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This is the eighth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous seven.
COMIC URBAN LEGEND: Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, the Daily Planet and Kryptonite all appeared on the Superman radio show before they ever appeared in the comic book.
As Superman grew in popularity in the late 30s, he gained a radio program.
The radio program quickly outgrew the amount of stories that were supplied to it by the comic books (remember, the radio show began in February 1940, so there was less than two years worth of Superman stories to draw from as resources), so the show was forced to invent new stories and characters of its own.
In the second episode of the series, editor Perry White was introduced. The comic would follow later that year by changing the newspaper Clark Kent worked at from the Daily Star to the Daily Planet, and rather than George Taylor, Perry White became Kent’s boss.
Copy boy Jimmy Olsen followed soon after (in episode #28).
In 1942, another major addition made an appearance.
According to the radio announcer…
Superman for the first time in his life faces an enemy against which he is entirely powerless. That enemy is a piece of the planet Krypton-kryptonite, it is called – which a few days ago struck the Earth in the form of a meteor. A full understanding of his danger came to Superman when he approached the kryptonite for the first time. As he came within five feet of the mass of metal, which glowed like a green diamond, he suddenly felt week, as if all his strength had been drained from him.
Heck, in 1945, the radio show even featured the first Superman/Batman pairing!
For more info, check out this wonderful resource about the Superman radio show.
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