"The Prometheon" is the third episode of the second season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 16th of the overall series. It depicts the accidental arrival of a giant creature on Earth. This creature goes about sucking up heat from all sources it can find. Superman and Professor Hamilton must work together to stop this creature before it causes massive damage to Metropolis and later the world.
Out in space, a space shuttle orbits the Earth. Inside the shuttle, General Hardcastle explains to his team that they are there to destroy a meteor on a collision course with Earth. Hamilton expresses concern for the fact that Superman hasn't shown up. However, before the human team can leave the shuttle for their mission Superman shows up. Superman sets some charges into the asteroid and heads towards the front of the asteroid. Before Superman can set the charges in the front, however, he notices a huge creature bound to the rock. Hamilton makes note that the creature is in fact alive and that there's a binary code being transmitted from the rock.
In order to save both the Earth and the creature, Superman tries to push the asteroid into Earth's orbit but when the sun comes over the creature it stirs to life. Seeing the trouble, Hardcastle detonates the charges in spite of the fact that there are two lives out there. Unfortunately, Hardcastle's prediction that the creature would simply burn up in the Earth's atmosphere proves to be false. The creature falls towards Metropolis at alarming speed. Fortunately, Superman manages to deflect it towards the sea.
However, the creature survives the fall and walks along the ocean floor towards land. Along the way, it captures a submarine and steals the heat from the reactor. Superman manages to free the sub but cannot stop the creature.
Back on land, Hamilton tells the origin of the creature which he learned from binary code. The creature was an artificial being made by an unnamed alien race looking to use it as a beast of burden fueled by heat from their twin suns. Unfortunately, the creature's lack of intelligence caused it to turn on its creators and absorb heat from any source it could find. As a result, the creature was strapped to an asteroid and sent into space to prevent it from causing any more damage. Hamilton devises a way to stop the creature, but it has already come ashore.
Superman finds the creature under assault by Hardcastle's forces. Hardcastle refuses to believe Superman when he tells him that the assault is only helping the creature not hurting it. However, Hardcastle finally believes him when the creature absorbs the fire from NX gel missiles fired at it and Superman saves him from a falling helicopter.
The creature makes its way into Metropolis and starts by stealing the heat from molten steel. Superman fights the creature but it proves to be far too strong for him to do any significant damage. Fortunately, Hamilton manages to get all power to the city cut off, leaving the creature confused. Superman manages to lure the creature towards the city reservoir by using his heat vision on a steel beam. Unfortunately, the moon is exposed from behind the clouds and the creature equates its light with heat. Superman attempts to use the steel beam to lure the creature further into the water but is captured. Still, he manages to ignite a small boat in the middle of the water thereby fully luring the creature into the water. With the creature in the water two planes drop chemicals into the water causing it to freeze. The creature is frozen along with the water and finally stopped.
- This is General Hardcastle's debut. He later makes one more appearance on this series then one final appearance in Justice League Unlimited.
Home video releases
- As with most giant characters in cartoons, the size of the Prometheon seems to change from scene to scene.
- Though the name of the episode, "The Prometheon", supposedly refers to the creature, it is never referred to by that name during the show.
- The name "Prometheon" may be a reference to Prometheus who stole fire from the Gods. The creature in this episode steals heat and fire from those around it.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|David Kaufman||Jimmy Olsen|
|Victor Brandt||Professor Hamilton|
|Charles Napier||General Hardcastle|
|Jennifer Hale|| Female Vacationer|
S.T.A.R. Labs scientist (uncredited)
|Marcelo Tubert||Sonar Man|