Superman – Stolen Memories

by Alan Rapp on July 4, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Superman: The Animated Series – Stolen Memories
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Superman - Stolen Memories

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. After being introduced in the show’s Pilot, Brainiac (Corey Burton) finally makes it to Earth in “Feeding Time” when the knowledge-seeking artificial lifeform makes contact with Lex Luthor (Clancy Brown) and agrees to trade technology and innovation in exchange for the full knowledge of Earth. Brainiac also makes Superman (Tim Daly) an offer to share his knowledge of Krypton with the Man of Steel in exchange for Superman leaving Earth with Braniac and venturing out into the larger universe.

Rather than shrunken cities (such as Kandor), this version of Brainiac keeps a single orb of each planet he’s visited, and contained within it a complete record of its entire history. Through only a brief moment with the orbs, Superman discovers Brainiac not only has stolen knowledge from countless worlds but he has also made sure to destroy them afterwards (as knowledge is only valuable if no one else has access to it). Although the episode ends with the apparent destruction of both Braniac and his ship we do see a piece of the computer intelligence survive inside LexCorp foreshadowing Braniac’s eventual return.

Superman: The Animated Series finds a way to give us Brainiac’s first meeting with Superman while putting its own spin on the classic story. Personally, I think Brainiac’s feint as a friend to both Earth and Kal-El is more effective than the far more direct version we got in Superman: Unbound. The choice to link Brainiac directly to Krypton, and more specifically Kal-El’s father, also makes his deception cut all the deeper. And a devious robot that can bring itself back to life from a single download gives Superman all the more reason to smash him into tiny little bits every time they meet.

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