Saturday, October 16, 2010

Episode Seven: The Way of All Flesh

John Corben (who piloted the LexCorp Battle Suit in the premier's climatic fight scene) is informed by the prison doctor that he has a rare and fatal virus.  As a reward for keeping his mouth shut about the whole treason thing, Luthor uses his resources to break Corben out of prison and replace his biological structure with one made made out the nearly indestructible metallo element.  Powered by a hunk of kryptonite, Luthor unleashes Corben on Superman.  Corben trumps Superman in two seperate fights, but after Superman reveals that it was Luthor who infected him with the virus to set in motion Corben's transformation, Corben turns on his benefactor.  Superman has to save Luthor as Corben is lost at sea... more Metallo than man.

Evan:  I was happy for the flashback, because while that smug face and completely unidentifiable accent was familiar, I would never have been able to place John Corben as a character from earlier in the season.  I really enjoyed this episode.  Metallo has never, ever been interesting to me.  Let's face it, there really isn't a more basic Superman villain concept than "powerful entity with Kryptonite lodged in his chest".

See: Giant gorilla with kryptonite eye beams

Also: muscle man with body radiating kryptonite
The episode overcomes this problem by trying (and I think succeeding) in giving some depth to John Corben, never truly called Metallo in the episode.  Corben, though a smug bastard, was never given a real choice due to his impending death.  Luthor forced him to become a robot without feeling, something that tortures him.  Corben is manipulated by Luthor at every stage of the episode, until finally seeing through the ruse and turning on his boss.  Corben was shown to be a true physical threat to Superman, much like Parasite except Superman wasn't acting like a huge moron.  Superman never really manages to do nay sort of damaged to him in any of their fights, and in the end Corben is only stopped because he sank to the bottom of the ocean after falling off Luthor's sinking yacht.  I'm actually interested in seeing his next appearance.  He's the first character in the series with a legitimate grudge against both Superman (and Lois) and Lex Luthor.  That makes for some interesting dynamics, such as in this episode when Superman has to fly Luthor to safety after the destruction of his yacht in shark infested waters.

There's a critical difference in The Way of All Flesh compared to Feeding Time.  In this episode, even though he's getting his ass kicked most of the time, Superman is a total bad ass.  One memorable example came during a fight with Metallo on a busy freeway.  After Lois Lane stopped her car to see why Superman suddenly fell out of the sky onto the road, she's accosted by Metallo.  In order to save her while weakened by the kryptonite, Superman RUNS OVER METALLO WITH HER CAR.  This was a Superman that wouldn't allow himself to be tortured in a basement by a janitor for a week.  He was also a solid super-power aided reporter, using his skills as a journalist to learn the true story behind Corben's disease.  

Lex Luthor was also at the top of his game in this episode.  A long-term plan coming to fruition in the transformation of John Corben, Luthor very nearly accomplished his goal of destroying the Man of Steel.  We got to see the indignant Luthor as the plan failed, and now Luthor has a non-Superman enemy lurking under the ocean, slowly walking back to exact revenge.  In trying to destroy Superman, Luthor created a near immortal killing machine that hates him.  While this would be a problem to most, Luthor's puppet master status in this episode makes me think that may not bother him.  I also really enjoyed that we ended up on the yacht in the first place because Luthor was hoping to take a woman out for a "private cruise".  Nicely done.

Lois had a smaller role because we followed Corben so much, but she got to slap a killer robot in the face.  So she made the most of her five minutes.  Maybe we'll see more of her in the coming episodes as she tries to make enough overtime pay to get her car fixed...

Kristin: Talk about going from one end to the other! If the last episode was an empty corpse pretending to live once more (and not in the cool zombie way), this episode was... not... that. I'm going to start this conversation with the backbone of any worthwhile entertainment: the villain.

