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Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 3 E 1 Where Theres Smoke

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A mysterious redhead appears in Metropolis at the same time as a number of thefts occur. As Superman investigates, he finds that the thief, a metahuman named Volcana, is running from a group of rogue government agents who will stop at nothing to regain their lost "property."

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: While she was trying to kill Kurt anyway, Volcana accidentally gets him killed when she unintentionally causes some gas tanks to explode.
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  • Bribe Backfire: At the beginning of the episode at the docks boat museum a crowd of people are begging the bouncer to let them in but tells them to stay behind the rope, and then one guy with his date claim that they have “special tickets” which are two pieces of blank paper with a hundred dollar bill inside which he hands to the bouncer disregarding the slips of paper pocketing the money. But as the man unhooks the rope to get through the bouncer stops him, as the man complains about the money he gave him, the bouncer sarcastically thanks him and immediately warns him to get back behind the rope, keeping the money for himself anyways.
  • Corrupted Character Copy:
    • The unnamed man who runs the Center for Paranormal Studies, a school that helps kids with superpowers learn to control their abilities, is a bald man with powerful psychic powers. Admittedly, he does not use a wheelchair and he has different powers, but it’s still pretty blatant he’s at the very least a Shout-Out to Professor X. However, while Xavier may have Well-Intentioned Extremist tendencies in his darker incarnations, he wants peace and serves as a mentor to his students. The CPS leader wants to use Volcana as either a living weapon or an experimental subject and doesn't care what happens to her in the process.
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    • On top of that - true to Bruce Timm's unending love for Jack Kirby, the rogue government agents appear to be based on prominent members of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Nick Fury (leader with eye patch), Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan (bowler hat and handlebar mustache), Gabriel Jones (Agent #1), and Jasper Sitwell (blonde crew-cut and glasses).note 
  • Enemy Mine: Superman and Volcana team up to fight the rogue government faction.
  • Favors for the Sexy: The bouncer at the start follows the rules and denies the bribes from the others trying to get in, but then breaks the rules when the very hot Volcana starts to seduce him and tells him she doesn’t have a ticket but lets her in because she’s hot and kisses him on the cheek. One of the women angrily asks him “What does she have that I don’t?”; his response - “Everything!”
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  • Go-Go Enslavement: Volcana is forced to wear a very revealing suit while being experimented on.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When Volcana and Superman square off she knocks him off his feet, then comments that that was with her left hand.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The first appearance in the DC Animated Universe of the Cadmus Project.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Volcana is smokin' hot with a capital H.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • When Volcana is throwing fireballs at Superman in the parking garage, she hits a car and as it blows up, there's an explosion featuring splinters flying about. This is footage from "Splicers", specifically the scene where Carmine's Taxidermy Studio explodes.
    • When Superman gets hit by a laser in Kurt's lab and crashes with a machine, the resulting explosion is reused footage from the gas canisters that Superman ignites in "The Way of All Flesh".
  • Trauma Conga Line: When Superman tries to convince Volcana to trust him, she angrily says that too many people have asked for her trust, only to break it in one form or another. Her parents told them to her before they more-or-less dumped her at the psychic institution. Said-institution earned her trust, and then proceeded to hand her over to the government. And her captors were no better, as she was treated as a weapon.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Volcana mades it clear she hopes Superman would be dreaming about her.

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