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#41 Virgil Vox

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 01:41 PM

Superboy – With This Ring, I Thee Kill

A new season of Superboy has started, and with it comes a lot of changes. We have new actors for both Superboy and Lex, a new roommate for Clark, and a change to a slightly darker tone.

Gerard Christopher makes for a good Clark/Superboy. He is handsome, looks exactly like you imagine the character to look, has good acting chops, and clearly loves the character. I really liked John Haymes Newton in the role and was sad to learn he left the series but Mr. Christopher is a great replacement.

For this season he takes a cue from the Superman movies and plays his Clark as a bumbling, socially inept nerd. I’m not a huge fan of this interpretation. I like the bumbling Clark as much as the next guy but I don’t think it really fits with this series. In season 1 Clark was a more or less normal guy with some nerd-ish tendencies. After this season Gerard will play Clark more like the character was in season 1. That makes this season the anomaly.

He is great as Superboy. He looks amazing in the costume and has a commanding presence. You believe he is Superboy.

In a weird move, this episode barely features the Boy of Steel. He is in the opening scene and we get a look at his interpretation of the character. We then see him as Clark where he meets new roommate Andy, and then he shows up at the end of the episode. The episode mainly focuses on Lana and Lex.

Sherman Howard has taken on the role of Lex Luthor and he is amazing. I love his portrayal of Lex. This is definitely more of a mad scientist Luthor than the evil businessman he has become in the comics and other media.

We are told that Lex has undergone plastic surgery, has burned off his fingerprints, and poured acid on his vocal cords to change his voice so he can replace a millionaire by the name of Warren Eckworth, and so Superboy won’t recognize him. Eckworth has created a missile so powerful it has been given the name “The Superboy” and Lex plans on using the missile to kill the real Superboy.

This is a much more evil, crazed Lex Luthor. He kills Leo so that no one knows his true identity, though he reveals himself to Lana and Superboy by the end of the episode so it makes the entire thing a moot point. At the end of the episode he is forcing Lana to marry him and he has propped up Leo’s corpse as his best man.
I can’t praise Howard enough. He is a great Lex Luthor and he gets some really good episodes throughout the series that focuses on Luthor and his past. He even gets to write two episodes and from what I remember they were both really good.

From what I remember after this opening two-parter is over it is never mentioned again that Luthor changed his identity. The show just operates like he has always looked like this.

Ilan Mitchell-Smith is introduced as Clark’s new roommate, Andy. We are told that TJ went home to Metropolis to work at the Daily Planet. Andy starts out as a pretty annoying character but as the season progresses the writers smooth out Andy’s more annoying traits and he becomes pretty likeable. In this episode we learn that Andy is a huge Superboy fan and requested to be Clark’s roommate because Clark knows Superboy and that he hasn’t met a get rich quick scheme that he won’t try out. I like Andy but I just don’t think that the show needed to get rid of TJ.

Stacy Haiduk returns as Lana and her character is more or less unchanged. She is once again the damsel in distress as Luthor kidnaps her and is forcing her to marry him, though that is mainly a ruse to lure Superboy into a trap.

I did mention that this season has a slightly darker tone and it does. Don’t get me wrong. This is still a pretty cheesy show. However, it isn’t afraid to go slightly darker when it feels a need to do so. Lex kills Leo and Eckworth in this episode and then props both their bodies up at his wedding. When we first see Lex he is wearing bandages around his face and there are a few bloody spots.

The episode does end on a cliffhanger as Luthor uses a supercharged Superboy missile to shoot the Boy of Steel with. We see him on an operating table as a doctor says that Superboy may never walk again.

This was a pretty entertaining episode and introduces all the new actors and changes fairly well. My only complaint is that I felt the episode should have featured more Superboy.
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#42 RJDiogenes

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 05:52 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 31 May 2020 - 01:41 PM, said:

At the end of the episode he is forcing Lana to marry him and he has propped up Leo’s corpse as his best man.

Yeah, that's a pretty crazy interpretation of Luthor, all right.

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We see him on an operating table as a doctor says that Superboy may never walk again.
Less of a problem for somebody who can fly.  :D
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#43 Christopher

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 05:58 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 31 May 2020 - 05:52 PM, said:

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We see him on an operating table as a doctor says that Superboy may never walk again.
Less of a problem for somebody who can fly.  :D

That depends on the extent to which his nervous system is involved in his power of flight. The same damage might impair both forms of mobility, for all we know.
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#44 Virgil Vox

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 11:18 PM

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Yeah, that's a pretty crazy interpretation of Luthor, all right.

Luthor has done some pretty dark things in the past. He also seems to be attracted to Superman's significant other. In Lois and Clark, Luthor almost married Lois at the end of season 1. In Smallville I'm pretty sure Lex and Lana did marry, or at least got engaged.

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That depends on the extent to which his nervous system is involved in his power of flight. The same damage might impair both forms of mobility, for all we know.

He spends most of the second episode in a wheelchair being unable to walk or fly, until suddenly he can do both.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
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-- Harry S. Truman

#45 Niko

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:14 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 16 May 2020 - 10:07 PM, said:

Stacy Haiduk is the show’s MVP since she is the only actor to be in all four seasons.
Oh, cool... I didn't realize she was in this show.  I adored her in SeaQuest back in the day.
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#46 RJDiogenes

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:20 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 01 June 2020 - 11:18 PM, said:

He spends most of the second episode in a wheelchair being unable to walk or fly, until suddenly he can do both.  
In the comics, he can hover, but maybe he needs a running start on the show. Maybe they could have propped him up on the hood of a car and given him a boost.
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#47 Christopher

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 06:21 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 02 June 2020 - 05:20 PM, said:

In the comics, he can hover, but maybe he needs a running start on the show. Maybe they could have propped him up on the hood of a car and given him a boost.

That's not what I was thinking. It's not just about the takeoff, it's about his nervous system. Assuming Kryptonian flight isn't magic and there's some kind of physiological control mechanism involved, it stands to reason that it's regulated by his nervous system the same way that his regular motor functions are. So spinal damage that paralyzes his legs could also disrupt whatever electromagnetic, psychokinetic, or other effect that his nervous system generates or regulates to allow him to fly/levitate.
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#48 Christopher

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 06:06 PM

Finally started rewatching Superboy. I'm nearly halfway through season 1 (up through "Kryptonite Kills"), and I'm amazed at how awful it's mostly been so far, with bad writing, cheap production values, and amateurish acting that feels like it was printed from a first take, even in episodes from accomplished director Reza S. Badiyi (the guy who told Mary Tyler Moore to toss her hat in the air). It feels more like something the producers threw together as a tax write-off or the like than a show they actually cared about making. Although it did start to get better when Superman comics editors Mike Carlin & Andy Helfer came on board as writers.



View PostVirgil Vox, on 22 March 2020 - 01:07 PM, said:

The episode starts with the alien watching Superboy save Lana from the episode “Countdown to Nowhere” which is fine. It shows that the alien has been watching Superboy for some time. However, the writers change the scene right after Superboy saves Lana from plunging to her death. He places her on a road instead of the beach next to TJ. Lana also kisses Superboy. It was just weird watching it play out differently than it did originally.


That's because it wasn't the same incident. It was a second case of Lana being thrown out of a helicopter and saved by Superboy -- they just used the stock footage to save money. In the new footage at the end, Lana and Superboy had lines about how this was getting to be a habit for them.



View PostChristopher, on 22 March 2020 - 07:36 PM, said:

Besides, I'm curious to see if I still find Stacy Haiduk as hot as I did back then.

That is a very solid affirmative. Those eyes are amazing.




View PostVirgil Vox, on 27 March 2020 - 08:13 AM, said:

Superboy – Kryptonite Kills

This episode introduces Kryptonite (though it isn’t called that) though it didn’t go in the direction that I expected.

The meteor rock is found by two boys in Addis Ababa.


Well, they showed it happening in a desert, so probably it was found elsewhere in Ethiopia and investigated by people from Addis Ababa.


