DCAU #176: Prototype

IN THIS ONE... Cop in LexCorp suit goes crazy, and first appearance of John Henry Irons.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary Bader; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: So you want to do a Venom story, but you don't have Venom... And you don't want to use Conduit who might have worked; who can blame you? But really, the larger point is to introduce John Henry Irons a few episodes BEFORE he becomes Steel, and so you need to tie his story up in a super-powered armor plot. Got it. At least Irons gets a little more backstory than he originally did, and is inspired much more directly by Superman and, in part, his disillusionment with LexCorp (the company that shows its hand by making their armored cop destroy dog houses and ambulances in the demo).

And it's not a bad little tale. Corey Mills has the right stuff initially, but becomes corrupted by his suit's addictive properties. There are some great moments, like the team work he exhibits while saving people from a burning building (my Lord, Metropolis is vertiginous to the point of absurdity), and there are some much weaker ones, like the silly screwdriver device you have to plug into his back to deactivate him (though the sequence leads to the shark action I've been craving since Lex installed that aquarium in his penthouse). It just seems like the relevance of his extreme violence was hampered by the cartoon's inability to kill or even maim people, or perhaps better motivation for Luthor, who stabs a potential ally in the back rather suddenly, or might actually have had something to do with the psychological "push" Corey was feeling (especially given that, visually, his shaving his head bonded him with Lex). Or maybe the idea that he had a supportive wife while doing this kind of job could have been an example to Superman re: Lois. I dunno. Missed opportunities.

Regardless of the plot's merits, the animation really bugged me this time around. It's not the action, it's the acting. The characters are made to gesticulate in the most melodramatic way, which not only looks unnatural, but is really quite distracting and annoying. There are good bits, like Corey's shaking knee when he's craving, but these are few and far between, and lost in a mess of contorted limbs and fingers. Never mind the fact that Superman spends half the episode with blind raccoon eyes.

IN THE COMICS: While the LexCorp suit pictured here is right out of the comics, where such suits were used by "Team Luthor" to fight crime in the wake of Superman's death, Corey Mills is original to the show. John Henry Irons is from the comics, however, a brilliant inventor who, during those same events, became the armored hero first known as the Man of Steel, then simply, as Steel. Just wait a couple episodes.

SOUNDS LIKE: John Henry Irons gives another role to Michael "Worf" Dorn. Officer Corey Mills is played by Xander Berkley, who most people know as either George Mason on 24 or Sheriff McAllister on The Mentalist.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Not bad, but seems rough and unfinished. No idea is really taken to its natural end.



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 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