📺 :superman: The Superboy TV Series 35th Anniversary Appreciation Thread :superman: 📺

2023 is full of Superman-related anniversaries, with one of them being the 35th anniversary of the Superboy TV series, which ran from 1988-1992.

Have you seen this series (available on DVD and streaming on Tubi, as of this writing)?

Which of the two leads to play Superboy (John Haymes Newton in season 1, Gerard Christopher in seasons 2-4) is your favorite?

Do you have any favorite memories and/or episodes from this series?

Also…have you read Superboy: The Comic Book, the official comic tie-in to the Superboy TV series?

Fun Fact: The Adventures of Superboy (the comic series was retitled to match the TV show’s title change to The Adventures of Superboy) #20 was written by Gilbert Gottfried, who played Nicknack on the TV show, and was also the voice of the DCAU’s Mister Mxyzptlk on Superman: The Animated Series.

Behold Mr. Gottfried’s comic-writing debut:

Anyhow, what do you think of the Superboy TV series as it turns the big 3-5?

Is it new to you? A favorite from years gone-by?

Did any home video enthusiasts in the crowd pick-up the show as it debuted on DVD?

raises his hand to the above query

Also, which live-action TV Superboy is your favorite: The one from this series? Or Conner Kent, as seen on Titans?

Whatever your thoughts, let’s celebrate Superboy’s best live-action TV outing (sorry/not sorry, Titans). :superman_hv_4:


Confession: I have never watched this. Does it hold up, or is it a chore to watch?


Does it hold-up? Well…

sits back and strokes his chin in thought

Superboy is a product of its time, for sure.

Depending on whether you have a soft-spot for late '80s syndicated TV sci-fi or not may alter your perception of how it does or doesn’t hold-up.

Personally, I think it holds-up, but I also enjoyed a smooch of the show as a child (okay, okay, it was like…a fourth of an episode that I randomly across while I was 8 :smile:; however, I did buy an issue of Superboy: The Comic Book when I was little, so childhood me had some familiarity with the show), I love syndicated '80s and '90s TV sci-fi, and the show co-starred the lovely Stacy Haiduk as Lana, so I’m a tad biased.

Nah! Each episode runs a half-hour, so you can blow through 'em pretty quickly.

I’m curious if the show will get an HD remaster for its 35th anniversary.

If anyone from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is reading (and they may be, one never knows), HD remasters of Superboy and the Ruby-Spears Superman to celebrate each show’s 35th anniversary by, as well as tie into the 85th anniversary of Superman, would be mighty :superman:uper, P/TY in-advance. :superman_hv_3:


I had at least Season 1 when they put the DVD out during the mid-2000s. I ended up trading it in at Half-Price books when I moved from Iowa to New Mexico in 2011. I barely remember the show though. I know I watched episodes when I was a little kid. I have to wonder if I ever even opened the season set though. One of these days I’ll have to grab a watch on Tubi though.


Warner Home Video (as they were known at the time) released Superboy: The Complete First Season on DVD along with a host of other Superman-related DVDs the Tuesday just before Superman Returns’ Wednesday theatrical debut at the very end of June, 2006.

I bought all of the then-new releases at Best Buy that Tuesday, especially since they had an exclusive two-disc edition of the “Look! Up in the Sky!” documentary, whereas the standard edition was a single-disc affair everywhere else.

In addition to being a huge Superman fan and a big home video enthusiast, I also bought all of those DVDs because they each came with a free ticket to Superman Returns (ah, the days when physical home media actually had the free ticket to a movie inside the package).

Of the 6 or so times I saw Superman Returns in theaters, most of those outings were paid for by Warner Home Video…which was nice, since I spent a decent amount of bread on their DVDs.

In case you (or anyone else) were wondering, seasons 2-4 of Superboy were released on DVD through Warner Archive.

