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Recap / The Adventures Of Superman S 6 E 3 Divide And Conquer

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The Daily Planet crew is visiting the President Patillo, the leader of an unnamed Latin American country. Superman, however, has to save them all from a bomb planted in the office by Patillo's vice-president, Obreon, and a cabinet member name Filipe Gonzalez. Obreon handles the situation by arresting Superman, since he was on the scene when the incident occurred.

Superman is worried about further attempts on Patillo's life, but he's also afraid of creating more political problems if he breaks out of jail. He calls in a friend of his, Professor Lucerne, who has a goofball theory that Superman's strength comes from his having a higher molecular density than ordinary humans, so if he concentrates real hard he can separate himself into two identical — though weaker — beings. Naturally, this harebrained idea totally works, and one Superman returns to his Clark Kent identity to look after his friends, though he conserves his strength by saying he's sick and stays in his hotel room with the radio on.

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Patillo and the rest of the Daily Planeteers take a tour of a mine, which Obreon has dynamited to trap them inside. The escaped Superman tries to help but he's too weak to do it. Fortunately, back in jail the guard has noticed that Superman doesn't seem so super, leading Obreon to conclude that his strength is just a legend. He decides to make a scapegoat of him by releasing him to the howling mob below. Fortunately, the window the duplicate escaped through is still loose, so Superman is able to fly off to reunite with himself.

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This episode contains examples of:

  • Artistic License – Physics: Where to begin?
  • Evil Chancellor: Vice-president Obreon, who's plotting to murder the president so he can take over the country.
  • Fictional Country: The show never names the country, but it is a Latin American nation which is refreshingly not a Banana Republic, given its mineral wealth and benevolent ruler.
  • The Good King: Well, good president, but same idea. Patillo is portrayed as essentially a saint.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: All the Latin American characters we meet speak perfect English, but they like to drop in the occasional amigo and hasta la vista to remind us where we are.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Obreon convinces the public in the unnamed country that Superman is responsible for the attack on Patillo, leading an angry mob to gather outside the jail.
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  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: This was the first and last time Superman was shown to have Self-Duplication powers. The comics did later do something like this with the Superman Red/Superman Blue concept, but that was accomplished by a machine.
  • Self-Duplication: Superman discovers he has this ability, though the resulting copies are weaker than the original.
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