The Adventures of Captain Marvel serial is generally regarded as the best one ever. It's public domain status makes it widely available, and it was one of the very first serials I ever saw on VHS. I hadn't watched again for many years, but I of course got a new DVD version some time ago and have enjoyed several times over the years. It is splendid!
The advantage it has is the decision to make Captain Marvel's backstory different from the comic pretty much and linked specifically to the particular threat of the Scorpion. Binding the hero and the villain together makes for more immediate tension. The variation on threats in this one is pretty good. They rely mostly on using unseen footage to explain the escapes which is mostly fair. I get weary of serials that just have the hero dust himself off after landsides and such. It makes it all less intense. Captain Marvel's threats were exotic and his escapes mostly reasonable within the story's parameters.
And of course the flying is outstanding. I expected that, well remembering it from previous viewings and it didn't disappoint. Tom Tyler looks outstanding as Captain Marvel, the best looking hero ever on screen most agree.
All in all a dandy serial, and a great way to spend an afternoon.
NOTE: This is a Revised Dojo Classic Post.