Episode By Episode: SUPERMAN: TAS (“The Way Of All Flesh”)

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 Way of All Flesh”

That is one stylish hospital gown.

What Happens: John Corben (previously seen in the pilot episode “The Last Son of Krypton”) escapes from prison after discovering he has a rare virus. Lex Luthor offers him a cure: a new robot body powered by, of course, Kryptonite. This doesn’t work out well for anyone, obviously.

Fashions by Two-Face

Thoughts:

  • Totally forgot about this episode but I think it was one of the first episodes I saw.
  • The detail of Corben living in the lap of luxury in his Stryker’s jail cell is fun.
  • I do like that the last few episodes since Kryptonite was introduced have used it to good effect.
VOOOOOM

YOU TOO CAN BUILD YOUR OWN LEXCORP BRAND CRYSTAL RADIO!

  • The reveal that Corben-as-Metallo can’t feel any kind of sensation is a really brilliant concept, in hindsight. Especially given how much they play up his taste for “the finer things”.
  • Malcolm McDowell really nails Metallo. This is another fairly big departure from the comics but, like say Toyman, it surpasses the original. Very obviously reminiscent of The Terminator.
  • The Kryptonite heart is another unnerving, gross thing about this show.

Heart-Shaped Blecch

  • Lois Lane showing up and grabbing a weakened Supes once again shows off how capable she is in this show, which is pretty crucial.
  • Corben pretty much admits to jacking off to Lois in prison. Charming.
  • Uhhh this is pretty fantastic:

VEHICULAR SUPER-CIDE

  • Corben tearing off his fake skin is makes the Terminator homage all the more obvious.
  • The sequence with Lois and Clark doing some investigation is a perfect showcase for these characters. Clark uses his x-ray vision to notice the virus sample, Lois finds the parking stub and makes the connection to LexCorp.
  • Lex Luthor, eating caviar with some floozy, in a turtleneck, apparently listening to some Kenny G. All class. That this starts off with a cutaway to Luthor’s yacht and a female voice saying “It’s so BIG, Mr. Luthor!” makes it all the better.

Just trying to get his bone on is all

  • Nice detail with Corben’s voice becoming more metallic after he tears off his skin and clothes.
  • Pretty sure Lex’s date just got left out there.
  • Luthor admitting that he straight-up murdered Dr. Vale took me by surprise but it really shouldn’t have. Lex makes a habit out of murdering loose ends on this show.
  • I am in love with the use of green light here:

Neat

  • Luthor deliberately infecting Corben with the virus from the get-go. Classic Luthor. You’d think he would’ve planned for him finding out with some kind of fail safe or self-destruct switch.
  • Metallo not being able to swim and sinking to the ocean floor is a downright Twilight Zone-esque ending

Overall?

This was a very good episode and the above average number of screenshots I’ve included in this week’s write up says to me that this was one of the more interesting episodes, visually. Good development with Corben/Metallo who gets some fantastic episodes later (The Jimmy Olsen-centric one is a favorite).

Next Episode: Stolen Memories

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Episode By Episode: SUPERMAN: TAS (“Fun and Games”)

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: “Fun and Games”

What Happens: Lois Lane is caught in the crossfire when the Toyman takes revenge on local crime lord Bruno Mannheim.

Thoughts:

  • The animated incarnation of the Toyman is THE CREEPIEST THING. I remember being unnerved by the Toyman episodes when I first saw this show as a wee ‘un. The similarities to Mattel’s “Matty” mascot are uncanny.

That SMILE...

  • Hey, Bruno Mannheim is in this episode! He’s basically just a plot device in this episode but they do some pretty cool stuff with him once the Fourth World characters start to show up.
  • The different weapons Toyman uses are fun. Giant rubber duckie, indestructible bouncy ball, remote controlled planes, living play doh, etc.
  • Toyman is so committed to his gimmick that he puts together an expository pop-up book!

Neat

  • Have to say, I REALLY like the new origin for Toyman here and the pop-up book mashed up with Clark and Jimmy going through old news reports is a pretty clever way to convey it.
  • Looking back, it’s kind of surprising that they didn’t do a Joker/Toyman team-up episode, seems like a pretty natural fit and they certainly did enough crossovers between Batman and Superman.
  • Did not realize Bud Cort was the voice of Toyman in all of his Timm-animation appearances. Cool!

Overall?

Nice little episode. Creepy villain with a creative gimmick and it sets up a few plot points for later episodes.

Next Episode: A LITTLE PIECE OF HOME (Krrrryptonite!)