HBOmax is back in the mix. If you have read my post about Batman TAS, then you knew this was coming. I held off on my rewatch of Superman because… I thought it was going to be boring. I always found Batman to be compelling, his relationships, his rogues, his way of thinking…. in comparison… I was not as enthralled with Superman. I like him enough… but he always seemed pretty cut and dry as a kid. Where is the fun in that…? But thank goodness I gave it another chance.
It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and originally aired on Kids’ WB from September 6, 1996 to February 12, 2000. It was the second series in the DC Animated Universe after Batman: The Animated Series, and was acclaimed for the thematic complexity, quality animation and writing, faithfulness to the source material, voice acting, maturity and modernization of the title character’s beliefs. I think younger me was annoyed that unlike Batman, Superman wasn’t/isn’t angry, or violent, or aggrieved, or traumatized.
Midway through the series’ run, it was combined with The New Batman Adventures to become The New Batman/Superman Adventures. The characters of Superman and Batman were then spun off into a new animated series, Justice League. Several episodes involve Superman encountering other superheroes in the DC universe. Batman appears the most often, along with several of his allies and antagonists from The New Batman Adventures, including The Joker, Robin, Alfred Pennyworth, Harley Quinn, Bane, Commissioner Gordon, and Ra’s al Ghul, among others. In addition, other episodes feature The Flash (alongside the Weather Wizard), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) (with Sinestro and the Green Lantern Corps), Aquaman, and Doctor Fate.
By now, you guys know the drill… I am going to pick a few episodes… and tell you what I liked… (or didn’t) about them. In no particular order…. Let’s jump in. As always… Spoilers ahead… but I mean this show is over… 20 years old… so….
- Speed Demons (Season 2, Episode 4) – Flash vs Superman anyone? This is the episode I remember from my childhood. A race to determine who is the “Fastest Man Alive” is being held in Metropolis. (Before you get your hopes up, the outcome of the race is never stated in the episode.) It’s revealed that the race is between Superman and the Flash, who shows up and showboats for the crowd, hitting on Lois and literally running circles around the Man of Steel. After the competitors have a few words, the Mayor announces that the two will race around the world one hundred times and whoever wins will be declared the Fastest Man Alive. The pair is given special tracking armbands so that their progress can be watched. After receiving their instructions, Superman and the Flash take off on their run. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gglMi683Cvs) Hold on to your hats. The race continues for a time and the Flash holds a slight lead over Superman. As the two continue to run, a man drives up a remote road and happily comments that they are fools and they should keep it up. He comes to a cabin that is strangely surrounded by snow while the rest of the area is warm and dry. He gets angry at the sight and quickly enters the cabin. Inside, he sees a smaller man who is holding a strange rod in his hands. This man, Ben, explains to the other man, Mark, that his machine works thanks to Superman and Flash generating high velocity ionic energy. Mark angrily takes the rod and identifies himself as Ben’s older brother. Nimbus Tracking Station gets a call from Mark, who now calls himself the “Weather Wizard”. He tells them that he’s about to demonstrate his power and creates a storm off the coast of Australia. This storm catches an oil tanker in its midst and causes it to crash thereby rupturing its hull and releasing an oil spill. Fortunately, Superman and the Flash are nearby. Superman saves a drowning sailor and repairs the hull. Flash then uses his speed to clean up the oil. After saving the ship, Superman and Flash go to Nimbus Tracking Station and hear of The Weather Wizard’s demand of one billion dollars. Flash identifies the man as Mark Mardon and recalls a previous scheme of his. Superman mentions that there was some money involved that was never recovered. Flash and Superman leave to confront their new enemy. The Weather Wizard doesn’t stand a chance. Even though this is not Michael Rosebaum’s Justice League Flash… the performance still works. Listen… I live for crossovers to any degree. I would have loved to know whether or not it was Barry or Wally West but… it is a great episode nonetheless. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo4KEtAg98Q)
- LiveWire (Season 2, Episode 5) – Now listen… I have no issue with people voicing their opinion. And in this day and age you really have to enjoy trolls… but I feel no sympathy for what happens to the character in this episode. Metropolis and station WLXL’s shock jock, Leslie Willis, comes on the air with her show “Live Wire”. Instantly she starts her rants on Superman. (She is not his biggest fan… by any stretch of the imagination.) Everyone listens to the rants and a crane operator readily agrees with Leslie’s words, but Bibbo hears the report and calls in his complaints. Leslie, however, doesn’t at all care and slams him as well. (Was I shocked that she cut off someone who disagreed with her whining about Superman? Not at all. But that isn’t why I don’t like her.) In a WLXL waiting room or lobby, Lois and Clark wait to interview the shock jock. Lois is annoyed that Clark doesn’t seem to care about what Leslie is saying about Superman, but Clark reveals he isn’t bothered as Leslie is only trying to get reactions and attention. However, Lois is confident that she can bring Leslie down, soon they are interrupted when Leslie’s manager arrives and reveals that the interview will be ahead of schedule as Leslie now wishes to speak with them live on her show. During the interview, Leslie confronts Lois on her relationship with Superman and while Clark is uncomfortable, Lois for the first time finds herself nearly speechless. The crane operator that previously agreed to Leslie’s words continues to enjoy the show, not noticing that something is wrong with his crane. The cable falls and he accidentally drops a load of I beams and the crane begins to fall. Clark hears the trouble and leaves the station. While Clark is gone, Leslie explains what she has against Superman: He’s never around when he’s needed (I wonder what she needed that she didn’t get from him or who else she poll) , everything’s easy for him (when has she get punched in the face), and he only cares about himself. Of course, as she says this, Superman busily works to save the crane operator and the people below from being killed by the falling machine and disproves every one of Leslie’s complaints. Leslie announces a live show she’s having later that night. However, a storm picks up thereby making the show a dangerous prospect. And here is where we get to why I don’t like her. In spite of the storm, the show is still held and the people are far too disorganized. The police arrive and order the show to be canceled but Leslie refuses and riles up the crowd into attacking the police. (She tries to play like they are trying to shut her down because they don’t like what she says on the radio… and completely ignores the fact that she and the crowd are in danger.) Trying to restore order, Superman shows up but he too is attacked by Leslie and the crowd. However, just after Leslie slams Superman again, lightning strikes the metal scaffolding and starts arcing, scattering the crowd. As Leslie is mesmerized by the sight, Superman moves her away from the danger. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZdbP59kA10) The electricity strikes him, causing Leslie to finally realize the danger and try to flee to safety, but the lightning channels through his body and arcs into Leslie. She screams in pain and ends up with discolored skin and hair. Why didn’t you postpone or reschedule? How is this Superman’s fault? Superman spends the episode getting his ass handed to him. But he corners Livewire at the hydroplant where she is trying to recharge. Livewire begins to take electricity from the plant but Superman uses the distraction to tackle her. Unfortunately, being recharged, Livewire gets the upper hand in battle until she accidentally cracks the dam while trying to kill Superman, dousing her in water and shorting her out. Superman fixes the dam and takes Livewire away. Luthor pays for her care….
