Well, it seems that every website has an episode guide of some sort. So, since I was bored and had absolutely nothing better to do (like say, find a job), I sat down and compiled an episode guide to the Superman cartoon. This is how I did it: first, I went by the official Batman/Superman website and downloaded the complete list of all the episode titles. Then, I wrote the plot synopses from memory. Lastly, I juggled around the order into the order that I remember seeing them. Not quite broadcast order, but pretty close. So, without further ado, here’s the episode guide!
Season 1 (1996/1997)
The Last Son of Krypton Part One
The series kicks off with this dramatic re-telling of the final days of Krypton, as Jor-El battles with the Kryptonian bureaucracy to try and save the planet, but ultimately only being able to save his infant son.
The Last Son of Krypton Part Two
Young Clark Kent learns of his origins, and comes to grips with his destiny. He grows up, and heads off to Metropolis to make his name as a reporter. (Favorite line: “Maybe Superman should give an interview, to let people know that he’s not like that nut in Gotham City.” — Martha Kent, giving her reasons for Superman to give an interview.)
The Last Son of Krypton Part Three
Superman and Lex Luthor cross swords for the first time, as Superman sets out to halt Luthor’s illegal shipment of arms to a middle east dictatorship. (Note: One of my favorite scenes in this episode is the actual first meeting between Superman and Luthor)
Fun and Games
The Toyman seeks revenge on Mannheim, Metropolis’ big mobster, for the murder of his father. Toyman also kidnaps Lois Lane to cover the story. Can Superman save Lois and prevent this form of vigilante justice?
A Little Piece of Home
Both Superman and Lex Luthor discover Superman’s only weakness — Kryptonite. This, of course, sparks off Luthor’s latest attempt to kill Superman.
An accident with some toxic waste turns a slow-witted janitor into the super-villain Parasite, with the ability to drain others of their energy. Parasite then sets out to steal Superman’s powers, and lock Superman away to use as a perpetual power source.
Brainiac, who was once the A.I. that ran Krypton, comes to earth to “learn all that is learnable,” and perhaps get Superman to join him on his quest. But, can this artificial son of Krypton be trusted?
The Way of All Flesh
The mercenary John Corbin is turned into the cyborg warrior Metallo by Lex Luthor to be the latest soldier against Superman. But, this leaves Metallo unable to feel anything, and he soon turns on Luthor. Oh, did I mention that Metallo has a heart made of Kryptonite?
The Main Man Part One
The Preserver is a being who journeys the galaxy, capturing the last of extinct species to preserve in his zoo. He desires to add the last Kryptonian to his collection, and hires everyone’s favorite bounty hunter Lobo to go to Earth and capture Superman. Things just turn into one big slugfest between Lobo and Superman.
The Main Man Part Two
The Preserver double-crosses Lobo, desiring to have the last Zarnian in his collection as well. Superman and Lobo, both down to half-strength because of the Preserver’s security measures, reluctantly join forces to escape from the Preserver’s zoo.
Lana Lang, the big-time fashion designer and Clark’s high school sweetheart, is dating Lex Luthor. She’s also one of the few who knows who Clark really is. She desires to become Superman’s sidekick, and begins spying on Luthor for Superman. You know this is going to turn out badly.
Two’s A Crowd
A madman slips into a coma, while the bomb he planted that will wipe out Metropolis still ticks away. The solution: enlist the aid of Parasite to absorb the knowledge from the madman’s mind. But, Parasite accidentally absorbs the madman’s complete consciousness, and the two team-up in Parasite’s body to take down Superman and destroy the city.
Tools of the Trade
Kanto, a servant of Darkseid’s, supplies high tech weaponry to Mannheim so the mobster can take down Superman. Can Superman stop Mannheim? Can he uncover who’s really behind this plot?
Season 2 (1997/1998)
Blasts from the Past Part One
Superman and Professor Hamilton discover a Phantom Zone projector in Superman’s rocket. Superman decides to release Mala, a Kryptonian woman locked away for assisting in an attempt to overthrow Krypton. But, has she really learned her lesson?
Blasts from the Past Part Two
Mala turns the tables on Superman and frees Jax-Ur, her long ago accomplice in the overthrow of Krypton. They trap Superman in the Phantom Zone, and set about conquering Earth. Can Professor Hamilton and Lois Lane free Superman in time? Can Superman defeat two villains with powers just like his?
Ghost in the Machine
Brainiac, having been destroyed at the end of Stolen Memories, has been hiding in the LexCorp computers all this time. He kidnaps Lex Luthor, and forces him to build him a new body. Superman and Mercy Graves (Luthor’s assistant) team-up to rescue Luthor.
Metallo washes up on a volcanic island, and he’s lost his memories. He soon becomes a super-hero to two children on the island. But, his true nature surfaces as Lois Lane and Clark Kent come to the island to cover the impending eruption.
A freak accident during a lightning storm turns radio shock jock Leslie Willis into Livewire, a being of pure electricity. Now with super-powers, she takes her anti-Superman stance to the next level and sets out to kill the Man of Steel.
Someone is stalking Lois Lane, and this stalker is getting closer and closer to killing her. Can Superman uncover who the stalker is in time?
Lex Luthor manages to clone Superman! But, the clone is flawed, and soon turns into the Bizarro Superman. Superman and Bizarro then go head to head over who should be the savior of the city. (My favorite line: “I know you’re a busy guy, but I would love your autograph.” — Superman, confronting his clone who hasn’t yet become Bizarro.)
Kalibak, the bastard son of Darkseid, comes to Metropolis in a misguided attempt to destroy Superman and impress his father.
The Hand of Fate
A thief accidentally released the demon Karkull, who sets about turning the citizens of Metropolis into his slaves. The only way for Superman to stop him is to ask his old friend Dr. Fate into coming out of retirement.
Mr. Mxyzptlk, an omnipotent being from the 5th Dimension, comes to Earth to play mind games with Superman, seeing Superman as his only real challenge. The only way Superman can get rid of him is by tricking Mxyzptlk into saying his name backwards. Can Superman get this annoyance out his life? (Note: IMHO, this is the funniest episode of the show. My favorite scene has to be when Mxyzptlk tricks Superman into destroying Rodan’s The Thinker. As many people look at Superman with stunned expressions, all Superman can stutter out is “The little man made me do it!”)
Superman and the Flash are racing each other for a charity event. But, the Weather Wizard, an old nemesis of the Flash’s, takes advantage of this opportunity to hold the world hostage. Superman and the Flash team-up to take him down.
When Livewire escapes from prison, she busts out Parasite too, so they can team-up to take down Superman. (Note: For the best unintentionally funny scene in the show, wait for the climax, when Superman wraps himself in rubber to protect himself from Livewire and Parasite’s powers. It looks like he’s wearing a body condom. 😉
World’s Finest Part One
The Joker and Harley Quinn steal 40 pounds of Kryptonite and head off to Metropolis with a deal for Lex Luthor: $1 billion for the death of Superman. Batman then comes to Metropolis to warn Superman and catch the Joker, but the two costumed crime-fighters don’t like each other very much. (I’ve got to share my favorite exchange:
Lex Luthor >> What makes you think you can destroy Superman when you can’t even handle a mere mortal in a Halloween costume?
Joker >> There’s nothing mere about Bat-mortal.
Also, the scene near the end where Batman and Superman learn each other’s true identities is one of the best in the series.)
World’s Finest Part Two
Bruce Wayne begins romancing Lois Lane, much to the annoyance of Clark Kent. But, the path to true love is never smooth, as the Joker kidnaps Lois to bait his trap for Superman. (Favorite line: “Copy-bat! Copy-bat! Looks like someone’s suffering from propulsion envy.” — The Joker, upon seeing Batman using a jet pack to get around Metropolis.)
World’s Finest Part Three
Lex Luthor attempts to double-cross the Joker, but the Joker gains the upper-hand and goes on a destructive rampage with Luthor’s latest weapon: a gigantic airship. Can Superman and Batman finally put aside their differences and save the day? (Favorite scene: at the end, the airship destroyed. It appears the Joker is going down with the ship. As the float away on a parachute, Batman and Harley Quinn have this exchange:
Harley >> Puddin’! [Her pet name for Joker]
Batman >> By now, he probably is.
Altogether, this 3-parter just rocks.)
Edward Lytener (the stalker from Target) becomes the super-villain Luminous, and goes on a crime-spree using a bunch of light-based gadgets. But, to get his revenge on Superman, he rigs a bunch of satellites so only red light can come down to earth, and this slowly drains Superman of his powers. Can Superman stop Luminous before he becomes completely powerless?
Brave New Metropolis
Lois is sucked into a parallel universe where her counterpart has died. Her counterparts’ death caused Superman to team-up with Lex Luthor and run Metropolis as a totalitarian regime. Can she reach Superman and make him the hero he once was? More importantly, can she get home?
