June 26, 2023  221 
Clark Kent Has Never Shined Brighter

The Adult Swim series is a reminder of why we’ve fallen in love with these characters over the years.

Superman is iconic. The Big Blue Boy Scout has graced us with his presence for almost 90 years. We all know his story: Krypton explodes, a rocket flies to Earth, and he fights for truth and justice. But how does one redefine the character for a new generation? There have been reboots and retellings of the Superman mythos over the last 30 years, but none are as unique as My Adventures with Superman.

The Man of Steel’s first animated series since the late 1990s, My Adventures with Superman tells the story of a 20–something Clark Kent (Jack Quaid) as he interns at the Daily Planet with his roommate Jimmy Olsen (Ishmel Sahid) and office crush, Lois Lane (Alice Lee). Together, the trio try to make their big break and become journalists for the publication they admire.

A Flawed Superman is the Best Superman
While the younger take is unusual, My Adventures with Superman takes advantage of the new character dynamics beautifully with a Clark Kent who is unsure of himself. He doesn’t know where he comes from or how his powers work, but what he does know is that he has to help those who can’t help themselves, and that is the essence of Superman. What makes this version of Clark stand out above the rest is his inexperience. He rarely has the upper hand in fights, doesn’t quite know how to balance his heroics with his job, and doesn’t know everything about his abilities (how does one find out if they’re bulletproof?).

Throughout all his struggles, Clark finds a way to keep fighting. Superman symbolizes hope and a better tomorrow, and Quaid brings that optimistic energy needed for the character. He’s best friends with Jimmy because they’re both nerds, and the series also doesn’t shy away from that fact. Clark isn’t a stoic, emotionless god, which makes this animated take one of the best in recent memory. He’s still very much the hero we know, but not without his flaws. Quaid’s Clark also may be a bumbling goof at times, but that also makes him all the more lovable.

Superman and Lois Are Still a High–Flying Romance 80 Years in the Making

Meanwhile, the pairing of My Adventures with Superman‘s Lois and Clark works because they want the same thing but have entirely different ways of going about it. Lois dreams of being a star reporter and will do anything to make that dream a reality. Clark admires her drive and falls for her as soon as he meets her. Conversely, Lois respects Clark’s optimism and that he always puts others before himself. In terms of their dominant personality traits, Clark is more reserved, while Lois commands the room. Alice Lee brings so much energy to Lois to the point where it can be overwhelming, but that’s what makes her the perfect partner for Clark. They’re opposites yet authentically complement each other.

It feels very similar to the other live–action Superman series currently on the air, Superman & Lois. While that series shows the couple almost 20 years into their relationship, My Adventures with Superman is about their beginnings, and it is adorable. It’s almost like they were made for each other. Combine that with the wacky antics and conspiracies from Jimmy Olsen, and you have a fantastic group of characters.

The series is not just an office romance, though. Several familiar faces pop up from across Superman’s history. There is an ongoing plot focusing on various villains and organizations throughout the season, and while it isn’t perfect, there’s enough to keep you invested in what’s happening. My Adventures with Superman follows the characters as their relationships develop, and the superhero antics are secondary, but that’s okay. Most superhero stories need strong relationships to have a lasting impact.

My Adventures with Superman is the fresh take that the character desperately needed. It tells fun episodic stories akin to Superman: The Animated Series but isn’t afraid to have long–running plot lines. The art feels modern, with a few anime influences, while leaning into the familiar comic book aesthetic. While the series does have a few pacing issues, and a lack of a strong supporting cast, it more than makes up for it with its slick art and strong leading trio.

Rating: A–

Season 1 of My Adventures with Superman premieres on July 6 on Adult Swim and will be available on streaming the following day on Max.

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