Superman: The Animated Series (1997)- Prototype, The Late Mr. Kent, and Heavy Metal

The DC Animated Universe welcomes another staple from the comic world to Metropolis this week with the introduction of John Henry Irons (Micheal Dorn). Prototype first aired on 11 October, 1997.

Irons is an inventor, but it seems that his new power suit, has made it’s pilot, Corey Mills (Xander Berkley) very unstable. The suit was financed by Luthor (Clancy Brown) in an attempt to better outfit Metropolis Police as the threat of supervillains increases. Luthor also sees it as a way to keep Superman (Tim Daly) in check. Irons as warned Luthor that the suit isn’t ready, but Luthor proceeds, and trouble begins.

Will Superman be able to take him on?

Initially the suit works well, and Superman and Mills work well together when they are put to the test when a fire ravages a building. However, Mills becomes upset with dealing justice, in his own way, as he and the suit become stronger, and more violent.

Mills even goes after Luthor when he attempts to take the suit away from the pilot, and Superman has to come to his rescue.

Superman, after stopping Mills, confers with Irons and reveals that he isn’t opposed to help, as long as the suit can be used properly. Hmm, wonder if that means we’ll be seeing a new character joining Supes soon enough?


The Late Mr. Kent aired on 1 November, 1997. And Clark’s secret identity has never been in more jeopardy after he survives a murder attempt that should have killed him. He’s working to clear a condemned man’s name, and this attempt on his life further complicates matters.

The episode opens with Clark’s funeral, as Superman watches from a distance. Through flashback we see that Clark is interviewing a prisoner, Ernest Walker (Paul Colbert) who insists that he’s innocent of the crime he’s accused of. As he investigates he learns that Walker is innocent, but the truly guilty party doesn’t want Walker going free and will kill Kent to keep the truth hidden.

Circumstances make it look like Clark has been killed and Lois (Dana Delaney) conducts her own investigation. He has to puzzle a way out of it,

This one plays out fairly solid and is very enjoyable in trying to tell a different kind of story, and make it engaging.

Superman and Lois will have to find a way to unearth the truth, stop the real baddie, and then, find a way to make it believable that Clark survived.

This one is pretty entertaining.


Heavy Metal aired 8 November, 1997, and having introduced John Henry Irons just episodes ago, he returns, and is ready to assume his superhero mantle as he helps Superman as the hero, Steel, to take on Metallo (Malcolm McDowell).

Will Irons’ new suit work, or will it pose as much a threat to him as it did to Mills?

As Irons perfects his suit, with the help of his daughter, Natasha (Cree Summer), Metallo is wreaking havoc around the city. Soon, the metal hero suits up and joins Superman in the fight.

It’s a good thing that Irons comes to his help, because Metallo unleashes his kryptonite power cell on Superman, effectively incapacitating him. While Irons and Natasha rescue Superman, Metallo continues to cause problems, leading Irons to face the villain, one on one.

This one is good, I like how the introduced Irons previously, and had it pay off in this story. And just like that, the DC Animated Universe gets a little larger.

Until next time…

Up, Up and Away!




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