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What surprised me about the episode is that the kryptonite is never actually used against Superboy. Yes, it affects Clark in the class and again at the end of the episode but other than Superboy and Peterson no one knows that it can hurt the Boy of Steel.

I think they did it much the same way on radio -- the first kryptonite story entailed Superman learning it could hurt him and convincing the scientist who held it (mistakenly called a meteorologist) to keep it locked away. It was in the second story and after that villains started to use it against him.



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This episode gives Lex a lot of screen time which isn’t a good thing. The actor playing Lex is not very good in the role. There really isn’t an air of menace about Lex and it is hard to buy him as a criminal genius. It is too bad because I think there was promise in the idea of Lex as a criminal mastermind at college with frat boys and science nerds at his disposal.

Absolutely. I totally misremembered season 1 Lex -- I thought he was more along Jesse Eisenberg lines. Scott Wells is totally different, but even more awful in the role. He does sort of project the right haughty, entitled manner in repose, but it's ruined as soon as he speaks.
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#49 Virgil Vox

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 06:45 PM

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Oh, cool... I didn't realize she was in this show.  I adored her in SeaQuest back in the day.

I didn't realize she was on SeaQuest. Then again, I haven't seen that show probably since it originally aired. It isn't streaming anywhere that I could find unfortunately.

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Finally started rewatching Superboy. I'm nearly halfway through season 1 (up through "Kryptonite Kills"), and I'm amazed at how awful it's mostly been so far, with bad writing, cheap production values, and amateurish acting that feels like it was printed from a first take, even in episodes from accomplished director Reza S. Badiyi (the guy who told Mary Tyler Moore to toss her hat in the air). It feels more like something the producers threw together as a tax write-off or the like than a show they actually cared about making. Although it did start to get better when Superman comics editors Mike Carlin & Andy Helfer came on board as writers.

I've read that since the producers weren't sure if they would be picked up for more than the first 13 episodes they saved as much money as they could in case they did get more episodes. I do think the production values get somewhat better as the season progresses.

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Well, they showed it happening in a desert, so probably it was found elsewhere in Ethiopia and investigated by people from Addis Ababa.

The episode said Addis Ababa so I wrote Addis Ababa.

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Absolutely. I totally misremembered season 1 Lex -- I thought he was more along Jesse Eisenberg lines. Scott Wells is totally different, but even more awful in the role. He does sort of project the right haughty, entitled manner in repose, but it's ruined as soon as he speaks.

I wish he was more along the lines of Jesse Eisenberg. You are right that he has the haughty entitled part down but his acting is just terrible. The show was right to recast him.

Lex Luthor, Sentenced to Death

At the start of this episode we learn that Superboy has lost the use of his legs, can’t fly, and the rest of his powers have been diminished. We are never told why being hit with a missile has caused this extreme reaction in the Boy of Steel. We just have to go along with it.

Meanwhile Luthor still has Lana as his captive bride and while he’s upset that Superboy didn’t die he is happy that he seems to have lost most of his abilities. He proceeds to taunt Superboy first by sending him a videotape and then by breaking into a television station and taking over the news report.

Superboy does regain the use of his powers and legs at the end of the episode but it isn’t made clear why he has. Professor Peterson (a recurring character in season 1) returns and puts Superboy through intensive therapy but we aren’t told conclusively if it worked. Superboy finds Luthor’s hideout and goes to confront him. He is still in his wheelchair. Luthor uses a portable version of the missile from the previous episode and shoots Superboy out the window. He falls for a bit and then flies back up the Luthor’s apartment.

The thing is we aren’t told if his being in a wheelchair was a ruse to bait Luthor and he had already regained the use of all his powers of it he regained them as he was falling. Maybe it doesn’t bother other people but it bothered me.

This episode introduces Darla, Luthor’s assistant. He meets her in a strip club and offers to pay her $2,000 a week to be his minion. She is a fun character and will get some decent screen time over the course of three seasons. She has big 80s hair and isn’t afraid to break the law.

Of course, the minute she and Lana meet the two get into a Dynasty style cat fight, slapping each other, throwing objects at each other, and then wrestling on the couch before Luthor breaks them up.

