Evan: The introduction of elements and characters from Jack Kirby's Fourth World has warmed by heart, and the confusion I'm sure this will bring Kristin is something wonderful to look forward to. This episode itself was straight action and of little consequence. It served to introduce the danger of Apokolips to Superman and introduce the shadowy uber-villain Darkseid. Dan Turpin is a less obvious character that always seems to get wrapped up in the Fourth World, so we get this episode from his perspective rather than one that would be more organic to the show, such as Lois. I appreciated to look at what the presence of Superman means to the police of Metropolis. With a blue blur saving the day countless times, the police have to fight hard not to look neutered.
While I have to admit I have a soft spot for the one-note cowardly Mannheim, I really found Intergang to be boring. Fourth World fueled criminals should be more interesting, but the energy gloves were lame, as was the wand that dismantled guns and the laser-pointer. Kanto was an interesting man to be stepping out of the shadows, because the show doesn't let us know of his other-worldly status until about halfway though. Before that he's simply a man with a terrible haircut. Seeing him at the end of the episode in his full Kirby regalia made be very, very happy.
I'm going to reserve a lot of judgement for where this is going. I'm interested to see why Darkseid is gunning for Superman. I want to see whether Lois can be brought into this story. I want to know if alien visitors alarms Superman, as it clearly didn't here. Does Lex know about this? Is he doing anything? I'm interested in seeing if this takes us through the end of the season, or if it will be a while before these elements come to fruition.
Two episodes after I mourned this season, I'm very excited to see new, exciting elements introduced as we race towards the real conclusion.
(Also, I think Turpin had a point... before Intergang had alien weapons they were rolling tanks down the city streets... maybe the MPD should have been a little more proactive on that one!)
Kristin: Alright, so this episode sees the return of Mannheim, who we know I was not all that impressed with when he had his bit part in one of the earlier shows. Let's just say that even with a tank and some kick ass alien hardware, he's still not getting me excited about his villainous potential. To make up for this, we are introduced to some tantalizing alternatives...
Kanto looks like a vaguely ethnic genero-villain with a haircut so astonishingly bad, he looks like the lovechild of Disney's Jafar and Mad TV's Stuart:
|Like this guy...|
|And this guy starting a brood of babes, all affecting mid-Atlantic accents.|
And just to be absolutely sure that there is no way I would ever be able to take Kanto seriously, when we see him on his own turf at the end of the episode, he is dressed like he's a page from Planet Robin Hood! It's not even enough to dress him like he's about to gallop about with his band of merry men, but he has to wear this insane beret with two tiny horn-like protrusions from the top of it. No fashion designer pushing the boundaries of "who would ever wear that?!" would dare to send something that laughable down their runway (and I've seen some crazy shit happen as far as that's concerned), so I cannot even find a comparable image to begin to illustrate the insanity with which he has been garbed for no particular reason.
It was refreshing that he was serving a menacing villain. I mean, since Toyman's creep or Luthor's turtleneck we have yet to be introduced to someone who legitimately got my blood going. Hopefully he doesn't ride a motorbike or something silly.
Otherwise, this episode felt very blah to me. The stuff with organized crime and the police force is not my cup of tea, so I'm not really inclined to comment. I do miss Lois Lane, although I appreciated all the women in positions of authority in this episode. It felt like the writers were apologizing for the fact that last episode we saw Lana Lang whoring herself out for anyone who could give her power or advance her own position. Not to mention throwing herself at any man above 6 feet with the breadth of a jet engine. And all the skirt lengths that, no matter how professional the woman, never seem to hit mid-thigh...
Final Thoughts: An interesting start to something new... wonder what will happen when characterization kicks back in?
Evan's Episode Rating: 7/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 0 insane) - I'm very excited for the introduction of some Kirby elements, but come on Lois, there was an empty elevator shaft RIGHT THERE! I miss crazy Lois.
Kristin's Episode Rating: 5/10 - 5 points for being gutsy enough to include an outfit that is just that insane. -5 for forgetting we had a main cast.