Titano, one of those chimps that NASA sent up years ago (and Lois’s pet), returns to Earth, hardly aged a day. Things soon get stranger when Titano starts growing to Godzilla-proportions, and goes on a rampage in the city. Can Superman stop this gigantic chimp? (Best line that kinda sounds dirty: Lois has this stuffed monkey, that plays a little tune when squeezed. This tune has a calming effect on Titano. When she and Jimmy Olson lose this monkey in a pile of non-musical monkeys, they frantically search for it by squeezing each one. Jimmy makes a comment, to which Lois responds “Shut up and keep squeezing the monkeys!” 😉
A giant alien creature with the ability to absorb heat has crashed on Earth, and is cutting a swath of destruction towards Metropolis. Not only does Superman have to stop it, but he also has to fight the pig-headed army general who views Superman as another “alien threat.”
Bizarro stumbles across the Fortress of Solitude, where he learns all that he can about Krypton. This inspires him to re-create Krypton in downtown Metropolis. Superman has to stop him before Bizarro re-creates the end of Krypton.
The Metropolis S.C.U. (Special Crimes Unit; the police task force established to battle super-villains) is experimenting with an exosuit developed by John Henry Irons. Superman is at first appreciative of the help, but the officer in the exosuit soon becomes addicted to the power, and Superman has to stop this out-of-control vigilante.
The Late Mr. Kent
As Clark Kent rushes off with evidence to save a death row inmate, a bomb goes off in his car, leaving everyone to think that Clark is dead. Superman plays along, taking advantage of this ruse to uncover the true murderer. Don’t worry, Superman soon comes up with a scheme to resurrect Clark. (Note: I love how this episode opens. We are at Clark’s funeral. Superman is on a hill, watching it, and thinking to himself “Oh my god. How did I let this happen?”)
Superman is severely weakened in a battle with Metallo. In order to stop this metallic menace, John Henry Irons dons the latest version of his exosuit and becomes Steel. The episode then turns into one big slugfest between Metallo and Steel. (Trivia note: Michael Dorn, Worf of Star Trek fame, provided the voice for John Henry Irons/Steel. Favorite line: “Steel? Metallo. The meeting of the metals. Well, then, let’s have at it. May the better alloy win.” — Metallo, introducing himself to Steel.)
Apokolips … Now! Part One
Darkseid launches his first attempt to take over Earth. An intergalactic hero by the name of Orion comes to Earth to warn Superman and help fight off the first attack. (Favorite moment: the mini-movie, in which the Mother Box (source of Orion’s power) explains the origins of Darkseid, Apokolips, New Genesis, Orion, and Mr. Miracle. This whole mini-movie plays out in widescreen.)
Apokolips … Now! Part Two
With Orion returned to New Genesis, and Superman and the people of Earth on their own, Darkseid launches his second attack. (This is one of my favorite episodes. Seeing Superman broke and battered and crucified to Darkseid’s lead tank is just a cool sight.)
Maxima, queen of the planet Almerac, comes to Earth, and is bent on making Superman her mate. She manages to capture Superman and take her back to Almerac, but then she and Superman have to save her queendom from being overthrown by an evil general. (Favorite moment: watch for a cameo by Lobo at the end, as Maxima’s next potential mate.)
Little Girl Lost Part I
Superman goes off to explore the ruins of Krypton. There, he discovers the planet Argo, who’s orbit was dramatically altered by the destruction of Krypton. On the planet, he finds one survivor, Kara, and brings her back to Earth. Soon, she develops powers like Superman’s, and becomes Supergirl. Wanting to prove herself a hero too, she teams up with Jimmy Olson to take down the revitalized Intergang.
Little Girl Lost Part II
Intergang, it turns out, is funded by Darkseid as part of his latest plot to conquer the Earth, and Superman is captured and taken back to Apokolips. Supergirl then heads off to Apokolips to attempt a daring rescue of Superman.
Season 3 (1998/1999)
Where There’s Smoke
Volcana, a villainess whose powers allow her to control fire, is going on a crime spree in Metropolis. Can Superman apprehend her? And what’s her connection to that shadowy government agency hunting her down? (Favorite moment: One of those evil government agents has a laser rifle powerful enough to kill Superman. He points the gun at Superman. He starts bragging about how powerful the gun is. While he’s busy bragging, Superman charges the guy at super-speed and crushes the gun.)