- My Girl (Season 1, Episode 11) – This is the first time we see Lois learn a bit about Clark’s past. A fashion show is being held in Metropolis and Clark and Lois are assigned to write up on it. As they watch the show, Lex Luthor shows up along with his newest date: Lana Lang. Lois is quite interested in the fact that Clark used to date Lana back in high school. Lana finishes dressing up one of her girls and is soon confronted by two women who kidnap her to get her expensive dress. Clark walks in the room just after Lana’s been taken. The kidnappers throw Lana into an elevator and are soon confronted by Superman. They toss Lana out of the elevator to distract Superman and attempt to escape. However, Superman manages to both save Lana and capture the criminals. After her rescue, Lana lets on that she knows that Superman is really Clark Kent. Luthor shows up after Superman leaves and expresses his happiness that he showed up. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Necd3xcN-OQ) Later at Lana’s apartment, Superman talks to Lana and asks how she was able to figure out his identity. Lana confesses that it was obvious as she saw him do those amazing skills back when they were in high school and noticed that both Superman and Clark Kent had arrived in Metropolis around the same time and easily made the connection. Superman then changes the subject and warns her about Luthor. He mentions that the man Luthor spoke to was an arms dealer and that he may be selling weapons for Luthor. Lana is unconcerned and assures him that she can handle Luthor. (I don’t know why she would think this…) As he flies off away from Lana’s apartment, he is seen by Mercy Graves. Mercy reports what she saw to Luthor, but Lana manages to dissuade him from punishing her. Luthor speaks to his arms dealer, but Lana listens in on him. (She just out here not doing what Clark told her to do. MIND YOUR BUSINESS MA’AM) Mercy observes this and offers to kill Lana, but Luthor refuses. (Mercy is a bit nuts… like she went straight to murder…. what is wrong with her?) Outside, Lana calls up Clark and tells him about the arms deal. The next day, Lana has lunch with Luthor and overhears him talking to Eelan over the phone about another arms deal in Central City. Lana calls it in to Superman and still refuses to listen to his warnings. There’s a knock at Lana’s door and she enters into a limo only to find Eelan is driving. Lana wakes up in a lead factory and is told that the because of the lead fumes the place is automated and Superman can’t see them. She is placed in a mold for lead bars and is nearly covered in molten lead. However, Superman shows up anyway, revealing that he suspected Central City to be a ploy. Eelan attempts to stop Superman with his weapon and causes molten lead to fill the factory. Both Lana and Eelan are almost killed but Superman manages to save them both.
- Prototype (Season 2 Episode 21) – Most episodes start off with a bad idea. This depicts the invention of a suit of powered armor that makes its test pilot, police sergeant Corey Mills, as powerful as Superman. I am 1000% sure that is a terrible idea. Lex Luthor proudly presents his company’s newest invention: The LexCorp Police Battlesuit. This suit of powered armor comes equipped with black light lasers, an impact grenade launcher, jet packs, infrared scopes, and increases one’s strength twenty-fold, abilities nearly identical to Superman’s. The suit’s test pilot, police Sergeant Corey Mills, demonstrates the suit’s capabilities to an awed crowd, even as its inventor, John Henry Irons, warns Luthor that the suit is being offered too soon. (We are being warned… and Luthor, the loser that he is, isn’t listening.) During the demonstration, a major fire is reported. Both Superman and Mills head out to deal with it. They managed to put fire out with Mills landing and revealing that he’s rescued a cat that Superman missed. Superman shakes hands with Mills, who deliberately squeezes too tight. (Ugh….) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqX7yNJGK4c) Superman leaves, feeling rather worried. Back at LexCorp, Irons insists that it’s too soon to use the suit: because Mills’ entire nervous system is linked to it, they haven’t prepared for the potential psychological effects of using it. Luthor refuses to listen, insisting they’ll deal with problems only as they arise. John won’t accept that, but Lex argues by reminding John that he works for him and do whatever he demands. Realizing his mistake, Irons quits his job, but it’s too late to prevent the suit’s continued use. Later, news reports indicate that Mills is becoming far too violent in fighting crime, brutally beating criminals who have already given up. His wife Trish becomes worried that he’s getting to be obsessed with the suit, treating it like it was a second person. He has shaved his head to improve his interface with it, and shows no interest in the vacation they had been planning for some time. Superman pays a visit to Irons, who told him that Mills is under the influence of the suit’s power and that he will never give it up. Irons also tells Superman about a device that, when plugged into the suit, will shut it down, and also incapacitate Mills in the process. The only problem is that the jamming device is in Luthor’s pocket. Mills heads off to see Luthor, who he believes can help him. Luthor acts like he’s Mills’ friend, but inserts the jamming device. It works at first, but Mills falls on the device, crushing it. Goodness…. Why would you think Luthor is your friend? Also… Luthor… made things worse… surprise, surprise.) He attempts to kill Luthor by releasing Luthor’s pet shark on him. Superman shows up and saves Luthor, but Mills attacks him again. The two of them seem to be evenly matched until Mills shoots Superman point-blank in the eyes with his lasers, temporarily blinding him. Superman refuses to give up. Mills continues his assault, but Superman’s sight returns as Mills is strangling him, and he sees that he’s next to an electric generator. Superman grabs a cable from the generator and jams it into the input plug on Mills’s suit, defeating him. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwZM7rkLk54)
- Ghosts in the Machine (Season 2, Episode 14) – Ah Brainiac…. the worst of all Superman’s nemesis. A group of military and press personnel attend the unveiling of a new weapons system at LexCorp. As Luthor prepares for his appearance, he reminds Mercy how vitally important the event is. When he takes the podium, Luthor shocks everyone by casually announcing that two missiles are being fired towards them. He quiets the uproar and unveils his newest weapon: the Sky Sentry, an electromagnetic “cannon” guaranteed to disrupt the guidance system of any incoming missile. As the missiles speed towards the tower, Luthor gives the signal to activate. To his shock, the weapon malfunctions, and Clark is forced to disappear, become Superman, and fly out from the tower to deflect the missiles. (Ugh… Luthor needs to be thrown under the jail.) Clark shares his theory with Lois that what happened was sabotage, not simple equipment failure as Luthor is much too careful to mess up that badly. Lois, for her part, finds it hard to believe that, though Luthor’s enemies are legion, one of them would be crazy enough to antagonize him. Later that night, Luthor is working alone in his office, when he gets a strange phone call, telling him the incident was indeed sabotage, and his answers can be found in Sector Six of the building. Luthor orders the computer to trace the call, but it does not respond to his command. He goes to the lab alone (NEVER DO THIS PEOPLE… NEVER…. BAD THINGS HAPPEN!!!), and is captured by a large robotic claw, which carries him to a computer screen with an image of Brainiac on it. Brainiac explains that he downloaded himself into Luthor’s computers, allowing him to survive the destruction of his body and his ship. He has built the shell of a new body using small robotic drones from the lab, but to complete the finer work, he needs a pair of human hands, with Luthor’s brilliant mind behind them. Luthor refuses, but realizes he is trapped in the lab. He angrily says that it won’t be long before someone notices he’s missing, but then watches as Brainiac generates a holographic double of him, that tells Mercy he’s still on his investigation and is not to be disturbed until further notice. Mercy complies without question. With no choice, Luthor works on Brainiac’s new body for several hours, even days, and his health starts to fail. As he starts to droop in exhaustion, Brainiac threatens him, and Luthor insists that he needs food and rest. Brainiac refuses to let him rest, but one of his drones breaks the window of a vending machine, allowing Luthor to ravenously