The penultimate episode of the first season of My Adventures With Superman retraces the core element of superhero fiction- human connection, strongly into the narrative, as the role of the Man of Steel as the protector of the world gets emphasized through a beautiful, emotional scenario. In the previous episode, viewers witnessed how a misunderstanding made people in Metropolis afraid of Clark, which mentally troubled him. Adding to that, Lois’ paranoia stemming from her knowledge of the existence of some evil versions of Supermen in the multiverse leads her to unwittingly hurt Clark. Vicki Vale, the top journalist from the “Gotham Gazette,” exploited Perry, Lois, and Jimmy to write a hit piece on Superman, thereby deteriorating the public perception of the superhero even further.
The General deploys his newly formed Task Force X, consisting of the tech-stealing supervillains Slade Wilson and Ivo, to hunt down Superman and take him into captivity. So far, the reason for General’s vendetta against Superman, along with the advanced tech connection of Task Force X, has remained shrouded in mystery. Finally, the ninth episode, titled “Zero Day Part II,” sheds light on the timeline of Clark’s arrival on Earth as an infant, and as it connects it with the present tech crisis, a tragic revelation unfurls.
Super Friends: How Are Jimmy and Lois Coping?
Unable to find any trace of Clark across Metropolis, Jimmy and Lois get increasingly concerned about their best friend and feel clueless as to where he might have been taken. That’s when the group of newspaper-delivering kids led by Flip, the “Newskid Legion,” come to their rescue and offer their help, as nobody knows the streets of Metropolis better than them.
Lois rejects their proposition, stating the situation is too dangerous for kids to be involved. However, Flip and the rest of the kids are unwilling to comply. Superman is an inspiration to them, and they want to grab the chance to help their hero with both hands, as it makes them feel brave and strong. Like us, Lois is moved by the honesty and innocence of the little minds and agrees to accept their help in her search for Superman. One of the major aspects missing in nowadays’ superhero content, even in the animated ones, is the perception of innocent minds on the noble values of super heroism; thankfully, My Adventures With Superman turned out to be an exception in that regard.
A Shackled Hero: What Happened on Zero Day?
The scene shifts to the black site of Task Force X, where Superman is held captive in a red solar radiation-filled room (which diminishes his elevated powers), the other supervillains kept in other cells. The General continues to torture Clark to learn about the details of some repeating invasion, of which he considers Superman to be a part. Clark is confused as he doesn’t know about any such incident; he repeatedly states that he has been brought up on Earth, which infuriates the General, and he starts recalling the traumatic memories of Zero Day when the first invasion happened.
The room turns into a virtual reality field where viewers are taken to the events that took place on Zero Day twenty-two years ago, when a young general, Sam, along with his comrade, Amanda Waller, were stationed as part of an army unit at the site of an alien spacecraft’s arrival. During that period, Sam is shown to be much more carefree and casual than his colleague Amanda, as he is more attentive to his family than the urgency his vocation requires. However, all that changed when the spacecraft suddenly activated a warp portal that allowed the entrance of a number of other warships and advanced alien mechanisms that started annihilating the human forces with ease.
However, a sudden, unseen situation on the other side of the portal abruptly stopped the alien assault; the portal closed, and all the alien mechanisms crash-landed on Earth. But the damage has already been done, as the only surviving members of the unit were Amanda and Sam. Understandably, the incident changed Sam’s outlook forever, and along with Amanda, he founded Task Force X and weaponized the alien technology to protect Earth from such attacks in the future. Sam considers Clark to be part of the alien invaders, acting as an infiltrating superweapon for them only to destroy Earth from within when the time suits him.
How Did Clark Escape the Black Site?
After showcasing the past events, Sam once again asks Superman about the details of his past and the possibilities of attack and gets shocked when he sees Superman tearfully wondering why the invaders acted in such a way against humans. For so long, Sam was hell-bent on incriminating Clark; threatened by his powers, he felt him to be one of the aggressor aliens, but for the first time, the possibility strikes his mind that he might have gotten the wrong guy incarcerated.