Metallo is arguably the most complex character in the series so far. He emerges from a life of decadence in prison, thanks to the generosity of a grateful Luthor, to an existence without pleasure which is clearly a driving force in his nature. This creates a conflict that has not been present in any of the characters so far. Even Superman has less depth than Metallo, who is currently at the bottom of the sea! I even loved his implacable accent, which I'm fairly certain might be an affected mid-Atlantic. Which he might have affected because he loved the sound of his own voice... perhaps another example of his decadence in order to widen the gap between his humanity and his lost senses? Just a thought.

The lord and master of this glorious addition to our cast is Lex, resplendent this episode in a navy blazer and white turtleneck. Classic. Possibly Ralph Lauren?

Like this! Except older and balder.

If he looked less like a retired pro wrestler and more like a dangerous mastermind, I would be spewing his praises all over this blog. However, I will have to limit myself to saying that I found him particularly despicable today. Being willing to utterly crush another person's entire life without actually killing them, simply deadening all of their senses to make them a living instrument of your own evildoing is pretty awesome. I mean, that's cold. It takes something to take away someone's humanity without taking away their life. Hardcore, Luthor. Hardcore.

Lois kicked ass again today, which was nice to see. She comes speeding up in her hilarious little sports car, slaps an indestructible robot right in the kisser (literally!) and then jokes about insurance after Superman epically uses her vehicle to ram Metallo off a bridge! And again, I like the implication that she will be saving Superman's ass in this show as much as he will be saving hers. How very modern of you, writers.

Superman himself seemed determined to do his job better this episode and I think the improvements show in more than just how cool it is that he hit someone with a car. While it is remarkably stupid that he does not use his handy dandy anti-kryptonite suit the second time around with Metallo, it is admirable that he came in with a psychological game plan instead of a physical one. The complexity of Metallo's character gave us another dimension in Superman, in that it allowed the viewer to see our hero at his most crafty. If Lex Luthor gets to be a bodybuilder, I guess Superman has to be able to beat Lex at his own game too. Maybe one episode will feature the two matching wits in a thrilling game of chess.

So, with Evan still excited about Lex's party-time in international waters I end my comments on this one. Excited to see Metallo emerge from the ocean on a beach somewhere. I wonder if metallo itself is magnetized so he knows which way north is... then he can find his way to Metropolis instead of Thailand!

Final Thoughts: A very good episode featuring revenge, turtlenecks and sexy yacht parties! Also, (and we cannot emphasize this enough) Superman hit someone with a car.

Evan's Episode Rating: 9/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 1 insane) - A hopeful 9. I really wanted to give it 10 but seven episodes in feels too early.

Kristin's Episode Rating: 9/10 - This had almost everything I want... except for more Lois. I still need the girl to represent.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Episode Six: Feeding Time

After a crime gone wrong ends in janitor Rudy Johnson's immersion in mysterious toxic waste, he begins terrorizing the city as Parasite.  Parasite realizes the ultimate power lies in draining Superman's abilities, so he chains him up in the basement of STAR Labs for a week.  Superman acts as his battery, recharging a week of unchecked crime until Jimmy decides to play reporter.  He figures out Parasite's location, and frees Superman.  With the help of an anti-kryptonite battlesuit, Superman is able to defeat Parasite.  For now, at least...

Evan:  This show helped fill in some blanks as far as the series was concerned.  We see the interior of Clark's apartment for I think the first time, as well as learn Jimmy's function in the series.  On the first point, I look forward to seeing more of Clark's giant apartment with multiple stories.  On the second, Jimmy apparently does everything Lois would normally do, but also completely removes Lois from the freaking show.  Can we find no balance?

As for this episode's story, it was fine.  We get the set-up for the big fight at the end right at the start with the anti-kryptonite suit, which I somehow missed as the obvious solution to this problem.  Parasite is a nice addition to the show's rouges gallery, and should have a few more solid outings.  I'm not really sure if I want to see another solo Parasite episode, because we may have seen everything he can actually do, but who knows?

I'm just going to say it.  The badass Superman of last episode was completely replaced by a lamer Superman that managed to get chained up in a basement and tortured for a week.  While Parasite scores major points for being the first to do this to Superman, I'm a little concerned that the villain who accomplished this was Parasite... in episode six.  It isn't like Superman lost a fight to Parasite.  That would be fine.  I'm saying that without some fluke deductions from Jimmy, Superman would still be in that basement getting tortured.  Not exactly some epic heroing.

I enjoyed Jimmy as a bluffing reporter acting on a hunch.  In his first episode with a part of any kind, Jimmy managed to save the day.  The only problem with this is that it meant Lois was absent from the bulk of this episode, with only a single line in a lone scene.  While its nice to see the show isn't completely reliant on the dynamic between Lois and Clark, it would have been nice to at least see her wandering around the newsroom or something.  Even Jimmy gets a moment now and then in episodes he's barely in.

This episode was sort of bland for me.  I liked Parasite, liked Jimmy, hated Superman and missed Lois.  We went all in on the new characters at the expense of all the others, which weakened the episode.  I would have liked to have seen a more organic integration, and maybe a less crushing Superman defeat.  His victory didn't really seem to address the fact that HE WAS CHAINED UP IN A BASEMENT FOR A WEEK OF HELLISH TORTURE!

Kristin: I feel like a steak that needs to marinate in the juices of this episode a bit more... however, I am just not sure this episode gave me much juice to start with. I got excited at the set-up of Parasite, as it felt like a new adventure for my Superman experience but was severely let down by the fact that nothing I like about Superman to begin with was working towards solving the problem. And I'm not even sure where exactly the problems begin!

Superman himself felt like he lacked brains... or possibly just creativity. Maybe prowess? A little dash of all three, perhaps. In any case, if he can be outwitted, surprised, and held captive and powerless by a juiced-up janitor, then I'm not sure he's ready for the big leagues. To the show's credit, maybe that's the point. Superman is simply not as experienced yet. He has no idea what to expect with this Parasite problem and certainly no idea how his powers can be used to his best advantage. But to rely on Jimmy? Jimmy is endearing in an "awww, you can't find clothes that fit" kind of way, but he is not really what gets me excited about an episode. It might be the young 90s me coming out to ask why Superman isn't posing, flexing, and charming his way to victory. I'm willing to admit that.

Lois kicks ass. I miss Lois.

That might be all I have to say on this one. A whole lot of mediocrity on behalf of everyone. It's Jimmy's time to shine when everyone else sinks to his level!

Final Thoughts:  Everyone turned into a moron.  Episode sucked as much as Parasite.

Evan's Episode Rating: 4/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 0 insane) - Some parts worked, most didn't.

Kristin's Episode Rating: 3/10 - Boo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Episode Five: A Little Piece of Home

This episode introduces that deadly, green glowing mystery element from beyond the stars... kryptonite!  After security footage of a successful heist is reviewed by Luthor, he quickly catches on to Superman's innate weakness to the remains of his dead world.  Lois' insiders at LexCorp tip her to the kryptonite and Dr. Hamilton at Star Labs reveals that the effects can be dulled by lead.  It is using this information that Lois and Superman are able to escape a trap set by Luthor involving the infamous t-rex.  Superman hurls the meteor into space, but Luthor's archeological teams are already combing the world for the hidden threat, ominously ending the episode.

Evan:  The introduction of Kryptonite.  With a name like A Little Piece of Home, I knew that we would be getting something like this, and I was more than a little leery. Kryptonite can be a crutch for Superman stories, case in point the recent movie.  Why build human tension when every villain can be hurling Superman's biggest weakness at him?  While this episode did more than it's fair share of that, it does get a pass for being the first and having to set up the important plot element.  It had to come sooner or later, and while I was hoping it would be later, I'm glad that it was handled quite well.

Lex Luthor's first non-pilot episode shows us the other side of the villainous capitalist.... the side that builds large museums as a tax shelter.  Unlike Lois, I'm not sure I see the horrible downside to this, although I'm sure it was Luthor that put all the other museums out of business.  The museum houses the kryptonite, thought to be a useless meteor fragment.  I liked that Luthor was as surprised as everyone at the discovery, it would have been easy to make him the master-mind throughout this episode but the restrain helped the uncertainty that the while show was built on.  While the viewer is probably aware of kryptonite, no one in the episode knows what's happening, and that helps show how dangerous it is, and will be, to Superman.

Other than establishing kryptonite, there's not really a lot for this episode to actually accomplish.  We get a really, really bizarre action scene in the second act that is set to jazz music.  The jazz isn't particularly quick, nor suited for a frenzied, aerial battle between Superman and flamethrower wielding, jetpacked thugs.  Stranger still, the show goes very cartoony during the fight, with old-fashioned comedy cuts, gun blow-backs and other stunts that would seem to suit the Looney Toons more than the fairly restrained style the show used during the first and third acts, as well as the first four episodes.

The best scene was probably the diner scene in which Lois orders like a champion, chastises Clark for seeming ill while showing him the kryptonite, then leaving to go to the lab after ordering Clark's lunch for him in about two minutes.  Out of all the episodes so far, this was Lois executing her job with precision.  She's never taken captive and saves the day with a little Lois-brand insanity.

I'm not going to mention the t-rex, as I'm sure Kristin is going to be all over it.  I will say, however, that that was not exactly the most precise death-trap we've ever seen from Luthor.  Robot dinosaur?  I think he'd have to admit that he was mostly just having fun with that one.  I guess he really overestimated his hand, because there was absolutely no way that was going to work.

Oh, and I want more Percy.  Luthor's murderous bodyguard is a great addition to the show.  She's one of the few character's I've ever seen to be intimidating while wearing a chauffeur's uniform.

Kristin: FINALLY, the t-rex of opening credit fame makes his appearance and it is as hilarious as I hoped! Not only is he a robot dinosaur but he's a robot dinosaur controlled remotely by a giant child's RC car controller operated by a gleeful Luthor. How was a t-rex the best thing he could choose to swiftly eliminate Superman in a UF-style kryptonite trap? Even given the limitations of the setting (Luthor's recently opened museum), you would think that a robotic civil war soldier complete with gun might do the trick. Or perhaps the ape from whence man came. At least it would be less cumbersome to operate. I mean, just imagine trying to RC a t-rex! It would be like parallel parking the biggest hummer in the world while hanging upside down from a swingset. I will come to expect more from Lex and his mighty brain.

Lois Lane was pitch-perfect for me most of the episode, although I am constantly blown away by her assorted prep school suits. What is with the pleated mini skirts? Were they "in" in the 90s for high-powered career women? I just tried to look up Vogue images for 90s fashions involving a pleated mini with a lovely matching blazer and the only results bearing any resemblance to Lois' character design come from the horrible mistake that was Clueless. I'm not convinced that a pencil skirt wouldn't have been equally as thrilling for the fanboys out there while perhaps being a bit more career conscious for Ms. Lane.

Superman showed some spunk for this whole episode being dedicated to the one thing that is supposed to ruin his day! I enjoyed the first scene in the museum in which he plays a little bit with the hapless robbers, offering charming quips and showing off his incredible powers in a very nonchalant sort of way. Very meta of you, Superman.

It was disappointing to see kryptonite so early on in the game, I think. I am happy that they decided to introduce it and then banish it to reappear at a (hopefully) more critical point in the series. The fifth episode of fifty would make for a lot of watching Lex try to put kryptonite in Superman's cornflakes and that gets old fast. Hopefully, Lex's character will be forced to actually use his brain in a way that makes me understand why he's the most powerful man in Metropolis instead of using stumbled-upon weaponry as a crutch.

Final Thoughts: The jazz music was really weird. They should probably stick to the repetitive opening theme. But hey, robot dinosaur!

Evan's Episode Rating: 7/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 1 insane) - Two really good acts, one very lame act...

Kristin's Episode Rating: 7/10 - Even the t-rex couldn't disguise the fact that the show has introduced kryptonite this early. Coooopppp ooooooooout.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Episode Four: Fun and Games

A series of toy-related crimes focused on the criminal organization of Mannheim, a leading crime boss, leads Lois to search for the link between the two.  However, after publishing an unflattering psychiatric profile of Toyman, the mysterious dummy-like man at the heart of the dispute, she is kidnapped by Toyman to set the record straight.  Toyman tries to execute his other captive, Mannheim, in front of Lois but she manages to stop the firing squad of toys before Superman bursts in to save the day.  Toyman escapes after Superman's strength easily overwhelms his tricks by exploding his hideout.  The police find only his shattered toy face.

Evan:  Ah, Toyman.  I've always had a soft spot for the crappier ends of pretty much every character's rouges gallery, after all someone has to be the bottom rung, but there are a few glaring omissions.  I hate the Toyman.  I don't really even know why.  I love some of the other Superman villains no one cares about: see the Prankster.  But Toyman, even with all the stupid robot toys, has really never seemed like the sort of thing the police shouldn't be able to handle.  I thought this episode went about as far as they could in every direction to make Toyman work.  They introduced us to a creepy, otherworldly figure with dangerous, physics defying toys in the first act.  So far so good.  In the third act, they showed us the broken life behind the visage, a hurt child seeking revenge at the wrong done to his father by an uncaring mobster.  Also fine.  The problem I have is what happens between these acts.  Little planes with machine guns attack Clark, Lois, Jimmy and Mannheim in a park.  A giant rubber duck with missile launchers sinks Mannheim's boat and distracts Superman.  Everything that seems like a harmless toy is actually a cloud of poison gas.  The whole thing starts to drag pretty fast for me.  I thought the ball was pretty interesting as a death trap-like trick, but that the rest were increasingly broad and decreasingly intimidating.  By the end Lois is just pushing over stuff and its shattering.

This was the first self-contained episode, and I was interested as to the form it would take.  First, I was surprised to see Superman's overwhelming power so clearly on display.  Too often Superman has to be knocked out at the first sign of danger to show how big the threat is, but here Superman never has a physical problem.  Instead, Superman's limitations are very human.  He has to pause on a rooftop to listen to a conversation between police officers to learn what's happening.  He can't stop Mannheim's abduction because he was looking in the wrong direction, for Mannheim, when the giant duck decided to shoot missiles at him.  The missiles only slowed him briefly, but that was the time the Toyman needed.  He arrived to save the day, but was a little late.  I really liked this, and I hope they can keep it up.  Superman is limited by his own humanity, and that should always be at the heart of the dramatic tension.

There were several little moments I enjoyed.  Jimmy trying to show Clark how to search the database to find a link between Mannheim and Toyman, only to have Clark upstage him is a nice touch.  I enjoyed the interplay between Clark and Lois.  I also really liked how Lois was the one to save Mannheim.  I told Kristin as we were watching that this was a big moment for Lois, and it was.  For her to be a character willing to take action in that situation is a big plus to the series, rather than having Superman burst in to save the day.  It was an important step towards developing a more equal dynamic between our romantic leads.

All in all, I didn't enjoy the Toyman, but I liked the cast's interactions with each other.  That's probably a good sign.  I'm wondering how long into the season proper it takes to bring us to the first Luthor storyline.  I'm also wondering if the show will ever make Metropolis feel densely populated.  I'm not even sure if I remember anyone being in the entire city but the leads, Mannheim, Toyman and a few assorted goons.  The park, especially, felt very empty.  That's something I'll be watching for.

Kristin: Superman... Oh ye of little words. I do appreciate your arched eyebrows though!

This episode I was introduced to a villain I have very scant knowledge of, which is an interesting experiment for our little blog. Unlike Lex Luthor (who everyone and their mom knows and loves... or hates), I have never encountered an episode of a Superman program or feature film containing the Toyman. Which is a scarcity noted in another blog I saw Evan reading in the last couple of days, pointing out that no Superman movie is ever made that is plagued by anyone other than Luthor or Zod. While I am thinking to myself, "Who the shit is Zod?!", I am also distinctly aware that I cannot name another Superman villain, let alone come into this episode knowing that Fun and Games would be leading me into some romping with Toyman.

Toyman, in my opinion, worked effectively for me as a threatening presence but probably not for the right reasons. His voice and, to a certain extent, his character design (again, citing ignorance on his usual appearance) reminded me of the Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps installments with eerily similar toy character creations:
Slappy from Goosebumps
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
It might be my own psyche dragging up latent horror from growing up in the 90s and staying up late to watch these terrifying monstrosities, but Toyman evoked this same sense of unease. His voice must be reminiscent of this as well and I dredged through a couple of the YouTube clips in an attempt to confirm this with limited success. It is interesting that the show was able to tap into this part of my mind even as a young adult and for that I have to attribute Toyman his credit as a bad guy. His lame toy inventions aside, I found his presence quite menacing if only in a subtly unsettling and creepy sort of way.

Lois Lane kicked ass.

Mannheim did nothing for me. Being a fan of the costumed and theatrical means that crime bosses and other such institutions of nefarious misdeeds are simply not as exciting as one-man empires of evil and be-latexed bad guys with only shaky personal grudges bearing little relevance to the city or world at large. Maybe it's because they are too close to the truth, but if I want to hear about organized crime leaders I'll just go listen to Rocco Rossi talk about his mayoral platform. When I watch a Superman TV series, I want larger-than-life! (Except for you, linebacker Lex, I expect you to drop to a svelte 200 and call it even! Being both super-smart and an NFL draft candidate is too much.)

On an only vaguely related note, Evan has proved to me that the opening credit t-rex is merely a robot. It is true, as there is about a half-second clip near the end of the opening when I am nearly dying of happiness from the sight of the personalized space suit in which Superman rends the t-rex's robotic jaw in twain. 'Tis a shame, but I'll accept it.

Final Thoughts:  We differed on our opinions of the Toyman, but that's probably because Evan didn't watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? as much as Kristin.  We agree that Lois stole the show, although Evan still has to put a tic in the incompetent box for accepting a creepy toy as a gift while the Toyman is terrorizing her.  Not her best choice.

Evan's Episode Rating: 6/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 1 incompetent / 0 insane) - Hated Toyman, loved everyone else.

Kristin's Episode Rating: 7/10 - Toyman was a flash back to the 90s dummy trend, but not sure if the nostalgia makes up for the stagnant character development.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Interlude: Happy Thanksgiving!

Your two brave reviewers are stuffed full of ham, so here is something for the internet to ponder:

Superman meets a lot of famous people.  But at the heart of it all, he's a farm boy from Kansas.  How many awkward conversations has he had to stumble his way through?

We know he's met people like Mohammad Ali, various American presidents and world leaders, cartoon rabbits, celebrities like Lucille Ball and Jerry Seinfeld.  But what about when he meets someone that completely clashes with everything he is comfortable with?  Think about all the times Superman has had to awkwardly move through conversations about things he doesn't agree with, know about or care about.

Case in point, David Bowie.  Superman must have met Bowie.  But what on earth would our resident alien and... other resident alien have talked about?  Their respective costuming?

That's what Kristin and I have been mulling over this Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your deliciousness!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Episode Three: The Last Son of Krypton - Part 3

The conclusion of the premier trilogy follows Superman as he uncovers Luthor's plot and deals with his own burgeoning celebrity.  Luthor's trying to sell his Lex-O-Suit to a rouge, Russian-esque state named Kaznia, under the guise of theft.  This will of course trigger even larger contracts with the US military once his suit is in the hands of the enemy.  Lois figures this one out, but so does Clark and that allows him to save her butt... for the second time in these three episodes.  This time she was pretty ballsy about the whole thing though.  Superman saves the day, and delivers a warning to Lex Luthor: "I'll be watching you, Luthor".

Evan:  The final section of the mini-movie is the best one yet, as Superman fights giant robots and saves the day. While the action scenes were fun... Superman has to deal with his own mess from the end of the previous show as well as stop Luthor's battlesuit, the real gems in this episode were the character moments.  Being the very start of Superman's career, the show establishes the status quo with some iconic scenes: Superman grants his first interview to Lois Lane, Superman floats at the window watching Luthor, Superman discusses him problems with his adoptive parents.  I loved all of these, especially the final stare down with Luthor.  By setting up Lois and Clark as the only two to get under Luthor's skin, and Superman standing up to Luthor in a way that makes him flash his greatest weakness - that wonderful temper - the show makes me excited about a future that moves beyond Superman fighting Luthor in a giant robot for no reason every week.

Lois really stole most of this episode for me.  From her casual throwaway that she used to date Lex, to her manhandling a drunken dock-worker that's obviously been an informant for her in the past, to her willingness to just cold knock a dude out with a crane, she was a hurricane of general amazingness.  Even through she ended up in her usual captive role, she managed to get there more honestly than her lame "backing over a brick" cliche from the last show.  I'll give it to her as insane rather than incompetent.

I really, really enjoyed a bored-out-of-his-mind Clark paying lip service to Jimmy's photos. I miss the bow tie less and less.  I actually want to see more of the two of them.

I've always loved the happy, bright moments in comics.  If the rest of this show is like this episode, I'm going to absolutely love it.

Kristin: Let me start with my delight in the fact that Superman is not a complete pushover, either as Superman or Clark Kent, as he can easily be characterized in order to deepen the expanse between the hero and his alter-ego. Mild-manners are not a way for Clark to disguise his heroic identity and I'm not sure Superman is ever vulgar or brash enough to convince me that "mild-mannered Clark Kent" is supremely different. The way that Clark holds his own with Lois at the office and kicks some serious Luthor ass via the silent treatment followed by a one-liner makes me very happy. I'm hoping that his personality develops a little further past parries, grunts and simple statements, but for the first three episodes of a superhero cartoon I'm fairly pleased.

I'm not so sure he should be a better reporter than Lois, though. Which he almost is in this episode. Although it is Lois who shows some real guts in her attack of the Luthor story, which I suppose is better than most love interests can say. I think the repartee is nice between them, but I think that letting Lois do the journalism and Superman the heroism allows her a niche beyond girlfriend that is rarely filled. She becomes a function of the story instead of an archetypal romance. Her being the voice of Superman to the public is vitally important to me buying the fact that the world simply accepts this alien being on their planet with extraordinary capabilities without any sort of limitations or questions asked. She gets to be those questions. And in turn, she gets the notoriety as well as the establishment of a more personal relationship with Superman, making the romance more interesting and natural. I like that the show is establishing the link between the two. We know that Superman needs Lois Lane almost as much as Metropolis needs Superman.

Lex Luthor... Hmm, I'm not certain what to make of him yet. I made the comment to Evan that I thought it suitable that the only match for the strongest being in the world would be the smartest (hence, Luthor.) but I wish he appeared less physically intimidating than he does. I'm not sure how he is classically depicted besides the baldness, but it would seem to me that a better counterpoint might be a physical frailty. Sure, there's illness, but why is he animated like a body-builder? If it's a stylistic thing, it's a shame, as I believe that it ruins a bit of the fun. If it's always done this way, I wonder why.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in Canada!

Final Thoughts:  Nice to see some personality developing from all the characters.  It feels like the developers wanted to get through the intro as much as we did.

Evan's Episode Rating: 9/10 (Lois Lane Ratio: 0 incompetent / 1 insane) - Again, I hope they're all this much fun.

Kristin's Episode Rating: 8/10 - I like that the characters are all upping their game. Now they need a game to play!