Superman: The Animated Series

Season 2 Episode 22

The Late Mr. Kent

Aired Saturday 10:00 AM Nov 01, 1997 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
76 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

During the investigation of a homicide, Clark Kent suffers an attempt on his life and is thought to be dead. Superman must nevertheless save an innocent man from execution and find the real guilty party.

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  • A page right out of Batman TAS

    The Late Mr. Kent is a great detective yarn that you think that you are watching a Batman TAS episode. Superman's remark that he is Clark Kent and he needs to be Clark Kent is the opposite of what Batman will say. With the villain being the corrupt police Detective was a great touch that you don't need a Supervillain like Lex Luthor or the Joker.
  • A nail-biting episode that was like the CSI of cartoons.

    How do you make a simple crook a threat to Superman? Easy have the simple crook put an innocent person's life in danger. Were not talking taking somebody hostage, were talking about this person is on trail and has been convicted to death. So what does Superman do when he suspects something is up? He does some sluth work! Only after he finds out the conivted man isn't guilty somebody plants a bomb in Clark Kent's car! Looks like it's up to Superman to prove someone innocent, but how? I won't ruin the episode for those who haven't seen it but it's awesome! Mainly becasue in this episode Superman says he is willing to reveal his identity to save one man. It's suspense loaded and a must see!moreless
  • An exceptional Superman episode. Interesting narrative and excellent plot. (This review contains no spoilers, whatsoever, unlike at least one other review of this episode.)

    This is an exceptional Superman episode. This episode is head-and-shoulders above most episodes in the series; it definitely belongs in the coveted group of "top tier" episodes.

    This review will not contain any spoilers, but this is an excellent episode due to writing. The plot immediately hooks you in, and it does so using an interesting narrative. There is a tight balance between action and story development, and there are several scenes that capture the Superman mythos nearly perfectly.

    This episode maintains a strong quality right up to the last seconds. A must watch, even for someone who is not the biggest Superman fan.

    This episode stands on its own as excellent television (animated or not).

  • One of the best episodes from "Superman: The Animated Series" Period

    I've started watching Superman a couple of weeks ago, and I'm about to finish Volume 2. I've just finished watching "The Late Mr Kent" 5 minutes ago, and I couldn't help it but to make a review.

    The episode is so shoking, it has very much suspense, the story is extremly well told. When Lois cries in Clark's apartment, so far, it's the most emotional moment of the show. Made me sad.

    I don't know how much it took for the show makers to write this episode, because it has so many good stuff, clever stuff on it that I'd have never think of. It was nice to have Clark Kent involved in the story for once, instead of having Superman all the time. One of the most shoking moments it's when Lois founds the bomb at Clark's apartment. The music serves good purpose there, and I literally got scared, really! And of course, the end scene, with Bower finding Clark is Superman... but can't do anything about it. It was the creepiest thing ever made!

    Now, there were 3 little things I didn't like.

    1) Why would a Pizza shop save adresses from 5 years ago? Do they plan to do something to them with Pizzas?? I don't know, can't think of any valid reason.

    2) Detective Bower was exposed too easly. He appeared and I said "Oh, it's him". It doesn't do anything to the main plot itself, but a little fooling around wouldn't have been bad.

    3) Why, but WHY in a modern time city, they still convict people to death!? That's the most weird thing I've ever heard! Besides, it was for killing 1 people. That crime deserves a life time prision.. but death... that's too much.moreless
Joely Fisher

Joely Fisher

Lana Lang

Guest Star

Eddie Barth

Eddie Barth

Detective Kurt Bowman

Guest Star

Paul Colbert

Paul Colbert

Ernest Walker

Guest Star

Shelley Fabares

Shelley Fabares

Martha Kent

Recurring Role

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell

Jonathan Kent

Recurring Role

David Kaufman

David Kaufman

Jimmy Olsen

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • It appears Bowman actually was a good detective, as he becomes the first person to figure out that Clark Kent is Superman without any inside information to start with. Not that it does him any good.

