Almost forgot about this other DC Animated Series in the rest of the continuity. Superman: The Animated Series was the next installment in a connective universe for DC Animation, after the success of Batman: The Animated Series. Stepping away from the dark and gloomy setting of Gotham and jumping into the bright and color city of Metropolis was a major change to what the creators were use too, but still managed to make it work with this show. Another interesting change for them was the storytelling of Superman, while writing for a character like Batman might be easier since he is a human dealing with some situations that could be a bit more real. With Superman, they had to create a show that was grounded and compelling about a man who is virtually indestructible. Luckily, they managed to incorporate some of Supermans classic villains to test the Man of Steel with the likes of Darkseid, Parasite, Metallo and Bizzaro. Even going as far as creating original villains with Livewire, Volcana, and Mala. The series also made sure to make connections to its other series with episodes that features Batman, Dr. Fate and The Flash. So as we continue our lists for the best episodes from DC’s Animated Series, these are the best ones from Superman: The Animated Series.
Also Read: 10 Best Justice League Unlimited Episodes
Season 1, Episodes 1, 2 & 3: The Last Son of Krypton
The pilot episode to the series tells the story most people around the world already know about. However, it still remains as one of the best episodes due to its accurate and in depth depiction of Kal-Els journey from man to Superman. The scientist Jor-El discovers that Krypton is on the verge of destruction, when he approaches other Kryptonians about the information he has gathered, the people turn to the opinion of Brainiac who shoots down the theories. In order to prevent the extinction of Kryptons people, he puts his only son in a rocket to save him from annihilation and prevent Kryptons extinction. Kal-Els ship crashes in Smallville and is picked up by Martha and Johnathan Kent and given the name Clark Kent. Years later while attending Smallville High, Clark witnesses an RV crash and a family inside. Quickly he responds to the incident and saves the family completely unharmed. Disturbed by his resilience and newly discovered powers, his parents decide it is time to explain to him how they found him and possibly where he came from. Several more years later, we jump ahead to an adult Clark Kent who has established himself at the Daily Planet as a reporter. He is introduced to Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane and is directed to follow Lane to learn to ropes of the job. Clark and Lois are sent to report on the demonstration of a new weapon from LexCorp called the Lexo-Skel Suit 5000, but things quickly become dangerous when mercenaries attack the ceremony and attempt to steal the Lexoskel suit. Clark decided to make his appearance as Superman and appears on the scene to stop the mercenaries and save the suit. The mercenaries fire a missile to take out a plane, Superman goes to save the plane and the mercenaries get away with the suit. Later, Lois is investigating a Kaznian tanker ship docked in Metropolis Harbor and on board finds John Corben and the stolen suit. Luckily Superman arrives to save Lois and finally destroy the suit, establishing himself as a hero and his willingness to fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way.
Season 2, Episode 4: Speed Demons
Who is the ‘Fastest Man Alive’? This episode begins with a race put together to determine who is faster, Superman or The Flash. Making his first appearance in the DC Animated Universe, the Flash seems to have a slight lead on the Man of Steel. Meanwhile, a man named Ben holds a rod that can manipulate the weather and is being powered by the high velocity ionic energy generated by the speed of Superman and Flash. The rod is stolen by Ben’s older brother Mark who has dubbed himself the Weather Wizard. To demonstrate the power of the rod he creates a storm off the coast of Australia, causing oil tankers to crash into each other and spill oil into the ocean. Superman and Flash respond to the incident and save the sailors as well as repairing the tankers and cleaning the oil spill. Flash and Superman travel to the Nimbus Tracking Station to confront Weather Wizard, but are caught in a blizzard created by the Wizard and frozen in ice but Superman manages to escape with the use of his heat vision. Weather Wizard threatens to destroy Metropolis if his demands aren’t met, but is foiled by the combined help of Superman and the Flash who finish the episode by continuing their race to determine who the fastest man alive is.
Season 2, Episode 6: Identity Crisis
When Clark and Lois are in a car accident that sends Clark flying out of the car, he is caught by Superman. Superman? Clark Kent? None of this makes any sense, Clark changes into his suit and quickly catches up to Superman who has been flying around Metropolis and saving people. Superman approaches him and tries to figure out who or what he is. The two Supermen try to figure each other out, as the imposter starts losing patches of skin and reveals a white skin underneath. The two have a brief spare, before the imposter retreats back to the laboratory he came from and is met by Lex Luthor. When the imposter looks in the mirror, it reveals his true face in the form of a pale, deformed monster. Mercy dubs him “Bizarro” which upsets the creature and provokes him to venture back into Metropolis to prove he is the real Superman. Bizarro contains the same interests as Superman, including affection for Lois Lane. Bizarro takes Lois to a restaurant where she records on a tape his explanation of the laboratory he was created in. She asks him to take her there, when they arrive they explore to lab and find that Luthor took some of Supermans blood from a previous battle and has been attempting to replicate the Man of Steel. Superman discovers the tape Lois made of her conversation with Bizarro and flies to their location. When he arrives, he finds an angry Bizarro who has a hatred for Superman. The two engage in battle, but when Superman tries to save Lois who is trapped under a large piece of cement, Bizarro realizes that Superman isn’t his enemy and helps Superman and Lois escape the building before it is destroyed. Superman and Lois make it out, the building explodes with Bizarro still inside and hope that they might someday see Bizarro again.
