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Adult Swim's 'My Adventures With Superman' Is Good! Its Time Slot Is Not!

By Claude Weaver III | TV | July 11, 2023 |

By Claude Weaver III | TV | July 11, 2023 |


In what a more cynical person would call a desperate attempt to distract from their recent half-billion dollar (at least) cinematic boondoggle, the minds behind the New DC Film Universe (as opposed to the DCEU, which will most likely be considered dead from now on, Aquaman 2 notwithstanding) announced the casting of Clark Kent/Superman and Lois Lane for Superman: Legacy. This was met with a resounding “Yeah, they sound fun, but the casting is the least of our worries at this point.”

You’d be forgiven for not remembering that another Superman project debuted recently as well, the animated My Adventures with Superman series on Adult Swim. With an all-ages approach, this series continues the current trend towards a more light-hearted take on the Man of Steel, previously demonstrated on the CW’s Superman & Lois and leading up to the upcoming Legacy.

First, the actual show: it’s fun! As you can tell from the images and trailer, they have gone with an anime-esque look for the series provided by Studio Mir, who started out on Avatar: The Legend of Korra and have their fingerprints on a number of DC animated projects, including Young Justice and Harley Quinn. So, already in good hands. The action is clear and dynamic, the visual effects of Clark’s powers are solid and evocative, and the sound and music are appropriately joyful with a tinge of bombast.

The first episode, “Adventures of a Normal Man”, follows Clark (Jack “Name A Nerd Property I’m NOT In” Quaid, The Boys, Star Trek: Lower Decks) and his roommate/best friend Jimmy Olsen (Ishmel Sahid, Jury Duty) as they start their internships at the Daily Bugle, only to run into Lois Lane (Alice Lee, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) in a simple meet-cute at a corner store, only to later discover she is also the intern meant to train them on the job when she isn’t constantly exasperating their boss Perry White. She immediately drags the pair into her plan to bust open a story about stolen military weapons. As you might guess, trouble ensues.

This episode is clearly meant to establish the central trio for the audience, and it does admirably. Quaid infuses his Clark with the expected idealism and wide-eyed “aw shucks” attitude without being cloying. He’s just a normal guy trying to make it through the day. Doesn’t everyone accidentally break door handles when they thought they were at a “pull” instead of a “push”? This version of Jimmy Olsen keeps his photography talent, only now he’s totally convinced that the paranormal and aliens are real and responsible for anything remotely outside the norm. The twist is that everything he says is a reference to actual DC stories or characters, some that might end up in the show later (there is a great line about Monsieur Mallah that was practically written for me).

And then there is Lois Lane. When people say Superman is hard to write for, I roll my eyes. But Lois Lane? Now that’s a challenge. Despite being the archetypical damsel-in-distress history-wise, only the most hack writers would portray such a rich character as only a constantly doe-eyed beholder of Supes’ might. You already have the uphill battle of trying to compare to Margot Kidder, and then modernize the character for 2023 as well? I do not envy anyone who had that job. Fortunately, they nailed it with Alice Lee’s Lois. She has the stubbornness to lead the trio into trouble, but she’s not so oblivious to the danger that you wonder why they even bother being around her. And not only is the chemistry between her and Quaid strong from the jump, but while Clark is totally crushing on her, he’s also not a pushover and makes Lois realize when she has gone too far. It’s a nice way to show them as emotional equals.

So, here I am, telling you about a fun show clearly meant for anyone and everyone to enjoy, and now you want to watch it. But wait, you say, didn’t I say this was on Adult Swim? The programming block literally named to indicate that it wasn’t for kids? How did that happen, and how does that work for watching it?

Well, as stated before, Warner Bros. Discovery is having a time of it. Originally My Adventures with Superman was meant to air on Cartoon Network and HBO Max, with a two-season order already in place (which means you won’t have to worry about early cancellation… yet). But somehow, it ended up getting shuffled to Adult Swim of all places. Currently, it is airing on Thursdays… AT MIDNIGHT. But there is a rebroadcast on Saturdays… ALSO AT MIDNIGHT. And then there is the next day streaming on HBO Max.

Considering both Teen Titans and Young Justice suffered multiple scheduling changes that eventually made them practically impossible for their fans to keep up with, I am not thrilled with this. Again, a more cynical person would surmise that this was an attempt to tank the show since they couldn’t get out of it any other way (and remember, these are the Batgirl folks, they are clearly not afraid to just shove a completed project into the bin). Maybe with the big Superman reboot on the way, they figured some synergy with WB Animation and their whole-ass cartoon channel would be worth it, but not enough to put it where most kids (if not anyone else) could see it. Or maybe they think everyone will just get HBO Max.

That is the biggest hindrance to this show: availability. It feels disrespectful not only to the potential audience (who may want a simple yet well-produced cartoon for all ages if they know when it is on) but to the people who worked on it as well. To be fair, getting anything, much less an animated project from the previous regime, out the doors at all is some kind of victory. And maybe the late broadcast time means the usual internet CHUDs will stop whining about Lois and Jimmy not being visibly Caucasian (again). Yeah, apparently that has been a big deal or whatever. Then again, we know all about the redhead erasure conspiracy.

So catch it while you can, everyone. I guess I better figure out how to program the DVR again.

My Adventures with Superman airs on Adult Swim Thursdays (at F*CKING MIDNIGHT WTF) and Saturdays (at MIDNIGHT AGAIN SERIOUSLY). But you can at least see the first episode for free on the Adult Swim YouTube channel.