Word gets to Superman that Batman has mysteriously disappeared from Gotham City. Superman then heads off to Gotham to find his fellow crime-fighter. Meanwhile, to fill the void of an absent Batman, Superman dons the cape and cowl and becomes Batman, with Robin showing him the ropes of crime-fighting in Gotham. (Favorite moment: Superman, in Batman’s costume and tired of hiding his superpowers, just lets loose and beats the crap out of Bane. Also, it’s got a great twist ending, when the villain who kidnaped Bruce Wayne is revealed.)
New Kids In Town
In the 30th Century, Brainiac escapes from prison and heads back in time to kill the not-yet-full-powered teenage Clark Kent. Three members of the Legion of Super Heroes — Cosmic Boy, Chameleon Boy, and Saturn Girl — pursue him back in time, to save Clark and preserve the time-line. (Trivia note: Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210) gave voice to Chameleon Boy, and Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teen-Age Witch) is the voice of Saturn Girl)
Toyman returns after a long break and is stalking supermodel Darci Mason. Can Superman stop him? And what is the mysterious connection that Darci Mason has to Toyman’s past?
Jax-Ur and Mala have escaped from the Phantom Zone, and have become dictators of a peaceful planet. Can Superman save the inhabitants of this planet? Is it even really his business?
Batman episode: Girls’ Night Out
Livewire is being brought to Gotham City for an operation to neutralize her powers, but she manages to escape, and quickly teams up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn to go on a crime spree. Batgirl is on her own, because Batman is out of town. Batman promises to get “specialized help,” and places a call to Metropolis. But, Supergirl intercepts the call, and she sets off to Gotham to help Batgirl apprehend this terrible trio. Things soon degenerate into the biggest catfight ever seen in the Batman/Superman universes. (Trivia note: This is actually an episode of Batman, but seeing as to how two main characters from the super-universe are figured so prominently, I figure I had to include it.)
Little Big Head Man
Mr. Mxyzptlk can’t bother Superman anymore (given the result of Mxyzpixilated), so he goads Bizarro into returning to Metropolis and attacking Superman. This doesn’t sit to well with the rulers of Mxyzptlk’s home dimension, however, and soon Superman has to save a powerless Mxyzptlk from Bizarro.
In Brightest Day…
Sinestro has come to Earth and has gone on a destructive rampage looking for the power ring of Abin Sur. The only way for Superman to defeat him is to help young Kyle Rayner realize his destiny as the new Green Lantern. (Note: I love this episode! I’ve just always had a soft-spot for Green Lantern.)
A report is published portraying Jimmy Olson and Superman as being the best of friends. This gives Jimmy his 15 minutes of fame…and makes him the target of a few super-villains.
Supergirl spends the week in Metropolis, but when she returns to Smallville, everyone’s acting strangely. She soon discovers that an alien threat has taken over the town, and gets Superman to come out and help her save the day.
A Fish Story
The ships in Metropolis harbor are victim to a series of bizarre attacks by marine life. It is soon discovered that these attacks are because Lex Luthor has captured Aquaman. Can Superman save Aquaman? More importantly, can Superman prevent Aquaman from declaring war on the surface world?
Season 4 (1999/2000. I HAVEN’T SEEN THESE YET!! A friend’s taped them for me, and I can hardly wait to see them.)
The Demon Reborn
Ra’s Al Ghul, Batman’s immortal arch-enemy, has come to Metropolis with a spell to steal Superman’s powers. Can Batman save Superman? Can Batman stop a super-powered Ra’s Al Ghul? (Note: this was originally going to be a 3-part episode with the title World’s Finest 2: The Demon Reborn, but with the impending end of the series, it got cut down to one episode.)
Legacy Part I
Darkseid abducts Superman and brainwashes him into believing that he is Darkseid’s “son.” Superman then sets about conquering the Earth for his “father.”
Legacy Part II
Superman, his memory restored and his heart filled with vengeance, goes off to settle the score with Darkseid once and for all. Plus, Superman begins the daunting task of regaining the trust of the people of Earth. (Note: This was originally going to be the season finale for season 3, and shake things up in Superman’s life for season 4. But, with the series canceled, it became the final episode.)
Even though the series is done, this is not the last we’ve seen of Superman in animated form. It’s recently been announced that the third season of Batman Beyond will kick off with Superman poking his head into Gotham City and sizing up the new Batman.