Superman, the comic-book "Man of Steel" created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, made his feature-film debut in Lippert's Superman and the Mole Men. The story takes place in the small town of Silsby, where the local oil company is drilling what will become the world's deepest well. When the drillers reach the six-mile point, the results are astonishing: four subterranean Mole Men (Jack Banbury, Billy Curtis, Jerry Marvin and Tony Barvis) emerge from the well. Though basically harmless, the Mole Men are regarded as a threat by the citizens of Silsby, especially lynch-happy Luke Benson (Jeff Corey). Reporters Clark Kent (George Reeves) and Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates) arrive in town to do a story on the well. When Kent realizes that the Mole Men are in danger of falling victim to mob violence, he tears off his glasses and street clothes to become Superman. In this guise, he endeavors to rescue the Mole Men and to convince the townsfolk that blind prejudice is both stupid and dangerous. Rather mild by today's standards (the audience never gets to see Superman fly), Superman and the Mole Men served its primary purpose: to act as a theatrical pilot for the very popular Superman TV series, which also starred Reeves and (for the first season, at least) Coates. The feature film was later edited into two half-hour installments of the Superman series, and retitled "The Unknown People."