THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERBOY - LUTHOR UNLEASHED (1989)
John Haymes Newton, Stacy Haiduk, Scott James Wells, Awful special effects, Hair loss, The worst Lex Luthor...ever
Written by: Stephen Lord
Directed by: David Nutter
Lana – “Don’t try and talk, Lex.”
WHAT IS IT? It’s the final episode from the AWFUL first season of the TV series The Adventures of Superboy, starring John Haymes Newton as the crappy Teen of Steel and Scott James Wells as the worst Lex Luthor ever!!!
GOOD IDEA/BAD IDEA: The Adventures of Superboy aired for four seasons from 1988 to 1992 and over the course of its run the show grew in (semi-cult) popularity.With each passing season it was generally considered (by those who cared to watch it) that the show vastly improved in quality and was a fun take on the adventures of Clark Kent/Superboy.Of course the main reason the show improved with each passing season was because..... IT COULDN’T HAVE BEEN ANY WORSE THAN THE SHITE THAT WAS DISHED OUT DURING THE FIRST SEASON!!!When it started it was awful.Terrible in fact.Season one of Superboy was so dire that both of the actors who played Superboy and Lex Luthor (the two biggest characters connected to the Superman mythology) were recast for the second season, which just simply spelled out that something wasn’t right with the series.But miscasting wasn’t the show’s only problem, as the effects looked cheap, the music was pedestrian, the acting was awful (except for Stacy Haiduk’s stint as Lana Lang), the lighting was all over the place and the show’s general appearance was just amateur.If the series had been a student project, the students involved would have failed their assignments and been thrown off their course; yet it wasn’t, which made it seem even more craptastic!All twenty six episodes of the first season (yes there really was twenty six of them) were pretty much as bad as each other, but the episode Luthor Unleashed stood as one of the worst of them all because it gave Lex Luthor more screen time!Having a terrible Luthor hog the screen during a terrible episode of a terrible show was just plain terrible.The whole point of the thirty minute episode was to have Lex lose his hair just so that he could have a grudge with Superboy, which may have been an idea from the comics, but it still seemed a little bit silly... even for The Adventures of Superboy!It makes you wonder what other ideas were being considered at the time of putting the show together?Lana gets grumpy for a few days every month and shouts at Clark for not understanding what it’s like to be a woman?!Luthor Unleashed was a baaaaaaaaaaaaaad episode, but considering the quality of the twenty five episodes before it, it wasn’t all that surprising.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
Lex Luthor (Wells) wants to be the greatest criminal mastermind of all time, yet for some reason he just can’t ever seem to reach the correct level of evil super genius that he’s always dreamed about.There could be a number of different reasons for his inability to take the top spot, such as a tough competition from fellow bad guys or not enough fibre in his diet, but it seems the actual reason lies in the fact he has a full head of hair!If truth be told it’s not something that he’s ever really noticed, but for those in the know the answer is as clear as a freshly washed window – bald equals bad!Thing is, with Lex constantly trying to be evil all the time, a simple thing such as having a shiny dome instead of luscious locks is the last thing on his mind and instead it’s more about coming up with a grand plan to end all grand plans. Unfortunately it’s been a bit of a hectic week and so his latest scheme is frankly... a bit shit... and it sees him dicking around with some chemicals in the university science lab in the hope something evil will happen!Little does Lex realise that he’s onto a winner this time, because all of those chemicals prove a volatile concoction that soon cause a fire, which attracts the attention of Superboy.The Teen of Steel quickly arrives at the lab and puts out the (cheaply produced) naked flame using his (poorly executed) super-breath, saving Luthor but in the process ruining his latest endeavour.Lex is angry and feels as if this interference is the start of something brewing between the two of them; sort of like a bitter rivalry.
The next morning Lex wakes up to discover that his hair has fallen out and he now looks like a member of Right Said Fred, which causes him to become rather annoyed at Superboy who he feels is probably to blame.In actual fact his hair loss is a result of tampering with test tubes, but Luthor is far too mad to sweat the details and the more he thinks about it the more he directs his frustration at Superboy!Eventually he gets so pissed off that he heads off to the university campus to start bitching about the super hero!When he arrives he bumps into Lana Lang (Haiduk) and he promptly smacks her in the face because she has such lovely ginger hair.This shocks Lana and she quickly hits him back, which instantly makes Lex realise what a bad-ass he has become!Days before Lex would have never even considered hitting a woman, especially one romantically linked to a super hero and so he knows that something has changed within him.Coming to the conclusion that being bald is the key, he decides to challenge Superboy to a fight, which he knows he has no chance of winning, but his actions prove to him that he now has the balls to take on a super hero!So he does...and he has his ass handed to him by a cocky Superboy.Still unperturbed Lex remains pleased with his new status as the greatest criminal mind of all time...on a shockingly bad syndicated television show!With Superboy as his true arch nemesis Lex becomes happy that he’s finally a man in the eyes of the super villain community and so is no longer too concerned about his halitosis or the fact he has been suffering with erectile dysfunction.
BALDLY GOING: *Just before going bald Lex had considered getting his hair cut into the same style as Mr T from his favourite TV show The A-Team.
*In a recent survey fifty percent of all women surveyed said they would prefer to date a bald male over a dead male any day of the week; proving bald men are sexual studs.
*Superboy has often considered going bald, but has admitted that if he were to ever shave his head it would be for the love of a good woman... or in tribute to the actor Telly Savalas.