Season 2, Episode 12: Brave New Metropolis
While doing an editorial with Dr. Hamilton, Lois Lane is caught in a machine that sends her to another dimension. A world in disarray, where Superman is not looked at as a savior but rather a dictator. Lois is found by Jimmy Olsen who is the leader of the resistance group who fight against Superman and his oppression. Lois tries to flee but is caught by Mercy and taken to Lex Luthor. Luthor and his team conduct DNA research to confirm that she is the real Lois Lane, and orders his men to eliminate her so Superman will not know of her existence. Lois gets away and is finally discovered by Superman, who explains to her his reasoning behind his regime and how it revolves around her death. Continuing to explain to his involvement with Lex Luthor to keep peace and security to the world they have created together. Superman believes he also holds an iron fist of Luthor, but Lois tells him that Luthor has been conducting criminal activity behind his back. Superman takes the side of the resistance to march into Luthors office and overthrow him. Luthor tries to escape, but Superman manages to catch him and bring him to justice. Superman takes Lois back to the place that sent her there, and she manages to go back to her world. In hopes that the world she was in can now prosper and return back to what it once was.
Season 2, Episode 16, 17 & 18: World’s Finest
Another three part episode, we are finally given the chance to see the Dark Knight from Batman: The Animated Series, clash with this version of Superman. The Joker has tried enough times to take down the bat and decides he needs a bit of a change. He and Harley Quinn steal a rare artifact made of kryptonite and travel to Metropolis, while Batman is right on their trail. Joker meets with Lex Luthor to purpose a deal, if Luthor lends his resources to him then he will be able to use the kryptonite against Superman to kill him. Luthor agrees, and just as Batman shows up in Metropolis so does Bruce Wayne who swoons Lois Lane into going on a date with him. Meanwhile, Joker muscles into the gangs of Metropolis to have working henchmen. Leading Batman to interrogate one of them at night club, but is interrupted by Superman and causing the two heroes to finally meet face to face. Superman uses his X-Ray vision to see under Batmans cowl to see he is Bruce Wayne, Batman uses kryptonite against Superman and tells him that Joker has tons more. Batman places a tracker on Superman to follow him to his home and discover his alternate identity as well. As Batman continues to hunt Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime sets up a trap for Superman nearly defeating him. Batman manages to help Superman, realizing that they must work together to stop Joker, Harley and Luthor.
Season 2, Episode 25 & 26: Apokolips… Now!
When a strange new weaponized tank robs a bank in Metropolis, the machine seems to be too powerful to be stopped even for Superman. It is revealed the tank is from Apokolips and the person behind the robbery is a crime boss named Manheim, who has been given the Apokoliptic weapon by Darkseid. Later during a press conference, a man crashes the party in search of Superman. After he is taken for examination, he awakens to tell Superman about an impending doom. The man named Orion accesses his mother box to show Superman the reason for his arrival and the origins of New Genesis and Apokolips. Mother Box explains the treaty that was made between the light and prosperous New Genesis and the dark and vile world of Apokolips. In an act to make peace with one another, High Father from New Genesis proposed the trading of sons. However, it did not cease Darkseids ambitions to locate the Anti-Life Equation, a formula that allows its user complete control of any living thing. He has searched countless planets for the equation and laid waste to any that didn’t hold the equation, making Earth his next target. The battle begins on earth as Darkseid and his forces invade Earth, despite Superman and Orions best effort they are overrun by the army of Parademons, along with Steppenwolf and Kalibak. When Superman is captured by the Lord of Apokolips, the people Earth retaliate against Darkseids forces. After Superman manages to escape Darkseids clutches, High Father and the army of New Genesis arrive to declare Earth as under its protection and any further attacks made on Earth is considered an act of treason against the treaty made between High Father and Darkseid. In the Dark Gods last act of cruelty, he uses his Omega beams to vaporize Supermans friend Dan Turpin. Fortunately, the episode ends with the words “Not the End” implying Darkseids return.