If you’d like a DC Tubi sandwich, I recommend the following:

  • One episode of The Flash (the top bun)
  • One or two episodes of Superboy (the meat/filling)
  • One episode of Birds of Prey (the bottom bun)

One or two of those will result in one tasty, LA DC-flavored, TV-based sammich.


If only this was on DCUI. This was the first out of continuity series that was inline with a live action tv series and that is sort of a big deal. Sure, Super Friends might have had a comic and then Super Powers had a few comics (which are amazing and if memory serves me right The King worked on the first volume) and both of those are on DCUI. We even have The Flash TV Special on here.

I have put in a request for Superboy a while back. I wonder if there is weird legal things with it because of the chain of custody.


That could be the case. I know that the main reason people don’t remember it and it has become the “forgotten Superman series” despite being a legit hit at the time it was on and going for 4 years and 100 episodes, is because there were rights issues that held it up to the point it has never aired on TV in the US outside of it’s initial syndicated run and didn’t get released on DVD until they cleared it up in 2006 LONG after the show’s initial run. (didn’t help most people got their first exposure to the show with the season 1 DVD which was… not the shows best just to be kind… which was so poorly recieved they waited until years later to release the rest of the show’s run). So would not be surprised if there is not some kind of rights issues that have kept the comic from being made availiable. Although given it was a comic adaption of a show most people have forgotten about probably has not prompted them to hurry.

As for the show itself. Interestingly way back when DC Universe first launched it was the chance to see Superboy again, without having to shell out a ton of money for DVD’s or digital downloads that got me to subscribe to DC Universe the day it launched… and I have been here ever since.

I loved the show when it came out, although while hard to believe now seeing a live action adaption of a superhero comic was a rarity back in those days, the fact it was Superman and I was just happy to have it. I remember at one point it, Flash and Swamp Thing were all on at the same time. Seems hard to believe in the post Arrowverse universe but 3 DC TV shows airing at the same time… my mind was blown.

I don’t know if I would call it a chore to watch, I think if you can appreciate it for what it is it has it’s value. But as others have said, it is definitely a product of it’s time and especially in it’s first season had not aged especially well. Not really that there is much problematic or the like (that I remember anyway), but 80’s and 90’s first run syndication was a special breed of TV that for the most part doesn’t really hold up well in terms of production or story telling quality. They were low budget TV and Superboy reflected that, especially season 1 which felt like they must have had a budget of 30 bucks per episode.

But it is an interesting take on the character, and over the cource of it’s run in addition to Superboy and Lana Lang, it gave us multiple villains from the comic at a time when other superhero shows shied away from using too many comic book characters. (Well, that weren’t the 60’s Batman).

I don’t think it is any kind of forgotten masterpiece, but for the time it came out and what it was I think it did a good job and definitely think people who didn’t see it should check it out. Although they would probably by wise to at least start by watching an episode or 2 from season 3 or 4 first then if they like it possibly go back from the beginning. Because I am sure a lot of people unfamilar with the show started in the beginning and gave up, as I said season 1, especially the first 2/3’s of it… not great. (althout it was oddly interesting seeing things like palm trees and swamps and the Florida coast in a Superman show. Likely due to budget the first season definitely did not try to hide the fact it was filmed in Florida).

I am glad that through TUbi (and before that DCU) the show has been a bit easier to access. I don’t think it will ever surpass Smallville, but I think it has a unique brand of camp nostalgia that could make it a worthy cult favorite. Sort of Superman’s answer to the 60’s Batman series.

1 Like

Super Powers volume 4 is here, too. We’re only lacking volume 3, which has been requested in the right area a few times, now.

Likewise. Maybe this’ll be our year for it in digital?

Rao knows eBay sellers seemingly don’t want to sell the whole shebang for an affordable price.

I wouldn’t think so. It likely just hasn’t come across the desks of the digitization team, yet.

Hopefully this year, though! :crossed_fingers:t2:

I didn’t watch much of Superboy when it aired, but The Flash and Swamp Thing?

Appointment viewing for little kid me, big time.

