Top 10 Superman Cartoon Episodes (

By:Tim Janson
Date: Friday, June 14, 2013

In our timeline of Superman history in media we talked about the Man of Steel’s long run of success in animation dating back to the 1940s.  Today we look at those animated series a little bit closer as we pick ten of the best Superman cartoons ever made.  Rather than try to labor through ranking them I’ve listed them chronologically.  All of these cartoons are available on DVD and even Blu-ray in some cases.  Where applicable I’ve included a YouTube link to these shorts as well.  Celebrate Superman’s 75th Anniversary with these ten great animated gems!
Title: Superman (aka “The mad Scientist)
Series: Fleischer Studios
Debut Date:  September 26, 1941
The very first Superman cartoon!  A short prologue tells the story of the destruction of Krypton and Superman’s arrival on Earth.  A mad scientist threatens to destroy the Daily Planet building unless he is paid a million dollars.  Superman has to fight through a barrage of blasts of the scientist’s death ray in order to save the day.

Title: The Mechanical Monsters
Series: Fleischer Studios
Debut Date:  November 28, 1941
This is one of my favorite Superman Cartoons of all-time.  A Pure gem of Art Deco and pulp Sci-Fi design! A mad scientist is using his army of giant robots to rob banks and museums of cash and precious gems.  When one of the robots kidnaps Lois, Superman heads to the scientist’s lair for a knock-down battle against the robots!

Title: The Toys of Doom
Series: The New Adventures of Superman
Debut Date:  October 22, 1966
Lois and Jimmy find themselves the prisoner of the Toyman after being tipped off about his location. When destructive machines create havoc around Metropolis, Superman races around defeating them, until he eventually ends up at Toyman's hideout where he defeats the Toy Army that awaits him, saving Lois and Jimmy in the process, and leading Toyman right into the arms of the Police.

Title: Superman and Wonder Woman vs. The Sorceress of Time:
Series: Ruby Spears Superman
Debut Date:  November 5, 1998
Wonder Woman comes to Metropolis to seek Superman’s help to capture an evil sorceress named Cyrene who has escaped her magical Amazonian prison.  This episode was written by longtime comic book writer Marv Wolfman.

Title: The Last Son of Krypton
Series: Superman: The Animated Series
Debut Date:  September 6, 1996
This three part episode was the series’ debut telling in greater detail than ever before about Krypton’s destruction, in part due to Brainiac.  Part two tells of Kal-El crashing on earth, being adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent, growing up in Smallville, and learning of his Kryptonian Origins.  The final part takes Clark to Metropolis and his job with the Daily Planet and his debut as Superman.

Title: Brave New Metropolis
Series: Superman: The Animated Series
Debut Date:  September 27, 1997
Lois ends up in an alternate, Dystopian version of Metropolis where she was killed.  Superman, distraught over her death, joins forces with Lex Luthor to rule the world as tyrannical dictators.
Title: Worlds’s Finest
Series: Superman: The Animated Series
Debut Date:  October  4, 1997
Another three-part episode as Superman teams up with Batman.  The Joker finds a piece of Kryptonite and makes an offer to Lex Luthor to kill Superman for a billion dollars.  Batman follows Joker to Metropolis and initially has a run-in with Superman before them team to take down Luthor and the Joker.

Title: Worlds’s Finest
Series: Superman: Apokolips Now!
Debut Date:  February 7, 1998
Darkseid attacks Earth, unleashing a host of Apokolips demons.  Superman is capture and tortured and paraded through Metropolis for all to see.  But rather than give up, the people of metropolis fight back, renewing Superman’s strength to resist.  The High Father of New Genesis arrives to save the Earth and force Darkseid to retreat but the victory is bittersweet as Darkseid, out of pure spite, kills a cop who had helped Superman.

Superman/Batman Public Enemies
Series: DC Universe Original Film
Debut Date: September 29, 2009
Lex Luthor is the new President of the United States and immediately begins to rein in superheroes, notably his archenemy, Superman.  He creates a super-powered task force that includes Captain Atom, Major Force, Black Lightning, Power Girl, and Starfire.  Knowing Superman will never go along with his plans, Lex uses the crisis of a Kryptonian comet on a collision course with Earth, to proclaim Superman an outlaw and place a one billion dollar bounty on his head.
Superman finds himself in unfamiliar territory, labeled a criminal and allies with Batman to take Lex down.  That is not going to be easy, however.  Every super villain wants to claim that bounty and soon Superman and Batman find themselves battling hordes of villains including Solomon Grundy, Silver Banshee, Giganta, Mongul, and Gorilla Grodd.  They even have to go toe-to-toe with fellow heroes Hawkman and Captain Marvel.  The Crisis deepens as Superman and Batman race to find a way to stop Lex and destroy the meteor before it strikes the Earth.

Superman/Batman Public Enemies
Series: DC Universe Original Film
Debut Date: September 28, 2010
An object from space crashes into Gotham harbor. It turns out to be yet another Kryptonian spaceship, this time carrying Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin, and the future Supergirl.
While Superman welcomes his cousin warmly, Batman is concerned that her lack of training with her powers could endanger innocent people. He conspires with Wonder Woman to kidnap Kara and take her to Themyscira where she can be properly trained to use her abilities. However someone else has his eye on Kara…Darkseid! Darkseid wants Kara be the new leader of his Furies and sends a horde of Doomsday clones to capture and bring her back to Apokolips.  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, along with Big Barda, journey to Apokolips to try and rescue Kara.


Follow Mania on Facebook and Twitter. If work has you blocked out, download our app on iTunes for your iPhone and iPad.