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Recap / Superman: The Animated Series S3 E6 "Absolute Power"

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Jax-Ur and Mala have escaped from the Phantom Zone and have subjugated an entire planet, ironically dubbing it “New Krypton.” After rescuing a distraught spaceship from a black hole, Superman stumbles upon New Krypton. At first, he feels he should leave Jax-Ur and Mala alone to rule as they please, but he reconsiders when he sees they are secretly creating an armada with the intent of attacking Earth.

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  • Admiring the Abomination: Jax-Ur admires the black hole, deeming it absolute power and is almost jealous about Superman's fate. Of course, he never wanted to be sucked into the thing.
  • An Aesop: The overall experience reminds Superman that "evil triumphs when good men do nothing."
  • Artistic License – Physics: Since time, too, is affected by a black hole’s gravity, slowing down as the gravitational pull gets stronger, it would theoretically take countless ages for Mala, Jax-Ur, and the ship’s debris to be sucked in as opposed to the seconds that it took in the show.
    • At least, it would from Superman's perspective. Due to the dilation, Jax-Ur and Mala would see any nearby light blueshift and time outside the black hole's gravity well accelerate as they're sucked into the event horizon and crushed. Superman would see them slow down and eventually remain stuck just outside the black hole's event horizon, locked in a silent scream for eons until they finally disappear.
    • In all other respects, it's surprisingly averted by the black hole itself. It has a spherical event horizon, an accretion disk and falling objects are spaghettified as they are sucked in. It also has a powerful gravitational force, as it rips Jax-Ur's ship in two when it gets too close.
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    • In another aversion, Superman also puts on an air mask once he gets inside the escape pod. As the air inside was ejected when he opened the door, he had to wait some time until the ship repressurized and the interior reached breathable air levels. He also doesn't seem to hold his breath when he's exposed to the depths of space.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Superman admits to himself why he didn't expect it sooner that the evil Kryptonians had a hidden agenda in taking over Earth.
  • Bookends:
    • The episode started with Superman's narration and it ends with one too.
    • The black hole released Jax-Ur and Mala and by the end, also sealed their fates.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Jax-Ur and Mala intends to throw Superman and Cetea into the blackhole. Ironically, they themselves are sucked into the black hole, presumably tearing them apart and crushing what's left into microscopic diamonds.
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  • Evil Is Petty: Jax-Ur and Mala could've just ruled over this one planet and been left alone, but they wanted to invade Earth to get revenge on Superman.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Alterus betrays Jax-Ur and Mala after finally fed up with their insane plans and being used as Mala's personal toy.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Cetea.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Superman does notice that the aliens are not too happy with Kryptonians running their home, but Jax-Ur points out it's not his right to which Superman reluctantly agrees.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Cetea remarks that her people would rather have to rebuild a planet devastated by a super-powered rumble than continue to live under Jax-Ur and Mala's tyranny.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Jax-Ur derides a waiter as an idiot for an accident that he himself helped cause. Superman is noticeably sympathetic towards the poor waiter, which Mala mocks him for.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After being saved from certain death, Jax-Ur and Mala repaid the scientists by taking over their planet.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Superman thinks this will be the case for Cetea's planet. If he fought Jax-Ur and Mala, the planet will be ravaged apart by the battle.
  • Recycled Animation:
    • When Superman deflects the blast shot by Alterus, 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 used again three more times when Jax-Ur and Mala's ship start blowing up and three times more when it is pulled into the black hole.
    • When control panel of the ship explodes it features an explosion that is reused footage from the gas canisters that Superman ignites in "The Way of All Flesh".
  • Resigned to the Call: Cetea begs Superman for help since he's the only one can stand up the Jax-Ur and Mala. He refuses on the grounds that the planet would be devastated in the ensuing fight, but then Cetea shows him the armada, and he realizes he has no choice.
  • Sex Slave: It's strongly implied Alterus reluctantly became one to Mala given her suggestive comments towards him and his own personal disgust of her.
  • Smooch of Victory: When Mala compliments Alterus on doing well as he "always does" she plants a deep kiss on his lips, with her body language and comments from Jax-Ur implying she is planning to do more with him later. However, given his disgusted reaction behind her back, it was more of a "Take That!" Kiss to him.
  • Title Drop: "Of all the phenomena of nature, none fascinates me more than a black hole. It is the one true force of absolute power."
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Superman sarcastically says this after the aliens he saved immediately ran away from him. Although, they have a pretty good reason why. He also mentions this again when he finds out Mala and Jax-Ur's response to being saved by the aliens was to enslave their planet.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Jax-Ur tries to invoke this to justify taking over the planet as the aliens were a divided and warring people before he and Mala united the planet by taking it over and turning it into an orderly and efficient civilization without crime or poverty. Unfortunately, it's actually a militaristic authoritarian dictatorship with the Kryptonians in charge.
  • Wham Shot: Mala suddenly appearing among the alien soldiers.

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