DCAU #170: Monkey Fun

IN THIS ONE... Titano, the astronaut chimp Lois grew up with, returns to Earth and starts growing.

CREDITS: Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: A King Kong riff so close to the Bizarro episode? Thankfully, despite giving Titano a personal connection to Lois, they avoid retreading the same ground. She never ends up in his giant clutches, and though she's the beauty who calms the beast, so to speak, and the giant ape is sent to what is essentially Skull Island, the plots feels very different from both King Kong and the Bizarro story.

The best thing about this episode is actually the locations. They whet our appetite with a meteor swarm threatening to hit 2001's space station. Then there's the crazy-gorgeous Metropolis Zoo. We've seen the docks before, but seeing Bibbo get thrown onto a garbage scow is pretty fun (I feel like developing this character is long overdue if bits like this are going to mean something in the context of the show though). But the really cool location is the fairgrounds, well used for a number of giant monster gags - Titano wrestles Superman over a Ferris wheel full of people, his hand is multiplied in shards of the Hall of Mirrors, a carousel horse gets decapitated, the musical monkey that can save the day gets lots in a mountain of carnival stuffed toys... It's incredible how much making full use of unusual locations adds to action.

Another good episode for Lois as well, revealing that she's an army brat, had a sister, and... was raised with a astronaut chimp? It's kind of cute, actually, and full props to the series for making Sam Lane an empathetic, kind man who isn't overprotective of his daughter. We're very far from the Thunderbolt Ross analog we've gotten for the past decade+.

IN THE COMICS: The original Titano, from Superman #127 (1959), had a similar origin, rocketed into space and bombarded with radiation (not gas, and this actually makes more sense in the outer space context), but also had deadly kryptonite vision. The post-Crisis Titano, from 1987's Superman Annual #1, was cruelly experimented on here on Earth, lacked the k-vision, but did bond with Lois before growing to enormous side (if not when she was a kid). He dies in her arms when returned to normal. The other chimp in this episode, the stuffed animal Beppo, shares the name of the Silver Age's Kryptonian astronaut ape that survived his world's destruction and became Super-Monkey, a member of the Legion of Super-Pets. Lois' family appears for the first time here, including Sam Lane, a much more sympathetic character than he's ever been in the comics, and Lois' sister Lucy (at a young age), a brunette rather than a blond like in the comics.

SOUNDS LIKE: Sam Lane is played by Dean Jones, of Love Bug fame. Young Lois Lane is voiced by Mae Whitman, who was the voice of Katara on Avatar and Suzy on Johnny Bravo (and the daughter of Pat Musick, who plays the character's mother in this episode, the voice actress also responsible for many cartoon characters, like Mona Lisa on TMNT and Tony in An American Tail), and the amusingly unmemorable Ann on Arrested Development. Aria Curzon plays Young Lucy Lane; she was also the voice of Ducky in The Land Before Time.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Could have been silly and/or a complete cliché, but totally jumps those hurdles.


Toby'c said...

"Young Lois Lane is voiced by Mae Whitman"

Anonymous said...

Damn, Toby beat me to it.

Siskoid said...


Andrew Gilbertson said...

"It's kind of cute, actually, and full props to the series for making Sam Lane an empathetic, kind man who isn't overprotective of his daughter."

It's so refreshing, isn't it? Especially after yet another jerk-hole portrayal on CBS' Supergirl. And Dean Jones? This is completely out of left field for Sam Lane- a LIKEABLE Sam Lane is an unfaithful adaptation- but I can't hold it against them. I just want to see more of him! :-)


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine