Category Archives: Comic Books

A super man at 100

Amy Adams is all the reason I need to enjoy any movie, but I didn’t watch “Man of Steel” until last night because I expected it to have the orange-and-teal color scheme that plagues recent movies with heavy CG effects, along with endless over-the-top fight scenes and a complete lack of fun. Unfortunately, “Man of Steel” met those expectations.

George Reeves was 24 years old in 1938 when Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1. A year later Reeves was in “Gone With the Wind” as one of the Tarleton twins, and it would be more than ten years after that before Reeves would find his place in pop culture history, in “The Adventures of Superman.” Reeves was born George Brewer 100 years ago today. Fans of the old show are encouraged to visit The Adventure Continues site, and the companion page on Facebook.

The Music Superman

Here’s some more Adventures of Superman music. The previous example is from season 2, and this is from the first season. The music wasn’t actually written for the series, it was composed for low-budget “Poverty Row” studios in the late 40’s, re-recorded overseas to avoid the musician’s union, and later made available on transcription disks for use in TV shows. Some of it is believed to have been the work of famed film composer Miklos Rozsa. There’s a strong “Rite of Spring” component to this piece.

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The first season of TAOS is a lot grittier than subsequent seasons. One of the best early episodes is “Crime Wave.” Watch Superman punch through a concrete wall, then turn around and punch bad guys in the jaw, and remember that this was a kid’s TV show.

Music appreciated

To fully appreciate certain things it is often essential that they be considered in context, but sometimes taking a thing out of context is equally valuable. Here is a 10-minute music selection, removed from its source, that has been heard countless times by millions of people.

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My feeling is there are any number of major film scores today that pale compared to the quality of these themes. Skip to 8:55 to hear something truly super, and keep in mind that in its day this was considered hack work.