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"Apokolips... Now!"

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Superman: TAS episode
Apokolips... Now
"Apokolips... Now!"
Airdate: (Part 1) February 7, 1998

(Part 2) February 14, 1998 (USA)

Production Number: 033, 035
Airdate Order: 38, 39
Animation Services by: Koko/Dong Yang
Written by: Rich Fogel
Story by: Bruce Timm
Directed by: Dan Riba
Episode images (22)

"Apokolips... Now!" is a two-parter consisting of the 25th and 26th episodes of the second season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 38th and 39th of the overall series. It depicts Darkseid's first attempt to take Earth into his possession. Orion comes to earth to warn Superman of the impending invasion. Together he and Superman manage to turn back the first wave of attack but after Orion leaves, another attack comes and Orion can't be contacted. Now Superman and the people of Earth must fight back the might of Apokolips alone.

Plot

Part I

It's a typical Metropolis night, the SCU escorts an armored truck into a heavily guarded building. The truck's cargo is revealed to be laundered money taken by Intergang and confiscated by the SCU. Just then, criminals driving a high tech flying tank burst into the building. All attempts to stop the tank are futile. The tank lowers a tentacle and forces energy into Captain Maggie Sawyer's car causing it to explode and badly injuring her. The tank then takes the truck and makes its way out of the building.

Outside, Superman attacks the tank. At first it seems that he will succeed in defeating the tank but they fire a bomb that creates flash strong enough to disorient Superman. They then send out a device that produces a screech so loud, all glass in the city shatters and everyone who hears it is stricken with pain. Superman is also affected by the device and though he manages to destroy it, the criminals get away.

Back at Mannheim's house, he is presented with the money but a bracelet he's wearing starts beeping. He sends his men away and receives a holographic message from Darkseid, who is unhappy at Mannheim's petty use of his tank and destroys the money. He leaves Mannheim unharmed and tells him that he will soon make him a king if he serves him well.

Orion warning

Orion arrives with an urgent summoning.

At a press conference, Dan Turpin insists that they cannot expect Superman to save them every time and the SCU will handle it themselves. Clark notes that the tank looks alien but his claim is dismissed. Just then, a boom tube opens and a helmeted man dressed in red flies in. He approaches Clark and exclaims, "Superman!". Though it seems that his has been revealed, the stranger then says, "Must warn... Superman", and faints.

Later, at S.T.A.R. Labs the man angrily insists that he needs to see Superman. Superman arrives and the man introduces himself as Orion. Orion explains that Darkseid is coming and has his Mother Box explain the origins of Apokolips and New Genesis.

The two worlds were once one, but they split into two: one that is almost pure good, New Genesis, and the other is almost pure evil, Apokolips. The two worlds were locked in eternal war until Darkseid and Highfather exchanged their infant sons. However, Darkseid took this opportunity to search for the Anti-Life Equation and conquers other planets. Now Darkseid is after earth and human agents have Apokoliptian weapons.

Orion's explanation

Orion explains Darkseid's plans.

Soon after hearing this, Superman and Orion are told that there are hover tanks attacking an Air Force Base. Human aircraft proves to be no match for the tanks but Superman and Orion land on the scene. Superman is captured by one the tanks and is hurt by massive surges of energy flowing through the metal tentacle but Orion saves him. While Superman saves the pilots of the tank, Orion uses his advanced technology to destroy the rest of the tanks.

Elsewhere, Darkseid talks to Mannheim about the battle. He recognizes Orion but decides it isn't important. He then says that he's ready to begin phase two of his plan and takes Mannheim to a nuclear power plant.

After the end of the Air Force battle, Orion doesn't seem happy about the battle. He knows that Darkseid will strike again because Orion is his son. He then leaves to report to New Genesis, but leaves Superman with a device to signal him for more help.

Darksied kills Mannheim

Darkseid leaves Mannheim for dead.

Back at the power plant, Mannheim and some parademons activate a device to take out the reactor's cooling system. Darkseid then congratulates Mannheim on his success but leaves him to die in the explosion, while dubbing him 'the King of Fools' to complete his earlier "promise". Mannheim tries to escape in a motorboat, but the explosion does claim him.

Superman witnesses the blast and realizes that the troubles are not yet over.