Both of the Swamp Thing TV series were appointment viewing (Swamp Thing was likely one of the first shows I watched with regularity on USA), while The Flash was one of my favorite prime-time shows when it aired on CBS…so long as it wasn’t preempted by news about the Gulf War, which it often was and was one of the things that led to it dipping in the ratings and getting cancelled.

Thanks Hussein, ya jerk! :rage:

Speaking of Tubi, I’d love to see the animated Swamp Thing series on there. Rao knows it needs to be available somewhere other than a long, long OOP DVD that offered a fairly crummy presentation, as well as equally crummy (and legally dubious) YouTube uploads.


Now we’re talking! I remember Superboy very well! It was a Saturday staple. I used to watch the cartoon blocks, but after that I’d tune to channel nine to catch Dracula: The Series, The Adventures of Superboy, and Superforce.

This show was my introduction to characters like Metallo, Bizarro and a pretty solid Mr. Mxyzptlk. The change in Superboys wasn’t that noticeable as a kid because in my head, all I saw was Superboy. I will argue that Sherman Howard was one of the best Lex Luthors. He wrote an amazing episode called “Mine Games” where he and Superboy are caved in and have this back and forth.

Despite the limitations of the time and that it was syndicated rather than on a network, the show got better with each season. It sucks it had to get the axe because of legal issues. The ratings were solid.

Everyone will talk about the fact it did the X-Files thing a few years before the X-Files with the Bureau, and stellar two-part episodes like “Roads Not Taken” and “Know Thine Enemy”, but I think it should also be commended for doing so much with such a small budget. Flying effects, especially on a weekly show aren’t easy. And they used a lot of wire work. It should also be commended for doing the multiverse thing ages before other live-action superhero properties. “Roads Not Taken” and “The Road to Hell” have Superboy meeting alternate versions of himself in both two-parters. What I love about “The Road to Hell” is they got Ron Ely to play “Older Superboy” aka we don’t have the rights to say Superman, but it’s Superman. It’s probably the only time someone has played Doc Savage and Superman.

This show brings back a lot of happy memories. Happy anniversary!


Half-hour live-action episodes have a lot to be said for them, but along with the shorter running time, there were really thin budgets (and I’m not sure it would have been a good budget if doubled for an hour-long format, either). So be prepared for some cringe-worthy moments, though not to the extent to be found in Swamp Thing

Stacy Haiduk was consistently good as Lana as she was the only cast member to last the whole show. Both of the actors playing Superboy were good, but younger one they had first season fit the bill better.

The comic book influences/writers put the plots a step above other DC shows of the 80’s and 90s. If the change for season 3 and 4 was a creative brainstorm and not just ripping off some othe show concerning extra-terrestrials, I’m impressed. However, once he graduates college, Clark should be dropping the “boy” from his moniker, not transitioning to “Superboy of the Ghostbusters” so season 2 is my favorite for that reason.

Everyone involved with the show got ripped off - a 100 episode run and no residuals to show for it!


Ripping off some other show concerning extra-terrestrials? Do you mean the X-Files? Cause the Bureau addition to the show pre-dates the X-Files. That’s not to say Superboy did it first. Hell, I’d argue the X-Files owes just as much to Kolchak and The Omega Factor as it does Superboy.

Also, excellent username! I haven’t thought about Pellucidar stories in a while and that just brought back some happy memories :slight_smile:


I actually remember when I first heard about The X-Files being “a show about government agents investigating unexplained phenomenon” I actually thought “What? Like Superboy?”. As far as shows doing it, I don’t remember if it came out before Superboy and/or X-Files but there was also a show about a couple of I think it was college professors who investigated unexplained phenomenon I think on USA around the same time. Although unlike Baywatch Nights at least Superboy can not be accused of just ripping off X-Files when it became popular.

The Superboy who killed Lex also if you watched it now you would swear they ripped off Red Son as well. But yeah the DC Superheroes in the multiverse definitely is well worn territory in live action now, but they did it first for a superhero show although obviously paralell earths was not a new invention. But as much as DC is known for paralell earths they did kind of adopt that story element before DC was so heavily associated compared to now.

