I now own all of SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES on DVD. Each week, I’m going to work my way through the series one episode at a time. Dig?
Episode: “The Last Son of Krypton (Part s 1-3)”
Since this is the first time I’m doing one of these and since this was meant to be watched all at once, I’m just going to watch all 3 episodes that comprise the pilot.
Krypton blows up, obviously. Young Kal-El of Krypton is sent to Earth where he Look you know the score here. All you need to know is Superman establishes himself in Metropolis and stops a gang of terrorists from stealing a high-tech Lexcorp mech suit in a plan orchestrated by…Lex Luthor!
- This is a pretty cool Superman origin! It’s a good combination of the different takes on it (Mostly the Donner movie, I guess) but it adds enough to make it stand on its own. The thing that really stands out to me is that Kal-El is much older than in most Superman origins. He’s walking around, practically!
- I like the weird little touches like the trademark spitcurl coming from Lara’s side of the family. Jor-El being an ACTION! scientist (fighting an ice monster, shooting at Brainiac, stealing that hoverbike etc).
- The Kryptonian high council’s outfits are GOOFY.
- It’s pretty crazy that this CHILDREN’S CARTOON opens with like full-on planetary genocide.
- Reimaging Brainiac as a smarmy asshole Kryptonian computer program responsible for destroying Krypton makes his origin less confusing and creates a ton of storytelling potential that’s explored later on.
- Christopher McDonald is a weird choice for Jor-El considering how notable he is for playing 90’s bad guys but he makes it work.
- The scenes with teenage Clark in Smallville ARE MORE ENTERTAINING AND BETTER EXECUTED THAN ANYTHING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED ON THE SHOW “SMALLVILLE” COME ONNN.
- The Dana Delany’s Lois Lane and Clancy Brown’s Lex Luthor are up there with Conroy’s Batman for me, as far as definitive takes on a character go.
- Have we gotten a Superman origin in the last 30 years that DOESN’T involve him saving people in a falling flying vehicle? (Helicopter, space shuttle, plane?). Superman: Earth One, maybe?
- This version, like all good Superman origins, has him granting Lois the first Superman interview instead of having him fabricate one or whatever.
- The reference to Lois and Lex having dated in the past isn’t without precedent (Bryne’s origin has it) but I didn’t remember it being in this one before.
- Pre-Metallo John Corbin essentially being Hans Gruber only from Kasnia instead of Germany is rather inspired. Really, this show’s Superman foe revamps are welcome changes.
- Animated Bibbo Bibowski = fat Popeye?
- The billion-dollar battle suit having a remote controlled car alarm is hilarious.
- I have to wonder if Corbin using the battle suit to fight Superman was intentional foreshadowing on the whole Metallo thing. Seems like it.
- I think we can all agree the whole scene where Luthor and Superman meet face to face for the first time is pitch perfect.
- The Brainiac teaser at the end kicks off a fine tradition of Brainiac being gross and creepy later evidenced on this show and Justice League.
Superman origins are a dime a dozen but this is possibly the best one yet? Giving a whole episode to Krypton blowing up is a brave choice but it gives way more weight to the whole thing. I don’t remember especially liking this episode as a kid but it moves very quickly for a 90 minute pilot and it does a great job of introducing the cast and setting the tone of the show.
Next Episode: FUN AND GAMES