"Warrior Queen" is the 24th episode of the second season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 37th of the overall series. It depicts the coming of Maxima to Earth. Maxima, the Queen of Almerac, seeks to find a mate. However, in order for someone to be worthy of being her mate, he must first prove himself in battle and no candidate has been able to do so. So she comes to Earth to confront Superman who she believes may be worthy of her. But when she returns to Almerac she finds one of her suitors has seized control of the planet.
Out on distant Almerac, a male and female warrior battle it out in an arena. After a brief time, the male warrior, De'Cine, manages to disarm his opponent, Maxima, and pins her to the ground. He then claims victory and Maxima for his mate. However, Maxima manages to hurl him off, reclaim her sword, and pin him to the ground. Not only has De'Cine lost the match, Maxima considers him too beneath her notice to kill him, and just stabs the ground next to his head before walking off in disgust. Exasperated, Maxima shouts that no warrior on Almerac is worthy of being her husband, and the crowd leaves the arena in despair: their queen's obsession with finding a mate occupies her more than ruling her planet.
Maxima's attendant Sazu, arrives and tells her that another candidate has been found. In her bath chamber, Maxima watches a recording of the battle between Superman and John Corben in the LexoSuit and expresses great interest in Superman's looks. She decides that Superman is worthy of her and decides to confront him in battle. Sazu offers to send an ambassador to Earth but Maxima decides to handle things herself. Sazu protests that Maxima's ministers have been waiting in anticipation of addressing issues and the subjects' concerns, but Maxima simply scoffs that the ministers can wait, as she felt she has been patient in her quest for a husband. After she leaves, De'Cine arrives and he and Sazu reveal that they intend to take control of the planet while Maxima is away.
An extra dimensional portal opens on Earth and Maxima emerges. Attracted by a newspaper article on Superman, Maxima comes to a newsstand where she sees a report by Angela Chen on Superman. Feeling that she's found her first lead, Maxima goes to the station and claims that she's Superman's betrothed. Angela interviews her for a while but Maxima gets impatient to meet Superman and starts wreaking havoc.
Attracted by the trouble, Superman arrives and attempts to calm Maxima but she instantly hugs him and insists that he proves himself worthy of being her mate. Superman politely refuses her but she is enraged into attacking him. At first it seems that Superman is defeated but he takes the offensive and the fight escalates. After a brief battle, Superman manages to tie up Maxima with an I-beam. Impressed, Maxima declares that Superman is her equal and demands that they get married. Even though Superman refuses her, Maxima shoots him with a weapon that knocks him out and drags him to Almerac.
Back on Almerac, Maxima goes to her throne room and finds De'Cine sitting in her throne. When she tries to reclaim it, her own guards turn on her. Sazu tells Maxima that the people are happy that she's been overthrown since she is only concerned with finding a mate instead of helping her people. However, De'Cine then orders his guards to send his three prisoners to the catacombs.
Deep in the underground catacombs, Maxima grabs a stalagmite, turns it into a sword and prepares to execute Sazu. When Superman defends Sazu, Maxima whine that she will execute her because she can. Superman gives her a quick lesson in the concept of service; as Queen she was to be of service to her subjects; the people did not exist solely to serve her. Superman also says that her desires come secondary to the peoples' needs, even in the case of marriage. Unfortunately, when the group tries to escape, Superman discovers the tunnels are shielded and a huge creature known as the Carnorite appears. Huge pink tentacles capable of producing electricity start grabbing at the prisoners but they manage to momentarily escape. Unfortunately, the Carnorite catches up and shows its full form. Superman and Maxima come up with a plan and Superman allows himself to be captured by the Carnorite. He then throws its tongues onto the shield generator overloading both threats. The trio then escapes.
Maxima and Superman return to the throne room with guards loyal to her. Together, they manage to send the guards into the dungeon and Maxima subdues De'Cine. She threatens to kill him but Superman insists that she lets him live. All the same, Maxima condemns him to imprisonment and forgives Sazu. Unfortunately for Maxima, Superman refuses to stay and goes back to Earth.
Sad over her loss and the fact that there are no other people like Superman, Maxima glumly sits on her throne. However, soon after Superman leaves, Lobo bursts into the room and shouts that he's there to get De'Cine, and will let no one stand in his way. Maxima believes she may have just found Superman's replacement.
Home video releases
- Superman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Superman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Superman vs The Elite (2DVD, Blu-ray only)
- When Superman electrocutes the Carnorite, the ensuing explosion is reused footage from a scene of "My Girl", in which Mr. Eelan blows a vat of hot lead off its support.
- The Carnorite is credited as "Camorite".
- The recording that Maxima watches about Superman features footage of his fight against John Corben in the Lexo-Skel Suit 5000 from "The Last Son of Krypton, Part III".
- Lobo's last appearance in this series. He later appears in the Justice League episode "Hereafter".
- Though Maxima's powers are psionic in the comics, there is no indication of this in the show.
- The way Maxima recites her title, "warrior queen, head of the royal house, leader of all Almerac" is reminiscent of Lwaxana Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, ("daughter of the fifth house, holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed") a character Hilary J. Bader wrote for in two episodes. Both characters are aggressive in their search for a suitable mate.
- Spunky Spencer from the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Baby-Doll" can be seen as one of the street thugs hitting on Maxima.
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Michael David Donovan||Male Announcer|
|Lauren Tom||Angela Chen|
De'Cine: The prey is cornered. The victory is mine, and so are you, Maxima. My queen, my mate.
Sazu: My lady, another candidate has been found. The scouts have brought visual recording of his heroic deeds.
Sazu: The Earth natives call him "Superman."
De'Cine: So, she took the bait?
(Maxima is accosted by a group of thugs)
Angela Chen: We're in trouble, people! Superman piece is coming up short. We need to fill two minutes, anybody have any ideas?
Maxima: Superman... YOW!
(after Superman ties her up with a construction girder)
Lucille: Oh, my goodness! They're hugging!!
Maxima: Of course, now you'll have to marry me.
Maxima: I have the power to do as I please!
Maxima: I used to use these ancient tunnels as a prison.
Lobo: I'm here to get that fraggin', scum-suckin, rat-scratchin' De'Cine, and nobody better stop me!