Adventures of Superman somewhat diversifies its rogues’ gallery, adding in some people other than petty criminals to the ranks.
1. Jimmy “Action” Olsen
In “Man Who Could Read Minds,” Jimmy all of a sudden thinks he’s Superman himself, trying to take down criminals without any physical prowess or intelligence to speak of. I know that the archetype of Jimmy Olsen stories is that he’s somewhat bumbling (well, until Brian Bendis turned him into a sex machine of late), but these are over the top. He’s almost never doing anything other than the absolute worst thing he can do at any moment. Perry White yells at him constantly, but you can’t blame him. I honestly can’t believe, even within the fiction of the story, that he still has a job.
2. The worst disguise of all time
So, in the same episode, Lois and Jimmy are trying to find out how a certain thief stays ahead of the police, and so they set up a sting of sorts to expose him. It involves Jimmy posing as a latino millionaire. Lois literally just uses mascara to make a shitty mustache and sideburns on him. I’ve seen better Halloween costumes made with burnt cork. Not only does this not really disguise Jimmy, it doesn’t look like facial hair in the slightest. Why not just cut his hair? Buy a wig? Buy a fake mustache? No, let’s just use literally what is in Lois’s purse.
3. The first really super thing he’s done
In “Jet Ace,” Superman finally does something that isn’t just a marginally heroic act: he helps to right a crashing plane’s course. I’m probably forgetting something from last season, but it seems to me like this is the firs time that Superman uses his powers for something other than being bulletproof or smashing through a wall. Yes, he flies places, but he takes his car far more than he does that, even.
Due to special effects budgets, I understand why he’s not flying to the moon or using heat vision all the time, but this is a great example of a stunt that just required a prop plane to make Superman truly look super.
4. The worst mask of all time
Just when you thought Jimmy’s disguise from last episode was the laziest attempt at subterfuge you’ve ever seen, the kidnapper of Perry’s nephew appears to just have cut two holes in a handkerchief and tied it around his head. Of course, it turns out it is the rival newspaper reporter who is secretly a communist? Or some sort of foreign agent who wants the reports on a new super jet. I always chuckle when watching something and there’s a famous person’s name used for a character because said person wasn’t famous when it was made. Today, you’d never meet a new character named Steve Martin, but that’s this reporter’s name. Sadly, he didn’t have an arrow through his head.
5. You wouldn’t at least try to blow out the candle?
So, the plot to get rid of Chris, Perry’s nephew, involves tying him to a chair in a cabin, putting a gas tank in the cabin, lighting a candle in a pile of firewood, and then hoping the candle burns down, lights the firewood, which will ignite the cabin, and then get to the gas tank, and blow it up. This seems like an overly complicated plan regardless, but it is even dumber because Chris is like 5 feet from the candle, and he never once tries to blow it out. I mean, even if it is futile, isn’t that the first instinct? But no, Chris just vaguely moves his arms and resigns himself to his death.
This show is really something.