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Review: ‘My Adventures with Superman’ Is Warm, Wacky, and Wonderful

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My Adventures with Superman is a brand-new series from Warner Bros. Animation and Adult Swim. It marks the first Superman animated series since the long-running, critically-acclaimed Superman the Animated Series in 1996. Jack Quaid stars as Clark Kent/Superman, with Alice Lee as Lois Lane and Ishmel Sahid as Jimmy Olsen. And for the first time in Superman history, nearly the entire writer/director team are women, including the great Josie Campbell (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, New Champion of Shazam!).

My Adventures with Superman drops with a two-episode premiere on July 6, and will release weekly for the rest of the ten-episode season. Despite being on Adult Swim, this series has no “adult” content and is perfectly suitable for both children and adults.

I had the privilege to preview the first seven episodes and I was absolutely blown away. The show is so good that My Adventures has reinvigorated not only my interest in the character of Superman, but also the wonderful world around him and his long history of adaptations. So with just ten days before the premiere, let’s see what makes My Adventures with Superman so special!

My Adventures with Superman. (Adult Swim/WB)

A fun, weird character in a fun, weird world

My Adventures with Superman is sensational. This is heaven for Superman nerds. It’s almost everything I expected from James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy, but here and now. My Adventures is the classic Superman adaptation we’ve been waiting for.

The show is wickedly funny, romantic, and action-packed, giving it instant universal appeal. It is so purely joyful that I simply can’t watch it without smiling. And for Superman fans specifically, My Adventures with Superman is the ultimate “World of Superman” adaptation. The series lovingly embraces the gleeful weirdness of the Silver Age within the context of a modernized, futuristic Metropolis.

In the comics, Superman is a fun, weird character with a fun, weird world around him. Yet historically, adaptations have shied away from some of the most bizarre elements of Superman canon, or tried to ground them in seriousness. Not this show. In My Adventures with Superman, Clark, Lois, and Jimmy get lost on wacky sci-fi adventures that get increasingly bigger and crazier as the season goes on.

My Adventures is the first Superman universe where the strangest elements from the comics could be authentically adapted beat-for-beat from the page. Anything could be possible here. This is the kind of universe where Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman could be adapted, and none of the extreme weirdness would feel out of place at all.

This is because My Adventures with Superman is easily one of the most unabashedly comicbooky Superman adaptations ever made. The show threads deep-cut references throughout the story, creating a love letter to the fans and to the characters’ histories. But the Easter eggs aren’t simply for fan service: The lore helps the adaptation feel honest to the history of Superman on screen and on the page, and informs the world of the story. My Adventures with Superman is as fun and weird as a true Superman adaptation should be.

My Adventures with Superman Character designs Clark Kent
Clark Kent in My Adventures with Superman (Adult Swim)

What makes My Adventures with Superman special?

My Adventures with Superman updates the Superman mythos for the 21st century in a way that embraces the comics’ fun silliness, but without the darker veneer of more serious adaptations like Superman & Lois and Superman the Animated Series. But beyond the bizarreness, My Adventures with Superman also has one of the best Superman/Lois teams across multimedia.

It’s an exciting mirror of the other ongoing show, Superman & Lois. Both have excellent examples of Clark and Lois, but at very different points in their lives. Superman & Lois uses their long-established relationship to showcase Superman’s emotional depths through a serious, real-world lens and his role as a father. In contrast, My Adventures with Superman uses the early days of the relationship to explore the breadth of Superman’s crazy science fiction world as Clark and Lois bond through their adventures.

Superman the Animated Series is more comparable, but there still are a number of differences. Firstly, the approach of each show is a sharp contrast. Both The Animated Series and My Adventures delve into the weirdness of Superman’s comic canon. But where The Animated Series adapts the material with a sense of seriousness, My Adventures is proudly warm and cartoony. My Adventures with Superman embraces the potential of Superman’s eccentric adventures in a way that only the comics have ever really done.

Secondly, Superman the Animated Series quickly accelerates into the traditional Superman status quo. My Adventures brings an original spin to this by making Jimmy and Lois new hires just like Clark. With the trio as interns, the show becomes not only an origin story for Superman, but for his supporting cast as well. We follow Clark, Lois, and Jimmy as they develop into the classic team we’re familiar with, building trust and friendship along the way. Compared to the status quos of The Animated Series, My Adventures has a strong sense of forward movement as the season tells a powerful story about Clark’s journey to self-discovery and Lois’ relationship with him.

My Adventures with Superman Character designs Lois Lane
Lois Lane in My Adventures with Superman (Adult Swim)

Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen in My Adventures with Superman

Even though the adventures of each episode rapidly flesh out the Superman mythos, the show remains focused on Clark Kent’s long-form origin story. Despite the modernized world around them, the central cast are classic to their core.