eat the candy bars inside. Outside Luthor’s office, Clark insists on seeing Luthor, but his secretary refuses. Using his x-ray vision, he looks through the doors and sees Luthor is gone. He works out a way to reveal this to Mercy: he pretends to leave, saying that the Planet will be running a story about sabotage at LexCorp, discrediting Luthor in the eyes of his military customers. Mercy asks him to wait and contacts Lex directly, but Brainiac’s simulacrum still refuses to see him. Pretending to insist, Clark forces his way into Luthor’s office and appears surprised when Luthor is nowhere to be seen. Mercy is genuinely surprised. Mercy checks out some security tapes and learns of Luthor’s location, only to be attacked by several robots. Fighting back, she manages to destroy some of them, but she is soon confronted by several more. Fortunately, Superman shows up and between the two of them they manage to destroy all of her attackers. Superman explains that he followed the missile’s vapor trial to the building and demands to know where Luthor is. Mercy shows him the tape and insists that she go with Superman to save Luthor. When Superman asks why she’s so loyal to him, she explains that she used to be homeless, but Luthor took her in and made her what she is. Luthor continues to work on Brainiac’s new body, but refuses to continue after he learns that Brainiac means to kill him once he’s finished. Unfortunately, he has already finished enough of the body for Brainiac to inhabit it and finish it himself. Superman and Mercy enter the lab where they find Luthor and Brainiac. More robots attack Superman as Mercy tries to destroy Brainiac, who easily defeats her, immune to her weapon. Superman destroys the robots but is attacked by Brainiac who has upgraded his body with energy weapons that make him powerful enough to fight Superman on an equal footing. Superman is nearly defeated until Mercy notices the Sky Sentry stored in a corner and yells to Superman. Superman flies to the weapon and fires a magnetic blast at Brainiac. Brainiac fires back, but the Sentry’s beam overcomes him and magnetizes his body. The magnetic field is so powerful that it begins to tear the room apart, pulling every metal object towards Brainiac with destructive force. While Luthor and Mercy try to escape, a large computer terminal falls on Mercy. She calls to Luthor, but he leaves her behind, and Superman has to save her. (He is trash y’all…. TRASH.) After Brainiac is gone, Luthor has his body retrieved and intends to analyze its advanced technology. Superman objects, saying the military has a right to study the threat in case Brainiac returns, but Luthor smugly reminds him that every single piece of Brainiac’s new body came from LexCorp’s inventory. Then he excuses himself to attend a charity benefit. As he arrives at the door to his limousine, Mercy hesitates, but then opens the door for him as usual, still taking his orders in spite of his lack of loyalty to her.
- The Late Mr. Kent (Season 2, Episode 22) – This is one of my favorite TAS episodes. While investigating a murder case, Clark Kent himself becomes the apparent victim of a murder attempt, and cannot reveal that he survived without exposing his secret identity. This was the most stressed I have been. A group of mourners from the Daily Planet attend a memorial at the local cemetery. The funeral is Clark Kent’s. Superman watches from nearby and recalls how this all began… (Now, of course we know that Clark isn’t dead but I wondered how he was going to make a reappearance.) A few days ago, Clark was assigned to interview Ernest Walker, a petty thief convicted of murder for 5 years, and now scheduled for execution in a week. Walker was caught trying to fence the murder victim’s necklace, but swears he found it outside his door, and he claims he is innocent. Using his super senses, Clark determines that Walker is telling the truth. He goes to see Detective Bowman, who was the lead investigator on the case. Clark receives the case files, and Bowman tells him there is no question Walker is guilty. Clark reads through the case files, and is about ready to believe Bowman, when he decides to eat some leftover pizza. This reminds him of Walker’s alibi: he was at home, eating pizza. (How does one confirm this?) Following up on this, Clark goes to the pizza parlor nearest to Walker’s home. While the parlor’s delivery boy didn’t work there anymore, the manager unearths a set of disks containing old delivery records. Later, Clark calls Lois in triumph: He has found a record confirming that a pizza was delivered to Walker at almost the exact moment the murder was committed. Proud of his accomplishment, Clark drives to the governor’s mansion in his car, rather than go as Superman and raise some questions. (I wonder what questions would have been raised?) He also feels that it would be better if it were Clark’s victory for once. However, someone had planted a bomb in his car, which explodes and sends his car careening into the ocean and destroying the disk. Though he survives, Superman sees a fisherman nearby, and realizes he can’t emerge from the ocean without revealing his secret identity, so he swims away. Superman retrieves Clark’s car for the police, under Bowman’s direction. Lois attempts to convince Bowman that Walker is innocent, as only the real killer would try to kill Clark. Bowman dismisses her and states that as he was a reporter, Clark would be prone to a number of enemies. That night, Superman goes to see his parents, but even they can’t figure out how to bring Clark back. Superman says he needs to be Clark Kent, as being Superman all the time would drive him insane, (I could see it.) but regardless, he still needs to clear Walker. Back in the present, Superman decides to go to the governor as Clark Kent and explain Walker’s innocence, prepared to reveal his secret identity if need be. He heads to his apartment to change, and is surprised to find Lois already there. She explains that she was hoping he’d left some evidence of his investigation behind, but couldn’t find anything. They both realize that someone has been through the apartment already: Clark’s computer has been taken, and his phone has been bugged. (I feel like he should have know his phone was bugged… But also that his car was rigged for explosives.) Lois mentions that the eyewitness to Clark’s “death” is unreliable, as he has extremely poor eyesight, and wasn’t even wearing his glasses when the crash occurred. Although Superman realizes that he can plausibly claim that Clark could have swam to shore without the fisherman noticing, Lois tells him that, to her, the fact Clark hasn’t contacted her or anyone is the real proof that he’s dead. Looking through Clark’s bookshelf, Lois sees a bomb placed inside. Superman flies her out just before it goes off. He puts out the fire and, scanning the crowd with his x-ray vision, sees Bowman near his apartment. At the Metropolis Police Department, Lois confronts Bowman: He was the detective on the Walker case, happened to be the one closest to Clark’s wreck, and Bowman was spotted near his apartment after the bomb went off. An increasingly nervous Bowman dismisses her, but Lois holds up the phone tap — standard police issue — and says she will have it checked for fingerprints. Bowman cracks and throws Lois off the stairs. Unfortunately for him, Superman was listening and saves Lois. Superman captures Bowman and he and Lois together will tell the governor of Walker’s innocence: It was Bowman who killed the woman, and framed Walker for the crime. Unfortunately, at the last minute, the governor had gone to watch Walker’s execution. Superman rushes to the prison and manages to save Walker from the gas chamber at the last minute. Lois reads her story on Walker’s exoneration, but takes no satisfaction in her byline; Clark is still gone. Just then, she gets a phone call and bolts up from her desk in shock. At Lana Lang’s penthouse, Lois finds Clark alive and well, but with a bandage around his head. He claims that he washed ashore, found a phone and called Lana, but was too weak to call anyone else until later. Lois is outraged, considering all she went through, but accepts the story. Some time later, Bowman sits in his prison cell, and growls as he angrily reads the story of his own scheduled execution written by Clark Kent before noticing the officers who escort him to his execution much to his horror. As he sits in the gas chamber, he quietly wonders aloud how Clark survived the car bomb. Bowman suddenly realizes to his shock that Clark Kent is Superman right before the lever is pulled, taking his revelation with him to his grave. (Very dramatic. But I am not sure that I cared what happened to Bowman because he was cool with letting an innocent die.)
