Movie Cereal: Superman – Chapter 5: A Job for Superman

At the end of the last chapter of Superman, The Spider Lady had just offed disgruntled scientist Morgan with her electrified web. Now, she aims to zap the life out of poor Lois Lane. Superman is way back in Metropolis. How will he ever save Lois? Let’s find out in chapter 5 – A Job for Superman.

As we begin, sparks are flying and it sure looks like Lois’ demise is imminent. However, the Spider Lady cuts the power at the last moment, proclaiming that she will finish the job on Lois later. Instead, she has her goons tie Lois up and load her into the back of a car. Meanwhile, Jimmy Olsen connects with Clark Kent so they can head off to find the Spider Lady’s hideout and rescue Lois.

While Jimmy is driving, a car passes and Clark, using his x-ray vision, spots that Lois is tied up inside. He convinces Jimmy to turn the car around and then has him stop so Clark can run to a nearby farmhouse and call the cops. This all seems a bit strange to Jimmy, but he complies and dutifully continues the pursuit while Clark runs off. Of course, Clark then ducks behind a rock and changes to Superman. He then flies off to catch up with the car carrying Lois. Superman (now in cartoon form, of course) lands on the roof of the car and then grabs the back of the vehicle, stopping it dead in its tracks. The two goons jump out of the car and start shooting, but the bullets just bounce off Superman. He thens knocks them out and uses the fender of the car to tie them up.

Later, back at the Daily Planet, Lois tells everyone of how she was saved by Superman, and how she thinks this Clark Kent guy is a total drip. However, they are interrupted by a radio broadcast from the Spider Lady telling Superman she is plotting to steal something important from the museum. Of course, she is after the Kryptonite.

Of course, intrepid reporter Lois Lane heads off to the museum to make sure she is there to get the story. Meanwhile, there are two whole cops outside to watch for anything suspicious. It doesn’t take long for something to happen. A car comes careening down the street, crashing into a lamp post and bursting into flames. Female screams can be heard inside. As the cops run off to investigate, the Spider Lady’s goons run up to break into the museum They use some sort of high-tech cutter to open the door. They later use the same tool to open Dr. Leeds’ safe and grab the Kryptonite. 

Outside, Superman shows up to the scene of the car accident. He uses his super-breath to blow out the flames, but then discovers that there is nobody in the car. The screams are coming from a record player in the front seat. A record player that somehow kept playing perfectly despite being in a car that just crashed into a pole! Meanwhile, Lois and Leeds spot the crooks inside and a fight ensues. The crooks stab Leeds with the cutter tool and throw Lois against the desk, knocking her unconscious. They then run out with the Kryptonite, leaving their high-tech tool buzzing and bouncing around the floor. It’s getting awful close to slicing through Lois, but, of course, we won’t know what happens until next week.

This is a chapter with a pretty cool middle section sandwiched between some real eye-rolling moments. Things definitely get off to a silly start with the resolution of the cliffhanger I mean, the Spider Lady suddenly deciding she doesn’t want to kill Lois Lane until later is just plain stupid. I mean comic book villains do have a reputation for making dumb decisions but this one takes the taco. Likewise, some of the events at the end of this episode are real head-scratchers. To start with, if the Spider Lady has gone on the radio and declared to all of Metropolis that she plans to steal something important from the museum, what genius decided that a police presence of two would be sufficient to stop her? Perhaps if the cops are Riggs and Murtaugh, or John MacLaine teamed up with Robocop, that would work. The cops given this assignment, though, are more like Gunther Toody and Francis Muldoon from Car 54 Where are You? Even those guys would figure out that the burning car was probably part of the Spider Lady’s plot, but that seems to be beyond these two.

The saving grace of this chapter, though, is the creamy Oreo filling where Superman rescues Lois from bad guys. Watching the animated version of Superman land on the top of the speeding car is pretty darn cool Grabbing the back of the car to stop it, complete with tires spinning and dust flying, also cool. Then we get animated bullets bouncing off of Superman’s chest as he grins wickedly! Again, cool! To top things off, the blue boy clunks the two bad guys’ heads together and then wraps them up in a steel fender. This is all classic Superman stuff and it’s done very well in this sequence.

Now, our cliffhanger this time is left a little bit vague. First of all, it’s not clear yet, but it sure looks like Dr Leeds may be dead. Remember I predicted that last time when he found out that Clark Kent and Superman were one and the same. The real danger, though, is that we have Lois lying unconscious on the floor with this weird electric knife of sorts bouncing around like an out-of-control firehose. It’s strangely silly and ominous all at the same time. So, come back next time to see if Lois gets carved up like a Sunday ham in our next chapter – Superman in Danger!

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