"The Main Man" is the ninth and tenth episode of the first season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the ninth and tenth of the overall series. It depicts Lobo's first arrival on Earth. Lobo, intergalactic bounty hunter, has been hired by the Preserver, to capture the last Kryptonian: Superman. However, after capturing Superman, Lobo now finds himself betrayed as he is the last Czarnian and also put into the Preserver's zoo. Now he and Superman must team up to escape the Preserver's ship and evade rival bounty hunters out for Lobo's blood.
Superman gives his rocket a test run and proves that it's greater than any other ship on Earth. He finally comes to a stop and congratulates Professor Hamilton for his work on converting the rocket for manned space travel. Hamilton thanks Superman for the opportunity and wonders about other civilizations, in awe of how many of them could be even more advanced and civilized than Earth's...
Elsewhere in juxtaposition, Lobo causes a ruckus in an alien bar and captures Sqweek, a rat-like alien that apparently stole money from the alien Emperor Spooj. Before Lobo can take his bounty, Squeek's older brother Gnaww shows up and insists that he will get the bounty on Squeek. Lobo manages to beat Gnaww and his gang and takes off. As he flies through space, a creature has Lobo brought onto his ship.
The creature introduces itself as the Preserver, and explains itself as a being who collects and preserves the last member of species across the universe. He wants Superman, the last Kryptonian, for his zoo and he believes only Lobo can capture him. At first Lobo refuses, but he agrees when he sees his payment.
Lobo goes to Earth, and enters the Metropolis Police Department. Asking the on duty officer if they have seen Superman, the officer tells that they rarely do and only if in trouble; Lobo delightfully takes it as the opportunity to make some. Having sieged the police station, utterly destroying it, and all before his boredom gets to creating a nuclear bomb to detonate, Superman shows up to stop him and Lobo attacks him. Superman fights back but Lobo proves to be just as strong as his adversary. The police attack with gas and Lobo shows that he has a weakness to it. He soon recovers quickly, however, and attacks again. The two continue to do battle and Lobo calls in his bike. This doesn't provide too much trouble until Lobo fires a missile. While it misses Superman it heads straight for a train. Superman intercepts the missile and takes the blow. Lobo now seems to have the upper hand until Lois intervenes. Lobo encroaches on her and Superman attacks him with newfound determination, in the process causing considerable damage to the LexCorp building (while Luthor is comically speaking on the telephone with the President about another new weapon). Now Superman has the upper hand but Lobo manages to escape into space, vowing to return.
Determined to prevent Lobo from coming back, Superman uses his rocket to follow Lobo into space. After a brief fight involving his ship and Lobo's bike, Superman leaves his ship in his Space Suit to fight Lobo hand to hand. When Superman seems to be winning the fight, the Preserver is informed that Superman is within range and captures him.
Superman wakes up in what he believes to be Krypton but learns he is in a small cage made to look like Krypton. Superman attempts to break out but finds that his powers are canceled out by a red light that gives the same radiation as the red sun of Krypton. Lobo mocks Superman, but soon finds himself captured as well, since he is the last Czarnian.
After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Lobo, Gnaww tells Emperor Spooj that Lobo took a bribe to release Sqweek. Emperor Spooj angrily orders Lobo returned either dead or alive.
The Preserver returns Superman's outfit but refuses to release him. He reveals that he has even taken some species from Earth. Lobo awakens in his cell and finds that there are two alien women with him but when he tries to escape they prove to be robots and strike him with knock out gas. Superman is determined to escape and notices a large rhinoceros/triceratops-like creature peacefully eating across from his cell. Using a large crystal, Superman provokes the creature into attacking thereby getting it to shatter the glass holding him in. Outside of his cell, Superman's strength begins to return and he sets out to leave. Lobo asks to be freed as well but Superman refuses, deciding he deserves to stay locked up. Enraged, Lobo vows to escape and take his revenge not only on Superman but all of Earth. Superman gets Lobo to promise that he'll leave Earth alone and frees him.
Shortly after Lobo's escape, security droids approach and insist the two return to their enclosures. When Lobo refuses, the droids attack with stun weapons. However, the droids are no match for the duo and are destroyed. The two continue on but are dropped into a pit with a huge snake-like creature that nearly eats Superman. Lobo, however, saves him.
Seeing the power of his captives, the Preserver decides that he may have to capture them himself. Just then, Gnaww hails his ship and demands Lobo be turned over to him. The Preserver invites him to come upon his ship and retrieve Lobo himself.
Back inside the ship, Lobo retrieves Sqweek but he and Superman are attacked by Gnaww and his gang. The two are no match for their weapons and all seems lost until Superman gets a plan. He tricks Gnaww into throwing him into one of the enclosures which contains a dodo from Earth. Superman basks in the light of a simulated yellow sun and regains his powers.
Lobo nearly makes it to his bike but finds the Preserver there waiting for him. The Preserver gives Lobo one last chance to go back to his enclosure but Lobo refuses. In response the Preserver transforms into a red, hulking clawed giant and attacks. Lobo is nearly killed but Superman intervenes. However, in his new form, the Preserver is a formidable opponent. Lobo decides to do his "good deed for the century" and opens the ship's door causing the Preserver to be sucked out into the vacuum of space.
