Photo courtesy of TheGamer. This article contains spoilers for the first season of “My Adventures With Superman.”
This piece was also written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here would not exist.
Superman is arguably the most iconic superhero ever created.
Between being one of the first superheroes to grace the pages of comic books — with his first appearance dating back to Action Comics #1 in 1938 — his iconic red and blue costume with the flowing red cape and the symbol on his chest, that anyone could recognize.
Since his creation, the Last Son of Krypton has been featured in thousands of issues of comic books, a plethora of live action television shows and films and a great deal of animated series and movies. The most recent of these adaptations to release is an animated series titled “My Adventures With Superman,” following a young Clark Kent who’s learning to be the Superman that we all know and love.
The show is animated by Studio Mir (“The Boondocks,” “Star Wars: Visions,” “The Legend of Korra”), a seasoned animation studio based out of South Korea, to give the series a unique blend of eastern and western animation, making the series look “anime-esque.” The series also takes some creative liberties with established Superman lore and works with it to make the series feel like a fresh take on the classic mythos.
Clark Kent is an intern at the Daily Planet, alongside his best friend Jimmy Olsen and another woman, Lois Lane, whom he takes a liking to. The trio find themselves constantly in the middle of supervillain affairs within Metropolis and a massive alien weapon conspiracy — all while Clark is still learning how to use his powers.
While learning how to use his powers and be a protector of Metropolis, Superman is being hunted down by Amanda Waller and Task Force X, more widely known as the Suicide Squad because of his Kryptionian heritage. Superman was sent to Earth during a Kryptonian invasion as a weapon to help the Kryptonians take over the planet. Clark, facing doubt about his purpose on Earth after discovering this — and seeing an evil version of him in the multiverse — he wonders if he truly has what it takes to protect Metropolis and if he’s more of a threat than an ally.
Beyond just the anime-esque, the series even uses tropes commonly used in anime, the first of which is the “traumatic superpower awakening.”
Throughout the series, we spend time with Clark learning how to use his powers to protect his friends and the people of Metropolis. He starts out only knowing that he has super strength and flight but when he and his friends are in danger, he “awakens” the rest of his powers including super speed, heat vision and x-ray vision and is able to use them to overcome the immediate danger to Metropolis, himself and his friends.
The second trope, the “Sailor Senshi send up.”
Named after the iconic suit-up sequences for the female warriors from “Sailor Moon,” this trope occurs when a character suits up in their costume/armor with the costume seemingly materializing on them while the camera rotates around the character to show how they look post-transformation. In the second episode of the series, titled “Adventures of A Normal Man Part 2,” Clark gets his iconic Superman costume while onboard the Kryptonian ship that brought him to Earth in this style.
Critics and fans tend to agree that this series does a good job of fusing anime with the most iconic superhero in comics. As one of the oldest and most prevalent characters in fiction, Superman has been a beacon of hope to people for decades.
David Acosta, manager of Manifest Comics in Bayonne, is a fan of Superman.
While he hasn’t had a chance to check out “My Adventures With Superman,” Acosta spoke fondly of Superman and what he means to him.
“Superman is the embodiment of hope,” Acosta said. “I think that makes him the ultimate superhero and the ultimate role model.”
When it comes to Superman stories, Acosta prefers the ones that tap into the human side and showcase his character. He also spoke on how he and many others find the character to be relatable.
“I think the most iconic Superman stories are the ones that focus on the character element of Superman,” Acosta said.
“[The stories] about him just trying to do good and trying as hard as he can and sometimes that isn’t enough. I think that can relate to everybody in the world who wants to do their best and sometimes they feel like that isn’t enough. Even though he’s physically not someone you can relate to because he has hardly any physical weaknesses, emotionally and character-wise, I think he’s the most relatable [character].”
“My Adventures With Superman” will be getting a second season, which was confirmed twice. Once after Adult Swim aired a promo after the season 1 finale aired, confirming that the second season is in production and again when series creator Jake Wyatt confirmed on X that two seasons of the show were ordered by Adult Swim.
The release date for the second season is currently unknown and the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are likely to cause a delay in the second season’s release, but all episodes of the first season can be streamed on Max.