"Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" Chi of Steel (TV Episode 1995) Poster

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8/10
Superman learns that strength is not always his biggest asset.
writer93-120 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
When most of Perry's life savings is stolen from his men's club by a ninja-like figure in black possessing unusual powers, his best reporters start to dig into the issue. Lois, however, is sidetracked somewhat when she is forbidden to enter the Men's club to investigate. Their search leads them to Chinatown, and to a reporter with the Chinatown newspaper. Chen, it turns out, is a friend of Clark's and looks remarkably like him. This "Chinese Clark Kent" tells Lois that he knows Clark because "we go to the same optometrist." That obvious smile-getting allusion aside, Lois is offended yet again when she is told by Chen's grandfather that women are not allowed to participate in his advanced level martial arts classes. She arrives as Clark's apartment (where Clark's parents are visiting) in a huff and an ill-considered comment by Clark's father starts a debate about why Men's clubs should exist. Jonathon tries to appeal to his wife for help, but she stands beside Lois and tells him to explain it HER. They eventually agree to switch chores while they are visiting Clark.

Lois and Clark find out there have been similar robberies and all of places owned by the same company and linked to illegal importation of indentured servants. The perpetrator is a martial arts master who possesses two bracelets with supernatural powers, which make him able to defeat even Superman and disappear almost as if by magic. He is also giving the money back to the indentured servants so that they can pay off their debt.

Clark proposes that it might be Chen who is the supernatural robber. Lois says "a mild mannered reporter is really some kind of superhero," which makes all three (Lois, Perry, and Jimmy) laugh. Clark just smiles as if to say "how silly of me for suggesting it." Clark still thinks it's worth checking out. Apparently so do the people who want the bracelets, because they beat up Chen, thinking it is him.

Eventually, Superman finds that he and the would-be Robin Hood are on the same side and, to defeat the bad guys, he has to learn how to use his "strong Chi" and fight using martial arts.

Jonathon Kent, meanwhile, tires himself out doing the list of chores that Martha hands him. She, however, sits and plays checkers for three days. In the end, he cooks dinner (Chinese) for all the Kents and Lois, and Martha casually suggests that she usually likes to order from a different restaurant. Clark comments "Mom, we have a guest" and she replies, over the closing credits "oh, she's family."

This storyline is right out of the 1990s, in a good way. It's also great to think of Superman using martial arts as well as traditional muscle.
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