- World’s Finest (Season 2, Episodes 16, 17 and 18) – Anytime the DCAU delivers a 3 part episode… you know it is going to be EPIC… The episode depicts the first meeting of Batman and Superman in the DCAU, when Batman comes to Metropolis in pursuit of the Joker, who has offered to kill Superman for Lex Luthor. Superman finds himself out of his depth when matched against the Joker’s cunning and unpredictability, while Batman has trouble with the resources Luthor provides the Joker with. Both heroes must agree to overcome their differences in order to put a stop to the Joker and Luthor. The DCAU since released the 3 parts as a full Length film. So…. hold on to your butts… this will be a long one. Part 1 opens up with Joker and Harley Quinn stealing a green dragon statue from an antique shop. (Gotta love his use of the Joker venom. I used to have nightmares about that ghastly laugh and smile.) Later, the police investigate the crime scene and wonder why Joker would only take one jade statue, worth maybe a hundred thousand dollars, especially when rumor has it that he’s short on funds. Batman examines a fragment of the statue that had been left behind and takes it for further study. Back in the Batcave, he runs test on the sample, while Alfred reports that the “Laughing Dragon” has gained a bad reputation for being cursed, since all of its owners died prematurely. Batman knows why: the “jade” is emitting low-level radiation, meaning it’s actually Kryptonite. Now realizing what the Joker is up to, Batman heads off to Metropolis, where, incidentally, Bruce Wayne has business to attend. Out over Metropolis, terrorists seize control of Air Force One, with the President of the United States on board. Lois Lane is among the press corps on board, virtually guaranteeing Superman’s prompt arrival. He easily defeats the terrorists and saves the passengers. Lex Luthor sourly reads about the President thanking Superman (How can you be sour about people being saved? I told you guys that he is trash.) and calls Mercy to get his car ready. Suddenly, she is knocked out by a mechanical Boxing Glove. Luthor enters the car and orders Mercy to take him to the office. However, the driver is revealed to be not Mercy, but Harley Quinn. Luthor then attempts to escape, but Harley locks the car and speeds off, driving quite recklessly. She then notices “a cute hitchhiker” on the edge of the street, which is the Joker lifting his pants leg. She brakes to a halt and the Joker enters the car, explaining to Luthor that he is broke, thanks to Batman’s success in closing down his operations in Gotham City. So he makes Luthor an offer: for one billion dollars, he’ll kill Superman. Luthor is initially skeptical as he wonders how the Joker has any chance at beating Superman when he can’t beat the less powerful Batman. He then changes his mind when the Joker shows him the Kryptonite statue. After the Joker assures him that it couldn’t be traced back to him, he accepts. (Now what kind of person aligns themselves with the Joker?) Later at the airport, a group of reporters, including Lois and Clark are awaiting the arrival of Bruce Wayne, who is revealed to be in Metropolis to oversee a cooperative venture between Wayne Enterprises and LexCorp. Lois reveals what she has heard of Bruce, believing him to be “Gotham Trash”. However, Lois is immediately taken with him when he steps off the plane. Bruce ignores Clark and instead helps Lois, revealing he was impressed with her adventure on Air Force One. Lois then asks him what brings him to Metropolis, however they are interrupted by Mercy who informs Bruce his car has arrived. Bruce then invites Lois over dinner to discuss the news and Lois happily accepts Bruce’s invitation, much to Clark’s displeasure. (They are not starting off on the best foot.) The next day, an insect-like probe droid, the Wayne/Lex T-7, crawls through a canyon even scaling walls. Bruce is pleased at how well his and Luthor’s companies have collaborated in developing the robots for space exploration. Luthor says the robots would be even more useful for military purposes, but Bruce, who under their agreement has sole control over the technology’s uses and more so with his hatred for guns, firmly squelches the idea. (Do I love when Luthor gets blocked? 1000%) Later on, Batman appears in a Metropolis nightclub, finding a runaway thug from the gang Joker recruited. While Batman is interrogating him, Superman arrives, saying he doesn’t want Batman’s brand of vigilantism in his town. To his astonishment, Batman throws him across the room with a judo move. Superman strikes back by ramming him into a wall, which allows the thug to escape. Using his x-ray vision, Superman peeks behind the mask and sees that Batman is Bruce Wayne, much to his annoyance. Superman expresses his disdain for Batman’s methods of vigilantism in Metropolis; Batman then pulls out the Kryptonite fragment and warns Superman of the Joker’s plan. Watch the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP-eMsjvYsE) Superman returns to his apartment. His jealousy increases when he gets a call from Lois, who says she’s taking the morning off to have breakfast with Bruce. As they talk, he notices a small, bat-themed homing device planted on his cape and picks it up. Clark goes to look out his window, as Lois hangs up. He uses his telescopic vision and spots Batman on the roof of a distant building, watching him through binoculars. Knowing Clark can see him, Batman smiles and with a boy scout salute, jumps down out of sight on the far side. Clark realizes Batman has now discovered his secret identity as well and crushes the device in anger. Part 2: Three days later, things are no better between Batman and Superman. Lois and Bruce flirt with each other at the Daily Planet, much to Clark’s chagrin. Out of her earshot they talk about Joker’s location, and Clark warns Bruce not to mistreat Lois, based on his reputation as a playboy, which he dismisses. Revealing he and Lois are now in a serious relationship and points out to Clark that he missed his chance with Lois. Lois then returns and she and Bruce leave for their date, while Clark is left more annoyed and jealous. (I would say poor Clark… but also Bruce is right… You had your chance.) That night over dinner at a rooftop restaurant, Bruce and Lois are getting closer, but Bruce, slightly concerned asks if there was ever anything between her and Clark. However, Lois assure him that his only competition “flew away sometime ago”. Bruce and Lois are just about to share a kiss until they are interrupted by the sudden arrival of the Joker. Bruce and Lois are surrounded by Joker’s thugs. Joker then leaps at Lois and shocks her with his electric buzzer, leaving her unconscious in his arms. Bruce demands he let Lois go and attempts to rescue her, but the thugs begin to shoot at him and he soon falls over the edge. However, Bruce manages to save himself. And the Joker makes off with Lois… (Isn’t Lois an investigative reporter?) Later, the police and Superman have been alerted of the event and assure Bruce that Lois will be saved. Bruce and Superman share a private talk, where Bruce informs Superman to expect the unexpected from Joker, however Superman dismisses his warning and flies off. At Joker’s hideout, he and Harley show a tied up and gagged Lois the Kryptonite statue, where he brags that after he kills Superman, even the tiniest piece of the statue will each be worth a fortune, breaks it in half, saving one half for later. At a LexCorp storage unit, Batman (having secretly brought the Batwing with him) flies off into the sky to rescue Lois. At Metropolis Police Department, Joker contacts Superman, inviting him to come alone to one of LexCorp’s laboratories. Batman tracks Superman’s location and starts