Superman: The Animated Series

Season 1 Episode 2

The Last Son of Krypton (2)

Aired Saturday 10:00 AM Sep 06, 1996 on The WB

Episode Recap

We start with a recap of the previous episode detailing the efforts of a Kryptonian scientist named Jor-El as he tries to convince his people that their world is doomed. He is unsuccessful, and as a last hope he and his wife, Lara, send their infant son, Kal-El into space in a small rocket ship.

Now, the episode begins when the Last Son of Krypton lands safely on the planet Earth, outside the rural farming community of Smallville, Kansas. His arrival is witness by a middle-aged couple, Jonathan and Martha Kent. Being childless, Martha forms an immediate attachment to the orphan. Jonathan is skeptical however, and the two debate over whether the child could be an experiment by a foreign or even domestic space mission. Martha is firm in her belief that this child needs someone to care for it. Jonathan takes a shine to the baby, even though it almost breaks his finger with its firm grip. Martha suggests naming the boy Clark, after her maiden name.

Flash forward sixteen years or so. "Clark Kent" is now a high school student, well known for his exceptional academic record and also as something of a chronic day dreamer. One particular day, Clark's childhood friend Lana Lang notes that Clark has seemed bothered recently. Clark confesses that over the last few months his hearing has become so sharp that he can hear people whispering from several yards away. And even more bizarre, he has discovered that if he focuses real hard, he can actually see through walls!

While trying to convince Lana that he's not joking and that he's seriously becoming worried about what all this means, Clark suddenly hears the tires burst on an RV that is speeding down the road. After telling Lana to call an ambulance, Clark runs after it at a fantastic speed. The RV crashes into a gas station, and Clark is blown back by the resulting explosion. Throwing caution to the wind, Clark dives into the fire to save the family trapped inside. Lana arrives just in time to see Clark, clothes burned but otherwise fine, emerge from the inferno with a child tucked safely in his arms.

Later that night, Clark is sitting with his father, Jonathan Kent, on the porch outside their home. Clark bends a metal rod into a pretzel before his father's eyes and tells him "I'm getting stronger everyday, Pa." To Jonathan's further amazement, Clark then melts a portion of the metal just by staring at it. Martha joins them, having just got off the phone with Lana, who has called several times. Clark says he doesn't want to talk to her, since he has no idea what to tell her. With his parents listening, Clark tries to make some sense out the day's events. "Suddenly I was running faster than I've ever ran in my life. I ripped the camper apart like it was cardboard. The fire never touched me. I always felt I was different, even before you told me I was adopted, but how is it possible I can do these things?" Jonathan's only response is "I think it's time, Martha."

Clark's parents lead him into the barn, and Jonathan unlocks a large, narrow crate. "You know how some babies are found in baskets? Well, this is how we found you." Inside the crate is a long, silver rocket ship. Clark is stunned, and asks where he really came from. His parents tell him they don't know, and say that all they found inside the ship were a few blankets and a small box that resembles a flat, portable TV. "Never could get it open. Maybe you've got the magic touch," Jonathan states as he passes the box to Clark.

As soon as it touches Clark's hand, the view screen comes alive and several lines scroll along the screen until a strange symbol which resembles a stylized letter "S" inside a diamond is formed. A beam of light shoots directly into Clark's head, and suddenly, he is standing in Jor-El's laboratory on Krypton. A recording of Jor-El and Lara appears and they introduce themselves. They tell Clark that his real name is Kal-El, and that he was born on the lost planet of Krypton. They also tell him that on Earth, he will have powers and abilities far beyond those of other men. They warn him that some may hate and fear him because of this power, but that he must never use it in anger. They promise that they will always love him, and then the vision ends.

Clark becomes upset by what he's heard, shouting "I'm not a freak!" And then he punches one of the barn's support beams in half. Shocked and appalled by his own monstrous strength, he runs off into the night. He keeps running until he comes up on a very wide ditch, which he leaps over almost without thinking. Once he stops and realizes what he's just done, he turns around and tries to jump it again. This time he doesn't land. Clark discovers to his immense delight that he can fly! He flies all over Smallville, thrilled to discover that all his powers aren't just destructive in nature. He returns to his parent's home and assures them that "It's Okay."

Flash forward another ten or so years. We are now in the the majestic City of Tomorrow, Metropolis. There is a news program doing a story about guardian angels. A young girl is interviewed who fell out of a 30 story window and claims to have been saved by "a big blue angel with red wings!" Watching the program are the reporters of the Daily Planet, a great metropolitan newspaper. Among them is Lois Lane, who remarks that the story is just a sensational piece of tripe, designed to raise ratings, until someone points out that the little girl's story is also on the front page of today's Planet. Lois bursts into the office of Editor Perry White, complaining that her real news story got bumped for such trash. White ignores her rage and introduces her to his newest reporter, a rather tall man with glasses named Clark Kent, all the way from Smallville, Kansas. When Perry asks Lois to show Clark around, she claims she can't because she is headed to a press conference being held by LexCorp. "Oh yeah, the great and benevolent Mr. Luthor is demonstrating a new weapon today," says White, who then suggests that Lois take Clark with her. On their way out, Lois gives Clark a hard time, saying she's not a babysitter. They run into Jimmy Olsen, a young intern who fancies himself a photographer. Lois ditches Clark while Jimmy is bending his ear.

The press conference is being held at a hanger owned by LexCorp Laboratories, which is already crowded with reporters by the time Lois Lane arrives. She is shocked to discover that Clark is already there. When she asks him how he beat her, he replies "I flew." When he then refuses to let her see the quote he just got from one of the scientists unless she shares the credit with him in her article, she's impressed, "You're obviously not the rube-hayseed I took you for." The demonstration begins as a giant humanoid Mecha, piloted by a single soldier, appears and shows off what it can do by defeating four armored tanks in combat. LexCorp CEO Lex Luthor steps forward after the show, and to the applause of the crowd states he sees the suit "not as an instrument of war, but as an instrument to end war."

Just then, masked men on hovercrafts crash the party and begin shooting into the crowd. In the resulting panic, Lex Luthor calmly exits the hanger, as if he's not at all surprised by the attack. Clark slips into the shadows and removes his glasses and his shirt, which reveals him to be wearing a blue jersey underneath with the Kryptonian S-Shield emblazoned in red on the chest. A larger hovership enters and steals the LexCorp Mecha-Suit. As it crashes through the roof, a huge piece of debris falls toward an injured Lois, but it is caught just in time by a man in a blue jump-suit with a big red "S" on his chest, wearing a red cape. Lois is awe-struck. Her mysterious savior doesn't stay to talk, as he quickly turns to fly after the escaping thieves. Recognizing they are being followed by a flying man, the criminals open fire, but their bullets just bounce off him. He destroys their crafts while they parachute to safety. One of the men radios the pilot of the large Hovership and tells him, in a distinctly foreign accent, "I don't know what he is, but he's all yours." The pilot fires a missile at his pursuer, who dodges it. The missile ends up hitting the wing of a commercial airplane loaded with passengers. And not only that, the plane begins to plummet toward the city....!