    • Superman gets shot repeatedly by the helicopter gunship. What happened to the whole "faster than a speeding bullet" bit?

    • When Superman saw the bomb about to explode in his apartment, why didn't he take the bomb outside rather than taking Lois? Lois is still safe and his home doesn't need renovation...

    • Superman flies back into his apartment through a large open window (there are no reflections on the glass, and he passes straight through). As soon as the "camera" angle changes, reflections are now visible on glass that wasn't there before.

    • After Lois and Jimmy view the headline SUPERMAN SAVES CONDEMNED MAN, they speak for a moment and the phone rings. Lois' hand is shown on the paper covering CON in CONDEMNED--When she picks up her hand, CON is missing. making the headline say SUPERMAN SAVES DEMNED MAN.

    • Ernest Walker sat on death row for 5 years waiting to be executed, but the real killer was tried, convicted, sentenced, and put to death in the space of maybe a couple of days? I guess you could say that it was some time later, but the construction of the ending felt like it was a much shorter time. Maybe a title card saying "x weeks/months/years later" would have helped.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Clark: ...So after I swam to shore, I guess I must have found a phone and called Lana.
      Lois: I don't believe it. You're been sitting here in the lap of luxury, while I'm out risking my neck!
      Lana: He was recuperating. Poor thing. When I picked him up, he could barely remember his own name.
      Lois: But he sure remembered yours, and your telephone number.
      Lana: Clark and I go back a long way. Are you... jealous?
      Lois: Yeah. Jealous of his endless luck!

    • Detective Bowman: It doesn't make sense. How could Clark Kent survive that explosion? It was enough to kill him.......HE'S SUPERMAN! (The guard turns on the poison gas)

    • Clark: I suppose I could have flown to the governor as Superman and given him the disk, but that could have raised some awkward questions. Maybe there was some ego involved, too. I wanted this to be Clark's victory, not Superman's.

    • Lois: Who else but the real killer would have done this? He was probably afraid Kent was getting too close!
      Detective Bowman: Kent was a reporter. Who knows how many enemies he had! This might come as a kick in the pants, Lane, but nobody likes you guys!

    • Martha Kent: Well, this is a fine mess.
      Jonathan Kent: It's not like he's really dead, Martha, he just can't be Clark anymore.
      Superman: But I am Clark. I need to be Clark. I'd go crazy if I had to be Superman all the time!

    • Lois (about Clark): I always teased him. But I had so much respect. (shedding tears) And I liked him too, I really did. I wish I'd told him.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Stan Berkowitz on a the episode element: Paul Levitz of DC took the writers to lunch and talked about the different kinds of Superman stories that had worked well in the comics. He mentioned that one kind of story they liked were the ones in which a problem for Clark affects Superman. So, I thought later, what bigger problem could Clark have than to be "killed"? (A bit of trivia about the episode: the man who witnesses Clark's death turns out to have bad vision, but in the original draft, I took into account that he was an old man, living out in the middle of nowhere, and wide awake at three in the morning. Why? He was waiting for the fairies to come, as he believed they did every night. Yep, the old guy was crazy, not nearsighted, and Clark discovers this at the very end... much to his relief. But I guess Alan didn't want it to look like Clark was somehow exploiting someone with mental illness. So he suggested the new ending, which everybody seems to be pretty happy with).

    • This episode along with "A Little Piece Of Home", "Speed Demons" and "Where There's Smoke" was released on DVD as Superman: A Little Piece Of Home.

    • This episode is presented in the classic 1940's "film noir" style with the hero narrating in the first person and a detective story plotline.

    • This episode was voted the series best episode in an online poll conducted in 2006 to celebrate the series tenth anniversary.

    • The same group of people, wearing the same clothes and sitting in the same order, sat to bear witness to both executions.

    • Detective Kurt Bowman appeared once in "Target."