Superman on Television

Superboy: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 3: "Metallo"

Reviewed by: Jim Bennett (lastson78)

"Save Me?! You made me into a freak!"


A man with a bad heart condition waits outside a bank, preparing to make a hit. Lana, Andy and Clark talk outside. Andy is planning to propose a deal to Superboy about his T-shirts, despite Clark's warnings that Superboy doesn't want to be exploited. The man makes his move, assaulting an armed courier and making off with the money. Clark sneaks away and turns into Superboy. After he stops the man, he has a severe heart attack and passes out.

The man, known as Corben, wakes up in a hospital to hear that Superboy saved him. Fearing that he'll spend the rest of his life in prison after recovering, he kills the doctor and escapes from the hospital. While driving, he suffers another heart attack and hits a tree, exploding the car.

At the Shuster dorms, Clark is researching a story on Corben, while Lana and Andy prepare to go out. Clark is supposed to go along, but he opts out to finish his research for the Herald. Elsewhere, in what appears to be a secret lab, Corben wakes up to discover that he's part man, part robot. The mad scientist places a chunk of kryptonite into a chamber over Corben's heart, and he rises, fully rejuvenated. He sees a news report of an upcoming ceremony to honor Superboy. When he tries to leave, the scientist warns against it. Corben then kills him.

At the ceremony, Lana and Andy seat themselves, and a moment later, Superboy makes his entrance to accept his award. He's not even two full sentences into his speech, when he hears a commotion backstage. When he goes to see about it, Corben crashes through the door. Calling himself Metallo, he challenges Superboy when he attempts to bring him to justice for his crimes. As Superboy tries to take him, the kryptonite begins to take effect and weakens him, and he stumbles away.

Metallo is out living the big time, and to show off for some girls, he rips off some bullion from an armored truck. Back at Shuster, Clark gets upset when defending Superboy. Lana and Andy leave him alone to cool off, and he reads up on the effects of kryptonite. At his place, Metallo entertains his girls. Then, using his super voice, Superboy calls Metallo out, challenging him to a scrap at the junkyard. His voice echoes throughout the town and people rush to the junkyard to observe.

At the junkyard, Metallo pulls up in his limo. Superboy walks out wearing a lead suit he welded together. As they begin to fight, Metallo knocks the helmet off Superboy, and the kryptonite begins to weaken him. When Superboy refuses to give up, Metallo unleashes the kryptonite's lethal radiation at full power. Superboy musters up his strength and grabs the rock, sealing it inside the glove of the lead suit. Metallo, without his energy source, collapses. Now that it's safe, Lana comes over to hug Superboy in relief, but Andy uses it as an opportunity to pitch his Superboy T-shirts. Just as Clark warned him, Superboy brushes him off.

4Rating - 4 (out of 5): You have to love a good origin story, and with this episode that's exactly what we got, the origin behind John Corben becoming Metallo.

I felt the actor that they used for Metallo (Michael Callan) in this episode was a little on the older side even if they did try to make him look younger by dying his hair after his re-birth. It definitely was a different take on Metallo making him more of a 1950s gangster-style criminal but I think it worked for the episode.

There was a nice mix of Clark and Superboy in this episode and it feels like Gerard Christopher is becoming more comfortable in both roles. Also a nice mention of Clark always wearing plaid shirts, love it!

The story in this episode was great, it all worked out well in the time allotted and it was good that they introduced a new villain. They also managed to introduce a new super power 'Super-shouting'?! Although it's not one that I'm overly familiar with.

The only thing that lets down this episode was the costumes. Metallo looked like an old man with some gardening gloves and rubber tube piped round him and Superboy's 'Lead' suit look liked it was made of paper! I can see what they tried to do with Metallo and the sound effects of servos whirring every time he moved was a nice touch but I think they tried too hard. In "Lois & Clark" Metallo looked like a normal man and it was only when he opened his shirt did you see anything different. This worked and was probably quite cost effective, the same with Metallo in "Smallville". Yes the effects were better but when his shirt was done up he looked like a normal guy again. I think they should have gone the same way with this one, but hey this was their predecessor so they did well with what they had. I just think it could've been better!

That's all for now, join me next time for 'Young Dracula'.

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