Lana is mainly a damsel in distress here as she spends the majority of the episode as Luthor’s captive. She does manage to blink her eyes using Morse code on the video tape Luthor sent Superboy which is how he was able to find Luthor’s hideout. At the end of the episode it does show that Lana hasn’t fully recovered from her time as Luthor’s captive, which was nice to see. Something like that should affect her afterwards.

Luthor seems to have a new wig every time he appears on screen, and each one is worse than the last. It’s actually an amusing gag.

Andy only has two small appearances here. Clark calls him from the hospital just to keep his secret identity safe. Andy is apparently casting for a film he wrote which seems to star women in bikinis exclusively. He then shows up at the end talking with Clark and Lana.

Luthor is sentenced to death, as the title implies. He does escape though. Darla, dressed as Luthor’s priest, passes him a pill. When Luthor is electrified the electricity doesn’t kill him. Instead he seems to gain electrical powers temporarily which he uses to blast a hole in the wall and escape. Darla is waiting outside in a getaway car.

This wasn’t the best episode but I liked it. The new Luthor is far superior to the old one and is just a lot of fun. I like Darla so I was happy to see her introduced. I like the idea of Superboy having to do therapy to get his powers back but the sequence itself is rushed and never fully explained. It also seems weird to have the main character, especially when he has been recast, barely appear in one episode and then be sidelined in the next.
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--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

#50 Christopher

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 07:17 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 10 June 2020 - 06:45 PM, said:

The episode said Addis Ababa so I wrote Addis Ababa.

My point wasn't about you, it was about the episode doing what Hollywood typically does and not bothering to research African geography or ethnography. "Adidas Abadaba? That's somewhere near Egypt, right? Let's get a coupla Mideastern-looking kids and film 'em in a desert!" The simplest way to reconcile is is to assume the meteorite was brought to AA and shipped from there to Shusterville.

And what a coincidence that out of all the universities in the world, it happened to get sent to the one in the obscure Florida town where Clark Kent went to college, and that he happened to be enrolled in a Gemology course at the time.
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#51 Christopher

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 05:56 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 27 March 2020 - 08:13 AM, said:

Superboy – Revenge of the Alien Parts 1 & 2

The alien menace returns in a really good two-part episode. I feel like everyone stepped up their game for these episodes and it shows. It isn’t all perfect with some bad guest acting and a few bad special effects but nothing that ruins either episode.


I fully agree.


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While Superboy did throw the strange rocks into the sun Professor Peterson examined the unique radiation they gave off and was able to replicate it using a laser. He does this so he can weaken Superboy’s skin enough to take a few samples. If the professor had his way Superboy would do nothing but he a lab rat for him to study.

Last week he was a gemology teacher. Now he's evidently a physicist, xenobiologist, and later on, apparently an agronomist and cryogenicist.

I like it that the lab is called Ellsworth Cryogenics. That's an homage to Whitney Ellsworth, the editor of early Superman comics who oversaw the Kirk Alyn serials and produced and story-edited the George Reeves TV series, much as this show had Superman editors/writers Mike Carlin, Andy Helfer, and Cary Bates as writers or story consultants at this point.



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The episode gives us a glimpse into the offices of the Shuster Herald as TJ and Clark meet their new boss, Dean Lockhardt. She doesn’t seem to like TJ but she likes Clark. Maybe too much because it definitely felt like she was flirting with him.

The actress was incredibly bad. I mean, she made Scott Wells's acting look competent.

Stuart Whitman did an excellent job as Pa Kent, though. Easily the best performance in the series so far, though there's little competition.

So far I'm finding John Newton's acting extremely weak as Clark, but somewhat better as Superboy. He's good at changing his manner and deepening his voice when he goes Super, something hardly any live-action portrayer has done all that well.


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This actually leads to a great scene. The rocket explodes in front of Clark, there’s a lot of smoke, the music kicks in, and then Superboy appears standing in a classic hero pose with hands on hips.

