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Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 2 E 23 Heavy Metal

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The episode depicts the debut of Steel. After the failure of his previous battle suit, former LexCorp employee John Henry Irons has decided to work on a new suit, safer than the last one. This suit is soon put to the test when Metallo returns and nearly kills Superman. Now Irons has to don his suit to try and defeat the evil cyborg.


  • And I Must Scream: Metallo describes his fate at the end of "Action Figures" as this.
    "Remember how you left me, Superman? Buried in rock? I couldn't move. I couldn't see. I couldn't hear. But I could think, and all I thought about was how I was going to make you pay!"
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  • Bank Robbery: Metallo helps Intergang for their bank robberies.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Subverted by John when Metallo first tries to kill Superman. Try as he might, a pipe just isn't going to stop a powerful cyborg. Played straight by Natasha.
    • The recovered Superman saves Steel from Metallo delivering a sledge hammer bashing.
    • Steel saves Superman in the end.
  • Car Fu: Natasha crashes the van into Metallo.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Steel is the episode's star. Superman being incapacitated by Metallo's kryptonite heart is the occasion for him to step in and kick much ass to help the Man of Steel.
  • Determinator: Metallo describes himself as such.
    "No escape, Superman. Not this time. You can drown me, you can bury me, you can send your foot soldiers to do your dirty work, but I can take anything you can throw at me."
  • Dramatic Unmask: How Metallo reveals to Superman that he's one of the masked robbers.
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  • Exorcist Head: Because Metallo can now shoot Kryptonite blasts from his eyes, Superman tries grabbing him from behind. Metallo then demonstrates that turning his head around 180 degrees is another new feature of his
  • Expressive Mask: Steel's mask shows his expressions, just like in the comics.
  • Eye Beams: One of the new improvements Intergang has made on Metallo's body.
  • A Friend in Need: As soon as he sees Superman is in danger due to Metallo's kryptonite heart, John Irons/Steel steps in and helps Superman the best he can.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    Steel: Call me Steel.
    Metallo: Steel, Metallo. The meeting of the metals. Well then, Mr. Steel, may the best alloy win.
  • Hero on Hiatus: Superman is rendered unconscious by Metallo's kryptonite during the first fight. Steel takes him at his workshop and helps him recover with sunlight lamps and goes to confront Metallo and his goons with his suit.
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  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Just as Superman is once again at the mercy of Metallo, Steel calls the cyborg and throws his hammer right into his kryptonite heart.
  • Meaningful Name: John Irons, a former LexCorp engineer and metalworker, makes himself a battle suit and takes the alias "Steel".
  • Not Quite Dead: Metallo didn't die stuck in solid lava ("Action Figures"), he was freed from it by Intergang.
  • Powered Armor: Steel's armor, of course.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Steel had to have his origin tweaked, because The Death of Superman never happened in Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Sequel Episode: Follows up on the ending of "Prototype" with John making good on developing a new battle suit.
  • Series Continuity Error: At the beginning of "Action Figures," Metallo's skin and clothes had all been destroyed, exposing his full robotic body. Here and for the remainder of the DCAU, he's somehow reverted back to his half-human, half-robotic appearance from the climax of "The Way of All Flesh."
  • Tabloid Melodrama: Discussed. Metallo guesses John will be hounded by tabloids for being "The man who watched Superman die."
  • Tempting Fate: After Metallo boasts he can take anything Superman can throw at him.
    Steel: Yo, Metallo, take this! [throws his sledge hammer at him]
  • Took a Level in Badass: Metallo notes that Intergang didn't just make repairs; they gave him new improvements to make him more deadly to Superman.
  • Villain Ball: Averted. Metallo and his Intergang pals don't care about bank money when they have a chance to finally kill Superman.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Metallo (still disguised as a mere bank robber) feigns giving up just so he can get close enough to sucker punch Superman and reveal his true self.


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