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'Superpup': The WTFiest Translation of Superman Ever

With every new "Man of Steel" trailer and TV commercial, there's always a smattering of comments from naysayers suggesting that the  latest interpretation of Superman is missing the mark.

True, the new dark and moody translation is indeed a far cry from the spit-shiny slice of Rockwellian Americana that Superman has always exemplified. However, superhero purists should be grateful that Henry Cavill's latest iteration of Big Blue only deviates from the classic Superman formula by lacking red underpants and being a little more frowny than usual.

After all, he could be a little person. Wearing a dog mask. Talking to a hand puppet.

Yes, the producers of the 1958 pilot episode of "The Adventures of Superpup" made papier-mache animal masks and dapper diminutive actors the order of the day, seemingly eschewing the idea of "human superheroes" as being too inaccessible for the simple minds of children. The end result, clearly intended to be endearing and whimsical, comes off instead as a discomfortingly Lynchian, like a crimefighting "Howdy Doody" for the "Eraserhead" crowd.

The live-action children's program focused on the exploits of lowly bespectacled canine reporter Bark Bent (get it?!) and his friend/freeloader Montmorency Mouse, a cheap-looking felt puppet that lives in his office desk drawer. Montmorency's existence is predicated solely on having an impossible name to pronounce, as well as waking up Bent from naps and providing shrill-voiced expository dialogue meant to move the befuddling plot forward.

With the introduction of adversaries such as Sheepdog-faced Professor Sheepdip and Wolfingham, as well as anthropomorphic doppelgangers for other V.I.P.s in the Superman universe such as Pamela Poodle (for Lois Lane) and Terry Bite (for Perry White), it becomes abundantly clear that things are gonna get weird and creepy pretty fast. The thrown-together sets, chipper soundtrack and strange voiceover work only help to cement the show's unsettling overall aesthetic.

Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on your taste for the bizarre), the show never went to air, making it a strange footnote in Superman's 75-year history that will forever live on as the high watermark of WTFery when it comes to superhero adaptations. Watch it in two parts below.