Top Superman Animated episodes
Back in the prime time of the DC Animated Universe, 1996 (now there’s an introduction that makes me feel really old) there was Superman: The Animated Series. Packaged together with a redesigned Batman cartoon, Superman: TAS was a four-season Kryptonian rampage covering everything from Dark Knight team-ups to mob bosses named Splooge. Of course, with an impressive 54 episodes under its belt, it becomes a little daunting to separate the Bizarro wheat from the obligatory robot fight chaff, so here are the ten best episodes.
10. Ghost in The Machine
Lex Luthor orders two sidewinder missiles to strike a press junket, demonstrating the faulty Lexcorp missile defense system, resulting in Superman having to take out both missiles, in the least clunky “get Superman punching within the first two minutes” routine I’ve seen in the show yet. Coincidentally, these two sidewinders bring about two Luthor libido related innuendo.
“Wouldn’t let you go out there half cocked.”
“Premature product launch?”
That’s two dick jokes in less than five minutes. Back to the main plot: Brainiac kidnaps Lex, forcing him to rebuild a Brainiac body. In order to cover for the man who is essentially Bill Gates but with killer robots, Brainiac is able to pull off this deception by imitating Lex over Skype.
Lex, meanwhile, is humiliated as he has to eat chocolate bars or die of starvation, which is really hard to feel sorry for as it’s handled with gravitas comparable to putting down Lennie because he accidentally strangled Old Yeller who happened to be possessed by the soul of Dumbledore. Maybe Lex used to be a fat bald kid I guess, which would explain his maniacal ambitions for turning himself into a god.
Trying to tie up loose ends, Brainiac sends a sidewinder missile to Clark Kent’s apartment, calling ahead to double check he’s there before actually launching the warhead. For a self-aware super artificial intelligence whose name is synonymous with being absurdly smart, this seems like an outsourced plan. Could you imagine how many times Brainiac got Clark’s voicemail before he picked up?
Brainiac uses robot crabs on Marcy however, which she is able to smash with ease in driving heels. One blast of Superman brand heat vision turns the most pointless robots ever since the doctor droid from Revenge of the Sith into dust. So we can just move along with the plot.
Here’s the really crazy thing about this episode though: when Lex makes enough of the minimum adjustments to Brainiac’s robot shell, Brainiac reactivates himself, energizes an arm gauntlet, and shoots Lex at point blank range. Though his body and ego were wounded, Lex survives, which at the time you can attribute to plot armor or some nonsense of Brainiac not being at full power.
What’s weird is that these arm blasts can do serious damage to Superman. In fact, these electric armbands are modifications that Brainiac specifically made to combat Superman, so how can a mere mortal like Lex survive an attack like that? Incredulously large amounts of foreshadowing, that’s how.
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