Episode 8 Review
Superman discovers a new super power and with it he runs ragged in search of Task Force X while Lois and Jimmy are assigned to assist guest editorial writer Vicki Vale who wants to write a hit piece on Superman!
Rough House, Silver Banshee, Heat Wave, and Livewire are released from their cells in Task Force X's base but soon learn they are being forced to repay their debit to society. Clark Kent is roused out of sleep because he can suddenly hear voices. He has super hearing. He suits up and and helps people throughout the city. Jimmy returns from a weekend trip to his visit his parents. Upon charging his dying phone, Jimmy is surprised to see he has 500 new followers. Superman appears in a stir and apparently hasn't been sleeping much the past couple days. Superman tells Jimmy about overhearing The General talking about a plan. He remembers Lois and zips off. Jimmy is amazed to see he has a little over a million followers. Lois walks to the newspaper morgue and finds it filled with flower bouquets left by Superman to celebrate their one week anniversary. Perry informs her she and Jimmy will be assisting a guest editorial writer. Lane freaks out. The writer is her idol Vicki Vale. It turns out Vicki and Perry knew each other in college and she won all the #1 awards. Perry reveals she is thinking of leaving the Gotham Gazette and would like her to work for the Planet and win them awards so Lois has to keep her happy. Lois and Jimmy are shocked when Vicki reveals she wants to write about the #1 danger to Metropolis: Superman.
Superman listens for The General and hears him mention losing someone. He stops to help a lost girl find her parents then sees a news flash about an invisible man on a crime spree downtown. He remembers Mist from Intergang. Vicki believes Superman's hero act means he's hiding something. Lois tries in vain to convince her he just wants to help people. Vicki wants to interview people and get some dirt. They interview people who were saved by Superman, including the blimp pilot Captain Immonen, an elderly woman Mrs. Quietly, and Flip Johnson. Superman whisks Lois and Jimmy away for help. Jimmy checks with his two million followers and there was an invisible man sighting at Morrison's Pawn Shop. Vicki has enough of Lois and Jimmy's witnesses and goes to one of her own, Dr. Ivo's assistant Alex. Alex believes Superman is no hero and will be the end of the world. Superman stumbles mid-flight and hits a hydrant while chasing Mist. Alex blames the destroyed Ivo Tower, AmazoTech being bankrupt and thousands of employees being jobless on Superman. He doesn't think it was a coincidence he appeared the same time as the stolen military tech. Vicki concluded Superman turned the city into a war zone and could end up destroying the rest of it. Jimmy and Lois are adamant Superman saves people with his powers. Alex wondered what was going to happen when Superman decided not to follow any laws or what they could do if he decided to hurt people. Lois is adamant. Alex does not share in her faith. Lois tries to dissuade Vicki from writing her article but Vicki tell her to be #1, you have to go for blood and Perry never understood that.
Superman crashes into a sidewalk. The still invisible Mist runs across the street but Superman pushes him out of the way of a garbage truck at the last second resulting in it crashing into him instead. The motorists are angry at Superman. Jimmy sees the video on Flamebird. Lois calls Superman to the Daily Planet roof. Lois starts to question Superman about his lack of a plan. Superman simply wants to stop the General from kidnapping people. Jimmy tells him he's burning himself out. Superman sees the comments and realizes people are scared of him. Lois suggests he stop looking for The General and take a break from being Superman. He doesn't listen and leaves. He catches up to Mist who tells him he just wants to save his sister and best friend before Task Force X moves its prisoners to a new location. Superman offers to help him. They arrive at a hangar but an osprey takes off. Superman gives chase but he is attacked by Heat Wave, Silver Banshee, Livewire, Rough House, Dr. Ivo, and Slade Wilson. Banshee calls it a work release program. Ivo drains him and slams him into the park below. Lois and Jimmy learn Vicki published the article and was promoted to the Gotham Gazette's editor-in-chief. In other words, she used them to get ahead. Jimmy sees footage of the park battle. Superman turns the tide but Ivo drains him. He ignores The General and laughs dementedly until his shock collar is activated. The General calls Superman the end of the world. Superman insists he only wants to help people. He orders Livewire to shut him up. Lois and Jimmy arrive too late and watch as the osprey leaves.
My Adventures with Superman has always featured a Superman just starting out and who didn't have a full grasp on his powers or limits. "Zero Day" Part 1 revolves around that caveat. While Superman discovers he has super hearing, he begins to ignore his basic health needs and runs himself ragged saving people and searching for The General. And the gut wrencher is Lois's self-doubt from the aftermath the League of Lois Lanes incident is only exacerbated by Vicki Vale's anti-Superman agenda and it all manifests at the wrong time, pushing Superman away. To make things worse, Superman's naivete is exploited when he hears Mist's sob story and he heads right into the trap set up by Task Force X. Burnt out, he has to fight essentially every bad guy he's fought this season all at once in for form of the closest thing to an adapted version of the Suicide Squad. Recipe for disaster.
While things are suspiciously bleak just in time for the end of the season, there some puzzle pieces of hope laid out for the audience. Jimmy suddenly has 2 million followers. What this means is unclear but speculation hat on, Jimmy and Lois can now essentially use Flamebird to crowd source an all-out search for Superman. Superman saved Mist's life. Is Mist going to repay the favor? Superman's biggest challenge was Dr. Ivo in his Parasite armor and by the looks of it, Ivo is teetering on the brink of insanity and instability. Perhaps his obsession with revenge will lead Ivo to impulsively double cross Task Force X so he can have Superman to himself. Or all the bad guys for that matter. They're not loyal to Task Force X. If not for those shock collars, they could in theory overpower their captors and stage a jail break and in the chaos, Superman gets free, too. Even back to episode 5, recall the General and Waller weren't in total agreement and latter seemed pretty miffed at a missed opportunity to take down Superman. And traditionally, Waller is the head of Task Force X. Here, she is not. Yet? Or maybe The General is a sensible guy and starts to realize Superman isn't their target? Suffice it to say, there's a lot of wild cards in play and it's up in air how Part 2 will play out.
Once again, the timeline of this show is really wonky. One second, Jimmy's phone is still stuck on May 9 then it's November 18. Shrug. Naturally with everything wrapping up this season, there's a lot of references to past episodes and events. But there's a few eyebrow raising nods to the greater DC Universe. Namely Vicki's greatest hits – taking down the Falcone crime family and also a Queen Industries inheritance scandal. Based in Gotham, a Falcone reference is natural. But a Green Arrow reference? Hmm. Sounds like Oliver Queen has perhaps returned from his ship wreck to claim his rightful place at the family company? Superman meeting another rookie hero could be interesting and I certainly wouldn't have guessed it could be Ollie. As for the Superman references this episode, it seems the theme was All-Star Superman. The pawn shop is named after writer Grant Morrison and the end credits indicate the elderly woman who was interviewed was named after artist Frank Quietly. Then some of Jimmy's followers are some classic Superman characters like mermaid Lori Lemaris and long shoreman Bibbo.
"Zero Day" Part 1 signals the beginning of season one coming to a close. Superman overdoes it and finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Task Force X has Superman in their clutches and some bad PR makes the city afraid of him. While Lois is grappling with keeping her knowledge of evil Supermen in the Multiverse a secret from Jimmy and Clark, she and Jimmy are Superman's only hope granted the bad guys aren't banking on self-preservation and double crossing Task Force X at some point. The power of three best friends has saved the day all season, why doubt that now? It's always darkest before dawn...
DCAU Resource's rating: 9.6/10