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The World's Finest Presents

Blasts From the Past: Part 1

Episode #14 - Blasts From the Past: Part 1
Original Airdate - September 8th, 1997. - Second Season Premiere (The New Superman Adventures)

Superman decides to release Mala, a Kryptonian criminal, from the Phantom Zone, but when Mala proves too power-hungry for this world, Superman tries to send her back. Mala escapes with the Phantom Zone Projector and releases Krypton's most notorious traitor, Jax-Ur.

Media by Amazing Spidey, Borg4of3
Review by Jedigreedo
Credits:
Written by Robert Goodman
Directed by Dan Riba
Music by Kristopher Carter
Animation Services by Koko Enterprise Co., LTD., Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.

Voices:
Tim Daly as Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany as Mala
Leslie Easterbrook as Mala
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Lauren Tom as Angela Chen
Corey Burton as Brainiac
Victor Brandt as Professor Hamilton
Ron Perlman as Jax-Ur
Jim Cummings as Phantom Zone Beast
 
Video

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Pans

 

Superman and the scientist Prof. Hamilton find a transporter device hidden in a compartment of the rocket that brought Superman to Earth. This device is used to transport beings to and from the Phantom Zone and view into it. They accidentally release one alien from it but are quickly able to put them back, only to be contacted from one of the prisoners in the Zone. Mala (the prisoner) was put into the phantom with her leader Jax-Ur on Krypton by Jor El, claiming that she has given up her sentence, Superman investigates with the help of Brainiac at the Fortress of Solitude to find that she has indeed served her time. Superman has her released, but she ends up being a little more on the wild side than he expected. She learns that Superman will start keeping an eye on her, ready to send her back but she doesn't want to go back no matter what the cost. She lets loose her old partner and leader, who had been sentenced to the Phantom Zone forever to take on Superman.

The episode arc itself is quite interesting, obviously a connection to the movie Superman II, but the way they've handled this makes it feel like they took and made the plot their own. The characters are quite interesting, and the animations of them is pretty consistent from scene to scene. There are some animation inconsistencies that are obvious, such as the logo or design on the front of the Phantom Zone transporter. The overall episode, while it sounds like it could be a bit boring, is actually quite pleasing. Plenty of Superman in action sequences, and people actually focusing on using their minds to resolve the situation. That brings me to one unpleasing fact though; the alien that was first released. Professor Hamilton had just started messing with the knobs without even speculation what each one would do, total lack of carelessness I would say.

The voice acting of the episode was smooth, Mala and Jax-Ur's voices fit each character quite well. There's plenty of good moments throughout the episode, such as Lois referencing Wonder Woman when obviously she had not been a character yet. Also when Superman reacted to Mala's claiming that she would his second in command, that was an very interesting thing for Superman to be approached with. I guess if you saw this episode only and didn't get to see the second, you'd feel it was lacking some, as it is mainly just for character development of Mala and telling the backstory. That is good in a way though, because then that doesn't mean a rushed introduction nor a boring ending.

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