Superman: The Animated Series (1997) – World’s Finest Part III, Bizarro’s World and The Hand of Fate

Superman (Tim Daly) and Batman (Kevin Conroy) join forces in World’s Finest Part III. Originally airing on 4 October, 1997, the story comes to its conclusion as our two caped heroes take on Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) and the Joker (Mark Hamill).

And with this episode, we see the beginning of the formation of the series that will follow it – Justice League.

The story picks up exactly where part II left off, as Superman tries to save a sinking ship, and Batman taking on a number of robotic drones, and when Lois (Dana Delaney) gets involved she discovers Bruce’s secret identity – it only took her three episodes to figure out Batman, and she still hasn’t rumbled Clark yet.

Luthor, of course, tries to double cross the Joker (probably right before the reverse occurred) and our heroes have their hands full in a final confrontation with the dastardly duo, and their hench women, Mercy (Lisa Edelstein) and Harley (Arleen Sorkin).

As the story plays out, Luthor gets his name in trouble with the public, and the Joker is lost, presumed dead…

The two part ways, allies, if a bit uneasy towards one another. We, the viewers, know that this is just the beginning for these two…

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Bizarro’s World aired on 10 October, 1997 and sees Bizarro learning about Krypton, and its fate.

Learning that Superman may have a home in the Arctic, Bizarro (thought to have been destroyed in his previous appearance, but apparently not) visits the Fortress of Solitude and despite his good intentions, makes a mess of the place before discovering tapes about the history and destruction of Krypton.

Believing that what he has seen is his own personal history, he tries to recreate a version of Krypton (destruction included) on Earth. He also still seems to have a thing for Lois, consequently, Superman has his hands full when he seeks to confront his damaged clone, a clone that may not be affected by kryptonite!

I do like this incarnation of Bizarro, he’s not evil, he’s just confused, misunderstood, and thinks the things he is doing are actually right. This makes the character more complex as opposed to just an evil, twisted version of Superman.

Superman comes up with a way for Bizarro to be a protector, and have a place of his own to watch over. But does that mean that the character will be gone for good?

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With The Hand of Fate, which aired 11 October, 1997, the DC animated universe got a little larger again. Once again foreshadowing the arrival of Justice League, and Justice League: Unlimited.

This time around we are introduced to Dr. Fate (George DelHoyo).

An evil demon, a bit of a Cthulu-inspired beast named Karkull (Ted Levine) is unleashed on an unsuspecting public, and Superman may not be able to hand the creature on his own, in fact the Kryptonian can be hurt, perhaps even mortally. Magic has always had a nullifying effect on Supes powers, so he needs help.

Seeking aid he turns to wizard and superhero, Kent Nelson aka Dr. Fate – but he no longer seems interested in serving as a hero.

Learning that Karkull, an enemy he is encountered before, has been unleashed on the world again, may be enough to call Fate back to service, but will he arrive in time to help save Metropolis, especially since they don’t seem to have a local Ghostbusters division?

Together the two heroes may just be able to defeat Karkull and banish him back to his prison. Metropolis is safe again. Until next week.

Up, up and away…

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