Superman Media Lost to the Phantom Zone

We live in a time when so much of the world’s media is available to us with just a few clicks. The days of needing to buy bootleg VHS tapes to find an episode of your favorite television show are long gone. Despite this abundance—and the decision paralysis that comes with it—there are some Superman things that remain unavailable and out of print. For this list I’m going to ignore the golden & bronze age comics that are long out of print and not available digitally (the showcase trades reprinted basically all of the Silver Age in black and white).

Superboy Filmation cartoons

When Warners released the Superman Filmation cartoons they passed over the Superboy ones. When the DC Universe app streamed these cartoons seasons two & three included the Superboy shorts. But once that service ended they haven’t been added to HBO Max or any other streaming services. In fact season one of the Superman show is available for digital download on services like iTunes, but the other two seasons are only available on DVD. I assume they’ll get around to adding the show to HBO Max, but I’m doubtful the Superboy episodes will be included with season one. I hope these cartoons aren’t lost to time.

Furie cut of Superman IV

We’ve had the Donner Cut. We got the Snyder Cut. Now we want the Furie cut. Legend has it Superman IV was cut significantly after a poor showing at a test screening. The original 134 minute cut has never been released in it’s entirety. We’ve had deleted scenes included on DVDs, but never the whole thing. There is even an excellent twitter account campaining for the release. Come on Warner Archive!

Fleischer in HD (or even 4K)

While these are technically available and easy to come by they aren’t available like they should be. Being in the public doman we’ve seen many releases of thes 1940s theatrical cartoons. Warner’s official release was a really nicely packaged DVD. We’ve had various episodes released on Blu-Ray packaged with the movie, but these theatrical shorts deserve their own high quality release in the best video quality possible. The digital download version from iTunes are in standard definition. There are some versions on YouTube upscaled and you can really see the potential of this.

A complete collection of the radio shows

Lots of these were made available on vinyl and there is an old CD box set that is long out of print. In these days of podcasts and new original audio shows this seems like a no brainer. Put them on HBO Max like the new Batman ones. Put them in iTunes to download. Either way I’d love to hear them all.

Animated Series Soundtrack

A few years back La La Land Records put out a 4 CD Limited Edition soundtrack for Superman: The Animated Series. I missed it at the time and it quickly went out of print. Currently selling for over $130 on the second hand market this soundtrack is out of reach for most fans. Mondo released a vinyl with just the theme song and that’s way easier to come by and a very cool collectible. This soundtrack isn’t available streaming or in any other format. I think I might just have to drop the cash for this one.

April 18, 2022 WB

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