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Feeding Time

Episode #07 - Feeding Time
Original Airdate - September 21st, 1996.

After toxic chemicals transform unremarkable janitor Rudy Jones into the energy -draining Parasite, he imprisons Superman, intent on keeping the Man of Steel as his own personal power source.

Media by Amazing Spidey, Borg4of3
Review by Brainiac
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 Lois Lane
Brion James as Parasite/Rudy Jones
David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen
Lauren Tom as Angela Chen
George Dzundza as Perry White
Victor Brandt as Professor Hamilton
Robert Patrick as Lebeau
Tasia Valenza as Policewoman
Mel Winkler as Comissioner Henderson
Phil Hayes as Guard
 
Screen Grabs






Pans


 
“You messed me up for the last time you stupid little parasite!” -Lebeau

To put it quite simply, I really liked this episode. It gave us a great introduction to another member of Superman’s rogues gallery: the Parasite. In this case, I think the animated version surpasses the original Parasite found in the comics, adding a more interesting look and personality. Rudy Jones is not an inherently evil person, looking to start a career in supervillainy —he’s merely a plain, and rather unexceptional janitor, who gets into a bad situation. This is evidenced in the episode when he pushes Lebeau’s gun away once he starts shooting at the cops. Yet once Rudy’s given the power to absorb other’s energies—along with their thoughts, and even memories, he hungers for more power, namely: Superman. I thought the transformation from ‘lowly janitor’ to a powerful villain was nicely done, and believable. In other words, it didn’t feel rushed, despite the fact that it was a one-part episode.

The plot was excellent, and seemed to blend many different elements skillfully into the storyline, from a creepy horror movie-type feel to a bit of comedy. The scene in which Rudy is turned into the Parasite was especially disturbing, mostly due to the terrified look on Rudy’s face (or what was left of it) as he screamed to the driving Lebeau to stop the truck. On the other hand, there were some comedic moments, such as Jimmy’s remarks to the commissioner after finding the policewoman drained of her energy:

“She must’ve been delirious when I found her. She said something about being attacked by a purple monster.”
“Was its name Barney?”
“Are you here to make ‘haha’ or to take pictures?”
“I guess that’s a ‘no’…”


One minor problem I had with the plot was that once Clark was drained of his powers by the Parasite, he for some reason caught a cold. Maybe it was because the loss of powers made him more susceptible to getting sick? If so, how did he miraculously recover? Yet, other than that, I found the story to be near-perfect.

The animation was fluid and very nicely done, from the glowing liquid that transformed Rudy Jones to the energy surging through his body as he drains his victims. This was complemented by the often-haunting musical score used for the Parasite’s own ‘theme,’ which showed up from time to time.

It was great to see a new addition to Superman’s villain line-up in the show, as well as introducing Superman’s ‘Anti-Kryptonite Suit.’ It was a well-done and engaging episode to watch. The ending was a nice touch, letting the audience know that the Parasite would be back, as he absorbs the energy from a bug in his cell and bears an evil smile.

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