Part II

After the explosion, Earth's sky has turned red. Professor Hamilton explains through a computer simulation that the reactor will melt through the planet until it reaches Earth's core. This will create an explosion that will cover Earth with more burn holes, essentially making it into a second Apokolips.

On Apokolips, Kalibak congratulates Darkseid, who is sure that Superman will still resist him. Kalibak asks for another chance to kill Superman but he is refused. Darkseid instead summons Steppenwolf and sends him to Earth.

Back on Earth, Superman tries to call Orion but the explosion damaged the device so there is no hope of getting help. He heads off to stop the reactor but is intercepted by Steppenwolf, who attacks him with a laser blast from a sword. Superman easily manages to destroy it, and Steppenwolf then sends his parademons to attack. Superman manages to beat the parademons but is hit by an energy net that forces him to the ground.

Parademons strike

The Parademons strike.

Jimmy and Lois arrive and though Lois tries to help Superman, the parademons get to him. They start to pile onto their prey but Superman manages to fight them off. Just then, a missile strikes Steppenwolf's vehicle. Turpin arrives in a helicopter and orders the pilot to fire again. The vehicle is destroyed and Steppenwolf is forced to dive into the ocean. More members of the SCU arrive and fight off the rest of the Parademons. Superman thanks Turpin and heads off to the power plant.

Upon arriving at the power plant, Superman drills holes into the ocean floor and fills in an underground cave. When the reactor reaches the water-filled cave, it cools and the threat is defeated.

Tired out from his efforts, Superman goes to a cliff to rest. Darkseid approaches Superman and offers him a chance to join him. Superman refuses, and Darkseid hits him with his Omega Beams.

Darkseid speech

Darkseid delivers a speech to the people of Earth.

In Metropolis Plaza, members of the SCU work hard to fight off the endless waves of parademons. Jimmy is nearly killed by a parademon but Turpin saves him. Lois is also in the area but she remains safe until a huge tank-like vehicle drives in. The tank has an interesting headpiece: Superman, broken and restrained. All fighting ceases and Darkseid makes a speech of subjugation to the people of Earth.

When Darkseid is done, Turpin and the people oppose him. They start attacking again and Turpin manages to free Superman. Kalibak attacks Superman but is easily defeated. Superman attempts to fight Darkseid but before they can start, another boom tube opens and several soldiers of New Genesis arrive. Orion tells Darkseid that Earth is now under the protection of Highfather and any attack will be a breach of their treaty. Darkseid begins to retreat after a few words, and Turpin mocks him. Stating how no victory comes easily, Darkseid fires his Omega Beams at Turpin, killing him, then disappears into a boom tube. Superman, mad with grief, destroys Darkseid's tank. Orion then offers his condolences.

Just a brave one

"In the end, the world didn't really need a super man. Just a brave one."

A funeral is held for Turpin where all of Metropolis attends and a Rabbi sings for him. Superman sadly stands over Turpin's tombstone and says goodbye. He then places his hand on the tombstone and reads the inscription dubbing Turpin "Earth's Greatest Hero".

Continuity

Background information

Home video releases

Production notes

  • Part II is dedicated to Jack Kirby.
  • When the SCU jet blows up in part I, the ensuing explosion is reused footage from a scene of "My Girl", in which Mr. Eelan blows a vat of hot lead off its support. This is used again later when Dan Turpin fires a missile at one parademon.
  • Likewise, when Turpin throws a spear to free Superman, the collision emits a flash that is reused footage from the gas canisters explosion that Superman ignites in "The Way of All Flesh".
  • According to the episode commentary, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini intended to have Ma and Pa Kent killed, but DC Comics said they would have to bring them back, so they opted for another character.
  • In the episode's original broadcast, Dan Turpin's funeral included many cameos from production crew and Marvel Comics characters, including Alex Ross and his father Norman Ross, Bruce Timm, Captain America, Mark Evanier, Tony Stark, Glen Murakami, Dan Riba, Paul Dini, Goody Rickles, Stan Lee, Alan Burnett, Reed Richards, Nick Fury, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Kamandi. These characters and persons were removed and the scene and soundtrack re-edited for subsequent airings and its release on DVD.[1] The original sketches for this scene were reproduced in Michael Eury's book The Krypton Companion (ISBN 1-893905-61-6).
  • Part I of this episode has a "hidden" commentary on the DVD. This can only be accessed by clicking on Superman's "S" logo in the special features section.
  • In the commentary, the writers compare Darkseid's attempt to tempt Superman into joining him to "Lucifer tempting Jesus on the mountain" from Matthew 4:1-11.
  • Darkseid's line about Mannheim being "A king of fools!" was originally supposed to be "And so you are... the King of Hell!". However, the censors wouldn't allow this line, and it was changed.

Production inconsistencies

Trivia

Hebrew English
Yitgaddal veyitqaddash shmeh rabba May His great name be exalted and sanctified is God's great name.
Be'alma di vra khir'uteh in the world which He created according to His will
veyamlikh malkhuteh May He establish His kingdom
behayekhon uvyomekhon during your lifetime and during your days
uvkhaye dekhol bet yisrael and during the lifetimes of all the House of Israel,
be'agala uvizman qariv ve'imru amen speedily and very soon! And say, Amen.
  • The woman at Sawyer's bedside is her partner Toby Raynes. In the DVD commentary for this episode and "Tools of the Trade", Superman producers explain that it made sense for Raynes to be with Sawyer during the episode, touching on their relationship from the comics.
  • The title of the episode is a clear reference to Francis Ford Coppola's film Apocalypse Now.
  • Darkseid's forces altering Earth to become like Apokolips was also the plot of the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians episode "The Seeds of Doom", but an extraterrestrial plant was used instead of an explosion.

Cast

Actor Role
Tim Daly Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany Lois Lane
David Kaufman Jimmy Olsen
Michael Ironside Darkseid
Joanna Cassidy Maggie Sawyer
Joseph Bologna Dan Turpin
Victor Brandt Professor Hamilton
Steve Sandor Orion
Bruce Weitz Bruno Mannheim
Barbara Perkins Mother Box
Laraine Newman Toby Raynes
John Garry Guard
Steve McGowan Thug #1
Joseph Gole Rabbi
Sherman Howard Steppenwolf
Michael Dorn Kalibak
Michael Donovan Male Anchor

Uncredited appearances

Quotes

Part I

Orion: (approaching Clark and Lois) Superman!... Must warn... Superman.


Bruno Mannheim: You promised you'd make me a king!
Darkseid: And so you are: a king of fools!


Part II

Darkseid: You're a magnificent opponent, Superman, but even you must realize it's hopeless.


Darkseid: I could easily destroy you now, and once you're gone, the pathetic beings of this planet won't have the will to resist me. The few who survive, that is.


Darkseid: Think of it, Superman. The power you have now, it's nothing compared with what I'm offering you.
Superman: You know I can't do that.
Darkseid: Pity. Still, if you won't be my knight, you will be my pawn.


Sawyer: I've got to get down there!
Toby: Whoa, cowboy, what are you going to do? Hold your gun in one hand and your IV in the other?


Darkseid: People of Earth, I am Darkseid, lord of Apokolips. Here is your savior, cowed and broken. I have crushed him as easily as I have crushed all who have dared to oppose me throughout the cosmos. I am power unlike any you have ever known: absolute, infinite, and unrelenting. You have no choice but to prepare as a long dark future as my subjects and my slaves.


Darkseid: (being opposed) They know this is suicide.
Superman: Better a quick death in battle than a slow one under your heel.


Turpin: I don't care how many crummy planets you've conqured! You ain't getting this one!


Darkseid: It is good to see you after all these years, my son. I've observed your boldness and ferocity for some time. Not without undue pride. Though you're misguided in your loyalty, I won't quibble over this insignificant speck in the universe. I would hate to spoil our reunion with bloodshed. (to his troops) Return.


Turpin: (Last words) Go on, ya mangy buzzards, and don't come back!


Darkseid: Savor your moment of triumph, Superman, but remember, victory has its price.


Superman: Good-bye, old friend. In the end, the world didn't really need a super man. Just a brave one.


References

  • Part 1


Previously produced episode:
"The Late Mr. Kent"
Episodes of
Superman: The Animated Series
Next produced episode:
"Heavy Metal"
Previously aired episode:
"Warrior Queen"
Next aired episode:
"Apokolips... Now! (Part II)"


  • Part 2


Previously produced episode:
"Heavy Metal"
Episodes of
Superman: The Animated Series
Next produced episode:
"Warrior Queen"
Previously aired episode:
"Apokolips... Now! (Part I)"
Next aired episode:
"Little Girl Lost"

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