That's a standard gag in Super Sentai (the basis of Power Rangers) and Kamen Rider, only with more fiery explosions.
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#52 RJDiogenes

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 06:45 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 10 June 2020 - 06:45 PM, said:

At the start of this episode we learn that Superboy has lost the use of his legs, can’t fly, and the rest of his powers have been diminished. We are never told why being hit with a missile has caused this extreme reaction in the Boy of Steel. We just have to go along with it.  

Trace amounts of Kryptonite in the alloy.

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The thing is we aren’t told if his being in a wheelchair was a ruse to bait Luthor and he had already regained the use of all his powers of it he regained them as he was falling. Maybe it doesn’t bother other people but it bothered me.  
That's the sort of thing that bugs me, too.

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This episode introduces Darla, Luthor’s assistant. He meets her in a strip club and offers to pay her $2,000 a week to be his minion.  

Easily his best plan yet.

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She does manage to blink her eyes using Morse code on the video tape Luthor sent Superboy which is how he was able to find Luthor’s hideout.  

Clever.  Does Superboy have super pattern recognition?

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Luthor seems to have a new wig every time he appears on screen, and each one is worse than the last. It’s actually an amusing gag.  
But not his best plan ever.

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Darla, dressed as Luthor’s priest, passes him a pill. When Luthor is electrified the electricity doesn’t kill him. Instead he seems to gain electrical powers temporarily which he uses to blast a hole in the wall and escape. Darla is waiting outside in a getaway car.  
That's a pretty good plan.

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I like the idea of Superboy having to do therapy to get his powers back but the sequence itself is rushed and never fully explained.
Superboy in a wheelchair is a strong visual image, and needing physical therapy to recover is just as strong thematically, so it's a shame they botched it.  That sort of thing has been done a few times over the years, with mixed results.  I remember Johnny Storm trying to fly after the Hulk with asbestos bandages on his arm and head back in FF #24 or #25, and it was very compelling because it spoke to how serious the situation was.  Then there were other times, like the Hulk coming back from Secret Wars with a leg brace and crutch that were just wasted.
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#53 Virgil Vox

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 09:06 PM

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Last week he was a gemology teacher. Now he's evidently a physicist, xenobiologist, and later on, apparently an agronomist and cryogenicist.

He is a man of many talents.

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The actress was incredibly bad. I mean, she made Scott Wells's acting look competent.

Completely agree. Luckily they replace with her a better actress after this.

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So far I'm finding John Newton's acting extremely weak as Clark, but somewhat better as Superboy. He's good at changing his manner and deepening his voice when he goes Super, something hardly any live-action portrayer has done all that well.

I think he gets better as the series progresses and he is given better material to work with. I could be biased though because I find him to be am incredibly sexy man.

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Clever.  Does Superboy have super pattern recognition?

Apparently. He watches the tape with Professor Peterson and he says he can barely make out Lana blinking.

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That's a pretty good plan.

It is. The writers have really upped their game with this new Luthor, giving him better plots and really emphasizing his intelligence.

Metallo

The previous two episodes gave us a better Lex Luthor and this episode introduces another classic Superman foe, Metallo, in a pretty decent episode.

This version of Metallo is a washed-up bank robber with a bad heart. He robs an armored car but starts to suffer a heart attack and is stopped by Superboy. He is taken to a hospital where he kills his doctor and escapes, only to suffer another heart attack while driving and slamming his car into a tree, causing an explosion. He then awakens in a shack in the woods where a mad scientist has replaced his arms and part of his chest with cybernetic components and had decided to use the green rock that he found to power his new creation. Metallo kills the scientist and decides to get revenge on Superboy.

It is a pretty decent origin for Metallo. I liked that the kryptonite that the mad scientist found was the same one that got dropped into the sewer at the end of “Kryptonite Kills”. It is a nice callback and not one I was expecting.

Metallo himself looks okay. He is basically wearing a black vest with wires everywhere, a box in the middle of the vest to hold the kryptonite, and has robotic arms. It is obviously Metallo done on a small budget but it works within the tone of the show.

I was surprised that Metallo killed two people here. Normally the show shied away from actual death. Metallo cuts his doctor’s throat with a scalpel and then I think snaps the scientist’s neck before hanging him on a hook.

