The Animated Sequence Episodes and Moments


As a accomplished work, Superman: The Animated Sequence would not boast the endurance of Batman: The Animated Sequence. It is lacking the consistency, sharpness, and resonance that characterised its award-winning sister present. Nonetheless, scattered all through its 54-episode run are moments that rival the standard of the aforementioned collection, moments that make it worthy of our admiration.

A lot of what makes Superman: The Animated Sequence work is its reliance on Superman’s old-school enchantment. Sequence creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini appear to revel within the Man of Metal’s smaller, extra on a regular basis heroics, and it exhibits. And who can neglect Tim Daly’s take as Superman/Clark Kent? Daly redefined Supes for youthful viewers and set the bar absurdly excessive for each Superman actor who would observe.

After revisiting Superman: The Animated Sequence, we have compiled a listing of 11 scenes, moments, and concepts that push the collection nearer to the standard of DC’s top-tier animated exhibits.

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Introducing…Mister Mxyzptlk!

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Mister Mxyzptlk is an imp hailing from the fifth dimension, which means he is not sure to the foundations of our actuality. Seeing a possibility to get foolish and take a look at animation’s elastic parameters, Superman: The Animated Sequence has nice enjoyable bringing this pint-sized trickster into the fold. The Season 2 episode “Mxyzpixilated” marks the primary time the villain seems within the collection, and it is no coincidence that this half-hour is likely one of the best Man of Metal tales put to display. Mister Mxyzptlk shortly establishes himself as a power to be reckoned with, swapping out Ma and Pa Kent with geese, rearranging phrases and letters whereas Clark is typing up articles on the Every day Planet, and so forth.

After which there’s Gilbert Gottfried. His voice wasn’t the one I used after I learn Mister Mxyzptlk as a child, however now, after listening to his tackle the roguish imp, I am unable to not really feel his nasally bark grate in opposition to my eardrums. And truthfully, I would not have it another manner.

Superman Stops a Aircraft

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Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster launched Superman to the world in 1938’s Motion Comics #1, setting the comics world on hearth and kickstarting a craze that endures to at the present time. The primary challenge’s cowl proudly bore the now-famous picture of Superman hefting a automobile, and now each creator ever tasked with writing or drawing Supes strives to recreate the awe-inspiring simplicity of that unique cowl.

In the course of the finale of its three-episode “The Final Son of Krypton” arc, Superman: The Animated Sequence efficiently replicates the “wow” issue of that iconic cowl even because it manages to lift the stakes in a easy—however resonant—manner. Like Motion Comics #1, it hurls a big man-made object (a business airliner) at civilians, ensures that we have chewed our fingernails to nothing, after which vegetation Superman between aircraft and pedestrian for max (emotional) impression.

It is right here, simply three episodes into its run, that the present totally captured the power and spirit of this timeless hero.

She Shoots, She Scores!

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Lois Lane’s (Dana Delany) ability as a reporter is aware of few equals. Her expertise as a journalist catapulted her to fame effectively earlier than Superman: The Animated Sequence begins, so we do not see a lot of what Lois may need been like with out her movie star standing. The present is aware of this and opts to construct out her character whereas she’s on the job. A lot of that is completed by way of small, virtually playful moments that find yourself paying off in surprising methods later.

One in all these moments is Lois’ “workplace basketball,” as seen within the Season One episode “A Little Piece of House.” Early within the episode, we see Lois crumpling up article drafts and tossing them into the trash as she’s brainstorming. Later, throughout Superman’s first encounter with Kryptonite, she makes use of her…marksmanship to foil Lex Luthor’s plot and save the day. Whereas seemingly inconsequential, this payoff showcases the tight writing of which Superman: The Animated Sequence is sometimes succesful. It exhibits that no time is wasted and each scene, each second serves a goal.

Destruction of Krypton

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Superman: The Animated Sequence nails Superman’s origin story. The destruction of Superman’s house planet, Krypton, is an occasion from which numerous DC tales have sprouted. However for a very long time, our emotional funding in Krypton as a spot and a individuals began and stopped with the Man of Metal himself. Figuring out this, Dini and Timm give attention to connecting viewers to Krypton’s plight—and to Superman’s heritage—by populating a planet that we would solely recognized secondhand.

It is within the present’s emotional pilot that we meet Jor-El (Christopher McDonald), Superman’s beginning father. We’re additionally acquainted with the villainous Brainiac (Corey Burton), who exhibits up all through the collection to wreak havoc, and a number of different Kryptonians we would not have met had the writers skipped the titular character’s origin. Whereas many superhero followers have grown bored with origin tales, the significance of context can’t be overstated. And if it is completed well–and it completely is right here—then it needs to be welcomed as a mandatory leg of that hero’s journey.

“There’s No Mere to that Mortal”

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The three-part “World’s Most interesting” arc finds Superman teaming up with Batman (Kevin Conroy) to cease the Joker (Mark Hamill), who has armed himself with Kryptonite and strikes a cope with Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown). Your complete story is likely one of the greatest arcs that ever got here out of the present, so let’s begin small.

