"The Demon Reborn" is the first episode of the fourth season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 52nd of the overall series. It depicts the coming of Ra's al Ghul to Metropolis and the last team up of Superman and Batman in this series. Looking to extend his life even further, Ra's Al Ghul steals a Native American Shaman's staff and kidnaps Superman. Now Batman has to save Superman before Ra's Al Ghul manages to steal all his powers for his own.
Lois and Clark are waiting at the museum for the opening of a tribal arts exhibit. While they wait a train drives through Metropolis and is soon attacked by a group of people with high tech weapons. Clark runs off to become Superman and attacks the hijackers. The ninja hijackers fight but are ineffective against him. During the fight, however, a staff is discovered and Talia expresses interest. She then blows up a bridge and tells Superman that the brakes are already disabled. Superman has no choice but to try and stop the train. It seems that he'll fail to stop it in time but Batman arrives and switches tracks so that Superman can save the train.
After the train is saved, Batman scolds Superman for his recklessness. Superman insists that Batman allows him to help. They go to Ra's old hideout and Superman reveals that the staff is said to have healing powers, while Batman discovers wheelchair tracks.
Later, Lois is apparently kidnapped and Superman sees her hanging off of a clock tower. However, when Superman catches "Lois" he discovers that she's really Talia in disguise. Talia uses the shaman's staff on Superman and knocks him out. Superman is taken to Ra's who is now extremely decrepit and barely able to speak. Ra's explains that he used Lazarus Pits to keep himself alive but the powers of the pits started waning. Now what he needs is Superman's strength.
Back at Lois' apartment, she regains consciousness but as she awakens she discovers someone in her apartment. She struggles until she realizes it's Batman. When asked of what happened, Lois explains that a woman in black attacked her, Batman realizes it was Talia, causing Lois to realize that there is some history between them. Lois begins to wonder what she was after, but Batman deduces Talia was after her clothes in order to impersonate her and get Superman's attention. Batman soon discovers more evidence, but before departing he apologizes to Lois for them having to meet under these circumstances. However, Lois tells not to feel guilty as she is the one who ended things between them and even admits that she has had second thoughts on their relationship, but soon realizes Batman has already left.
At the Batcave, Alfred receives the result of the clothing and contacts Batman, informing him that it's tainted with jet fuel. Now knowing where to find Ra's men, Batman attacks and interrogates the men to find Ra's location.
Meanwhile, Superman is taken to a lost city that Ra's took over centuries before and made his fortune from. While Superman is dragged towards a machine meant to drain his powers with the staff, he manages to create a distraction and fight off Ra's men. Unfortunately, Talia manages to stop him with the staff. However, it's too late for Ra's, who has died.
Deciding not to give up, Talia says to proceed with the process, as there is still a chance. Superman is connected to the machine and the staff drains his powers. Ra's body begins to heal and he revives. Batman arrives on the scene but not before Ra's has managed to take enough of Superman's strength to gain superhuman strength as well. Batman manages to defeat the thugs but Ra's proves to be far too strong for Batman. During the fight, Ra's causes the cave to collapse and the staff is thrown towards Superman, who takes the staff and destroys it just as Talia nearly falls off a cliff. Deciding that his daughter is more important than Superman's punishment, Ra's goes after her but they both fall into the river below.
Superman and Batman manage to get out of the caves. He uses his x-ray vision and discovers an underground river, but there is no sign of Ra's or Talia. Superman then questions Batman about his relationship with Talia, but he avoids the subject. Batman and Superman then prepare to return to their home cites, but only after acknowledging how well they work together.
Home video releases
- Superman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Superman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2DVD, Blu-ray only)
- The explosion of the bomb that Talia detonates from afar features 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.
- The distance between the hole in the railroad and the train changes between shots, as does the hole's size.
- When Talia makes her offer to Superman, she pulls the Shaman Staff from under her clothes. However, the staff is too large to be stored in an inside pocket. The angle at which she pulls it out—nearly horizontal—also seems impossible.
- When Lois recovers in her apartment from Talia's knock-out gas and starts swinging, Batman pushes her against her nightstand. Once she calms down, however, and the camera makes a wide shot from the ceiling of the room, Lois and Batman suddenly crouch quite a distance away from the nightstand.
- From the hangar fight with the Shadows assassins and onwards for the rest of the episode, Batman's cowl ears become noticeably longer.
- Olivia Hussey replaces Helen Slater as the voice of Talia.
- Ra's and Talia Al Ghul's "last" appearances in the DC Animated Universe. Ra's returns in Talia's body in the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past" but neither one of them is exactly the same character.
- The theme for The New Batman/Superman Adventures is briefly heard at the end as the two heroes go their separate ways.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Avatar", Ra's leaves Talia to die as he searches for the scrolls of Thoth Khepera. In this episode, he chooses to save her from the cave-in, rather than get revenge on Superman.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|Townsend Coleman||Thug Leader|
|Kevin Conroy||Batman/Bruce Wayne|
|John Rubano||News Anchor|
|David Warner||Ra's al Ghul|
|Michael Horse|| Ubu|
Professor Black Wing (uncredited)
|Efrem Zimbalist Jr.||Alfred Pennyworth|
Lois: Hard to believe all this commotion over a bunch of beads and blankets.
Lois: Someone attacked me. A woman. Dressed in black.
Lois: I've got to get better locks.
Ra's: Ah! The power! I've never felt anything like it!
Superman: I'm guessing you and that woman Talia had some history.