At the Kent home in Smallville, Kansas, teenager Clark Kent sits in the bathroom preparing for his new job as an intern at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Adding to his anxiety is the development of his strange new super-powers. Having recently discovered that he can project beams of heat from his eMan of Tomorrow is an episode of season 1 of Legion of Super-Heroes. It premiered on September 23, 2006.
Synopsis for "Man of Tomorrow"
At the Kent home in Smallville, Kansas, teenager Clark Kent sits in the bathroom preparing for his new job as an intern at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. Adding to his anxiety is the development of his strange new super-powers. Having recently discovered that he can project beams of heat from his eyes, he practices using this ability on a piece of newspaper. His mother, Martha Kent, calls to him from downstairs, reminding him to hurry or he'll be late. Clark finishes practicing his heat vision and leaves the house. His mom reminds him to be careful with the use of his abilities, and that he is different from other boys his age.
Along the way, he decides to stop at the Smallville Fairgrounds. A rival from Clark's school taunts him into playing one of the games, and Clark is forced to minimalize his efforts so as not to reveal his powers. After deliberately losing the game, Clark turns and notices that one of the support struts on the Fairgrounds Ferris Wheel is buckling. He rushes over and braces his body against it to keep it from collapsing.
At that moment, a time machine appears from out of nowhere, and out steps three teenage super-heroes from the 31st century – Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl. Bouncing Boy notices the "Welcome to Smallville" sign and questions Brainiac 5 as to whether they arrived in the correct time line. Brainiac 5 haughtily tells him that he doesn't make mistakes, and that they must find this era's greatest champion – Superman.
They soon arrive at the Fairgrounds, and find Clark struggling to keep the Ferris Wheel from toppling. Bouncing Boy uses his body as a fulcrum and they succeed in saving the day. Saturn Girl uses her telepathy to make everyone in the near vicinity forget what they have seen, thus protecting Clark from people learning about his powers.
They introduce themselves as the Legion of Super-Heroes, and tell Clark that they are from the 31st century. They have come back in time to the 21st century because they need his help. Clark doesn't quite believe their story, and is even more confused by the notion that these people need his assistance. Clark tells them that he needs some time to think it over.
He eventually returns home (missing his appointment in Metropolis), and finds Bouncing Boy, Brainiac 5 and Saturn Girl sitting at the kitchen table. Saturn Girl reiterates the request for him to come to the future with them, and asks him if he ever wondered what the future might hold for him. Brainiac 5 reassures him that they can bring him back to the exact moment that he left. Throwing caution to the wind, Clark agrees to go with them. He yells out to his mom that he's taking a trip to the future, to which she responds, "Take a sweater".
Arriving in the 31st century, Clark is astounded by the advanced technology and exotic life forms that can be found in "New Metropolis". The Legionnaires take him back to their headquarters, where he meets the other team members, Lightning Lad, Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl. Lightning Lad is sorely disappointed when he meets Clark, and didn't put a lot of faith in summoning some "old relic from the 20th century". Lightning Lad puts Clark through his paces by making him lift a tyrellium press. Although he criticizes Clark for failing to complete the test, he is nonetheless impressed when he finds that Clark lifted over 3,000 tons of weight. As the day goes on, the Legionnaires reveal to him that he is destined to become a great super-hero named Superman. The legacy of Superman is what inspired the Legion to become a team in the first place. Saturn Girl takes him to the Superman museum, where he finds giant posters of himself as an adult embroiled in acts of bravery. Lightning Lad continues to scoff at him, and has difficulty believing that Clark Kent is destined to become Superman.
Before long, Saturn Girl reveals the nature of the threat that faces them. A group of super-villains known as the Fatal Five have broken out of prison and are en route to face them. She tells him that it took the combined might of the entire legion to stop them the first time, but with so many Legionnaires off-planet, their strength is halved.
The Fatal Five arrive in New Metropolis soon after and begin fighting the Legion. In the heat of battle, Clark races off and retreats to the Superman museum. He finds a Superman costume and puts it on, then flies (haphazardly) back to the scene of the battle. The other Legionnaires fall prey to the Emerald Empress' mesmerism powers (channeled through the Emerald Eye of Ekron). Clark fights back against her and uses his heat vision to keep the Eye away from him. The other Legionnaires take note of Clark's refusal to submit before the Fatal Five's forces, and this bolsters their own courage, enabling them to throw off Emerald Empress' mind control. Lightning Lad tells Clark to use his super-breath against the Emerald Empress, but Clark doesn't even know what super-breath is. Lightning Lad tells him to "think cold and blow". Clark does as instructed and uses a gust of breath to freeze the Emerald Empress and the Eye of Ekron into place. The other members of the Fatal Five are defeated as well, and they are all returned to prison.
Back at Legion Headquarters, the team is proud of Clark's competence in the field (even though he still has to practice his flying). To aid him in this, Brainiac 5 gives him a Legion Flight Ring. Lightning Lad tells him that he can't go off into battle calling himself Clark Kent. He needs a super-hero code name. Clark tells him that he's already chosen one – Superman.
Appearing in "Man of Tomorrow"
- Legion of Super-Heroes (First appearance)
- Superman (First appearance)
- Fatal Five (First appearance)
- Martha Kent (First appearance)
- Booster Gold (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Skeets (First appearance) (Cameo)
- 31st Century
- 21st Century
- This episode aired on September 23rd, 2006.
- The opening sequence to this episode is actually a flash-forward, and is replayed midway through the episode when the Legion square off against the Fatal Five.
- Elements of this episode are adapted in Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1.
- On the streets of New Metropolis, there are representatives of two alien races that frequently appear in the Green Lantern family of titles. One of the aliens is from the planet Barrio III (Chaselon's home world) and another is a Xudorian (Tomar-Re's race).
- In the Superman museum, Booster Gold and Skeets make a cameo appearance as janitors.
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