When it comes to superhero iterations, Superman has become somewhat of a controversial figure. Trunks or no trunks. Is his background inspiring or dark? Geeky or Hunky? It almost seems we are debating who or what The Man of Steel is. My Adventures With Superman is an anime-styled series that forgoes arguments and gives you a lighthearted Superman series that welcomes comic book fans and general audiences to the story of who the “Man of Steel” is.
The series focuses on a young Clark Kent (voiced by Jack Quaid) becoming Superman and a journalist at the Daily Planet. He is joined on his adventures by Lois Lane (voiced by Alice Lee), and his best friend Jimmy Olsen (voiced by Ishmel Sahid), the three being the heart of the series is where the true magic lies.
Kent, Olsen, and Lane: Journalism Pals For Life!
It is not unusual for Superman media to include Jimmy and Lois; some may argue that these two characters make Superman who he is. This rings true in My Adventures With Superman; at the heart of the series, Superman takes a backseat to Clark Kent. Yes, we have the superhero fights in every scene, and we have Clark figuring out his past and present as a hero; however, these moments in the series seem minuscule compared to Clark’s relationship with Jimmy and Lois.
In a positive light, the series reminds me of the early seasons of CW’s The Flash. The series has a good balance of romantic comedy with the action of a superhero show. We get to see the intimate moments of Clark and Lois falling in love without sacrificing the characters’ individual stories. We still get an opportunity to follow Clark on his journey of self-acceptance, and we get to see what makes Lois the great journalist she is.
Jimmy, on the other hand, in season one, at least, is the comic relief character in most of the episodes. Toward the end of the series, we see Jimmy attempt to break out of this mould, but it almost seems too late. The friendship between the three characters is refreshing, even with its faults.
The series’ plot is easy enough to follow but sometimes takes a backseat to the characterization of the main three characters. We have a main villain, and many of Superman’s most iconic villains show up as secondary antagonists. The detective work done by Clark, Jimmy, and Lois makes for a great way to progress the plot forward simply. However, the series does not seem to position itself as plot-focused.
The Super-fication of Clark Kent
One of the reasons that My Adventures With Superman is a fresh breath of air is how we are introduced to the hero, Clark Kent. There is no drama behind his choice to become Superman. We see Clark thrust himself into a fire before he knows he has some degree of fireproofing; we see him shield himself around Lois from a barrage of bullets before he knows he’s bulletproof. Our journey with Clark becoming Superman is easy, it’s almost innate for him to be a hero.
He does not think twice about protecting Metropolis, and it’s a refreshing take we have not seen in such a long time. In My Adventures With Superman, being a superhero is not a chore; it’s not a decision; it is just who he is. This parallels greatly with our last version of Superman in the DCEU, which brought a lot of controversy with it.
The series does a great job of showing us what it means to be a traditional superhero. There’s no debate on responsibility or whether Clark’s ready to take up the mantle; he just does it. This is why the show is refreshing. In recent years, superhero origin stories have been filled with debates on what makes a hero, how choices affect how we see heroes, and whether having superpowers makes you a hero. The series brings us back to the roots of comic book media: Superman is a hero because that’s who he is.
Issues to Consider
If you are looking for a series to find extreme meaning, the series is not for you. You will not be wowed by the series, and more than ever, we need relaxed superhero media. With the seemingly over-saturation of Comic Book IPs, My Adventures With Superman could not be better timed.
In this iteration, Jimmy is also Black in this series (which is not the first time); this will bring out the racist ‘purist’ comic book fans even though his race takes nothing away from the character.
The plot does seem to lose focus around episode five, which does little to the enjoyment of the series since the heart is the characters themselves.
While being an Adult Swim series, the series itself is not adult-themed nor fits the style of Adult Swim shows, which will be a factor in whether the show is a success.
My Adventures With Superman will surely be a hit series. Comic book fans and the general audience alike will have something to fall in love with!
My Adventures With Superman premieres with two episodes on Adult Swim on July 6, and will stream on Max the following day.
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