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Superboy - The Complete First Season

4.2 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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(Jun 20, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Adventures of Superboy, The: The Complete First Season (DVD)

From the producers of the Superman films comes the adventures of a young Man of Steel who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered journalism student at Shuster University, fights a never-ending battle for truth and justice against his archnemesis, Lex Luther, and other supervillains -- all while trying to sweep Lana Lang off her feet.



Produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, who revitalized Superman's movie career in the '70s with Christopher Reeve in the title role, the syndicated television series Superboy (1988-92) was a flawed but likable attempt to put a youthful spin on the Man of Steel by placing him in college and ridding Metropolis of crime between classes John Haymes Newton (the "Cable Guy" on Desperate Housewives) did a respectable job in both Clark Kent's oversized spectacles and in the cape and boots, and the series certainly made attempts to acknowledge its comic book origins by utilizing original characters, including Lana Lang (Stacy Haiduk), Lex Luthor (Scott Wells), and even villains like Mr. Mxyzptlk (a wonderfully eccentric performance by character actor Michael J. Pollard). Unfortunately, budget restraints and some woefully hackneyed scripts prevented the show from presenting Superboy's exploits in the grand style of the comics, and 20 years after its release, the first season is best appreciated as a camp exercise than a true action-adventure series. Still, there are some moments that approximate the high-flying style of the comics books ("The Alien Solution," which pits Superboy against a belligerent invisible alien, and Pollard's turn in "Mr. Mxyzpltk"), and guest stars like a youthful Joaquin Phoenix (billed here as "Leaf Phoenix) in "Little Hercules" provide some interesting turns (though Leif Garrett's appearance as a wealthy rock star who catches Lana's eye in "Bringing Down the House" pushes things back into camp waters). The extras include a making-of featurette, which covers the series' conception and casting, and commentary by Newton (who gets the show's camp appeal) and Ilya Salkind (who doesn't) on two episodes; Newton's screen test and an excerpt from Ken Burns and Bryan Singer's Superman documentary, Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman, round out the supplemental features. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • 26 episodes on four discs
  • Commentary by John Haymes Newton and executive producer Ilya Salkind on two episodes
  • "Superboy: Getting Off the Ground" - a making-of featurette with the cast and creators
  • John Haymes Newton screen test
  • Excerpts from the documentary "Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman"

Product Details

  • Actors: John Haymes Newton, Stacey Haiduk
  • Format: Full Screen, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 20, 2006
  • Run Time: 558 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EU1Q2M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Superboy - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first watched this series growing up in the 80's - I was eight years old when it premiered in syndication. To me, it is *the* definitive version of Superman/Superboy. Looking back on it, nearly 20 years later, it hasn't held up as well as I remember it - but, it still gets five stars for pure nostalgia reasons.

I thought John Newton was much better as Clark/Superman than Gerard Christopher (both actors appeared later on Melrose Place). Newton brought a realness to Clark - a regular guy who skateboarded and lifted weights with his buddies. However, Christopher took Chris Reeve's interpretation and turned it up to 11 - displaying Urkel-level nerdiness. Thankfully his Clark was toned down a bit after season 2.

Unfortunately, the first season suffers from a number of weak villains. Too often, Superboy found himself pitted against wealthy land developers, cops gone bad, polluters, and old guys in junkyards suffering from World War II shell shock. The villains got much better in later seasons. Still, there are a number of standouts in the first year - the introduction of Kryponite, Mr. Mxyzptlk, battling a succubus, time traveling to Hollywood's golden era, etc. I like how certain elements from the movie franchise were melded with John Byrne's reinvention (Clark's father being alive in this version, etc.) Incidentally, Martha is played by Salome Jens, who would go on to menace Deep Space 9 as leader of the changelings in the Dominion War. Another strength of the series was the impressive wire-work. Take offs and landings were typically done well (using many people who worked on the Superman movies) and were very ambitious - much better than the "whip pan" cape over camera effect used in Lois and Clark to "depict" take offs.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't wait for SEASON 2 of SUPERBOY, but to get ready, I'm looking forward to the DVD release of SEASON 1 starring John Haymes Newton (Melrose Place & 'The Cable Guy' from Desperate Housewives). I just hope potential new fans (Smallville fans & Superman Returns fans) don't get discouraged when it comes time to purchase future seasons of SUPERBOY because they don't know that this show got better. SEASON 1 was probably the weakest of the series, with bad plots.