Clark, Lois, and Jimmy do actual investigative journalism in almost every episode. Clark and Lois are super cute together, and Jimmy is the smartest and most comic-accurate depiction we’ve ever seen on screen. Since they are so early in their careers, the show is able to go deeper into each character’s strengths, weaknesses, and emotional vulnerabilities.

Of all the Superman adaptations, the characters in My Adventures are among the most “animated”. My favorite element of the character designs are their giant expressive eyes and the blushing effects. The show delivers on its emotional potential in spades: I was nearly in tears with several scenes (especially with young Clark) and I was smiling like a lunatic during Lois and Clark’s most heartfelt moments.

This series is simply one of the most romantic Superman adaptations ever made. While Smallville and Superman & Lois also highlight Lois and Clark’s romantic relationship, carefully building that relationship is a primary storyline in My Adventures with Superman. It’s a real, true romance, and the animation helps their feelings come to life.

Another major reason for the show’s emotional effectiveness is the character portrayals. Instead of the stiff, stoic confidence of Superman the Animated Series, My Adventures’ Superman is a friendly local hero and Clark Kent is an awkward, expressive 20-year-old still figuring himself out. Jack Quaid uses the youth and vulnerability of Clark to capture the heart of Superman.

When Lois does their famous first interview, Superman doesn’t have the same self-assurance we see in Superman & Lois, Man of Steel, Superman the Animated Series, or even Superman the Movie. For the first time in any Superman adaptation, Clark is candidly embarrassed that he doesn’t know all the answers himself. That down-to-earth humility is what sets My Adventures with Superman apart.

The new Lois Lane is like a mischievous imp with an addiction to dangerous ideas. True to the show’s title, My Adventures’ Lois is more involved in the Superman action than any other adaptation of the character. By giving her a meaningful role in each adventure, this series avoids the major “damsel in distress” problems that plagued the 90s animated series and other Superman media. Additionally, because Lois is still an intern, it’s refreshing to see her struggle to prove herself and earn her reputation. This gives the show so much potential to continue building her character in the future seasons.

But across the entire series, the greatest update is Ishmel Sahid as Jimmy Olsen. This is classic Jimmy, straight from the Jack Kirby era and before. All the strangest escapades from the Silver Age finally feel possible in this show, and Jimmy Olsen would be right in the middle of them!

And on top of his spirit, the show makes Jimmy a real character with major character moments. He has honest emotions and intelligence, and Sahid delivers one of the best performances in the whole show. I loved Aaron Ashmore in Smallville, but My Adventures takes Jimmy Olsen to a whole new level. An absolute treat.

My Adventures with Superman Character designs Jimmy Olsen
Jimmy Olsen in My Adventures with Superman (Adult Swim)

The music and animation of My Adventures

The visuals of My Adventures with Superman capture the cozy charm of Superman for All Seasons, adapted for an ADHD modern world. The animation features a bright color palette with bold characters on top of backgrounds which look hand-drawn with pencils and watercolors. Every frame is beautiful to look at and feels authentically hand-crafted. I especially love when the color palette changes in the darker middle episodes.

The music balances a range of action, fear, comedy, and romance. Dominic Lewis and Daniel Futcher craft a light, playful, inspiring orchestral score accented with heavy guitar. Their design recalls the classical work of John Williams and Gustav Holst, but with a modern touch of Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel.

Although the music powerfully controls the mood of each scene, the Superman theme isn’t as memorable as other iterations. This decision aligns with the show’s focus on the Clark’s emotional journey as a human, rather than his mighty status as Superman.

My Adventures with Superman
My Adventures with Superman. (Adult Swim)

My Adventures with Superman: among the best of the best

After watching the show build over the first seven episodes, I am completely obsessed with My Adventures with Superman. It is so much more than the simple show advertised in the trailers. It is so much weirder and more ambitious than anyone thought it would be. It is the true world of classic comics Superman, brought to life more faithfully than ever before.

The villains are the weakest link of the show, but Superman has always had a weak rogues gallery. I also think the weekly release schedule might hurt it because the short episodes are all connected and the show gets bigger and better with each episode. So keep watching week to week!

I am so excited for this series because it is the classic, iconic, well-known beats of a Superman origin, brushed up with modern flair, strong characters, and radical ambition. In a run of excellent Superman adaptations in film and TV, My Adventures with Superman stands among the best of the best for its portrayal of the weird world of Superman and the dynamic partnership of Clark, Lois, and Jimmy. Warm, wacky, and wonderful, My Adventures with Superman is a welcome addition to the Superman canon.

Are you excited for My Adventures with Superman? What’s your favorite version of the character? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more super reviews coming soon!

Also check out our DC Showcase review series, including heartfelt reviews for All-Star Superman and Superman for All Seasons!

DC Showcase: All-Star Superman



DC Showcase: Superman for All Seasons


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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Obsessed with the Midnight Sons. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!

Vin has 137 posts and counting. See all posts by Vin