Superman: The Animated Series (1997) – Brave New Metropolis, Monkey Fun and Ghost in the Machine

There are strange things afoot for Lois Lane (Dana Delaney) in Brave New Metropolis, the first episode up this week. Originally airing on 27 September, 1997, Lois is thrown into an alternate reality, where the bustling city is run by Superman (Tim Daly) and Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown), who do so with force and tyranny.

Her trip into the alternate realm is caused by Kryptonian technology, similar to that used for the Phantom Zone, and being overseen by Professor Hamilton (Victor Brandt), but even though she realises what has happened, Lois finds herself in terrible trouble.

Swathed in a black uniform, and an S on his chest recalling the SS of the Nazis, Superman, whose Lois died, is working with Lex, oversees the ministration of justice as he sees fit.

Lois pals up with this universe’s Jimmy Olsen (David Kaufman) and tries to elude Supes and Luthor while trying to figure out the different timeline, save it if she can, and return to her own world.

When he discovers this new version of Lois, he realigns his beliefs, and confronts Luthor with the public now on his side.

While definitely not as dark as the story could have gone, the things that are hinted at are pretty intense, and gives the episode a troubling depth.

superman_brave_new_metropolis

Monkey Fun also aired on 27 September, 1997 and sees a chimp, used in experiments, that Lois had befriended as a child, is returned from space, where he was kept in suspended animation. Unfortunately, the animal causes big problems for her and the good people of Metropolis.

The episodes plays with as a variant of the classic King Kong tale, it also features the iconic Dean Jones as Lois’ dad, Colonel Sam Lane!

The chimp comes back denser in material and begins to grow in relation to it as he spends more time on earth. The animal, named Titano, is fixated on Lois, and when he begins to grow increasingly uncontrollable, he focuses all his attention on her, destroying anything and everything that stands in his way.

As Superman confronts the over-sized beast, Lois’ dad races to town with what he thinks may be the answer to stopping the creature’s rampage, but it may put Lois right in danger’s path!

For me, this one wasn’t the most engaging tale, as it was one I’d seen a number of times before, and this version of the story didn’t bring anything new to it.

monkeyfun

The last episode this week is Ghost in the Machine. Airing on 29 September, 1997, it saw the return of Braniac (Corey Burton).

The artificial intelligence, which has been housed in LexCorp’s computer system, forces Luthor to rebuild his body.

The episode also affords Luthor’s right hand woman, Mercy Graves (Lisa Edelstein) a few moments to shine, but soon, Braniac occupies the majority of the tale, and pushes Luthor to his limits.

While Braniac begins his assault on Superman, Mercy tries to track down her boss, and the two end up, inadvertently, working together. As the two explore the depths of LexCorp, Luthor, himself, tries to find a way to outwit Braniac and escape.

Graves, while not super-powered in any regard, proves herself to be a valuable ally as well as incredibly protective and loyal of Luthor. She’s given a few nice character moments, and works well teaming up with Superman.

The first episode was probably the strongest of the three, but the final one does hint at the continued existence of Braniac,after yet another combative encounter with Superman.

That’s all this time, for now…

Up, up and away…

luthor

 

 

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