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The World's Finest Presents

Heavy Metal

Episode #34 - Heavy Metal
Original Airdate - November 8th, 1997.

Superman teams up with Steel (John Henry Irons), to take on a much modified and improved Metallo.

Media by Stu
Pans by Bird Boy
Review by Brainiac
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Kenji Hachizaki
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by TMS-Kyokuichi Corporation

Tim Daly as Superman/Clark Kent
Michael Dorn as Steel/John Henry Irons
Malcolm McDowell as Metallo
Lauren Tom as Angela Chen
Brad Garrett as Bibbo
Cree Summer as Natasha
Michael David Donovan as News Anchor
Matt Landers as Robber
Marc Drotman as Bank Manager
Marc Robinson as Teen
Vernee Watson-Johnson as Female Neighbor

Screen Grabs


Plot: **
Animation: ***½
Overall: **

I'd like to eventually someday become an English teacher, in part because I think that writing and supporting evidence is crucial to clear communication between people, and demonstrating a good education. I like to imagine that I'm a better writer than I am, and that I am prepared (or becoming more prepared) how to teach my future students how to competently write. That said, when I reach for the words to describe this episode, the words that best come to mind are "Blah" and "Bleh."

WHAT WORKED: One of the very few nice things about this episode happened within the first two minutes of the show and lasted for only about two seconds. The appearance of one of my personal favorite Superman characters: Bibbo. S:TAS hardly utilized him for all he was worth; he could have been the great occasional comic relief of the series, (and they would not have had to dumb down any existing character or create anyone totally new,) but they never took advantage of him except for in one or two episodes. So seeing Bibbo, no matter how short his appearance and how trivial in the grand scheme of the episode, was enjoyable.

The other enjoyable part about this episode was the fantastic casting of the voice of John Henry Irons. Authoritative, intelligent, and altogether great voice work. I was also pleased by the physical appearance of both John Henry AND his alter ego, Steel. I think it would have been too soon for Steel to put an "S" on his costume (even though Steel debuted in the comics with and "S") but I would have liked to have seen Steel with a red cape.

The third and final enjoyable part of the episode was when it ended and we were no longer subjected to such an ill-conceived, poorly-written story with some of the most cliché dialogue in any Superman episode ever.

WHAT DIDN'T WORK: In the episode THE WAY OF ALL FLESH, (and even to a minor degree in ACTION FIGURES,) Metallo was a frightening, threatening villain who happened to have a heart of Kryptonite. However, this was not the ONLY reason that he was a intimidating foe to Superman. He was driven insane by not being able to feel his body, and brainwashed by Luthor into thinking it was Superman's fault, (vague shades of Hank Henshaw can be seen in Metallo's blaming of Superman for all his misfortune.) In HEAVY METAL, the only reason that Metallo is a threat is because of his Kryptonite heart. If a villain is defined solely by his or her power or ability, as you might know by now, I am not at all interested. I like to see the villain demonstrate some kind of psychology, mentally deranged or frighteningly calculating... but I don't care how big his guns or laser blasts are at all. In most cases, I prefer he not have them.

So Metallo having received "more than just a fix-up job" doesn't really appeal to me at all. Because in his physical upgrade, he seems much more stupid... more like his mentally deficient comic book counterpart. Just punching things and becoming more and more of a physical threat that is still easily beaten by cunning. I need the Metallo back from THE WAY OF ALL FLESH when he was actually frightening. Still though, Malcolm McDowell does a GREAT voice for the character.

As great as everyone's voices are, the dialogue in this episode does absolutely nothing but annoy me. So much so that, as opposed to my tradition of listing quotes I really enjoyed from the episode at the end of my review, I was unable to find even ONE that stuck with me; instead, I have listed the quotes that I hate.

This episode was little more than a waste of animation, and the only thing that saves it from receiving a zero rating across the scale was the sheer fact that Steel appeared in the episode.

NAT: You gonna be home for dinner Uncle John?
JOHN: What are we having?
NAT: Pork chops and green beans in a salantro sauce.
JOHN: Uhh.
NAT: Hey, you're the one who got Grandma a California cuisine cookbook.
JOHN: Maybe I should be building myself a cast-iron stomach.

ANGELA: This is nonfat decaf, right? I don't wanna be up half the night again.
CAMERA MAN (?): Psst! Angela, you're on!

JOHN: How about a little target practice before dinner?

NAT: Whoa! That's one part of the suit that doesn't need testing!

JOHN: That's putting out the trash Superman!

NAT: Uncle John, what are we doing to do?
JOHN: You're staying here with Superman.
NAT: Where are you going?
JOHN: For a test drive!

KID: Looks like the Erector Set's got a big brother!

METALLO: Steel, Metallo. The meeting of the metals. Well then, Mr. Steel. May the best alloy win.

METALLO: Sorry, Steel. I've still got some business in the hood.

NAT: Come on Superman! This ain't no tannin' salon!

NAT: He's got Superman! He's going to kill him!
STEEL: Not on my watch, he's not.

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