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The World's Finest Presents

Father's Day

Episode #28 - Father's Day
Original Airdate - October 3rd, 1997.

Kalibak, son of Darkseid, arrives in Metropolis to kill Superman, and subsequently show his ability as a warrior to his father.

Media by Stu
Pans by Bird Boy
Review by Steel
Credits:
Written by Mark Evanier and Steve Gerber
Directed by Dan Riba
Music by Shirley Walker
Animation by Koko Enterprise Co., LTD., Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD.

Voices:
Tim Daly as Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany as Lois Lane
Michael Ironside as Darkseid
George Dzundza as Perry White
David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen
Bruce Weitz as Bruno "Ugly" Mannheim
Shelley Fabares as Martha Kent
Mike Farrell as Jonathan Kent
Robert Morse as Desaad
Michael Dorn as Kalibak
Video

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Pans


At heart, the episode "Father's Day" is exactly what it implies: A clash between sons on, well, Father's Day. This episode is only monumental in that Superman meets one of his most formidable foes: Darkseid. Other than that, this episode is simply a showcase of the personalities of various characters on the series and displays an extended fight scene between Superman and Kalibak, the son of Darkseid. The recurring theme inherent in this episode is definitely the impact that upbringing has on an individual, which is one of the many themes that is commonly demonstrated in the Superman mythos. Clark Kent was given unconditional love by his foster parents, and taught how to distinguish from what they considered to be "right" and "wrong" to impose his inherent "good"-ness on society to save people and do other entertaining stuff that we enjoy watching. On the other hand, Kalibak has received nothing but disrespect and neglect from his father, which causes him to go to great lengths to try and gain respect and be accepted as a worthy son. These fairly linear motivations end up not being compatible, and this conflict in ideals is the focal point of the episode.

The opening with the "thing from outer space" was a nicely done scene, where Lois is consistent with her previous characterization of doing practically anything for a story, even if it means being a few feet away from an unfriendly ball of menace that just landed from outer space. Her consistent portrayal as a spunky, independent, and adventurous woman with an affinity for danger was one of the reasons why I respect the show to the extent that I do. Like usual, Superman arrives just in time to save the day and after a brief fight everything is peachy, except on Apokolips.

The friction on Apokolips between Darkseid and his minions causes Kalibak (voiced by the dude who plays Worf on Star Trek) to go against Darkseid's wishes in an attempt to prove himself to his father. At the same time, we get a nice and fairly believable scene with Clark's parents visiting him for Father's Day. Lois is her usual self, and it was great to see both of their reactions as Jonathan claimed that Clark talked about her so much, that he felt that she was practically family. Perry needs Clark, so Lois takes the Kent's to a Greek Restaurant. Coincidentally, Kalibak decides to trash the very same restaurant to attract Superman in a mad twist of fate that can only be found in works of fiction such as cartoons. Jonathan wants to put a stop to Kalibak's destruction, and we get some idea of where Clark inherits his desire to impose justice on a chaotic world.

Of course, Superman quickly shows up looking for the source of the disturbance. An extremely entertaining fight scene fight scene follows that had the combatants crashing through concrete, smashing cars into each other, and engaging in other destructive behavior. Martha delivers a few cute lines to Superman like "be careful" and "look out Clark!" Superman is predictably able to subdue Kalibak and save his father, but before he can finish dealing with Kalibak, Darkseid spontaneously appears to deal with his biological son. Superman demands to know who he is, and Darkseid retorts with an effortless yet brutal attack that leaves Superman writhing in pain. He delivers a single creepy line, and promptly disappears. Contrasted to the rest of a rather lighthearted episode, the menace that Darkseid presents seems even creepier.

All in all, "Father's Day" is a mediocre episode that offers little more than some fun "good vs. evil" fight scenes and the usual creepiness and brutality that emanates from Darkseid. The chilling ending definitely leaves us eager for the rest of this storyline to unfold, and the menace is intensified by the ease in which Darkseid is able to subdue the Man of Steel. This episode was fairly entertaining, but it is difficult to compensate for a complete lack of plot.

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