Andy has another get rich quick scheme here in the form of Superboy tee shirts he wants to sell. Clark tries to dissuade him, saying that Superboy probably won’t go for it but Andy will not be deterred.

This episode formally names the green rock as kryptonite. Clark is reading Professor Peterson’s journal and in it the professor says the rock came from a planet called Krypton and so he will name the rock kryptonite.

Superboy creates a suit of armor out of lead to face off against Metallo which is a good idea. The armor itself looks laughable but it allows him to throw down with Metallo for a bit, at least until Metallo starts ripping it off. Still, Superboy wins in the end when he yanks the kryptonite out and encases it in his lead glove.

I liked this episode though it’s not the best the series has to offer. Metallo proves to be a good villain and he comes back several times throughout the series in some pretty good episodes.

Young Dracula

This is a favorite episode of mine. It is cheesy but also somewhat serious and has a great guest character. As you can tell by the title this episode revolves around vampires.

At the start we are introduced to Byron Shelley as he is shopping at a little market. He had a meet cute with Lana at the start. The market gets robbed and Byron uses his mind powers to convince one robber to start beating himself up. A second robber pops up and shoots Byron in the back twice. Byron is fine and makes that robber beat his head against the floor. He then has the clerk forget that Byron was even there. We then see that he has no reflection.

This establishes Byron as a vampire, albeit a unique one who can walk in the sun. We then find out he is a doctor after Clarks gets hit on the head with a steel beam after saving Andy’s life. He is also the son of a powerful vampire (obviously Dracula since the episode is named “Young Dracula” though the name Dracula is never said) but he has renounced the vampiric lifestyle. He has created a serum that allows him to walk in the sun, curbs his bloodlust, and be seen in mirrors if he concentrates.

I really like Byron, and not just because he is a gorgeous man who takes his shirt off in the episode. His character is given a decent amount of depth in a 23 minute episode. The episode presents Byron and Clark as kindred spirits, both non-humans doing their best to fit in and to do good in the world. Byron wants to use his serum to convert other vampires so they are no longer a predatory species feeding on humanity. He is a character that is easy to like.

Andy doesn’t get much screen time, which is on par with this season so far. He is only in the beginning of the episode where he and Clark are walking down a side walk and Andy is talking about how much he likes his new shirt. He then takes Clark to the hospital after he gets hit on the head and disappears for the rest of the episode.

Lana is smitten with Byron but not much happens since she immediately finds out he is a vampire and then he has to leave so his father can’t find him again. She is briefly a damsel in distress when the old vampire attacks her but otherwise this is a strong showing for the character.

The old vampire (he is never referred to as anything other than an old vampire) is basically the cliché of a vampire. Think of a stereotypical depiction of Dracula or a similar vampire and that’s what he is. Still, he proves to be a decent threat with above average strength and mind control powers. He does briefly take control of the Boy of Steel and he takes down Byron.

In a questionable scene Superboy flies the vampire into space and basically throws him towards the sun, thus killing him. Byron then tells Superboy that the vampire was already dead so he didn’t really kill him. I guess it keeps with Superboy’s no killing rule though it is definitely in a grey area.

I liked the scene where Byron gets shot because he is shot in the back and both bullets explode out his front and he catches both of them. Just badass.

I loved Clark doing his best to not be examined in the hospital, going as far as using his heat vision to break the X-ray machine. Of course because he is such a good guy he goes back later and fixes it when no one is around.

The episode ends with Byron leaving the city so his father can’t find him. He hitches a ride with a beautiful young woman. In true horror movie fashion it leaves on a cliffhanger wondering if Byron is as reformed as he said since the woman cuts her finger and Byron slowly smiles.

Byron does return later in the season which I was happy about because he is an interesting character. I like that the show is embracing the more  magical/supernatural side since that is something that Superman has always been susceptible to, though basically all heroes are in danger from magic.
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#54 Christopher

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 07:07 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2020 - 09:06 PM, said:

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Last week he was a gemology teacher. Now he's evidently a physicist, xenobiologist, and later on, apparently an agronomist and cryogenicist.

