Lois & Clark – The Man of Steel Bars

by Alan Rapp on July 21, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman – The Man of Steel Bars
  • tv.com: link

Lois & Clark - The Man of Steel Bars

With a new Superman in now in theaters every now and then I’ll continue to take a look back at the hero’s more memorable moments on both the big and small screen. What if Superman (Dean Cain) was the cause of Global Warming? “The Man of Steel Bars” presents an interesting dilemma when the city of Metropolis is hit with a record November heat wave while those in surrounding cities are plowing snow and fighting frostbite. What sets Metropolis apart? Only the daily super-feats performed by the Man of Steel.

Given that Superman’s powers come from the yellow sun, the episode’s premise is simple: what if the continued use of Superman’s powers is causing the hero to act as a solar magnet, constantly recharging him but also raising the temperatures all over the city. Backed by a scientist’s (Richard Fancy) research whichcorrelates the dates of Superman’s mightier activities with temperature spikes the Man of Steel is ordered by a judge (Rosalind Cash) to cease and desist all super-powered antics. Initially agreeing, Superman finds it impossible to keep his word and eventually finds himself behind bars.

Lois & Clark - The Man of Steel Bars

Of course Superman isn’t the cause of the heat wave, it’s actually the boiling aquifers underneath Metropolis which are being heated by a controlled leak by Lex Luthor‘s (John Shea) new nuclear plant. Of course by the time Lois (Teri Hatcher) finds the proof both Superman and Clark have both decided to leave Metropolis for good (as Clark can’t ignore the constant pleas for help). In a five-minute stretch towards the end of the episode Lex Luthor goes from sheer glee at riding the city of his enemy to the depths of despair when Superman gets word of the plant and stops it from going fully online (putty Lex on the hook for plant, the clean-up, and having to face defeat to Superman once again).

Aside from a really strong premise, the episode has some wonderful moments including Clark saying goodbye to Lois as he clears out his desk at The Daily Planet, Sonny Bono‘s cameo as Metropolis’ mayor, Lois being embarrassed  in front of Superman by Perry White (Lane Smith) for her one-sided coverage of the story, Superman’s mug shots, an angered young fan publicly showing his displeasure at Superman admitting defeat and abandoning Metropolis, and Lois admitting to Cat Grant (Tracy Scoggins) that she won’t know she will miss more – Clark or Superman. By the end of the episode everything is back to normal with Lois and Clark arguing about copy and Lex Luthor still steaming with having been beaten once more by Superman.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

david February 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

This episode really effected me as a kid because it was the first time I understood a super-villain didn’t have to fight a hero directly to beat him. Of all the plans Lex Luthor uses in the series this is my favorite. Although the show generally tried to portray the people of Metropolis as good people this episode and the one where Superman gets sued show how they can turn ugly with the right kind of push.


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