Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Superman: The Animated Series S2 E25-E26 "Apokolips... Now!"

Go To
Superman is fighting Intergang, who has access to Apokoliptic weaponry, only for a warrior from New Genesis to arrive. His name is Orion, and he brings terrible news: Darkseid has begun his invasion of Earth, with Metropolis as ground zero.


  • Asshole Victim: Mannheim.
  • Badass Normal: Despite being up against Parademons and seeing Superman captured and defeated by Darkseid, Dan Turpin still opts to lead a rebellion against the forces of Apokolips.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The forces of New Genesis swoop in during the climax of Part 2. They don't fight Darkseid's forces, but warn that they will if the tyrant doesn't leave Earth in accordance with their peace treaty.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Darkseid's invasion is thwarted and Earth is placed under the protection of New Genesis. Bruno Mannheim also dies, decapitating the leadership of Intergang. In a final act of spite before withdrawing, however, Darkseid kills Turpin.
  • Burying a Substitute: Despite being vaporized by Darkseid's Omega Beams, Dan Turpin gets a full funeral, with a casket and a gravestone.
  • Chekhov's Gun: At the end of Part 1, Orion hands Superman a beacon to contact him for help should Darkseid return to Earth. He emphasizes that he will need the help. Unfortunately, Superman loses this when preventing Darkseid's plot connected to a nuclear explosion, though Orion arrives later.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Darkseid against Superman.
  • Darkest Hour: The nuclear explosion was part of a plan to turn Earth into another Apokolips. Worse, the explosion fried the signal device that Orion gave Superman, so they won't be able to call for help.
  • Deal with the Devil: Mannheim's finally reaches it's inevitable and fatal end after Darkseid betrays him.
    • Darkseid then offers Superman one after his invasion finally begins in earnest: Serve Apokolips as a loyal vassal and while Darkseid will still enslave Earth, he'll at least guarantee a moderate amount of restraint here compared to other conquered worlds. Supes doesn't bite and it's clear Darkseid didn't seriously expect him to take it anyway; it was more of a token "Well, don't say I never gave you a choice" gesture.
  • Defiant to the End: Darkseid is stunned that humanity continues to resist in the face of certain death. This includes Dan Turpin, who embraces this trope to the very end.
    Superman: People on Earth aren't like your slaves on Apokolips. They don't take kindly to dictators.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Turpin is defiant to Darkseid's face, and shouts taunts as the forces of Apokolips leave. It gets him killed in excellent example of not played for laughs spite.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Granny Goodness appears during Part 1's flashback, but she'll return in a larger role in the next two-parter.
    • There's also Mister Miracle as the traded baby, though this isn't confirmed onscreen in the DCAU until years later on JLU. Mister Miracle also makes a cameo as his adult self in Part 2, along with his wife Big Barda.
  • Evil Is Petty: Darkseid kills Dan Turpin after having already lost to make sure it wasn't a total victory for Superman and New Genesis.
  • Exact Words:
  • Failed a Spot Check: Despite having Orion's communicator on his person (and having X-Ray Vision and Super Hearing), Superman doesn't realize it got fried by the EMP from the Ayers Island meltdown until he tries to use it in Part II. It's arguably justifiable as, with the explosion and aftermath of the Sinnott Air Force Base attack, Clark was distracted.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Captain Maggie Sawyer, an open lesbian in the comics since 1988, is hospitalized after an attack by Intergang, and is visited in the hospital by a woman who comforts her and holds her hand. However, this woman is never identified, nor is their relationship explained. The credits and DVD Commentary reveal her as Toby Raines, Maggie's long-time partner in the comics, and the producers explain that her inclusion in the hospital scene was their way of acknowledging the relationship in the comics, which could never be spoken aloud in the series (to say nothing of the LGBT unfriendly TV landscape of the 1990s).
  • Hope Spot: The climax of Part II. Reinforcements from New Genesis have arrived, Darkseid's forces are withdrawing, and Earth is saved...and then Darkseid kills Turpin just to spite Superman on his way out.
  • Karmic Death: Mannheim's fate (being betrayed and dying in the process) is essentially the same thing he did to Toyman's father.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mannheim at the end of Part 1 and Turpin at the end of Part 2.
    Darkseid: Savor your moment of triumph, Superman, but remember, victory has its price.
    [Turpin is vaporized by Darkseid's Omega Beams]
    Superman: MURDERER!
  • Knight of Cerebus: Darkseid is the main reason these two episodes are some of the most serious in the series.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Considering that Mannheim willingly sold out the Earth for power, it's hard to see Darkseid abandoning him as anything but this.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: In Part 2's original airing, Expies of the Fantastic Four could be seen at Turpin's funeral as part of the episode's dedication to Jack Kirby. These are removed in subsequent reruns.
