Episode #19 - Target
Original Airdate - September 19th, 1997.
A one time mentor to Lois Lane, Edward Lytener is back on the scene.
He wants the gratitude Lois never showed him, and he wants her
undivided attention. So when life-threatening events begin occurring
seemingly aimed at Lois, Superman is there to save the day.
Media by Stu
Pans by Bird Boy
Review by Barry Allen
Written by Hilary J. Bader
Directed by Curt Geda
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation by Koko Enterprise Co., LTD., Dong Yang Animation Co.,
Tim Daly as Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany as Lois Lane
Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor
Robert Hays as Edward Lytener
Jonathan Harris as Julian Frey
Robert Ito as Awards Presenter
Eddie Barth as Detective Bowman
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Overall, (not an average): *** ˝
There were some episodes of Superman: The Animated Series that weren't
really that good, and they weren't really bad. They were just there.
They were fun to watch and had some great moments in them, but when it
comes time to sit down and talk about favorite episodes, episodes like
"Target" never even enter people's minds. Still, when you go further
down the line and find episodes like "Superman's Pal"
and—*shudders*—"Unity" an episode like "Target" looks even better than
the Fleischer cartoons.
WHAT WORKED: As this series progressed, it was so unusual that we
got to see such prolonged looks at Lois and Clark—sometimes, we saw
nothing of Clark at all. That we got to see so much of the Lois and
Clark dynamic (albeit not nearly as much as we were privilege to in
season one,) was, in and of itself, a huge treat and lends favor to this
episode that I would not have given otherwise.
What I like most about S:TAS's interpretation of Clark Kent (comics have
had this take for awhile now, but I feel it's most apparent in S:TAS,)
is that he has to conscientiously make himself look like a putz. In the
Christopher Reeve movies, I get the impression that he's really that
much of a wuss as Clark Kent and his confidence is derived ENTIRELY from
wearing that suit and having people call him Superman. So I thought it
was amusing when Clark was at the table, searching for a way to get
himself away from the table. There was something about the way he looked
so carefully at the cup of coffee that I found so pleasing. This is the
guy who is just so cool that he has a hard time looking like a wimp. :-)
I just loved that sequence.
During the car scene, as Lois and Clark are retuning home from the
awards ceremony, I noticed something about the animated vision of
Metropolis. The roads that go through the city don't seem to have
support beams. It's just a road going through the city, suspended in
mid-air. It's a striking visual, actually, and says volumes about the
technological utopia Metropolis is in this universe. When Clark falls
out of the car and over the edge of the road, you see just how high
these roads are suspended. It's remarkable. That whole part of the
episode felt especially Fleischer-esque to me somehow. The dark and
moody colors, the musical score playing so much into the heightened
tension of the episode, lending so nicely to the dark atmosphere... it
all felt so right and so nicely put together. It was also nice to hear
Lois ask about Clark when Superman caught her car. It showed us that she
does care about him, and am I imagining things, or was Superman caught
off-guard and almost nervous to be talking about his alter ego? Seemed
like he rushed off of that topic. Would anyone argue that point? I'm
sure a case could be made either way.
If you could call the overall episode anything better than "mediocre,
with some great moments," then you could call it a powerful tool. This
episode introduced us to two characters that will become important in
later episodes (the later episodes, incidentally, were both extremely
entertaining,) namely, Detective Kurt Bowman and Edward Lytener.
Edward Lytener was an interesting creation, especially during his time
as Luminous (anyone else think that Luminous should've had more than one
episode if Live Wire got more than one?) I will discuss Lytener more in
depth in the review of "Solar Power," but I will say this about him: I
thought that his apparent connection to Apokolips was something to be
considered. You will all sneer at me and demand proof or evidence of
such an outlandish claim, which is fair. But didn't any of you notice
the markings on that suit he put on to fight Superman in this episode
and his Luminous suit as well? I felt that it was DISTINCTLY Apokoliptic,
and Kirby-esque at LEAST. I'm sure it could be argued that Lex may have
some kind of ties to Intergang, perhaps as an alternate weapons
supplier, and they gave him privvy to Apokoliptic technology which
Lytener was studying during his time at LexCorp. Has anyone ever
considered this notion, or am I completely alone?
All in all, a very enjoyable episode, but one with little re-watch
WHAT DIDN'T WORK: Detective Bowman, in this episode, was little
more than a very forced red herring. While Bader wrote the episode with
the intentions of making Bowman appear guilty I knew that he wasn't. His
appearances were just TOO contrieved. When he wasn't making direct
statements to Lois about people wanting her dead, he was staring
menacingly at her in her apartment... and just what was the point of him
spying on her? Is it possible he was in on Lytener's scheme or was it
just that he was being "set up" by the storyteller to look like the
assassin? I wish the episode had been clearer on this, or at least kept
me guessing on the matter a little longer.
Some of the dialogue here was just too corny for this show. For one
whole minute, Lois is being rocketed up in an elevator with dynamite,
preparing to die. She has curled up in the corner and expects to die.
And then, with only a few seconds left on the bomb, Superman rips open
the door and says, (those of you who have not seen the episode, I AM NOT
MAKING THIS UP,) "I believe this is your floor."
Read it again if you have to: "I believe this is your floor."
Lois was just rocketed up the length of the building's elevator shaft,
her life flying away before her eyes as she mentally prepares herself to
be blown to smithereens, and as an elevator is flying through the
Metropolis sky, Superman STOPS TO ASK HER if this was her floor. And if
you liked that, Lois replies, as they rush away from the exploding
elevator, "This hasn't been my day."
Yeah, I could see how someone who thought she was just going to be
spread around Metropolis in pieces might say that it wasn't her day.
There was just a very poor attempt at humor, in places were it just