I can't believe Warner Brothers is releasing this DVD, since they filed a lien against the series in 1992 (the end of Season 4). WB blocked 'Superboy' from being rerun in North America, and from any further plans for occassional TV movies.

For the most part, 'Superboy The TV series' has been legally banned from future fans and viewers around the world which is why it has never been seen in syndication since. It cost the Salkinds a franchise, and the Superboy stars John Haymes Newton (Superboy/Clark 1), Gerard Christopher (Superboy/Clark 2) and Stacey Haiduk (Lana Lang) millions in royalties. Yet, despite this, the series is very much alive on the internet today and has spurned a loyal underground cult following.

Enjoy SEASON 1...John Haymes Newton did a good job as Superboy & Clark Kent.
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Format: DVD
It's super that Superboy season 1 is on DVD! This entire series was a blast of fun and it kept improving and increasing the fun level with every episode. The early episodes are fun, but when it was decided that comic book writers should be involved in the writing that move really made the series even cooler for fans of classic Superboy comics. The reviewer who stated that the comic writers didn't make the series even more like the comics is insane! Scripts by D.C. comic book writers made this show rock! I don't see how any fan of the original Superboy comics couldn't love this show. It's the real deal when it comes to capturing the spirit of the classic Superboy of the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, and early 80's. There's plenty of great comic book based fun like the chemical accident origin of Luthor, plus Metallo, plus the Yellow Peri and Gazook, plus Bizarro...! Plus Noel Neill and Jack Larson too! It was everything this Superboy fan could want from a Superboy TV series! The later episodes are especially good and when it came to capturing the classic Superboy spirit the Salkinds really did it right. Season one is a darn good start, but the later seasons were even more fun. Seasons 3 & 4 are my favorites. Please give us the other seasons on DVD too!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Superboy" has been a long-neglected chapter of the 'Superman' saga, due, in large part, to Warner Bros., who refused, with a few exceptions, to allow the four-season series to be re-syndicated or marketed for 14 years (after winning a court ruling against Alexander and Ilya Salkind, long-time 'Superman' franchise producers). Fortunately, the WB has finally released the first season on DVD (in conjunction with the release of "Superman Returns"), and, despite some obvious 'growing pains' in plot and execution, the series certainly is a worthy addition to any fan's library!

Filmed at the Disney/MGM Studios in Orlando, the first season of the half-hour series offered hunky John Haymes Newton, 22 (cast because of a resemblance to Christopher Reeve), as the Shuster University Journalism student/Superhero, with wholesomely sexy Stacy Haiduk, 20 (Newton's offscreen girlfriend) as his friend (who could be more), Lana Lang. Rounding out the 'regulars' was mop-topped Jim Calvert as 'Jimmy Olsen'-like T.J. White (nephew of Perry), who provided some welcome lightness and humor to the proceedings.

The first episodes appear rushed and routine (the introduction of occasional guest star Scott Wells as snobbish, evil 'frat boy' Lex Luthor is poorly-acted and disappointing), and, sadly, many critics who panned the series never looked beyond those episodes, to the later, more polished stories, penned by veteran 'Superman' comic book writers. Those episodes (particularly the introduction of impish Mr. Mxyzptlk, portrayed by a perfectly-cast Michael J. Pollard), show the promise of the VERY good series "Superboy" would become, in time.
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Topic From this Discussion
Next season
TVShowsonDVD.com had a recent interview posted. The WB is pulling there usual crap and stated that there will be no more seasons of Superboy coming out on DVD. Same goes for Everwood, Knot's Landing, etc...
May 29, 2007 by Brandon L. Harlow |  See all 6 posts
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Superboy - The Complete First Season
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