Atom Man Vs. Superman (1950) was the first live-action Superman ever seen, presented as a 15 episode, cliff-hanging serial. Kirk Alyn played Superman; inaugurating the filmic role a few years before George Reeves so famously portrayed him on television from 1951 to 1958. It was the Reeves version that caused a Superman-sensation with young fans all over America, proving to marketers forever the power of TV.
Interestingly, Noel Neill played Lois Lane in the serial with Alyn, then went on to continue her role with George Reeves in the better-remembered “Adventures Of Superman” on television.
There’s a story that Alyn turned down the Reeves part in the TV series, but that story feels false. As an interesting side note, Alyn appears as “Young Lois’ Father on the Train” in Superman: the Movie (1978), which is awesome, a further testament to Richard Donner’s genius.
Though Alyn flew off to Krypton in 1999, he will forever be remembered as one of the few, the proud, the celluloid “men of steel.” Alyn’s costume is interesting, and can be quite clearly seen in this image. He is basically wearing a sweater (note the knitted wrists) and lace-up suede boots. He looks all pissed-off here, too, which I love about him. This is a German advertisement for the serial, complete with Alyn looking bitchen, Jimmy Olsen looking like a big doofus, and Lois looking…Lois-y. Neat-o.
This wicked brochure came from the Kirk Alyn collection, so I'm sure that he was fully aware of how awesome he looked in it. Rock on, sexy man.