He is a man of many talents.

Came a long way from his origins in a dancing street gang.



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I think he gets better as the series progresses and he is given better material to work with. I could be biased though because I find him to be am incredibly sexy man.

I think Stacy Haiduk is an incredibly sexy woman, but I'm still underwhelmed by her acting so far. Although if she spent half her time in tights, I might not notice. :D
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#55 Virgil Vox

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 01:30 PM

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Came a long way from his origins in a dancing street gang.

That is funny.

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I think Stacy Haiduk is an incredibly sexy woman, but I'm still underwhelmed by her acting so far. Although if she spent half her time in tights, I might not notice.

The tights do help but I do genuinely like his performance as Superboy. As you noted, he does change his manner and voice when he is the Boy of Steel which I appreciate.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
--Jor-El


It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
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#56 Christopher

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Posted 13 June 2020 - 02:44 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 13 June 2020 - 01:30 PM, said:

...I do genuinely like his performance as Superboy. As you noted, he does change his manner and voice when he is the Boy of Steel which I appreciate.

I find him reasonably competent as Superboy, but for some reason he seems to do a much worse job as Clark.
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#57 RJDiogenes

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 04:52 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 12 June 2020 - 09:06 PM, said:

Metallo kills the scientist and decides to get revenge on Superboy.  

Kind of a waste of a good Mad Scientist.

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Andy has another get rich quick scheme here in the form of Superboy tee shirts he wants to sell. Clark tries to dissuade him, saying that Superboy probably won’t go for it but Andy will not be deterred.  

Unfortunately, it's pretty impossible for most secret-identitied characters to copyright their hero identity-- which is why there have been so many times when somebody has randomly taken over the identity of a fallen or missing hero (or villain, for that matter).

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Superboy creates a suit of armor out of lead to face off against Metallo which is a good idea.  

Lead actually isn't a great substance to make armor out of.  A lead lining might have been a better idea.

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The episode presents Byron and Clark as kindred spirits, both non-humans doing their best to fit in and to do good in the world. Byron wants to use his serum to convert other vampires so they are no longer a predatory species feeding on humanity. He is a character that is easy to like.  

Backdoor pilot, perhaps?

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The old vampire (he is never referred to as anything other than an old vampire) is basically the cliché of a vampire. Think of a stereotypical depiction of Dracula or a similar vampire and that’s what he is. Still, he proves to be a decent threat with above average strength and mind control powers. He does briefly take control of the Boy of Steel and he takes down Byron.  

This sounds cool.

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In a questionable scene Superboy flies the vampire into space and basically throws him towards the sun, thus killing him. Byron then tells Superboy that the vampire was already dead so he didn’t really kill him. I guess it keeps with Superboy’s no killing rule though it is definitely in a grey area.  

This is something I frequently think about in terms of the Horror genre.  What does "dead" mean when the "dead" thing is a moving and thinking being?  And even if it's a non-thinking being, it sometimes has a human alter ego, such as in the case of a Werewolf.  

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I loved Clark doing his best to not be examined in the hospital, going as far as using his heat vision to break the X-ray machine. Of course because he is such a good guy he goes back later and fixes it when no one is around.  

Nice touch.

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The episode ends with Byron leaving the city so his father can’t find him. He hitches a ride with a beautiful young woman. In true horror movie fashion it leaves on a cliffhanger wondering if Byron is as reformed as he said since the woman cuts her finger and Byron slowly smiles.  

Definitely a backdoor pilot.  :lol:

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I like that the show is embracing the more  magical/supernatural side since that is something that Superman has always been susceptible to, though basically all heroes are in danger from magic.  
I remember Englehart emphasizing that magic is the only thing besides Kryptonite that Superman has no defense against.
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#58 Christopher

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 05:36 PM

View PostRJDiogenes, on 14 June 2020 - 04:52 PM, said:

This is something I frequently think about in terms of the Horror genre.  What does "dead" mean when the "dead" thing is a moving and thinking being?  And even if it's a non-thinking being, it sometimes has a human alter ego, such as in the case of a Werewolf.  

