The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

‘My Adventures With Superman’ Season 1 Review

Flying High and Falling Low
Photo courtesy of Adult Swim
Photo courtesy of Adult Swim

I love Superman. He is one of my favorite fictional characters ever, thanks largely to some of his excellent comics that tell inspiring stories of hope and perseverance. At the same time, he’s garnered a reputation of late for being a boring, overpowered Boy Scout. People think he’s boring nowadays because most mainstream adaptations of the character are not very good and portray him as a god amongst men, which goes against the fundamental core of the character.

I have been itching for mainstream audiences to finally experience a proper Superman story that properly adapts one of DC’s greatest icons, so when a new cartoon was announced, I was over the moon. We haven’t gotten a Superman cartoon since the 90s, so it’s been a long time coming. My Adventures With Superman finally seemed like a proper adaptation that would finally show Superman as more than a plank of wood.

So, did this show finally get it right? Did it give comic fans the adaptation they’ve deserved since the Donner movies? 

Well……. kind of.

My Adventures With Superman is by no means a bad show, but I wouldn’t call it great either. It has one of the better adaptations of Superman, but that isn’t really saying much, in my opinion.

This show is co-produced by Josie Campbell, who also worked on She-Ra Princess of Power, and it definitely shows. For better and worse, the She-Ra DNA is clearly visible in nearly every aspect, from tone, character designs, writing, and animation. In fact, I would go as far as to call this and She-Ra sister shows because of how similar they are. 

To be fair, My Adventures With Superman is a technically decent show with good animation and decent character interactions, but I can’t help but feel like this show is a little too kid-friendly. Now, that doesn’t mean that I want a dark and edgy Superman cartoon, but I wish the show had a bit more weight or levity to it. Most of the conflicts just boil down to an evil person vs. Superman or some painfully simplistic and childish drama. It’s overall just a little too cute for my taste. 

For example, Superman and Lois Lane just fall in love instantly and go on to have this weird high school crush dynamic for four or five episodes, and it just comes off as juvenile. This show is subtle as a brick, and it becomes old after a while. I know this is supposed to be a kid’s show, but even other superhero cartoons have managed to be intelligent and subtle with their writing. Everything in this show just feels basic.

Compared to other animated DC shows like Batman The Animated Series, Justice League, and Teen Titans, this show is all bark and no bite. Though varying in tone and delivery, those shows had somewhat of an edge that made every character feel three-dimensional and well-developed while also giving every conflict even a moderate sense of importance. Here, though, I could never care for any of the conflicts because of this.

This issue is even more baffling when considering that this is directly taking inspiration from a variety of shonen anime that have crazy action scenes and broach dark topics. Whenever this show does get serious, those moments almost never fully land because they are glossed over extremely quickly or are wholly resolved by the next episode, which makes every conflict feel almost trivial. Climactic scenes just fail to have the levity that the creators intended.

God, I hate that I have to bring up this comparison, but even My Hero Academia manages to have a better delivery of its climactic moments because they are framed as earth-shattering events that are of immense importance to the characters. While My Hero often borders on being overdramatic, I’ll take that melodrama over the flat delivery here.

I’m a bit conflicted on the core cast because Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane are near-perfect versions of the characters, while Superman himself just can’t keep up with them.

Jimmy is a gigantic nerd who is loyal to Clark and Lois to a fault. There really isn’t much more to say about him; he’s just Jimmy but slightly changed to fit modern audiences.

Lois might just be the best version of the character to grace a screen. She’s headstrong, determined, and will do anything to get a story even if she’s put in harm’s way, but at the end of the day, she isn’t out for clicks but to do the right thing. She is easily the best-developed character on this show, and all of her struggles and conflicts are actually convincing for the most part, unlike a certain man running around in his tighty whities. 

Speaking of the titular underwear-loving poster boy of superheroes, I’m not a fan of him here. I just don’t buy Jack Quaid’s performance as Superman. He just lacks the power in his voice that I’ve come to associate with Superman. Clark Kent should always be somewhat of a dork but I can’t help but think of the word “nerd,” whenever I hear Superman’s voice (I know pot calling the kettle black). He just doesn’t command a scene like a Superman should.

The villains in this show are just not good. They all are as deep as a kiddie pool in an Australian summer and either have almost no actual reason to be evil or have the most painfully simplistic motivations that it’s almost laughable. The funniest part is how the show thinks that these characters are super cool and threatening but they just come across as that one kid who thinks he’s cool at the playground because he has a Nerf gun. 

I also think this show leans way too heavily into a generic sci-fi aesthetic to the point where it sucks a lot of the life out of the superheroics. Every villain has this really odd plastic glowy armor aesthetic that just does not fit with Superman’s brand and it feels like a painfully uninspired change. This show kinda forgets that Superman is both sci-fi and fantasy but it leans so much into sci-fi that it feels like a lot of Superman’s appeal was lost in the process.

I know I was very harsh in this review but I don’t think this a bad show, I just think that it missed the mark, especially as an adaptation that could prove pivotal in how Superman is portrayed in the future. I wanted to love this show, I really did, but it was ultimately disappointing, basic, and bland.

Score: 6/10

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Any comments that are considered racist, sexist, using expletives or slurs, based on factually inaccurate information, or are derogatory in any way will be deleted.
All The Comenian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *