Superman: The Animated Series (1996/1997) – The Main Man: Part II, My Girl and Tools of the Trade

Superman (Tim Daly) and Lobo (Brad Garrett) are still in trouble as The Main Man: Part II opens. This episode had an original airdate of 16 November, 1996, and sees these two unlikely allies, working to escape the menagerie they have been thrown into by The Preserver (Sherman Howard).

Lobo remains moronic, violent, and vastly entertaining, and honestly, a hilarious pairing for Supes. Using brains over brawn, unless until his powers are restored, Superman figures a way out of his prison

Working together the two take on The Preserver’s robotic army, traps and captured creatures, all while Lobo makes snide and biting remarks.

But even if they get away from The Preserver, it seems there are some vile gangsters and thugs who want to get their hands on Lobo… That guy just can’t stay on anyone’s good side.

Happily, Supes puts paid to the baddies, he and Lobo escape, and everything looks like it will end happily ever after, but come on, you honestly think Lobo is going to stay away?

This episode shows that the series can be funny, and won’t confine itself to earthly stories, that in fact, it seems the entire universe is up for grabs.

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My Girl sees Lana Lang (Joely Fisher) coming to Metropolis, and getting caught up in the conflict between Superman and Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown), her new beau.

This one aired 23 November, 1996, and Clark is stunned to find his high school girlfriend, now a high profile fashion designer, on Lex’s arm. But first loves last longest, and she volunteers to spy on Lex for her old boyfriend. But it may put her right in Lex’s sights.

Larry Drake makes an appearance as Mr. Eelan, a cohort of Lex’s who is setting up a meeting and demonstration for some buyers of illegal arms.

It’s not long before Lana finds herself in lots of trouble, and Superman will have to pull out all the stops to rescue her. As a fun reveal, we learn that Lana knows Superman’s true identity and his kept his secret for a long time.

Mercy (Lisa Edelstein), Lex’s most loyal aide is suspicious of Lana from the get-go, spying on her, and making a nice counterpoint in the relationships these men create. Both Lana and Mercy are willing to risk themselves on the men they care about, even if those men are mortal enemies.

Traps are set, lives are in jeopardy, and the DC universe expands just a but with the mention of Central City.

It’s fun to see Lana in the fold, and that when it’s hinted at, the relationships that have occurred between all parties is handled very well.

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Tools of the Trade is the third and final episode this week. It aired on 1 February, 1997, and sees mob boss Bruno Mannheim (Bruce Weitz) coming into possession of some alien weapons he will happily use in his conquest of Metropolis.

This episode also includes a fantastic supporting voice cast as Michael York appears as the mysterious Kanto, Lauren Tom as Angela Chen, Joanna Cassidy plays police detective Maggie Sawyer, and in a fantastic piece of casting, Micheal Ironside brings one of Superman’s most terrifying villains to life, Darkseid.

Darkseid is going to cause lots of problems for Superman in this series, and in the one that follows, and Ironside is the man to do it!

This episode sees an unknown benefactor (guess who it is!) supplying incredible weapons to Mannheim, and while Superman is able to stop the problems that arise in Metropolis, Mannheim is escorted away from Earth via boomtube, to meet his new boss, the dangerous and insidious, Darkseid on his hell planet Apokolips!!

More next time!

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