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Recap / Superman The Animated Series S 3 E 3 New Kids In Town

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The Legion of Superheroes goes back in time to help the Teen of Steel fight a time-traveling Brainiac.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Butt-Monkey: Kenny Braverman. Trounced by Clark at sports and Brainiac in real life.
  • The Cameo: Kairi Tanaga from "Day of the Samurai" can be seen in the crowd at the party.
  • Chick Magnet: Clark Kent was irresistible in high school and Lana Lang even complained about his ability to attract every woman in the area.
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  • Clark Kenting: Mocked. Clark disbelieves that "a pair of glasses is going to fool anyone."
  • Clothing Damage: Clark Kent's clothing is burned off and ripped to shreds when Brainiac tries to ambush him as a teenager in Smallville.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: When his powers first began to manifest, Clark Kent had a lot of trouble adjusting to his newfound strength. When engaging in a "friendly" game of basketball, he accidentally threw his opponent across the court and through a refreshment table.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: After all's said and done, Saturn Girl mind-controls everyone in Smallville to believe that the damage caused by Brainiac's rampage came from a tornado.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: When Braniac has teen-Clark, Saturn Girl tells him to activate Branic's teleportation belt, while Clark manages to escape in the nick of time, Braniac gets sent into space, where the sun's extreme heat causes his robot body to burn and melt.
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  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Chameleon Boy always wanted to say "Up, Up and Away!!"
  • Kneel Before Zod: "At last, the Son of Jor-El kneels before me!"
  • Killed Off for Real: It's implied Brainiac is destroyed for good.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Brainiac travels back in time to Smallville to kill Clark Kent before he can become Superman.
  • Mama Bear: When Brainiac comes after her son, Martha Kent picks up a shotgun and gives him both barrels.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: As noted in the DVD Commentary, Smallville is in a part of Kansas that should not have hills in the background.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Clark being at odds with Kenny Braverman. In the comics, Kenny regularly lost to Clark—eventually becoming the villain Conduit and obsessed with revenge.
    • When Clark surprises him, Jonathan remarks he almost had a heart attack, which was how he died in Superman: The Movie.
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    • Brainiac has one to Superman II:
      "At last, the son of Jor-El kneels before me."
  • Papa Wolf: Jonathan Kent was ready to go out and clobber Brainiac with a shovel when he thought Clark was in danger, but Martha recommends a shotgun instead.
  • Reality Ensues: When the Legion first meets teenage Superman, they find that he isn't quite the brave hero that they're familiar with. He is just a teenager without full control of his powers, after all.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • The shot where Brainiac awakens in Saturn Girl's exposition are reused storyboards from "Ghost in the Machine", though the sequences were reanimated.
    • When Brainiac blasts the two guards in the beginning, there's a full screen frame of a fire explosion, which is reused footage from "Where There's Smoke" when Volcana blasted Superman with a fire ball in the parking lot. This is recurrently used throughout the episode: when Brainiac is chasing down Clark and misses a fire, when the gas truck explodes, when Pa and Ma Kent shoot Brainiac, and finally when Clark smashes the tractor into the harvester.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Some point between the then-present and the future, Brainiac knows Clark Kent is Kal-El/Superman. It's never elaborated in the rest of the DCAU if he had known all along.
  • Smug Super: As his powers began to manifest, Clark Kent became a jerk in high school. Even Lana Lang, his girlfriend and best friend, found him arrogant and hard to be around sometimes. Though to be fair, Kenny was being a jerk to him first.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lana isn't happy with Clark showing off. Even if he didn't mean to, Clark still took up Kenny's challenge.

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