Mill Creek Entertainment has added Batman and his sidekick Robin to its already busy Oct. 4 release calendar. It’s a sweet collectible package that arrives on DVD under the promotional banner titled, Superhero Origins: Three Classic Serials.
Included in the mix are Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s 1939 comic book creation, Batman, in his screen debut, the 1943, 15-chapter serial titled simply Batman, directed by Lambert Hillyer and starring Lewis Wilson as the original Batman, with Douglas Croft as his sidekick, Robin.
This thrill-a-minute wartime adventure pits Batman and Robin against the evil Japanese spy (and his “zombie” minions), Dr. Daka (played by veteran character actor J. Carrol Nash), who has a death ray that could win the war for Japan!
Next is the 1949 follow-up, Batman and Robin (also 15 suspense-filled chapters), directed by the legendary Spencer Gordon Bennet, with Robert Lowery taking over the persona of Bruce Wayne/Batman and Johnny Duncan as his sidekick, Robin.
The villain, The Wizard, is a complete unknown (only revealed in the last chapter), who has stolen a device that controls cars from a remote distance, which he (or, maybe she) can use to wreak havoc (for criminal purposes). Half the fun is trying to guessing who The Wizard is … the other half is the cliffhanging thrills!
The last serial entry in the Superhero Origins: Three Classic Serials DVD package is director James W. Horne’s 1940, 15-chapter serial based upon the creation of writer Walter B. Gibson (aka: Maxwell Grant), The Shadow.
An extremely popular radio and “pulp fiction” crime fighter appeared in two feature films — The Shadow Strikes (1937) and International Crime (1938) — before moving to Columbia Pictures in 1940 in The Shadow serial, starring none other than Victor Jory as Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow), who, along with his beautiful assistant, Margo Lane (Veda Ann Borg), must battle the sinister Black Tiger through 15 thrill-packed episodes!