Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 1 E 7 The Way Of All Flesh

While in custody on Stryker's Island, John Corben somehow catches a rare, untreatable, and terminal disease. As a result, he has to turn to an old friend of his, Lex Luthor. He has his mind transferred into a robotic body combined with kryptonite to get a chance in defeating Superman.

This episode provides examples of:

  • And Then What?: Luthor pulls this on Corben when his doublecrossed employee threatens him.
  • Asshole Victim: Given Corben was already an amoral mercenary, not many will feel too sorry for him.
  • Blessed with Suck: While Corben's new body gives him super strength, invulnerability and an anti-Superman weapon, he has lost his sense of touch, taste, and smell.
  • The Chessmaster: Luthor deliberately had Corben infected with the lethal virus so he could use him as a guinea pig for the cybernetic transplant experiment to “save” him from the virus.
  • Call-Back: The news mention of Corben's attack since The Last Son of Krypton.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Corben revels in gaining a indestructible cybernetic body that saves him from a deadly virus and renders him immune to pain, but finds out the hard way that it also depletes all his pleasurable senses, and that the transplant is irreversible.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Metallo falls off Luthor's yacht and can't keep afloat. He sinks into the water. Then, at the episode's conclusion, the camera cuts below the surface and we see two glowing eyes and a figure walking along the sea floor...
  • False Reassurance
    • When Corben mentioned that he couldn't feel anything, the doctors said there would be "adjustments" to be made. He assumed they meant that his new body needed some fine-tuning; what they actually meant was that he'd have to get used to his new condition.
    • When he goes to confront Luthor, he tries to explain that, in time, he would be able give Metallo his senses back (or transplant Corben’s brain onto another organic body). Metallo is not fooled this time.
  • Forceful Kiss: Corben / Metallo plants one on Lois, only to realize he doesn't feel a thing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Towards the end as Corben confronts Luthor on his yacht.
    Corben: (crushes a apple) I can't taste anymore! (knocks a flower vase) I can't smell anymore! (advances towards Luthor's bikini-clad girlfriend) Can't... can't... (throws her overboard)
  • Jerkass: An old lady biker rode pass Clark, calling him "slowpoke".
  • Karma Houdini: Luthor.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Corben was living in one as gratitude that he didn't reveal his ties to Luthor.
  • Sanity Slippage: Corben's mental state starts crumbling as the reality of what's happened to him sinks in.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: Corben is upset when he realizes that he can't feel, smell, or taste, and flips out completely when he's told that the condition is permanent.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Corben realizes his fate.
    Corben: (looking in a mirror) It's all fake... A FRAUD! (starts ripping the skin off) This is who I am, this is what I am, this is all I am, the metal behind the man! (punches the mirror) Metallo!
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Metallo, at the end of the episode.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dr. Vale.
    Superman: It's only a matter of time before the cops find him!
    Lex: And what makes you think there's any of him left to find?
    [Superman is shocked by that]