Wednesday, 4 November 2015

THE FIRST MAX FLEISHER SUPERMAN CARTOON...



I first learned of these cartoons in 1972, when
I read about them in E. NELSON BRIDWELL's
introduction to the SUPERMAN - From The '30s
To The '70s book, but it was at least twenty years
before I saw them.  Here's the very first one to
entertain you, so grab your cape and let's go.

6 comments:

TC said...

In Superman #19 (1942), Clark and Lois go into a movie theater and watch one of the Fleisher cartoons. Since the cartoon depicts Clark changing into Superman, the "real" Clark has to repeatedly distract Lois to keep her from seeing it. The weird part was, he did not seem worried about the other audience members, only Lois, as if she were the only one who could not be allowed to know his secret identity. It was reprinted in Superman #183 (aka 80-Page Giant G-18)in 1966, and was billed as an "imaginary story."

IIRC, I first learned of the cartoons when I read an article in a Warren magazine. Either Screen Thrills Illustrated, or a reprint in On The Scene Presents The Super Heroes. It was mainly about the Kirk Alyn movie serials and the George Reeves TV show, but it mentioned the cartoon series in passing.

These may have been the first animated cartoons in a straight action-adventure genre, as opposed to "funny animal" comedies like Daffy Duck or Mickey Mouse.



Kid said...

I've got Superman #183, TC, a replacement I picked up years ago for the one I was given by a neighbour back in '69 or '70, and I remember thinking it was odd. The story was also reprinted in the '30s to the '70s book, and I think it was touted as DC's 'very first imaginary story'. (A page was printed out of sequence in the book, if I recall correctly.) I've also got On The Scene Presents The Superheroes, but I didn't acquire that until sometime in the '90s, I think.

Colin Jones said...

kid, in this cartoon the baby Superman is found and sent to an orphanage - so what about Ma and Pa Kent and Smallville ? I liked the scene with the bendy skyscraper. At least the animation looks realistic here - in the modern superhero cartoons the characters just look all weird and angular, in the few examples I've seen anyway.

Kid said...

That was the origin as originally recounted in Action Comics #1, CJ. Although the Kents may have been mentioned at some stage in the development process before the character was sold to National (I can't quite remember), they weren't publicly named until after the strip had been running for a while - perhaps not until the expanded 2 page origin in Superman #1.

You'll also notice that the cartoon (like the strip) says that Krypton was inhabited by a race of superbeings. This was okay when Superman wasn't so powerful as he later became, but it was retroactively changed when it was realized that if Kryptonians were as powerful as the later Superman, the explosion wouldn't have killed them.

Phil said...

This cartoon is a work of art. Most of the Fleischer Superman ones were and they led to one famous trope, changing costume in a phone booth. If only the writers of Superman understood him as well as these cartoons.

Kid said...

Indeed, Phil - couldn't agree more.

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