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"Livewire"

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Superman: TAS episode
Livewire
"Livewire"
Airdate: September 13, 1997 (USA)
Production Number: 018
Airdate Order: 18
Animation Services by: Koko/Dong Yang
Written by: Evan Dorkin
Sarah Dyer
Directed by: Curt Geda
Episode images (8)
You may also be looking for the super-villainess Livewire

"Livewire" is the fifth episode of the second season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 18th of the overall series. It depicts the creation of the electricity-based villainess Livewire. After being struck by lightning channeled through Superman's body, obnoxious shock jock, Leslie Willis gains the ability to generate, control and even become electricity. As her career was based on slamming Superman she has a personal hatred for him and vows not only to take over Metropolis but kill Superman as well.

Plot

Morning falls onto Metropolis and shock jock, Leslie Willis comes onto the air. Instantly she starts her rants on Superman. Everyone listens to the rants and a crane operator readily agrees with Leslie's words, but Bibbo hears the report and calls in his complaints. Leslie, however, doesn't at all care and slams him as well.

Leslie Lois Clark interview

Leslie Willis interviews Lois Lane and Clark Kent.

Outside Leslie's office, Lois and Clark wait to interview the shock jock. Lois is annoyed that Clark doesn't seem to care about what Leslie is saying about Superman, but Clark reveals he isn't bothered as Leslie is only trying to get reactions and attention. However, Lois is confident that she can bring Leslie down, soon they are interrupted when Leslie's manager arrives and reveals that the interview is ahead of schedule as Leslie now wishes to speak with them. During the interview, Leslie confronts Lois on her relationship with Superman and while Clark is uncomfortable, Lois for the first time, finds herself nearly speechless.

Elsewhere, the crane operator that previously agreed to Leslie’s words continues to laugh at the report not noticing that something is wrong with his crane. The cable falls and he accidentally drops a pack of I beams and the crane begins to fall. Clark hears the trouble and leaves the office. While Clark is gone, Leslie explains what she has against Superman: He's never around when he's needed, everything's easy for him, and he only cares about himself. Of course, as she says this, Superman busily works to save the crane operator and the people below from being killed by the falling machine and disproves every one of Leslie's complaints. After putting up her complaints, Leslie announces a live show she's having later that night. However, a storm picks up thereby making the show a dangerous prospect.

Livewire Transformation

Livewire is born.

In spite of the storm, the show is still held and the people are far too disorganized. The police arrive and order the show to be canceled but Leslie refuses and riles up the crowd into attacking the police. Trying to restore order, Superman shows up but he too is attacked by Leslie and the crowd. However, just after Leslie slams Superman again, lightning strikes the metal towers thereby causing trouble. Superman moves Leslie away from the tower but the electricity channels through his body and into Leslie. She screams in pain and ends up with discolored skin.

After Superman takes Leslie to the hospital he finds that she'll recover. Outside the hospital, Superman is confronted by the press for his failure to save Leslie, some even believing that he allowed this to happen as payback for the things she said about him. Offended, Superman says that he did everything he could to save her and leaves. Inside the hospital, Leslie watches the interview and also believes that Superman didn't save her on purpose. However, she soon finds her ability to generate and control electricity. She quickly takes a liking to her new powers. She escapes from the hospital and starts wreaking havoc on the city. Superman confronts her but she gives herself a costume and renames herself Livewire. After striking Superman she takes away all power from the city.

Shortly later, Livewire restores some power to the city so that she can broadcast a message to Metropolis. She wants all money of Metropolis sent to her so that she can have complete control. Without power, disasters start to happen which Superman has to circumvent. However, Livewire's broadcast soon ends and power is restored to the city. Superman realizes that Livewire is out of power and must recharge.

Livewire goes to hydroelectric power plant and tries to take energy from a generator. Superman once again confronts her but is ineffective in the fight.
Livewire shorted out

Livewire shorted out.

Livewire begins to take electricity from the plant but Superman uses the distraction to tackle her. Unfortunately, being recharged, Livewire gets the upper hand in battle until she accidentally breaks the dam while trying to kill Superman, dousing her in water and shorting her out. Superman fixes the dam and takes Livewire away.

Later, people claim that Leslie was a bad person to begin with and suspicion on Superman has been averted. Lex Luthor has taken her into his care, and she is placed in a specialized machine preventing her from using her powers.

Background information

Home video releases

Production inconsistencies

  • There are multiple issues with Superman and his gloves that feature in the final act. When he first appears at the hydroelectric plant (standing in the background behind Livewire), he already has his gloves on. However, in the proceeding close up shot of him, he is in the process of putting the gloves on. Then throughout the fight between Superman and Livewire, there are multiple times when Superman's gloves appear on and off in different shots.

Trivia

Cast

Actor Role
Tim Daly Superman/Clark Kent
Dana Delany Lois Lane
David Kaufman Jimmy Olsen
George Dzundza Perry White
Brad Garrett Bibbo
Townsend Coleman Co-pilot
Lori Petty Leslie Willis/Livewire
Cam Clarke Sid Melkin
Haunani Minn ER Doctor

Uncredited appearances

Quotes

Leslie Willis: What's the deal with you and Superman, huh?
Lois: What are you talking about?
Leslie Willis: Come on, you're always getting exclusives with him. Just how exclusive are you two?
(Clark Kent clears his throat nervously.)
Lois: It's not like that.
Leslie Willis: Oh it's not, huh? Ah, I guess we'll never know if his pj's have that big red S on them too.


Perry: Boy, this sure brings back the old days. When I was your age we didn't have computers or fax machines or...
Lois: Yeah, yeah, and you walked ten miles in your bare feet to work every day.


Livewire: (After being tackled by Superman through a wall.) At least now we know you hit girls!



Previously produced episode:
"Blasts From the Past (Part I)"
Episodes of
Superman: The Animated Series
Next produced episode:
"Target"
Previously aired episode:
"Speed Demons"
Next aired episode:
"Identity Crisis"

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