  • Leitmotif: In addition to reprising Shirley Walker's Darkseid's theme, Kristopher Carter also debuts themes for Apokolips, New Genesis, and Steppenwolf. The Apokolips and New Genesis themes will also be carried over into Justice League.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: One of the rare aversions in the series when Darkseid's Omega Beams visibly tear about half of Superman's uniform.
  • Mythology Gag: Perhaps referencing how Darkseid's first animated appearance came by way of Super Friends, Superman can be seen battling Parademons in front of a building with a heavy resemblance to the Hall of Justice.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Dan Turpin is completely atomized by Darkseid's Omega Beams. There isn't even an ash pile left behind.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: During Darkseid's New Era Speech, we see Luthor's reaction as part of the montage. Rather than celebrating Superman's humiliation, Lex is instead uncharacteristically silent and grim. Not matter how much Lex hates his rival, even he recognizes how much trouble they're all in if Superman's been cowed and broken.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Mannheim tries to do this at the end of Part 1 after Darkseid betrays him and leaves him stranded at ground zero of the impending nuclear explosion. But Mannheim's boat doesn't even make it out of the blast radius before Ayers Island blows.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Darkseid wears one before and especially after vaporizing Turpin.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: "Savor your moment of triumph, Superman, but remember, victory has its price."
  • The Real Heroes: Dan Turpin leads the people of Metropolis against Darkseid's forces, and personally frees Superman. In recognition of this, his tombstone reads "Earth's Greatest Hero"
    Superman: In the end, the world didn't really need a super man. Just a brave one.
  • Recruit the Muggles: In many episodes Detective Turpin and his SCU troopers are just a source of Exposition and a g-rated Red Shirt Army who get battered around by the villains, respectively, and are rarely included in anything big by Superman. In this episode the situation is desperate enough for a Superman to need them (and later on a large crowd of civilians) to help fight Darkseid's Mooks, and they handle the job admirably.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Darkseid leaves Mannheim to die at the reactor.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The title is an obvious play on Apocalypse Now. On the DVD commentary, Bruce Timm confirmed that in addition to Coppola's film, the episode title was also an homage to The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans crossover from the Eighties (which was titled Apokolips... Now), which also fits with the tribute to Jack Kirby since, in addition to creating Darkseid and the New Gods, he was also responsible for creating the original X-Men team with Stan Lee.
    • Darkseid's We Can Rule Together speech to Superman is a reference to Satan tempting Jesus Christ on the mountaintop from The Bible. Appropriate for the Satanic Archetype and Messianic Archetype of the DC universe (although, as Timm and company point out on the DVD Commentary, all of Kirby's biblical influences ironically were from the Old Testament).
    • In keeping with the Kirby influences, Darkseid killing Dan Turpin is basically an homage to the end of the Fantastic Four Galactus Trilogy (wherein a defeated Galactus had spitefully punished the Silver Surfer for his defiance by leaving him trapped on the Earth). Bruce Timm's admitted he actually wasn't consciously aware they were homaging it until afterwards.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Dan Turpin's reaction to Darkseid's speech.
    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 for a long dark future as my subjects and my slaves.
    Turpin: In a pig's eye!
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Superman faces the Apokoliptic invasion alone. There's no sign of Batman or any of the other heroes Superman's met at this point in the series.
  • So Proud of You: Darkseid is glad that being raised by the Highfather hasn't diminished Orion's warrior spirit.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The nuclear meltdown of Ayers Island, among other things, unleashes an EMP. Even New Genesis technology — or at least a piece of tech as relatively minor as a communications device — isn't shielded from its effects.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Superman is outraged after Turpin is killed. Since Darkseid escapes, Superman takes his frustration out on his vehicle.
  • Vocal Evolution: Darkseid's voice has become less deep since his previous appearances. He sticks with it for the rest of the DCAU.
  • We Can Rule Together: Darkseid delivers one of these to a weakened Superman. It even plays out at the top of a tall mountain, paralleling the Biblical temptation of Jesus.
  • Wham Episode: After having been built up in the background in "Tools of the Trade" and "Father's Day", Darkseid finally takes center stage and makes his move against Earth and Superman. Bruno Mannheim and Dan Turpin both die.
  • Worthy Opponent: Darkseid admits he's impressed with the resistance Superman has put up.
    Darkseid: You're a magnificent opponent, Superman. But even you must realize it's hopeless.



The greatest evil in all the DC universe.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigBad

Media sources: