"Target" is the seventh episode of the second season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 20th of the overall series. It depicts a madman stalking Lois after she wins the Excalibur award for an article written about LexCorp. The stalker uses high tech equipment that even Superman has a hard time dealing with. Now Superman must try to save Lois before the stalker gets to her.
At the Excalibur Awards for writing, a group of reporters are nominated for an award for investigative reporting. Lois happens to be one of them but discovers a message on her napkin: "You win, you die!". Lois wins for her expose on LexCorp and goes up. Clark hears a strange sound and notices that a laser is cutting at the cable holding up a giant glass sword over the podium. Clark leaves and becomes Superman as Lois makes her speech. Superman manages to save Lois just before she is killed. After the near assassination, Lois finds the detective in charge of the investigation is Detective Bowman, an officer whom had lost a promotion due to an article she wrote. She is sure that he will be of no help.
Later, Lois and Clark drive home in her car and a strange song comes over the radio: "You win, you die". The car goes out of Lois' control while they are on an overpass. Clark attempts to save himself and Lois by cutting through the roof of Lois' car and is thrown out. However, Lois is stopped from escaping by the air bag which was deliberately activated, and is nearly killed. Fortunately, Superman manages to save her again. He finds a device on her car and gives it to Lois.
The next day, Lois takes the device to Edward Lytener: her informant on her LexCorp article. Lytener investigates the device and congratulates Lois on her winning the Excalibur. Just after this, he discovers that the device came from LexCorp and shows her the company logo embedded on it.
Lois confronts Luthor over the discovery, but he denies any involvement with it. However, he acknowledges that the device is from his company and swears he'll look into it. Lois decides to believe him on the basis that the killer's style isn't something Luthor would attain to.
Back at work, Lois discovers that some of her assignments are being given to other crack reporters like Julian Frey. Angered, she goes into the elevator and finds that she has walked into yet another trap. The elevator is rocketed into the air with a ticking time bomb in it, but Superman once again manages to save her.
That night a stalker sneaks into Lois' apartment and attacks her. Though Lois tries to fight she is thrown out of her window and falls to her doom below. Lois wakes up, terrified by her nightmare.
The next morning, Lois complains about her situation to Clark over the phone. Clark cautions her to just lay low for a while and let others take the risks. Lois continues to refuse, but suddenly "agrees" when she hears about Angela Chen hearing of her success in winning the Excalibur on the news.
Lois goes to Lytener and asks him for help. She then points out that he has no TV or radio. Lytener then realizes that Lois knows that he is the one that's after her. Lois claims that there was no way for Lytener to know about her success as he claimed he'd been working the night that she won the award. Lytener traps Lois in a receding cage of lasers. Fortunately, Clark had heard of Lytener's stealing the car device from Luthor and went after her.
Superman attempts to free Lois but finds he cannot get through the bars. Lytener attacks him with a harness that increases his strength to the point where he can hurt Superman, as it's powered by the light spectrum of a red sun. However, Superman's superior fighting skill and the fact that the harness is not invulnerable to his attacks enable him to beat Lytener with relative ease. Superman then shuts off the cage and releases Lois. She tells Superman that she'd like to meet him when she's not in trouble but he is relatively dismissive of it.
- Lytener returns as the supervillain Luminus in "Solar Power".
- Kurt Bowman returns as the antagonist in "The Late Mr. Kent".
Home video releases
- When Lex Luthor is testing out his weapon on cardboard targets, the last one he blasts away features an explosion that is reused footage from the gas canisters that Superman ignites in "The Way of All Flesh".
- Likewise, when the elevator bomb detonates, the ensuing explosion is reused footage from the scene in which Mr. Eelan blows a vat of hot lead off its support in "My Girl". This is used again later when Superman hits Lytener with an antenna.
- The scene when Lois is in the elevator and Superman says "I believe this is your floor" is a reference to Lois' rescue from the Eiffel Tower elevator in Superman II, released in 1980.
- This is one of few episodes in the DC Animated Universe to feature Lex Luthor as an ally rather than a foe.
- Julian Frey only has one character model, wearing a tuxedo. While this is perfectly normal to wear a tuxedo at the Excalibur Awards ceremony, it's odd to wear one at work.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|Clancy Brown||Lex Luthor|
|Robert Hays||Edward Lytener|
|Jonathan Harris||Julian Frey|
|Robert Ito||Awards Presenter|
|Eddie Barth||Detective Bowman|
Lois: (After kicking Lytener) Daddy was a black belt!
Lois: Someday though it'd be nice to see you when I wasn't about to be killed.