to follow him. Superman arrives at the laboratory wearing his Anti-Kryptonite suit. (Do I love when people show up prepared? Sure, but something always happens to cause Clark come out of that suit.) Joker appears confused when the Kryptonite has no effect on him, and Superman quickly gets him to lead him to where Lois is. But just as Superman is about to save Lois, Joker uses his acid flower to destroy the suit. Exposed to the radiation, Superman is quickly incapacitated by Joker, and who gleefully celebrates his victory by electrocuting Superman with his buzzer. Before he can kill Superman, however, Harley Quinn calls and warns that Batman has arrived. Joker leaves, and as soon as Batman enters the room, the doors are sealed and Joker Gas is vented in. Batman examines the room’s contents: barrels of hydrochloric acid, too weak to eat through the walls or door, but instead, Batman uses it to dissolve the Kryptonite. Recovering from its effects, Superman is just able to smash their way out of the room, taking Batman and Lois with him. They confront Joker, who distracts them with grenades made to look like marbles. They flee the laboratory, which is destroyed in an explosion. The next morning, Luthor makes a public statement that the explosion was only a minor problem but is furious with Joker for destroying his property. Clark, among the reporters, hears Luthor mention of his deal with Joker. Luthor and Joker talk, Luthor demands an explanation and Joker reveals to him that Batman has arrived in Metropolis. Luthor is shocked, but Joker assures him that he still has half of the Kryptonite and can finish the job. However, with Batman now involved, Joker demands more money, but Luthor refuses saying that if he can’t handle Superman or Batman than their deal is off. (Now… Why does Luthor have to pay extra because you bought Batman from Gotham??!! You already getting a BILLION dollars.) Later, Clark arrives at Lois’ apartment, wanting to check up on her, however he is surprised to see Bruce there and attempts to leave. However, Lois stops him and asks to at least tell her why he stopped by, Clark then reveals to Lois and Bruce of how he believes that Luthor is involved with the Joker, but can’t prove it yet. Bruce then offers to help stating he could “ask” Luthor. In his apartment, Luthor is rudely awakened by Batman. Batman demands to know what deal has he made with Joker, Luthor denies anything as Mercy sneaks behind Batman and attempts to attack him, however already realizing her presence Batman knocks her unconscious. He again asks Luthor, who becomes too frightened to even form words. Lois tells Clark that she’s planning a transfer to the Planet’s Gotham City bureau, feeling that she and Bruce are serious enough that they’re practically engaged. Clark is upset from the news, though Lois tries to cheer him up by saying he will no longer have a rival reporter at the Planet and will likely earn a better living. However they are soon interrupted when Perry alerts them to a distress call from a cruise ship. While Lois starts to immediately work on the story, Clark sneaks away and flies off as Superman. At his hotel, Bruce is working out until he notices a blimp sent by the Joker, inviting Batman to Hobbs Bay. Bruce is confused at to what the Joker is up to now, Alfred then appears with his uniform and the Jet-wing and Bruce as Batman soon takes off. Superman arrives at the cruise ship and asks the captain what is the problem. However, he is confused and both him and Superman find a fake a distress signal near the ship to lure Superman away. However the distress becomes real when a bomb is detonated on the hull, causing the ship to sink. Batman arrives at the dock, where he meets the Joker, but it turns out to be a trap as Batman is attacked by a now armed Wayne/Lex T-7. Part 3: Out at sea, Superman repairs the damage to the cruise ship and prevents it from sinking. At the same time, Batman flees the Wayne/Lex T-7 using his new Jet-wing until the machine damages it. In desperation, Batman heads for the Daily Planet building to find Superman, but he is not there, and Lois happens to be working late at night. With her in danger of being caught in the crossfire, Batman snatches her up and together they try to run. They are cornered by the robot in the printer room. As it tries to push him into the press, his cape and cowl are caught and pulled off, revealing his identity to Lois. She manages to distract the robot from killing Bruce, long enough for Superman to arrive and destroy it. (OMG, now the cat is out of the bag.) Luthor is informed of the Wayne/Lex T-7’s failure and realizes that he’ll be connected to the crime. He decides to cut his losses and orders one more meeting with Joker. Back at her apartment, Lois treats a wound on Bruce’s shoulder. She is fuming because Bruce deceived her, and also because she honestly cares for him enough that she can’t release the story of Batman’s true identity. Superman arrives and asks Bruce for a partnership so that they can take in both their enemies. Batman agrees and they leave. Meanwhile, Joker and Luthor meet at a LexCorp aeronautics factory, where Luthor informs Joker and Harley that he intends to kill them and frame them for all the mayhem that’s been going on. Joker turns the tables and takes both Luthor and Mercy prisoner. Since he can no longer collect his billion dollars, Joker decides on a “consolation prize”: Luthor’s gigantic and heavily armed Lexwing airship (having Harley paint it so that it resembles a grinning mouth, as it is built in the shape of a crescent moon). Luthor offers to pay for his release, but Joker says he isn’t interested in money anymore. Instead, he wants to destroy everything Luthor built, to Luthor’s horror. Batman and Superman arrive but are attacked by giant versions of the Wayne/Lex T-7’s before they can stop Joker from taking off. Working together, they destroy most of the robots, but then are faced with one that has Mercy strapped to its side as a shield, preventing them from hitting it. Batman manages to get the robot off the ground and Superman deactivates it without hurting Mercy. Mercy tells them of Joker’s plans, which Superman realizes means destroying half of Metropolis, resulting is mass casualties. The group is confronted by a larger, more advanced robot. Superman tells Batman to go after Joker while he takes care of the robot. Unfortunately, this one is equipped with the other half of the Laughing Dragon, rendering Superman unable to fight back. While Batman deals with the wing, Superman is pummeled by the robot until it tries to smash him with a heavy door. The door, which had been lined with lead to block Superman’s x-ray vision, protects him from the Kryptonite and he destroys the robot, in the process shattering the last of the Kryptonite to pieces. Superman heads off to help stop the Joker. Batman confronts and fights the Joker, leaving Harley to fly the wing, but she only succeeds in shutting off its engines. Fortunately, Superman arrives just in time to steer the wing away from a collision with a building. In the fight, Joker accidentally drops his entire bag of marble grenades while going for his gun. As the grenades start to explode, the heroes save Luthor and Harley but are unable to reach the Joker in time. As the Joker goes for a parachute, he is trapped by the grenades rolling towards him. In the face of death, the Joker starts laughing maniacally. The grenades go off, setting off an explosion, destroying the wing as it crashes into the ocean. Sadly for Bruce, Lois says she adores him, but can’t get over his secret activities. He said goodbye, and he and Clark exchange a well-intended farewell before Bruce leaves for Gotham, leaving Metropolis and Lois in Superman’s care once again.
- Identity Crisis (Season 2, Episode 6) – I don’t think I ever knew the story behind Bizarro. This episode sheds some light on the situation. A young boy clings tightly to an electrical tower and is too afraid to climb down. Superman flies down and saves the boy. After a short lecture, Superman flies off and notes a police chase going on through the city. Right after the police is Lois’ car. Superman intercepts the car the police are pursuing but since they are on a winding road, Lois nearly drives off the road and Clark is thrown from the car. Superman catches a confused Clark (the look on Clark’s face) and cautions Lois to be more careful. Lois claims she’s never careful and Superman invites her to dinner to talk about it. Clark decides to leave for the time being. Superman continues his work and saves a helicopter from crashing. After he leaves, he runs into another Superman. The two confront each other and one of them starts to develop white patches on his skin. (“I should warn you. Your makeup is coming off.”) Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C93xJF8BijI) He insists that his double is doing this and attacks. However, before the other Superman can retaliate, the first falls in pain. The second Superman tells him that he doesn’t look too good and his adversary who now has totally changed in appearance attacks him and leaves. The imposter heads off to a laboratory in the mountains and finds Lex Luthor waiting for him. (I should have known.) Luthor apparently knows this creature and orders him to calm down. However, the order is unheeded. Luthor then asks a nearby scientist, Dr. Teng, what is going on. Dr. Teng explains that the alien DNA was unlike anything they ever cloned before. He expresses a desire to quit the project and get rid of the rest of the clones but Luthor won’t allow it. All the while, the strange Superman confusedly babbles on. He finally gets to see himself and questions what he is. Mercy snidely dubs him “Bizarro” which only upsets him. (Mercy is a jerk.) Bizarro goes out to prove he’s really a hero. Now determined to prove himself the real Superman, Bizarro goes out into Metropolis and starts “preventing” disasters. He hurls a wrecking ball towards a park in order to save a building and nearly causes a boat to crash by holding a drawbridge in place. Fortunately, Superman manages to prevent the disasters from occurring. He insists that the ambitious Superman is not the real Superman. Later, Bizarro meets up with Lois on the roof of the Daily Planet to go on their date. Superman shows up and is attacked. During the fight, the planet is hurled off the top of the building and Lois falls off the roof. Caring about Lois, Bizarro saves her while Superman catches the planet. Since Superman is occupied at the moment, Bizarro manages to leave with Lois. Bizarro takes Lois to a restaurant and explains his confusion. During the talk, Lois takes out a tape recorder and learns of the laboratory where Bizarro was created. Lois asks him to take her there, so he does. In the lab, Lois discovers that there are several attempted clones of Superman and Luthor is behind it all. Luthor explains that he obtained Superman’s blood from his museum during Superman’s fight with the mechanical dinosaur. (He is TRASH. Trash with a lot of money.) Bizarro grows agitated at the sight of the other clones but is stopped by an electrical discharge. Luthor decides to destroy the laboratory, and thereby all the evidence. Dr. Teng initiates the self-destruct sequence. However, Bizarro recovers and goes on a rampage blocking the exit and destroying the main terminal. Now there is no escape and the sequence cannot be canceled. Fortunately, Superman had learned of the laboratory from Lois’ tape and re-opens the exit. However, Bizarro now has a hatred of Superman and attacks him. While Superman and Bizarro fight, Luthor and Dr. Teng manage to escape from the lab but Lois is trapped under a large piece of cement. Superman goes to save her and Bizarro realizes that his true enemy is not the real Superman. The ceiling collapses soon after but Bizarro catches and holds it, telling them to escape. Lois and Superman leave just as the lab is destroyed. They both hope that Bizarro survived the explosion that destroyed the lab. (You end up feeling bad for Bizzaro…)
- The Way of All Flesh (Season 1, Episode 4) – It depicts the birth of Metallo. John Corben from “The Last Son of Krypton” returns with a vendetta against Superman. I only wonder if people are capable of admitting their own actions landed themselves in hot water. After his fight with Superman, John Corben is locked away in Stryker’s Prison, but still leads a fairly luxurious life due to his refusal to reveal Luthor’s involvement. However, he is suffering from pains and eventually collapses. He is taken to Dr. Vale, who informs Corben that he is dying of a fatal disease (later identified as Orozco’s retrovirus), but there is a “cure” for it. Sometime later, someone fires missiles onto the prison. Many of the prisoners attempt to escape, but Superman manages to stop them. Corben, however, had been given scuba gear and manages to evade capture. He then goes to Luthor, who explains that the treatment he has in mind will not only cure Corben of his disease, but also make him stronger than Superman. Corben agrees on the basis that he has nothing to lose. A chunk of Kryptonite and a robotic body are brought into the room. Corben awakes now feeling better than ever. A few tests reveal that he has both super-strength and invulnerability. He loves having these new powers, but mentions that he cannot feel anything and has no desire for food or drink. Luthor assures him that he’ll be okay and sends him after Superman. (When will people learn that Luthor can’t be trusted?) Corben is still not convinced all is well, as he encounters an old woman selling roses, but does not know what she means as he lacks a sense of smell. In order to get Superman’s attention, Corben jumps on a subway track, using his super strength to derail the train. Superman shows up in short order and fights Corben to a standstill. When he notices that Superman is still stronger than him, Corben reveals his Kryptonite heart. Superman instantly weakens and nearly gets killed. Lois drives up and tries to save Superman, but is captured by Corben, who forces her to kiss him. Corben suddenly realizes the impact of losing his sense of touch, as he can’t even feel pleasure. (Because Luthor is a big, fat liar. He could have been a caped crusader… like Bruce but he is just a Turd.) Superman takes advantage of Corben’s temporary distraction and hurls him off the bridge. Lois and Clark visit Stryker’s Island to investigate Dr. Vale. However, Dr. Vale no longer works at the prison. Lois and Clark are still allowed to investigate his office and Clark discovers a vial containing the retrovirus hidden within a sharps box. Lois manages to find a parking validation for LexCorp, linking Dr. Vale to Luthor. Back at LexLabs, Corben bursts in and demands the promised “adjustments” of the return of his lost senses, but the scientist says that is impossible; perplexed by this Corben threatens the doctor; only to point out the procedure has made Corben invulnerable to the typical ravages of mortality including pain and aging. But without sensations he stuck in a perpetual sensory deprivation. In insane rage, Corben rips off his artificial skin and takes on the name Metallo after the alloy he’s made of and goes for revenge against Luthor. Metallo eventually finds Luthor on his private yacht and threatens to kill him. Luthor is relatively unconcerned and convinces him to leave him alive by reassuring him that his condition could be fixed, given time. He also reminds Metallo of his “practically immortal” nature, but he states that it’s actually driving him insane. Luthor drives his yacht to a lab to repair Metallo’s skin. On the way, he tells Metallo he still needs him to kill Superman, who soon approaches the ship to confront Luthor. Pointing out only a matter of time for the Authorities to find Dr. Vale and make him testify; Luthor snidely points out Vale will never be found. (THAT MAN IS DEAD!!!) Metallo attacks him, and after a short battle, Superman is weakened. However, he manages to reveal a vial to Metallo, telling him that Dr. Vale, who has been killed under Luthor’s orders, was told to put the virus in his food. Though Luthor tries to convince him that Superman is lying, Metallo turns on him and tries to get him to drink the virus himself. Superman then ignites canisters of gas, sending Metallo and Luthor into the ocean. Metallo can’t float and sinks to the bottom of the sea. Luthor believes he’s won, until a shark swims after him and Superman saves him. Back on shore, Luthor gloats that Superman can’t pin anything of this incident on him as the virus has been destroyed and Metallo is lost at sea with his Kryptonite heart still in effect should Superman try to find him. Superman claims that he’s not the one Luthor should worry about and flies away. (You poisoned that man and had the doctor killed.) Check out the scene: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKxd5hG0uao)
