If you were to ask me if I wanted to watch another telling of Superman's origin story in any medium yesterday, I would have groaned in total exhaustion with one of fiction's most widely repeated narratives getting another go. But today I'm watching My Adventures with Superman, Adult Swim and Max's new anime-style Superman cartoon, and damned if I'm not completely enchanted and delighted by its approach to the story of Clark Kent becoming Superman.
From the opening scene of the first episode, 'Adventures of a Normal Man, Part One,' My Adventures with Superman takes an emotional approach to Clark Kent's journey to discovering his powers and history, with enough twists on his classic origin to carry viewers who know the story through.
The story is also heavily steeped in the DC Universe, from the show's first villain Livewire (who originally debuted in the '90s Superman: The Animated series before coming to comics), to the larger storyline that's being set up involving Kryptonian technology and several DC characters viewers are likely to recognize.
In its first two episodes, My Adventures with Superman focuses on easing readers into a whole new vision of the DC Universe with some different relationships and previously untold storylines by wrapping the whole thing in a version of Clark Kent's origin as Superman that has just enough of the familiar to get away with straying farther and farther from the traditional story that's been told time and again as the episodes go on.
But what really makes My Adventures with Superman work is its cast and its sense of humor, from its core trio of moral center Clark Kent, chaos goblin Lois Lane, and cryptid conspiracist Jimmy Olsen, whose chemistry establishes a perfect base for revisiting the start of Superman's career in a new way.
Here's the entire first episode, courtesy of the official Adult Swim YouTube channel:
If there's a comic to compare My Adventures with Superman with, it's undoubtedly Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu's Superman: Birthright, with its focus on Clark Kent coming to terms with his identity and discovering what it means to be Superman. But in the show, it's all filtered through a satisfyingly shonen and sentai-inspired lens - like Warner Bros. applying lessons learned from My Hero Academia in real time.
If you've been longing for a version of Superman that's designed to make you smile from the moment you start watching while also delivering some of the most interestingly and keenly animated Superman action in a long time, My Adventures with Superman is exactly what you've been waiting for. And if it's in any way indicative of the new direction the live action Superman will take under the restructured DC Films, we're in for a real treat.
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