Friday, March 5, 2010

Episode 9 - "Threat to the Daily Planet"

Listen to Clark Kent fly a plane here!

Summary: This is it, kiddies. Heel-dragging and general dilly-dally have whittled a 24 hour deadline to less than a single hour, and put an entire building full of media people in danger (and it being the 1940's, they are people still worth saving). The Yellow Mask has proven to have an enormous amount of chutzpah, having made his threat to destroy the Daily Planet before even having the means to do so. By kicking over the sandcastle like security measures of Dr. Dalhgrien he now possesses the super-weapon - but due to an embarrassing oversight, not its atomic ammo.
   At the end of the last episode, Clark Kent, after sending Lois Lane to get to the police with her car, has just peeled back the safe of the good doctor to find him alive but in shock. Michael, the doctor's newly-ex assistant, has assaulted Dalhgrien and blown his way into the safe and out of the room using dynamite, which admittedly, is a lot better than pretending to be a professor (unless you are this professor).
   As we begin, we see the Yellow Mask watching from the proverbial shadows as the gigantic explosion draws police to the professor's lab anyway, rendering Lois's errand a completely useless one. Speaking of Lois, she already managed to get captured by Michael and is now a prisoner. The Yellow Mask decides to use her as a hostage, although interestingly enough against Kent and not the police. Yes, YM sees a 'mild mannered' reporter as a bigger threat than the authorities.
   Meanwhile, Clark breaks the news to the doctor that his trusty assistant was a mole all along. He leaves the laboratory as Superman. barely avoiding police on the way out. He ponders the next move of the Yellow Mask, but decides to try one last time to get Perry White to evacuate the damn building already.
   Back at the Daily Planet,White dines on his fingernails. His priorities are torn between the reputation of his paper in the face of terrorism or the lives and welfare of his employees. A call from the Yellow Mask rubs it in, threatening to throw Lois out of a plane should anyone try to interfere with his act of shooting a building full of innocent people with atomic ray beams. It's not looking too good for Lois Lane here, folks.
   Suddenly, Clark Kent bursts into the room and takes $#@*ing charge.
   Dismissing Perry's questions, he learns that Lois is hostage, the Daily Planet is still full of innocents, and that Perry is still a prideful asshole. In a split second, Kent has to weigh between losing Superman's low-profile by making a very public rescue, or by doing something bad-ass in his persona of Kent. Perhaps still smarting from being called a coward by Lois, or just to screw with Perry's mind, he goes with the Kent option; he commands the White to call a local airfield and warm up a plane. He runs out of the room and out of sight, not even bothering to open the window before flying out of it as Superman.
   A short while later, the Yellow Mask, Michael, and Lois are in a plane and nearly to the Daily Planet. YM is a cackle a minute, while Michael nervously identifies the shadow far behind them as another plane. After a brief glimpse of Perry White sweating bullets, we return to the plane to find out that the shadow is not only is another plane, but it's definitely flying at them. The Yellow Mask makes good his threat just after firing up the beam machine, by throwing Lois out of the plane. But before the machine can fire, Clark Kent flies his plane into the Yellow Mask's, bad guys, super-weapon, and all. Both explode and debris presumably makes rush hour traffic below most interesting that evening. Superman rushes down to save the plummeting (and fainted) Lois in the nick of time, naturally.
   The episode wraps up the next day, almost as if Clark Kent hadn't flown a plane and killed a couple of bad guys, although the staff of the Daily Planet do seem to be grateful that their new co-worker is a crackerjack pilot and a cold-blooded killer. The exception is Lois, who gives Clark a brush-off. It seems she has a faint memory of being rescued by someone in a flowing red cape...
  Meanwhile, a photographer rushes into the copy room and announces that there's a building on fire and there's a girl trapped on the 20th floor! Kent volunteers to cover it, saying that maybe he could 'do something'.


  • Clark Kent/Superman
  • Lois Lane
  • Perry White
  • The Yellow Mask
  • Dr. Dalhgrien
  • Hapless Daily Planet staff


  • Clark Kent can fly a plane. Clark Kent flies a plane into another plane. Holy. Shit.
  • Clark probably didn't intend to crash into the other plane; more like he ditched it in order to save Lois. Compare this 'acceptable losses' policy to the contemporary 'Superman never kills'.
  • Superman's odd handling of this situation stems from his not wanting Superman to be in the public eye "just yet". In a show where your hero can shrug off bullets, fly faster than sound, and break steel beams apart with his bare hands, tension usually came in the form of 'will Clark Kent blow his cover for this?' besides 'can Superman save Lois in time?'.
  • The way most of the other staff at the Daily Planet acts in face of atomic doom suggests that Perry White may not have given them all the details, and he still hasn't ordered an evacuation three minutes before the deadline given by a villain who has repeatedly demonstrated he can back up the threats he makes.
  • Granted, Lois thinks she was saved by a 'parachute', but she also thinks, as everyone else, that Clark Kent crashed another plane into the Yellow Mask's in order to save them all. She may have a nagging suspicion that Clark may have flown the plane into the other plane regardless if he knew Lois was in it or not.
  • Spoilers: the Yellow Mask has plot armor. Other spoiler: Michael does not. RIP.

Clark Kent bad-ass-ry:

  • Recognized as a legitimate threat by the Yellow Mask
  • Clark Kent can fly a plane. Clark Kent flies a plane into another plane. Holy. Shit.

Superman's Body Count:

  • Michael

In the next episode, Clark again has to weigh the risk of rushing in to save the day as Superman or keep up his facade as Clark Kent. Time is running out because there's "Fire in the Sterling Tower!"

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