- Action Figures (Season 2 Episode 9) – Metallo is back for revenge. After spending months wandering the sea floor, Metallo finally resurfaces on an island. Without his artificial skin and without memories he’s found by two kids, Sarita and Bobby Felix. The two take him in and for a while he acts like a hero. But as soon as he regains his memories Metallo returns to his evil ways. On the island of Raknaveek, a young boy, Bobby, plays with his toy action figures. As he plays, the island shakes and he complains about the volcano that’s causing the shaking. His sister, Sarita Felix, comes and asks to play but he refuses her. Sarita walks off and complains about her situation and is soon confronted by a robot that emerged from the sea. She desperately tries to climb up a cliff side but another earthquake starts and causes her to fall. The robot catches her and defends her from a falling boulder. Bobby runs up to Sarita’s aid and asks the robot who he is. (You have to love that children have no fear.) The robot claims he doesn’t know and he can’t remember where he’s from. However, he has some memories of his fight with Superman and subsequent sinking into the sea. The children take him along and dub him “Steel Man” based on Superman’s nickname “the Man of Steel”. At the mention of the name “Superman”, Steel Man starts to have memories of Superman attacking him. However, before he can work his way through the memories, the kids call to him and show that there’s a gas truck that has crashed and is about to fall off the mountain. They tell Steel Man to save the driver which he does much to the driver’s surprise. (Did not see this coming…) Back at the Daily Planet, Jimmy tells his fellow reporters about a report he received about a robot that saved the truck driver. Clark takes the report and asks Perry to send him to follow up on the report but finds Lois is already going. (He is so slow to get stories.) She too believes that the robot could be Metallo. Superman decides to go to the island but first goes to get his Anti-Kryptonite suit. (I am starting to hate this suit.) Metallo regains his memories after being given a doll of Superman and tells the kids that he’s from another planet and has to tell the world leaders something important. Unfortunately, the volcano is due to erupt soon and the group will have to evacuate. Metallo tells the kids to get him a disguise so that he can leave too. Sarita and Bobby go back to Metallo and tell him about Lois. Lois, who is close by, is captured by Metallo. (Lois is always in the middle of some nonsense.) She is left tied up but Sarita and Bobby protest. Metallo is uncaring and tries to force the kids to leave. Fortunately Superman was told to find the kids and shows up. He fights with Metallo. The Anti-Kryptonite suit protects Superman from Metallo’s Kryptonite heart until Metallo manages to puncture it. Weakened from the Kryptonite, Superman is pushed into a lava flow. (Very Dramatic.) However, Superman manages to grab hold of the Kryptonite and hurls it into the lava. Metallo goes after it and is drowned in the lava. Superman grabs the kids and Lois and the group flies to safety. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKULzxr9qxY)
- Knight time (Season 3, Episode 2) – Another Batman/ Superman crossover… Yes, please. thanks. This is the first time Superman visits Gotham. Batman’s poor rivals don’t stand a chance. Roxy Rocket flies through Metropolis on her personal rocket, closely pursued by Superman. She dives under a tunnel, only to find Superman at the other end. She takes the risk of flying right at him, but he manages to snatch her off the rocket, which crashes harmlessly in the bay. Superman is amazed that even Roxy would be daring enough to make trouble in Metropolis, but she shrugs and informs him that Batman has gone missing and Gotham City is now overrun with crooks. (I don’t understand how Batman being missing in Gotham equates to trying your hand at crime in Metropolis.) Out in Gotham, a couple of criminals rob a store of its jewelry on the belief that the police are too busy to come and Batman won’t show. However, they failed to reckon with Robin. He easily foils the robbery, only to find the robbers had reinforcements, but before they can shoot him, Superman shows up and subdues the crooks. Superman then consults Robin about Batman’s whereabouts. Robin explains that Batman claimed he’d be away on business but neither Batgirl nor Nightwing believed it. They traced the call and presumed Bruce has been abducted by “Ghul something” in Romania and followed the lead, leaving Robin to defend the whole city by himself. (Why would you do this? You guys know Gatham is gritty and dirty.) When the Bat-signal goes up, Robin claims that crime gets worse every time Batman doesn’t show. Superman vows that Batman will this time. Batman and Robin appear in front of Commissioner Gordon. Gordon informs Batman that Bane has returned to Gotham and is now twice as strong as he used to be. Unknown to the Gotham Police, “Batman” is actually Superman in Batman’s outfit and imitating his voice. (Creepy… But I still love Kevin Conroy… who doesn’t?) They go to Wayne Enterprises to investigate the messages sent by Bruce Wayne. The call claims that Bruce went on vacation but a previous call to Robin claimed that he would be at work. Robin traces the call to New Zealand, but neither he nor Superman believe the trace to be real. Superman investigates the papers in the room and discovers nanites crawling on their surface. Looking at the phone, he discovers a needle and realizes that Bruce is under some kind of mind control. (I mean that would be the only way to make Bruce Wayne do things against his will.) “Batman” and Robin interrogate the Penguin about the whereabouts of the Mad Hatter. After some convincing, he confides in them that the Mad Hatter is meeting with the Riddler and Bane. The three criminals intend to control Gotham City with Riddler acting as a jailer, the Mad Hatter as a puppeteer and Bane as an enforcer. However, “Batman” and Robin appear to foil their plans. Robin manages to knock down Riddler and cuff him to the cage. Bane engages “Batman” in a fierce battle, but he pummels him into submission with relative ease, stunning Bane greatly. After a short chase, they capture the Mad Hatter who is no match for Superman’s speed. (Poor Bane…. Poor Mad Hatter.) Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgW6aMyaXO8) At the Batcave, Superman checks the message sent to Lucius Fox and hears rocket exhaust in the background, whereupon Robin realizes that Bruce must be at Wayne Aerospace, which is supposed to be abandoned. The team heads to Wayne Aerospace and discovers there is in fact a group of technicians working on a new rocket that has Kryptonian features. Bruce comes onto the scene and tells his staff they can go home, and the staff members leave in confusion. After they have gone, Brainiac reveals himself as the mastermind behind Bruce’s disappearance. (Brainiac is the WORST…. he never dies.) He’s about to kill Bruce on the basis that he’s outlived his usefulness, but Superman intervenes and stops him. Brainiac is unconcerned, as he believes he is up against the mortal Batman, but soon finds out who he’s really facing. Superman confronts Brainiac. Superman manages to destroy the rocket and his foe’s new body. Bruce is returned to normal because the nanites in his body have begun to self-destruct harmlessly. Superman cautions him on checking his computer systems anyway, and leaves with a compliment towards Robin. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJNoA2kZIY0)
- Heavy Metal (Season 2, Episode 23) – While I did enjoy this episode…. I mean the voice work of Cree Summer has to be applauded… There are a bit of problematic lines from Metallo here… He end ups encountering black people in a neighborhood looking for Superman… at one point he makes a crack about boys in the hood. (Cringey!) After the failure of his previous battle suit, John Henry Irons has decided to work on a new suit, safer than the last one. This suit is soon put to the test when Metallo returns and nearly kills Superman. John Henry Irons carefully removes a steel helmet from a furnace and cools it in a bucket of water. He then adds the helmet to a full suit of powered armor. His niece Natasha inquires if he’s ready to use the suit to be a hero but he claims that he still needs to do more testing. Elsewhere, a bank is being robbed by three masked men. One of them displays incredible strength by tearing the safe open with his bare hands. An alarm is sounded and the police come to foil the robbery. However, the strong member of the gang manages to make short work of the police. (The police in Metropolis are just as useless as the Gotham.) Irons tests an arm-mounted laser and sees that it works. The chase goes past him and he decides to intervene. He blasts out a tire on the thieves’ truck and manages to deflect their bullets with his armored armband. However, a flaw in the armor causes the laser to break. While Irons tries to fix it, the thieves find him and prepare to shoot him. Fortunately, Superman shows up and saves Irons. Another thief shows up and feigns surrender. However, when Superman tries to apprehend him, the thief punches him. The thief then removes his mask revealing that he’s Metallo. Superman starts fighting Metallo using various weapons that allow him to keep his distance. For a time this seems to work, but Metallo shows off a new feature: the ability to fire beams of Kryptonite radiation. Metallo manages to capture Superman and begins to bombard him with radiation. Irons tries to stop him but is unsuccessful. Fortunately, Natasha rams into Metallo with the van hurling him away. Irons grabs Superman and the group drives off. Unfortunately, Metallo manages to capture a police car and gives chase. Irons carries Superman out of the van causing a stir in the neighborhood but they still manage to get into the lab. In the lab, Irons puts Superman under a light generator to feed him yellow sunlight. (Is the sunlight thing common knowledge?) Metallo shows up in the neighborhood and demands that the people tell him where Superman is. When no one speaks up, Metallo and his men start causing random destruction. (This is where thThe people manage to hold out for a time but are eventually forced to talk. Fortunately, before Metallo can get to Superman, Irons comes out in full armor and introduces himself as “Steel”. Metallo’s men attack Steel but he easily manages to defeat them. He then fights Metallo, who is a lot harder than his men and the fight eventually brings him into Irons’ lab. They continue, but Metallo proves to be more than a match for the new super hero. He manages to trap Steel and grab hold of his hammer. He nearly hits Steel with his own hammer but Superman intervenes. The victory is short-lived however, Metallo resumes blasting Superman with his Kryptonite and this times it seems like he’ll finish his enemy off. Before Metallo can finish the job, Steel hurls his hammer directly into his chest, destroying the Kryptonite rock. (I loved it…).
- Unity (Season 3, Episode 10) – Supergirl… she managed to not get on my nerves. But this episode is pretty creepy. It’s a peaceful day in Smallville, and today is extra special for Kara. It’s the start of Spring Break and she’s going to spend it in Metropolis. After literally speeding through her chores, she is taken to the bus stop where she’s given comic books by a young boy who’s interested in her. Just before she gets on the bus, she bumps into a tall, dark man dressed as a reverend, who creeps her out. (Rightfully so.) As the week ends, Supergirl sends a letter to Jonathan and Martha Kent, telling them about how she’s met celebrities and been around the city. She also explains that she’s been Supergirl in Metropolis and beat Volcana. However, now that the week has ended, she has to go back to Smallville, much to her dismay. When she returns to her house, Streaky greets her, but is afraid of the Kents. (First Red Flag people!) They tell Kara that they wish to take her somewhere special, and take her to a circus tent. The reverend emerges and explains that he’s preaching unity, “the one true source of universal bliss,” and Kara is to join them. Upon entering into the tent, Kara sees that the people are connected to an alien creature by tentacles emerging from their mouths and foreheads. Kara runs out and Supergirl arrives. However, when Kara hits the reverend, everyone in the room is hurt. Supergirl grabs Martha and flies off. In the hospital, Superman arrives, and they learn that an alien parasite has wrapped around Martha’s brain stem and cannot be removed without killing her. (GASP) Just then, Martha starts to stir and recognizes Kara. However, she slips back into a coma and Superman takes Kara out of the room. In the meantime, the doctors learn that the parasite feeds off of the electrical impulses in a person’s brain. Just as they realize this, Martha awakens glassy-eyed and pale. She then approaches the doctors. (DID THEY DIE?!) Superman examines a fragment of the parasite taken from Martha and uses his x-ray vision through a microscope. The parasite dissolves under the radiation. While Superman examines the parasite, Supergirl decides to check up on Martha. However, when she returns, the doctors claim she’s better and that “there’s no greater healer than unity.” They too have been infected, and attack her without warning. Supergirl tries to fight back, but is afraid to because of the fact her actions will hurt everyone. (I mean….. will they remember when this is all over?) She is captured and bound by the trio’s tentacles and almost forced to join. Fortunately, Superman arrives and kills off the parasites with his x-ray vision, subduing them and saving Martha. Superman and Kara head off to stop the rest of the Smallville citizens who are preparing to spread out and infect more of the world. A silo is pushed over and the road is blocked preventing their exit. The group attacks Supergirl, but she manages to defeat them with her x-ray vision. Superman decides that he’ll deal with the reverend himself. Angered, the reverend reveals his true form, a huge tentacled monster much like the one Kara saw earlier. (GROSS!!!) Superman tries to use his x-ray vision, but it’s not strong enough. The reverend and the other alien try to force Superman to join them, but Supergirl blows up the subjugating alien and Superman rips the reverend in half. He then destroys it with his x-ray vision. Good Riddance.
So in the end, I am not sure why the sure this are so underrated. The animation is on point. The storytelling is great. I am glad I gave it another watch. Maybe I am into darker things, but Superman definitely holds up after 25 years. Sometimes, old school memories aren’t entirely reliable. I give it a 5 out 5. Give it a rewatch.