Recap: Superman: The Animated Series S2 E16-18 "World's Finest"

aka: Superman The Animated Series S 2 E16- 18 Worlds Finest
This episode is the first crossover with Batman: The Animated Series, with Batman and The Joker appearing in Metropolis.

The Joker has recently robbed an antique jeweler in Gotham, and was last seen outside of Metropolis. Curiously, the only thing he stole was a jade dragon statue. Luckily, Bruce Wayne is currently visiting Lex Luthor as LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises are in a joint project, developing robot drones for space travel. Luthor is interested in military applications, which Wayne disagrees with. Bruce Wayne has met and started dating Lois Lane, which Clark Kent does not approve of. Lois has even begun thinking of transferring to the Gotham City branch, and plans to talk about it during their date at a fancy restaurant.

It turns out the Joker is in Metropolis. After his Dark Mistress Harley Quinn knocks out Luthor's Ninja Maid Mercy Graves, the Joker meets up with Luthor and offers him a simple deal: "Pay me 10 Billion Dollars and I'll kill Superman!" Turns out the "Jade" dragon is actually a hunk of kryptonite someone found long ago. Eventually Luthor hires him, and the Joker sets up a trap by kidnapping Lois during her date with Bruce.

Meanwhile, Batman tracks down the remains of the gang Joker overtook and it leads him to a night club. Superman disapproves of his Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and Batman replies by throwing him across the room. Superman quickly pins him against a wall in the blink of an eye, and uses his X-Ray Vision to discover his secret identity. Batman responds with Kryptonite and warns Superman to expect the unexpected. By the time Superman gets home and talks to Lois about her boyfriend, he sees a tracer on his cape, and Batman watching him from across the street. Secret Identities have been swapped.

Superman heads off to rescue Lois and moves right into a trap at a LexCorp warehouse. The Joker presents him with half of the kryptonite dragon, but Superman's Kryptonite-Proof Suit holds firm... until the Joker splashes his suit with acid from his flower and begins torturing him in front of Lois Lane, leaving him to die with a time bomb. Luckily, Batman had caught up, arrests the gang, and destroys the Kryptonite. Superman is able to get Lois and Batman out of there before the bomb blows.

After Batman scares the crap out of Lex Luthor, and Luthor realizes the Joker left an obvious clue, he goes directly to directly punish the Joker. While Quinn and Graves have a Cat Fight, the Joker points out that he couldn't anticipate Batman arriving and spoiling his plans. Luthor doubles the price to kill them both, so the Joker hijacks one of Luthor's robot drones and sends it after Batman after distracting Superman.

Batman and the drone fight across Metropolis, finally arriving at the Daily Planet after hours, where Lois has been up finishing a report. Batman brings her and the drone into the printing press, and gets the drone and his cape stuck in a rolling press. This exposes his face to Lois, who isn't remotely pleased by this development. The drone recovers and is about to skewer Batman when Superman returns from saving a sinking ship and crushes the drone in a single blow.

Luthor has invited the Joker to the warehouse where he was building his drones and his Cool Ship, the LexWing 5000. Why? Because Luthor has decided the Joker is too much of a liability and plans to kill him, then make up a story about how he killed a mass murdering thief stealing his technology. Instead, the Joker captures Luthor, takes the LexWing 5000 and prepares to destroy all of Metropolis while Luthor has a frontrow seat. By now, Batman and Superman visit the same warehouse, and are greeted with a fleet of killer drones. Superman fights them off (including the King Mook with the other half of the Kryptonite statue and Mercy Graves as a Human Shield) while Batman flies after the LexWing.

Batman catches up to the plane, breaks into it, and defeats the Joker. Unfortunately, the explosive marbles the Joker carried around start to detonate, blocking off their escape. Superman breaks in and rescues Luthor while Batman bails with Harley. Joker's explosive marbles go off again, and the Joker goes down with the LexWing.

Wayne Enterprises has cancelled the joint project with LexCorp over ethical concerns and controversy, but Luthor is not directly tied to the events. Harley Quinn is extradited back to Gotham and Mercy Graves has the last laugh (except for her broken arm and the bruises she received). Lois realizes her relationship with Bruce would never work out, but she does consider him a friend. Bruce and Clark note that they work well together, but Bruce will return to Gotham to continue what he does best. Before he boards on a plane, he warns Clark not to upset Lois, because "I know where you live."


  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Batman arrived at the warehouse and was able to destroy the Kryptonite sample to free Superman from his trap.
    • When Batman couldn't destroy a robot drone, Superman arrived and crushed it in a single blow.
  • Break the Haughty: Superman seems in complete control as he bypasses the Joker's trap. Actually, the Joker's real trap is soon sprung, and he laughs in sadistic glee as he tortures Superman right in front of Lois Lane.
  • Butt Monkey: Mercy Graves, Luthor's assistant gets hit with this hard. Harley Quinn punches her across the parking lot using her boxing glove gun and she receives an Offhand Backhand from Batman when he interrogates Luthor. She gives as good as she gets when fighting Harley, knocking her out but breaking her arm. Finally, the Joker knocks her out using a Killer Yo-Yo.
  • Crossover
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Superman and Batman starts off not on good terms and mistrusting each other, but by the end they recognize their effectiveness as a team and their relationship becomes one of respect and trust (well, trust on Superman's side, anyway).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Joker's explosive marbles make a handy distraction when Batman and Superman escape his warehouse trap and corner him, but they spill out of his bag when he's trying to flee the LexWing 5000. The explosions prevent him fleeing the ship, and he's trapped as the ship sinks into the ocean.
  • Hollywood Acid:
    • Averted when Batman notes the Sulfuric Acid would take weeks to melt down the wall. Played straight when Superman suggests he melt the kryptonite instead, and it works almost immediately.
    • The Joker's acid flower immediately burns through Superman's suit.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: When Batman leaves for Gotham again, he tells Superman that "[Lois] is all yours, if you can handle her. But you better be good to her, 'cause I know where you live."
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Bruce Wayne was surrounded by a gang, at point-blank range, with no cover. Somehow, they all managed to miss, and Bruce fell off the high-floor restaurant he was in. When Bruce does land, he is immobilized and the gang still can't hit him (at least he had more distance that time)
  • Made-for-TV Movie: This episode is 3-parts long and was later repackaged as a single movie, filled with obvious pauses for commercial breaks.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: After falling out of a high rise restaurant, Bruce falls several stories before catching himself on a windowsill several stories down. That kind of sudden stopping force should have destroyed the windowsill or his shoulders.
  • Post-Mortem One-Liner: As Batman and Harley parachute out of the LexWing 5000, they realize the Joker is stuck on there.
    Harley: Puddin'!
    Batman: At this point, he probably is.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Batman takes some hits in this series that should have pulverized him in his series proper.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Batman and the Joker are both seen as mere mortals against virtual gods like Superman and Lex Luthor. When Luthor laughs at him for being unable to defeat a mere mortal like Batman, the Joker gets deadly serious and grabs Luthor by the collar:
      The Joker: There's nothing mere about that mortal.
    • Batman winds up scaring Luthor by breaking into his Penthouse in the middle of the night and interrogating him. Suddenly, Luthor shoots up the Joker's lair, infuriated that the Joker brought such a fearful figure into his life.

Alternative Title(s):

Superman The Animated Series S 2 E16- 18 Worlds Finest