The primary act of “World’s Most interesting” kicks off with hijackers taking management of Air Pressure One earlier than realizing that by inadvertently endangering Lois Lane, they’ve attracted Superman’s consideration. It is a hilarious second of consciousness, each on the components of the criminals and the episode’s writers. The story then transitions to the Joker trapping Luthor in his limousine and tempting him with a big Kryptonite dragon he lifted from a jewellery retailer in Gotham. The Joker tells the billionaire that he’ll kill Superman in trade for a billion {dollars}. When Luthor scoffs and remarks that Joker cannot even deal with a “mere mortal”—on this case, Batman—the Joker’s voice drops as he seizes Luthor and growls, “There isn’t any mere to that mortal.”

The second is chilling, and it is one of many few hints we get on the respect the Joker has for Batman. Right here, the writers are doing a little actually compelling table-setting, they usually’re doing it in a manner that honors Batman: The Animated Sequence.

Lobo!

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Lobo exhibits up early on in Superman: The Animated Sequence, co-starring in a two-parter titled “The Principal Man!” and voiced by Brad Garrett. These episodes have been a few of the first actually nice installments within the collection, partly as a result of they clearly had a blast introducing Lobo and partly as a result of they noticed richness within the Superman/Lobo dynamic.

Having Superman and Lobo crew up is not one thing DC does too typically, however when the writers do wish to see how the 2 get alongside, they work onerous to evade predictability. And each components of “The Principal Man!” are something however predictable. Positive, the 2 get alongside so long as it serves them, however that would change at any level. The collection revels in that, and takes each alternative to subvert expectations.

Batman and Superman’s First Struggle

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Additionally featured in “World’s Most interesting,” the primary bodily confrontation between the Man of Metal and the Caped Crusader is transient however vital. It acquaints each alter egos and results in them studying one another’s secret identities. It is a conflict of personalities, a conflict of approaches to preventing crime…it is simply nice to see the 2 titans on display collectively.

Batman and Superman make a formidable crime-fighting crew, however “World’s Most interesting” is simply as within the rigidity between them as it’s in seeing them work collectively. They preserve one another at arm’s size; there’s not a lot belief between them, and this arc explains why. Superman despises vigilantes, and Batman has belief points with everybody.

Principally, the primary battle between Batman and Superman makes this record as a result of it encapsulates their relationship fantastically and succinctly, and it does so higher than most different imaginings have.

Superman and The Flash Race

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Would Superman beat the Flash (Charlie Schlatter) in a race? I personally adore this episode, “Pace Demons,” as a result of it poses the query with out ever really answering it. That is not solely your best option narratively (as a result of does it actually matter who’s sooner?) nevertheless it additionally factors to a deep understanding of the superhero fandom. No matter who wins, followers may have ideas, theories, complaints, and so forth. that make asking innocent questions exhausting.

As an alternative, the writers shortly throw within the Climate Wizard, who—you guessed it—modifications international climate patterns and forces Supes and the Flash to pause their race and go assist these in want.

Me Am Bizarro

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Bizarro’s introduction in Superman: The Animated Sequence comes within the second season. The episode, titled “Id Disaster,” finds the Man of Metal dealing with down what seems to be a precise clone of himself. The reality, after all, is that Lex Luthor is amassing a military of Superman clones in order that someday he can eradicate the Man of Metal and depart the destiny of Metropolis within the arms of his new muscle.

“Id Disaster” works so effectively as a result of it paints Bizarro—additionally voiced by Superman actor Tim Daly—as a misunderstood creature who genuinely needs to do and be good. His sacrifice within the episode’s closing minutes is heartbreaking. Granted, it isn’t his final look on the present, nevertheless it’s completed with a tenderness and empathy that make it robust to not really feel for the displaced prototype.

The Introduction of Kyle Rayner

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Kyle Rayner has all the time been one in every of my favourite Inexperienced Lanterns. Sadly, although, we get valuable little of him in display variations of DC tales. Fortunately, the writers of Superman: The Animated Sequence discovered a spot for him of their story, they usually made positive it was one that may stick in viewers’ brains for years after the credit roll. Kyle Rayner (Michael P Greco) is likable as a result of he begins off as an everyman, a struggling graphic artist determined for the respect of the artist group. He is a inventive preventing for his place within the trade, however as an alternative of discovering his price as an artist, he claims it among the many stars.

Oh, and Sinestro exhibits up for a spell, too. You possibly can’t go improper there.

The Finale

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Because the finale to Superman: The Animated Sequence, “Legacy” had its work minimize out for it. With a lot greatness previous it, it confronted the immense problem of closing out a preferred collection in a manner that was becoming and satisfying. Happily, it does simply that with aplomb.

Watching Supes duke it out with Darkseid (Michael Ironside) is sure to be thrilling, and the individuals behind this present go above and past in ensuring we’re left with lingering awe and a higher understanding of who Superman was, is, and can all the time be. That was all the time the present’s biggest accomplishment: bringing us nearer to a hero who had been written off by so many, and making us care deeply about him.

KEEP READING: ‘Batman: The Animated Sequence’: The 5 Definitive Caped Crusader Episodes

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