Also talking about how Superboy did some things before they were “popular” in superhero shows. The fact it adapted Lex Luthor, Yellow Perri, Kryptonite Kit, Myxptlik, Metallo and Bizarro was somewhat outside the box thinking. Aside from the 60’s Batman most superhero shows just did not lean to into the source material like that. Superhero shows as a whole steered clear of many if any actual super villains fearing making it look too much like the comics would scare off casual viewers. Considering that now superhero shows rarely create their own villains anymore (Flash bragged finally having an original villain in something like season 5) and just pull from the comics, Superboy was a bit ahead of it’s time not being afraid to bring comic book villains in.

Clark and Lana were supposed to be interns and still in college when they were in the Bureau. There were a couple mentions in those episodes reffering to them as college students. So apparently they were still in college we just never saw that part of their life. Although by the 4th season they did seem to abandon it and write it as if that was their actual full time job, and even in season 3 not like them being in college was ever more than a couple throwaway lines. I just told myselt at the time this was an alternate Superman who made some very different career choices.


I vaguely recall a show like that. One youtube report was attributing the season 3 change in atmosphere to the 1989 Batman film. That still doesn’t explain the addition of the paranormal reporting. Maybe the new home base was just a Daily Planet stand-in.

Thanks! DC did great comics on all of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ characters back in the 70’s


Yes! My aunt gave me some of those Burroughs comics, cause she collected them when they were coming out and gave them to me just as I was getting into the books. Now I want find where I have those and go through them again!

Also, that show on USA wouldn’t happen to be rereuns of Friday the 13th the Series, would it? I’m sure it’s not cause I don’t remember USA showing that but it’s the only thing that comes to mind.


Oh it is not that, I would not confuse it with that. When I was in my early teens Friday the 13th The Series was one of my favorite shows. Still think it hold up well today aside from some cheesy special effects, especially in season 1.

It is really bugging me what that show was called. I remember watching it but don’t know many details. I may be wrong about the professors, I remember the leads not being that old but I swore they worked for a college in some capacity and had a female student working with them. I am not 100% sure it was on USA either. So don’t have many details. Need to figure out a way to find out, it is going to bug me now. lol

1 Like

Beyond Reality?

1 Like

Seasons 2-4

Budget of an episode of Superboy? Averages out to about $250,000 dollars.

First season? Uh… often lower than that.

1 Like

Watched the first couple episodes on TUBI.

The cheesy effects I can live with, it’s the over-the-top acting that is the most distracting part.

1 Like

I recently watched the episode where Nick Knack broke out of prison with the aid of his “girlfriend”.

Fun watch (a bit cheesy, but in a good way), and its neat to see Gilbert Gottfried cementing himself in DC years prior to playing Mxyzptlk (I think we’d all agree that Mxy was the better of Gottfried’s two on-screen Super-roles. :smirk:).

SN : Andy McCalister (played by Ilan Mitchell Smith) was, at times, almost as annoying as Jimmy got to be on Adventures of Superman. Same deal, too: Cool character when not annoying, but once the annoyance ramps-up, you want to say “Alrighty, step off-screen, now.”, or just fast forward to the next scene that they’re not in.

SN 2: Prior to Superboy’s official DVD releases, Gerard Christopher sold a self-made set of season 2 .

Evidently, he has master tapes of the episodes he was in (seasons 2-4) and would produce the set for sale at cons (and online too it seems, but that was evidently only to certain people who bought merch from his site) he appeared at.

Once Warner Home Video announced the show would begin coming out in 2006, Christopher discontinued the sale of his season 2 set, while also cancelling his plans to self-produce sets for seasons 3 and 4.

Interesting stuff.


I can attest to Gerard Christopher being the only source for a while where you could get the episodes. I remember buying a tape from his website. He autographed it to me. I still have it somewhere, too!