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The World's Finest Presents

Ghost in the Machine

Episode #15 - Ghost in the Machine
Original Airdate - September 29th, 1997.

Brainiac, having stored himself in LexCorp's computers, forces Lex Luthor to build him a new body -- while Superman and Mercy Graves team up to rescue Mercy's ungrateful boss.

Media by Bird Boy
Review by Jim Harvey
Written by Rich Fogel
Directed by Hiroyuki Aoyama
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by TMS-Kyokuichi Corporation

Tim Daly as Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany as Lois Lane
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Corey Burton as Brainiac
Lisa Edelstein as Mercy Graves
Lauri Fraser as Secretary
Michael Horse as Sky Sentry Operator
Video CLip

Screen Grabs


Probably the most overlooked Brainiac episode from the Superman series. Whenever I discuss Brainiac episodes, this one rarely comes up, sometimes never at all. That's a shame because this is a top notch Brainiac episode with amazing animation by TMS Studios. Not only is this a great Brainiac episode, but we also get a lot of insight into the character of Mercy Graves, the most we get in the entire series.

The story is simple. Brainiac reactivates himself through some of the alien coding he left in Luthor's computers after the fallout of "Stolen Memories." Brainiac is able to trick Luthor into rebuilding his body so he can continue his quest to destroy the Earth. A simple story, yes, but with alot of layers. We still have Brainiac's mission to destroy both Superman and Earth. There's a powerful moment where Superman, in his Clark Kent persona, stops a missile with one hand. It's a great image and beautifully done sequence.

Mercy gets alot of spotlight time in this episode, as we learn a lot about her past. We find out she was a runaway who Luthor took off the streets. There's also a very subtle reference to some abuse she suffered as a child, and the verbal abuse that Luthor brings upon her. There's a heart breaking sequence where Luthor leaves Meercy to die, and the look on her face is one of shock. You can see the heartbreak in her eyes as she watches Luthor escape. leaving her to die.

Superman gets a few good moments, like the aforementioned missile sequence, and a quiet conversation with Mercy, where she tries to justify staying in the employ of Luthor. Brainiac gets a few moments as well. The TMS animation on Brainiac is simply amazing. It blows away all of his other appearances. Dong Yang does do a good job of bringing Brainiac to live, but TMS just does it so much better. Brainiac seems more cold and calculating, the way TMS animated his movements. It's haunting. And when he's first revealed in this episode is pure genius.

This is an overlooked gem from the second season of Superman. Truly a great, suspenseful episode with some of the best animation to ever bless the series. A great storyline and a lot of great action sequences make this a great episode to watch. A near flawless episode.

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