Finally back with Emperor Spooj, Lobo relaxes and finishes his story, saying why he was so late in delivering his bounty. Emperor Spooj claims that he knew Lobo would never let him down and reveals his displeasure with Gnaww and his gang for lying while turning to the gang who were being punished with cleanup duty along with Sqweek. However, he is curious about the fate of Superman and the animals. Lobo explains that Superman took the creatures to his Fortress of Solitude so that they might still be preserved.
- Starro is briefly seen in this episode. It later makes an important appearance in the Batman Beyond episode "The Call, Part II".
Home video releases
- Superman: The Animated Series, Volume One (DVD)
- Superman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Superman: Kids TV Favorites (DVD)
- Superman: Bumper Collection (VHS)
- This is the last episode to have parts of it featured in the opening credits.
- The episode title featured in Part I displays an Arabic numeral (1), whereas in Part II it features the conventional Roman numeral (II).
- When Lois steps out of the cab, she exits the driver's door.
- In Part I, Hamilton claims that they've never tested Superman's ship in deep space before, but Superman had previously gone to the Alpha Centauri system.
- This statement is, however, accurate when viewing the show in production order. Superman went to the Alpha Centauri system in "Stolen Memories", which was produced after "The Main Man, Part I". On the other hand, Part II was produced after "Stolen Memories" and "My Girl", which breaks continuity, seeing as Part II picks up right after where Part I left off. So, the events of "Stolen Memories" must either take place before Part I or after Part II. However, if this two-parter takes place after "Stolen Memories", then Hamilton's statement remains untrue; but if it occurs before "Stolen Memories", then Superman's comment about his newly found fortress, in the end of that episode, is inconsistent, because the Preserver's abducted specimens would be there by then, and thus Superman should already have had realized the value of that place. Either way, there's an incongruity.
- When Superman and Lobo crash through the floor in Luthor's office, there is already some debris lying on the floor before they make their appearance.
- First appearance of Sherman Howard in the DCAU. He would go on to voice Blight/Derek Powers on Batman Beyond, as well as voicing Steppenwolf in a later episode of Superman: the Animated Series.
- One of the ships in the Preserver's docking bay bears a resemblance to the Batwing.
- The poster of "KIZZ" is a reference to the '70s hard rock band KISS.
- When 'The Main Man' aired on Toon Disney's Jetix, most of Lobo's pseudo-obscenities were edited out.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|Clancy Brown||Lex Luthor|
|Victor Brandt||Professor Hamilton|
|Lauren Tom||Angela Chen|
|David L. Lander||Sqweek|
|Lara Cody||Alien Girls|
|Richard Moll||Emperor Spooj|
|Bruce Timm||Robot (uncredited)|
Lobo: (Burps.) I'm giving you geeks ten seconds before I frag everything in sight! One... (Shows his gun.) TEN!
Lobo: (Tasting a flowing liquid.) Old weasel spit.
Lobo: Holy fragarolli! F-feels like I'm being torn apart! Cool.
Lobo: It's always sweeter collecting a reward knowing that you beat some other geek out of it.
Lobo: Oh, yeah. Somebody's definitely tired of breathing. Show yourself, you slimy geekwad!
Lobo: Hey, how's it goin', chief? Maybe you can help me, I'm new in town and I'm looking to find this geek here.
Lois: I'm confused, Kent. See, I've lived in Metropolis most of my life and I can't figure out how some yokel from Smallville is suddenly getting every hot story in town.
Lobo: (Shooting randomly.) Ah, this is gettin' lame. I thought he'd be here by now. WHOA! MOSQUITO! (Fires again.)
Lobo: Finally! I've been tryin' to get in touch with you all day.
Lobo: The name's Lobo. That's L as in 'lacerate', O as in 'obliterate', B as in 'disembowel', and O as in, uh... ah, I guess I can use 'obliterate' twice, huh, what do you think?
Lobo: Now, the more you move, the worse it'll hurt. So feel free to go crazy.
Lobo: Why don't you show ol' Lobo how classy you are?
Luthor: (Regarding the damage done to the LexCorp building.) Get maintenance teams on every floor. Put them on round the clock shifts if you have to, but I want all repairs completed...
Lois: Give him one for me. MAKE IT A DOZEN!
Lobo: Okay, frag-face, let's tango!
Lobo: You know, I believe that Lois gal might be getting a tad lonely now that you're doing time in a cosmic petting zoo. Maybe I go back and cheer her up.
Lobo: It might take me a week, it might take me ten years, but I'm gonna bust out, and kick that big red "S" of yours all over the galaxy! Right after I'm done nuking the Earth into GUACAMOLE! And that's a promise!
Lobo: Hey, Blue, thanks. (Punches him.).
Lobo: I'm staying to feed Wrinkles 31 different flavors of pain.
Lobo: Oh, whoop-de-fraggin'-do.
Lobo: Sqweek, old buddy, you're about to witness my good deed for this century.
Lobo: I guess that boy is just a sucker for hard luck cases...