Lately, the DC Universe has been in a pickle of its own. In the theaters, The Flash is currently bombing at the box office while the James Gunn and Peter Safran-led DCU has begun to take shape. Meanwhile, DC’s time at The CW is coming to an end with Superman and Lois‘ fourth season in the works. With all these changes, DC is looking forward to build a new foundation with a clean slate on previous fronts. Luckily, while the behind-the-scenes fiasco may be on the minds of most fans, one show has risen to the occasion to bring a refreshing take on one of DC’s cornerstone icons: My Adventures With Superman.
My Adventures With Superman is a coming-of-age story following the trio of Clark Kent (Jack Quaid), Lois Lane (Alice Lee), and Jimmy Olsen (Ishmel Sahid) in their early days at the Daily Planet. As Clark explores his mysterious past, Lois and Jimmy find a new story in uncovering Superman’s secret identity. In the meanwhile, Clark’s double life unravels as his new love for Lois begins to complicate his heroic duty. As Clark, Lois, and Jimmy embark on the adventure of a lifetime, the trio must discover what it means to be heroes in their own right.
My Adventures With Superman takes some big steps in being different from other Superman adaptations. Unlike movies like Donner’s Superman and shows like Superman: The Animated Series, this Clark emphasizes his youthful boldness to a higher level. Jack Quaid’s acting brings an optimistic and mildly courageous charisma to the character, even as Clark switches to Superman. Inspired by his time on The Boys, Quaid provides the right amount of energy for this version in every scene. The show presents a more “down-to-Earth” version of Superman and nicely does so here.
Meanwhile, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are much more vivacious, shaped by their connections with Clark and evolving roles. Lois actively pursues Superman’s identity while embracing calm, reflective moments that subtly enhance her character. Alice Lee’s chemistry with Quaid shines here, with sweet moments between Clark and Lois in each episode highlighting this. However, some scenes in the series feel more plot-driven than genuine, though there’s one episode that takes a big opportunity to explore this relationship.
In Jimmy Olsen’s case, his comedic touch works even though he may feel like a third wheel. He’s highly enthusiastic about Clark and Lois’ relationship with a touch of extraterrestrial skepticism, building Jimmy as the connecting comic relief. However, the show mostly relegates him to this position as Clark and Lois’ stories progress until the final few episodes. Nonetheless, Ishmel Sahid brings a unique twist to Jimmy, giving him a fun spark of life that’s never really been felt before.
Secondly, My Adventures With Superman brings several unique takes on Superman’s history and background. The show draws subtle visual inspiration from several anime shows like My Hero Academia and Tiger & Bunny. Superman’s powers are stylized with intense close-ups and quick-cut editing, emphasizing Clark’s learning process as he explores his newfound abilities. In a way, the show takes a cool dynamic, elemental approach towards interpreting Superman’s powers here.
Aside from Superman’s powers, his rogues gallery generally derives itself outside of the comics norm. Sure, there are several villains, like Intergang, who share similar roles to their comics counterparts, if a bit downplayed. However, other iconic villains take their own inspirations from other shows like Voltron and Rurouni Kenshin to build themselves up. As the show takes a spin on these villains, its anime influences wonderfully entwine themselves within its villains’ comic backgrounds. This definitely works for the most part, even though the show often relegates them to one-off appearances.
Thirdly, My Adventures With Superman‘s overarching story feels personally entertaining, even if it’s got a little quick pacing. The initial three episodes immerse you with straightforward exposition, which can feel somewhat exhausting at first. Gradually, the show unveils deeper characterization for Clark, Lois, and Jimmy while allowing the mystery to unfold. As Clark uncovers his powers, the show’s stakes begin to heighten, leading to dire consequences for the trio. With a combination of 2D-3D styles as well, the action also hits just as well as Superman: The Animated Series.
Sometimes, the show side-steps itself by divulging with other side stories. At first, these stories may feel like a divergence, tonally and plot-wise, from the episode’s central plot. However, over the duration of an episode, it slowly connects back to enhancing the trio’s shared bond. This element can allow for some interesting character development even if the writing can get a bit sidetracked. Thankfully, My Adventures With Superman is able to utilize all these details just right within this Superman-centric story.
As a whole, My Adventures With Superman‘s anime-inspired take invigorates a new life for one of DC’s biggest icons. It deftly balances Clark Kent’s dual life while developing strong characterization in his relationships with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. As the show continues to get more intense, I certainly hope that it can deliver a great conclusion for the trio. However, with another season for this show soon in the works, this conclusion might just have to wait as this version of Superman successfully takes flight.
My Adventures With Superman premieres on July 6 on Adult Swim and July 7 on Max.