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

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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.

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  • 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 Manheim 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
  • Killed Off for Real: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 silent and grim. Even he realizes how much trouble they're all in.
  • 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.
  • 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 Timmm 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.)
    • 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.
    [Beat]
    Turpin: In a pig's eye!
  • 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 Manheim and Dan Turpin both die.
  • Worthy Opponent: Darkseid admits he's impressed with the resistance Superman has put up.

 
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New Genesis Protects Earth

Just as Darkseid begins his conquest of Earth, the forces of New Genesis come to save the day.

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