, reporters Clark Kent and Lois Lane investigate the murder of an elderly watchman from the Metropolis Munitions Factory. It turns out that factory owner Jones is the head of a gang of saboteurs, determined to commit various acts of mayhem before blowing up the plant. Stumbling onto the conspirators, Lois goes to great athletic lengths to avoid capture, but is ultimately bound and gagged and stuffed into a torpedo tube, which is then fired at a naval vessel. Looks like it's time for Clark Kent to assume his true identity as Superman and go into action--which he does, and how! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Secret Agent
En route to a humdrum assignment, reporter Clark Kent is caught in the crossfire between Nazi agents and a beautiful blonde American counterspy. The girl has a cache of valuable documents in her possession, and the Nazis are determined to prevent her from delivering the papers to Washington. Though captured by the enemy spies, Clark manages to burst full-force into his true identity as Superman, racing to the female agent's rescue as she faces certain death on a sabotaged bridge. Bud Collyer does not provide the voices of Clark Kent and Superman in this episode, which may explain why the "two" characters only have one line of dialogue between them (Some historian believe that this line was delivered by Sam Parker, who'd voiced the title role in Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Mummy Strikes
As The Mummy Strikes opens, Miss Hogan, assistant to noted scientist Dr. Jordan, finds the doctor's dead body in the Metropolis Egyptian Museum, a syringe nearby. Miss Hogan is accused of murder and found guilty. After her trial, Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent is contacted by Dr. Wilson from the museum, who says he has evidence to clear Hogan. Kent goes to the museum, secretly followed by Lois Lane, who eavesdrops on their conversation. Wilson explains that he has translated some heiroglyphics Jordan had been working on and that he believes Jordan had injected an "elixir of life" into the four mummified guards that surround the coffin of King Tush, and then had tried to open the King's coffin, thereby bringing down upon himself the Tush curse. When Kent tries to open the coffin, he finds that doing so releases a poisoned needle, which must have killed the doctor. It also brings the King's guards back to life, and they promptly attack Jordan and Lois. Kent switches to Superman and makes short work of them ,and the film ends with the news that Hogan has been released. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Showdown
Can it be true that Superman has become an outlaw? Actually, it's a petty thief named Severn, who wears a Superman costume while committing various robberies, but the police don't know that. Reporters Lois Lane and (especially!) Clark Kent are anxious to prove Superman's innocence, but instead they're assigned to cover the opening night at the Metropolis Opera House. As luck would have it, the phony Superman picks this very moment to steal jewelry from the various operagoers--prompting Clark to discard his rented tuxedo, don cape and tights as the REAL Superman, and settle accounts with his larcenous lookalike. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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