Having doubts about the objective of their mission, Sam goes to meet Amanda and expresses his concern that they are on the wrong side of the entire situation regarding Superman. Amanda, a hardboiled cynic, is unwilling to have any of that ‘weak’ talk and strongly believes Superman to be a legitimate threat. She also mentions whether Sam’s changed perspective is the result of the young superpowered being reminding him too much of her—possibly alluding to Sam’s daughter, but more on that later. Sam dismisses Amanda, but unbeknownst to him, she turns off the surveillance measures of the holding cells of the supervillains, and Livewire uses this opportunity to break out every member of Task Force X. Agent Slade Wilson tries to capture the escapees, leading to Livewire using her electricity to destroy one of his eyes, completing the classic one-eyed Deathstroke appearance of Slade.
Ivo, wearing the Parasite exo-armour, at once starts attacking a weakened Superman and starts increasing his size manifold by absorbing electricity from the facility. The attack launches Clark out of the red solar room, and he manages to gather some strength to finally get out of the facility. Flip finds him in a dingy alleyway and informs Jimmy, Lois, and others.
How Did the People of Metropolis Help Clark Defeat the Parasite?
Lois and Jimmy are relieved to finally find out about Clark, but it turns out he is in the midst of an emotional crisis after learning the ‘truth’ about his past. In self-loathing mode, Clark considers himself a threat to the Earth and speculates that the planet would be safer without him. Lois strongly disagrees and assures Clark of his innate goodness. Right now, Ivo’s Parasite armor is seen to have grown to monstrous size, wreaking havoc across Metropolis as it continues to grow by absorbing electricity from all around. The modified Parasite armor has completely turned into a Kaiju-like threat.
Clark at once prepares to take off to tackle Ivo’s threat, but in his current weakened condition, Lois is anxious about whether he is up to the task or not. Clark takes his leave from a tearful Lois; numerous lives are at stake, and Superman can’t let anything come in his way of saving them. Clark engages in a battle with Parasite but soon starts getting trampled, which leads Jimmy to hit upon a plan and use his popular ‘Flamebird’ online community to the best effect.
Jimmy starts live-streaming, where Lois gets candid about Superman’s true motivation, which starts trending in no time. Just a guy who was trying to use his powers and his gifts for the greater good was judged, feared, and even hurt by the fellow people he tried to help, just because he was perceived as different than everyone else. She highlights the human fallibility of prejudice and discrimination but also chooses to have faith in the goodness of the people of Metropolis, to whom she and Jimmy appeal to help Superman in his time of crisis. Superman has saved Metropolis numerous times, and it is time for the city to respect his sacrifice.
Under Lois’ suggestion, the people of Metropolis cause a voluntary blackout by turning off entire electrical systems and grids, which finally stops the endless power supply for the Parasite armor. Clark manages to catch his breath for a little while when his X-ray vision powers kick in, showing him the position of Dr. Ivo at the controls inside the Kaiju armor, whom he breaks out of the Parasite suit, ending the monstrous threat once and for all.
The sun shines bright in the skies of Metropolis, and the people rejoice at the victory of Superman. A rejuvenated Clark returns to Jimmy and Lois. He has listened to Lois’ words and knows that she believes in Superman. The duo shares a kiss as Clark takes Lois in his arms and hovers atop the Daily Planet building, with sunlight drenching them in the background. Jimmy chuckles from below and takes Lois’ bag with him, and as he walks down the stairs, the Superman X Files orb (that contained Kryptonite and the Evil Superman projections) starts glowing. Jimmy takes it out, the projection seemingly starts again, and Jimmy’s shocked reaction says it all.
What is the General’s true identity?
The scene shifts back to the Task Force X Black Site, where the General gets dismissed from the role of director of the program by Amanda Waller, who states that her superiors at ‘Checkmate’ and the US government have authorized her to relieve him of his duty due to his apparent failure to take lethal actions against the invading alien threat. Amanda assigns him the duty of terminating Superman once and for all by using one of Ivo’s gadgets, the Omega cannon.
The identity of the General is left unrevealed, which will be explored in the season finale, but after connecting a few dots, it is rather easy to deduce. In comics, Lois’s father, Sam Lane, is one of the generals of the US army, whom we have already seen in an active role in another brilliant Superman venture, Superman and Lois.
It seems like the relationship between the father and daughter is even more estranged in this iteration, which will offer an interesting drama in the eventual revelation, as Lois might hate his father even more after knowing he was behind Clark’s misery all along. ‘Checkmate,’ another even more covert government organization, is mentioned, and Amanda Waller’s shrewdness, which has only begun to unfold, will be explored in its full capacity through this organization. All in all, the season finale of My Adventures With Superman will contain a number of unexpected twists and possibly hint at larger world-building as well, given that a second season has already been commissioned.