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Recap / Superman: The Animated Series S2 E5 "Livewire"

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Leslie Willis, a Metropolis shock jock, spends most of her program bashing Superman, in spite of the protests of some of the townsfolk. Then she tried to hold an anniversary celebration outside on a stormy night, ignoring the Man of Steel's warnings. A lightning bolt changes Leslie's power level, but not her hatred for Superman, and she becomes the most shocking supervillain in town — Livewire.

Tropes included:

  • Baby Carriage: A mother loses her grip on her carriage, letting it roll away under the falling wrecking ball. Of course, Superman catches the wrecking ball.
  • Badass Boast: "You can't stop me anymore than you can stop rain...wind...or LIGHTNING!"
  • Description Cut: Leslie's comments opining that Superman isn't as great as he's made out to be are intercut with scenes of a heroic rescue that shows that, yes, he is.
  • Dumbass DJ: Leslie is one of these before becoming a supervillain. She spends much of her airtime denouncing and mocking Superman in order to get reactions. Her transformation is the result of hosting a concert in a thunderstorm despite the police and Superman trying to talk some sense into her about the danger — in fact, she went so far as to rile up the crowd in order to prevent the police from shutting the event down.
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  • The End... Or Is It?: Just before the credits, Livewire's eyes glow.
  • Fanservice Extra: At her concert, Leslie has some dancing girls in bikinis.
  • Hypocrite: Leslie trashes Superman for supposedly "only thinking of himself" even though she puts her fans at risk by holding a concert in a thunderstorm and the second she gets her powers she does her best to use them for her own benefit while screwing over everyone else.
  • Immoral Journalist: Leslie Willis is a nasty radio shock jock whose "reporting" consists of malicious stories and rants about people she doesn't like, especially the Man of Steel himself. A freak accident turns her into the supervillainess Livewire, with the power to manipulate electricity.
  • Insult to Rocks: When he and Lois are sent to cover Leslie's anniversary gathering, Jimmy remarks that he's seen mob violence more well-organized than the party.
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  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Including turn people into lightning - though in that case it's implied that the lightning first passing through Superman had something to do with it.
  • Logical Weakness; The electrically-themed supervillainess cannot handle water.
  • Never My Fault: Leslie's transformation was due to her stupidity of hosting a concert in the middle of a storm. Superman tried to get her to cancel it as she was both putting herself and the audience in danger; she wouldn't listen and got hit by lighting. She then blamed Superman for the mess, mostly from seeing on TV a reporter interviewing Superman accusing that he deliberately didn't push Leslie out of the way when the lightning struck.
  • Pet the Dog: Luthor (implied to be her former employer at radio station WLXL) pays for Livewire's medical treatment at the end of the episode — although mostly because they both hate the Man of Steel.
  • Psycho Electro: Leslie is understandably freaked out by her transformation. As soon as she starts getting used to her powers, she uses them to blackmail Metropolis and lash out at Superman.
  • Ride the Lightning: Leslie discovers after her accident that she can travel via electrical sockets and wires.
  • Shock Jock: Leslie Willis, a radio host who gained notoriety by slandering Superman. Her job title was quite prophetic, as a freak accident during a thunderstorm turns her into the electricity themed supervillainess Livewire.
  • Super Empowering: Accidentally; when Superman gets struck by lightning the electricity passes through him and hits Leslie Willis. His being part of the circuit not only causes her to survive, but somehow gives her electric powers.
  • That Woman Is Dead:
    Superman: Stand aside, Leslie Willis.
    Livewire: My name is not Leslie Willis anymore. Meet her replacement: Livewire!
  • Would Hit a Girl: Superman tackles Livewire while trying to stop her from destroying the dam.
    Livewire: At least we know you hit girls.