Atom Man, complete with his sparkling bucket helmet, does indeed appear in Atom Man Appears!. He and his goons kidnap Tommy Bond (pretty much by accident) and Atom Man gives Bond a villain speech before sending him back to the Daily Planet. The Daily Planet where boss Pierre Watkin doesn’t believe Bond’s story–or he believes “half of it,” so it looks like Watkin being wrong is indeed going to be a regular occurrence in the serial.
There’s some Superman action for Kirk Alyn, including rescuing people from an ocean liner fire. It’s not particularly exciting action, but it does give Alyn something. Although it’s unclear how he has time to write the story up as Clark Kent. Super-typing, no doubt.
And where he types it up is another thing–the set only has one desk for Bond and Alyn to share. The name plate on the desk just changes.
The chapter has Noel Neill swiping a coin instead of putting it in the Planet safe. Lyle Talbot–as Lex Luthor, who doesn’t seem as worried this chapter about the prison guards noticing he’s gone–uses the coins to teleport his goons back to his cave lair. They don’t just teleport Neill to the lair. The goons go after her, leading to some more Superman action for Alyn–including some rather cool sped up shots–and very little for Neill. She just grins a lot.
The cliffhanger’s good, Bond’s not quite as annoying as last chapter, Neill beats up on Talbot’s goons, and Appears moves along at a nice pace. Atom Man vs. Superman is steady, albeit only two chapters in.
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet; screenplay by George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, and David Matthews, based on characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster; director of photography, Ira H. Morgan; edited by Earl Turner; produced by Sam Katzman; released by Columbia Pictures.
Starring Kirk Alyn (Superman / Clark Kent), Noel Neill (Lois Lane), Lyle Talbot (Luthor), Tommy Bond (Jimmy Olsen), Pierre Watkin (Perry White), Jack Ingram (Foster), Don C. Harvey (Albor), Paul Stader (Lawson), George Robotham (Earl), and Fred Kelsey (Police Chief Forman).