In the case of vampires, ghouls, and zombies, the general assumption is that the soul has departed and the corpse is animated by some supernatural force of evil, perhaps retaining the person's memories but not actually being the person. In the case of something like a mummy, I think the idea is that the mummy's own soul reanimates the preserved body but is more of a ghost puppeteering the corpse than a living person, so maybe the idea is that they "should have" already gone to their rest, or to Hell, if they weren't bound to the mummy by a curse.

I don't think either of those would apply to a werewolf, though, since I think those are generally living people cursed with lycanthropy. I don't think I've ever heard werewolves characterized as undead or living dead.
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#59 Christopher

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 12:38 PM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 03 April 2020 - 09:41 PM, said:

Superboy – Meet Mr. Mxyzptlk


I really hoped I'd like this one, since it was written by Denny O'Neil, who just passed away the other day. He did so many great, influential superhero stories in his day. Unfortunately, this is not among them.


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Unfortunately it isn’t a home run. Part of that is due to the actor cast as Mxy. Michael J. Pollard isn’t bad, per se, but he picks one tone as Mxy and sticks with it. He delivers basically all his lines in that same tone and never changes the energy of his performance either.


Yeah, it really dragged down the episode for me. He was particularly terrible in his first scene, flattening out what should've been a striking debut.

Although I was amazed by how perfect a job Newton did at imitating his mannerisms when Mxy was impersonating Clark. He was quite the chameleon, though that leaves me wondering why he chose a performance style as Clark that seemed to me like bad acting.


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The plot sees a dig site where an archaeologist wants to remove a totem pole. Why he wants it removed is never established.

The bigger question is what the hell a totem pole is doing in Florida instead of the Pacific Northwest.



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Superboy – Terror From the Blue


The title is clever. It implies a danger descending from the sky, but it's "blue" as in the police. Not a bad episode, albeit with some plot holes (like, why didn't Slade just shoot Lana right away instead of just standing there and giving her a chance to get Harris's message and then run?).


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This is a good showing for Lana. Usually she is the damsel in distress and while she is that here she is also a survivor who more or less makes the right moves and saves herself on a few occasions. I did think it was dumb that she didn’t run away from Slade when he came at her with a welding torch. There was plenty of room for her to run considering they were outside.


Agreed. I thought she was impressively resourceful, really holding her own quite well until the end, where they arbitrarily made her helpless so Superboy could save her.



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Slade makes for a good villain, in part because he is played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. He is certainly a better guest actor than this show normally hires and makes a one note villain into a genuine menace.


Also refreshingly unusual for the time to see an Asian-American actor cast in a non-"ethnic" role.
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#60 Christopher

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 11:35 AM

View PostVirgil Vox, on 13 April 2020 - 06:10 PM, said:

Superboy – War of the Species

This was another well done episode though I wish it had been longer because it introduces some interesting ideas at the end of the episode that never get fully explored.

Yup. The writer, Steven L. Sears, would go on to be probably the best writer/producer for Xena: Warrior Princess. He did good work here, with the best character writing yet for Clark, Lana, and TJ.




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Look, AIs turning against their masters is nothing new in sci-fi but this wrinkle provided a nice back story to Dr. Stuart and kept him from being another mad scientist. I wish this had been a two-parter because it would have been nice to learn more about Stuart and his fight for freedom.

It bugged me that Superboy showed him no sympathy and didn't care if he blew up. Android or not, he was an oppressed sentient being, and Superboy should be the champion of the oppressed.


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It seems they replaced the actress who originally played Dean Lockhart which is a good thing. This new actress is much better.

A new character too, Professor Myers. But yes, the actress is a huge improvement.



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The android is okay. It looks as good as it can considering the budget. My only gripe is that they left the actor’s face uncovered so he really just looks like a man wearing a battle suit. I wish he had a helmet or something to give him more of an intimidating android look.

Apparently John Matuszak was a fairly well-known football player/actor at the time, so I guess they wanted him to be recognizable. I mean, they gave him a guest star credit up front even though he had no lines, which is pretty unusual.
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