"New Kids in Town" is the third episode of the third season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 44th of the overall series. It depicts yet another attempt of Brainiac's to destroy Superman. This time Brainiac comes from a distant future into the Earth's past. Now he seeks to destroy Clark Kent before he ever becomes Superman. However, three members of the Legion of Super-Heroes follow after him to save Clark and the future.
It's the year 2979 A.D. and things are peaceful in Metropolis. However, Brainiac soon disrupts this peace by attacking a presumed power source called the "antimatter accelerator". He easily defeats the guards and reaches the main controls he modifies the accelerator to create a portal and enters into it.
The lead scientist calls in the Legion of Superheroes for help. Three members arrive: Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Chameleon Boy. They learn of Brainiac's escape into the portal and chase after him. The scientist warns them that he can't bring them back, but they don't care.
After going through the portal, the group ends up on a farm just outside Smallville. Unfortunately, they run into a farmer that mistakes them for pranksters. They easily chase him off and Saturn Girl erases his memories, and then leave to look for Clark.
Clark is at a school dance where he's having a good time until he's confronted by Kenny Braverman. They have a quick basketball match in which Clark hurls Kenny into a table thereby alarming everyone. Clark tries to explain to Lana that he's going through some changes, in reference to his gaining his powers, but she doesn't listen. Angered, Clark starts to head home. However, before he can go far, Brainiac attacks him. The three legion members arrive and rescue him. After a brief battle, Brainiac teleports away.
The group hide out in an alley and in an attempt to disguise Clark, Saturn Girl puts a pair of glasses on him. She then reveals that Superman inspired beings from other worlds to work together for the greater good. She continues by telling him about Brainiac's reawakening and his plan. However, Clark runs off after hearing this.
Clark returns home and finds Lana there waiting for him. Unfortunately, before she can talk some sense into him, Brainiac, who had learned the Kents' residence through Kenny, arrives with his probes. The family hides in the basement and Clark reveals his power of X-ray vision. He then goes to confront the probes. He easily manages to destroy some of them but Brainiac takes control of a threshing machine and a bulldozer. Fortunately, Clark's invulnerability is great enough to take the power of the machines. He then confronts Brainiac but the Legionnaires step in and take over the fight.
After a brief fight, the Legionaries are defeated and Brainiac captures Clark. However, Saturn Girl telepathically tells Clark how to activate Brainiac's teleportation belt. He activates it and sends Brainiac into the Sun where he is destroyed.
That morning, the people of Smallville make repairs after "the worst twister to hit town in twenty years". Saturn Girl reveals that she altered their memories so that no one will remember Brainiac's attack. She then removes Clark's memories and the group leaves on Brainiac's hover chair. Lana then finds Clark and he shows her his new pair of glasses.
- Brainiac uses a space sled for the third time in the DCAU. The first two times (chronologically) are in "Stolen Memories" and the Justice League episode "Twilight".
Home video releases
- Superman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Superman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Superman Super-Villains: Brainiac (DVD)
- The model for 30th century Metropolis would later be used for Gorilla City in Justice League.
- The shot where Brainiac awakens in Saturn Girl's exposition are reused storyboards from "Ghost in the Machine", though the sequences were reanimated.
- When Brainiac blasts the two guards in the beginning, there's a full screen frame of a fire explosion, which is reused footage from "Where There's Smoke" when Volcana blasted Superman with a fire ball in the parking lot. This is recurrently used throughout the episode: when Brainiac is chasing down Clark and misses a fire, when the gas truck explodes, when Pa and Ma Kent shoot Brainiac, and finally when Clark smashes the tractor into the harvester.
- Saturn Girl is credited as "Saturn Girl/Irma Ardeen". However, in the DC Comics, her first name is spelled "Imra". This mistake was noted and rectified by Paul Dini on the episode's audio commentary.
- When Kenny is thrown from the coffee bar, the "Special" sign reads "ALL YOU CAR EAT" as opposed to "ALL YOU CAN EAT", and later, as he is hauled down from the coffee bar's sign, it reads "COEFES" rather than "COFFEE".
- As noted in the commentary, Smallville is in a part of Kansas that should not have hills in the background.
- In the comics, Kenny Braverman becomes the villain Conduit.
- This is the second and last episode of this series not featuring Clark as Superman. The other one was "The Last Son of Krypton, Part I"
- Brainiac's last appearance in this show.
- Chameleon Boy's line "Up, up, and away!" is a reference to the old Superman radio shows in which he would utter that phrase before taking off. The Joker also cited this line in the Batman: The Animated Series episode, "Make 'Em Laugh" (see list of classic Superman tributes).
- Kairi Tanaga from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Day of the Samurai" can be seen in the crowd at the party.
- The scene where Clark throws the tractor is, according to the commentary, a reference to the cover of Action Comics #1.
- When Brainiac says "At last, the son of Jor-El kneels before me", it is a reference to Superman II and long time Superman enemy General Zod.
- As in the comics, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl were two of the three first Legion members to meet Clark Kent. However, in the comics, Chameleon Boy was not the third member, but rather Lightning Lad.
- Bouncing Boy
- Brainiac 5
- Dream Girl
- Kid Quantum
- Light Lass
- Lightning Lad
- Phantom Girl
- Triplicate Girl
- Ultra Boy
Scientist: This is crazy.
Clark: Like a pair of glasses is going to fool anyone.
Clark: (After seeing his future costume) Red underpants? Now I know you're crazy!
Brainiac: (holding Kenny up high) Where does Clark Kent live?
Brainiac: At last, the son of Jor-El kneels before me.
Chameleon Boy: Up, up, and away! Heh, I always wanted to say that!