Season 3, Episode 2: Knight Time
Batman and Supermans second crossover in the series. After Roxy Rocket makes her appearance in Metropolis, she leaks Batmans recent absence in Gotham. Superman travels to Gotham and assists Robin in stopping a heist, Robin discloses to him that Batman has been missing for the last couple days after leaving a strange voicemail saying he would be gone for a while. Superman takes it upon himself to act on the Dark Knights behalf and dawning the cape and cowl. Answering the call of the Bat-Signal, Commissioner Gordon discloses to Batman the appearance of Bane in town. Batman and Robin continue the investigation of Bruces location, they discover nanites on Bruces office supplies and have entered his body. At the same time, they are still on the hunt for Bane. Batman interrogates the Penguin to learn the location of Bane, as well as his co-conspirators The Riddler and Mad Hatter. Making for a very humor scene, Batman manages to take all the hits thrown at him with ease, shocking the villains at the same time. Powered up Batman then lands blows to Bane, giving him a beating unlike any he’s ever felt before. They force Mad Hatter to study the nanites they have discovered and reveals they are of alien origin. Further investigation leads them to Wayne Aerospace where they find Bruce under the control of Brainiac. An episode that provided more of an interesting setting for the two heroes.
Season 3, Episode 7: In Brightest Day…
Introducing us to the comic artist Kyle Rayner, whose will and strong persona leads a glowing green ring onto his finger and making him the Green Lantern. As Lois and Clark report to the upcoming landing of a space craft, the shuttle is knocked out by the appearance of another unidentified flying object and forcing Superman to jump into action. The other space craft landed elsewhere and revealing the pilot to be Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of his section. Unfortunetly he is on his last breath and with it he orders his ring to find another worthy wearer of his ring, choosing Rayner as its successor. Superman investiagates the crash site of Abin Sur and is found by Sinestro, who has been chasing Abin Sur through space to get his hands on the ring and Lantern. Meanwhile, Rayner attempts to learn the power of the ring and how to control it. Shortly after though, he inevitably runs into Sinestro who is attempting to remove the ring from Rayner. Superman is sent to Oa, the home of the Green Lanterns. The Guardians of the Universe explain to him the importance of being a Green Lantern and Sinestros quest to gain more power by wiping out the entire Green Lantern Corps. They plead for Superman to assist Rayner and learn the potential of the ring. Kyle uses his Lantern to charge his ring while reciting the Lanterns oath, gaining enough power to take on Sinestro. With the strength of his will, Rayner manages to defeat the yellow villain and has a brief meeting with the Guardians who explain the worthiness he has shown to be the next Green Lantern.
Season 3, Episode 11: The Demon Reborn
The final crossover episode with Batman before the two assemble the Justice League. Talia Al Ghul has come to Metropolis in search of the Shaman Staff, Superman attempts to intervene but fails in stopping them from taking the staff. When Batman arrives to the scene, he explains to Superman the power of the staff and its healing abilities. Suddenly, Lois Lane is found falling from the top of a building but when Superman catches her, it turns out not to be Lois but Talia. She insists that Superman come with her to meet her father Ra’s Al Ghul, Superman refuses and forces Talia to use the staff to drain Supermans powers. Superman is introduced to an old dying Ra’s, who intends on using the staff to steal Supermans power and transfer it into his body. Batman further investigates a crime scene where Talia knocked out Lois Lane and after some detective work, he discovers traces of jet fuel on Lanes carpet and giving Batman a location of where he might find Ra’s. After Batman arrives at the airstrip and takes out the assassins, he discovers Ra’s has taken Superman to an ancient city that carries a machine capable of transferring Supermans power to Ra’s body. The process begins and is interrupted by Batman, but Ra’s has gained enough power to become a deadly threat to Batman and Superman.
Season 3, Episode 12 & 13: Legacy
Darkseid makes his long awaited return in this two-part series finale of Superman: The Animated Series. Darkseids forces achieve victory in battle over an alien planet with the assistance of a new elite solider fighting alongside them. The soldier reports back to Darkseid, and when he removes his helmet it is revealed to be Superman. Furthermore, the Dark God congratulates him for his success in taking over the planet. As a token of his achievement he will be given the opportunity to take over another planet for him to rule over, Earth. However, Superman and Clark Kent still makes an appearance in Metropolis as reporter and hero. Later revealing Supergirl has been controlling robot versions of the Man of Steel, since the real Superman is missing. Back on Apokolips, it’s revealed that Superman has been undergoing “therapy” provided by Granny Goodness. Granny has been manipulating the mind of Superman, adding new memories into his mind and making him believe he is the son of Darkseid who only wants to bring order to the universe. Aware of Supermans absence, Luthor prepares for a possible retaliation by Superman if he were to be found. Superman is given a banner of his symbol and sent to Earth to begin the invasion. Supergirl attempts to stop him, but is quickly defeated when Superman sees her baring the same logo as is and yet fights against him. After nearly killing Supergirl, Superman manages to fight against the mind control and pieces everything together. Unfortunately, a kryptonite missile is shot at Superman that nearly kills him and Supergirl. When Superman awakens, he is imprisoned in a red sun chamber that weakens his powers. Now Superman must try to escape and fight against the Apokoliptic army and put an end to Darkseids reign. But even after Superman once again saves Earth, how would they ever trust him again?