Wednesday, September 13, 2023

My Adventures With Superman: Hero For Everyone

I've said this before: Back in the day when we were all flocking to Marvel movies I was the guy everyone turned to and asked who half these people were, particularly in the post-credit scene where they teased some future story. It was a fine thing to keep people excited about the next movie, but it also sometimes lead to confusion as not everybody would get why there's a dog in a space suit and a cigarette smoking duck hanging out with the Collector, or who those space freaks were with Sylvester Stallone. 

Now cut to my dear friend Thompson, who is a huge super hero fan, particularly Superman. He loves anything Superman related and has taught his kids his love as well, which is beyond adorable and I love it forever. Thompson has always loved the movies and TV shows but isn't that interested in the Superman lore (And who could blame him since there's nearly 100 years worth of it to learn about). He loves the out-of-comic Superman. 

Meanwhile I am a comic book stan fan. I know about Superman, Lois, Jimmy Olsen, the Lois and Jimmy comics way back in the day, Lana Lang, the mermaid he dated briefly, the last dog, horse, monkey and cat of Krypton, him living in the 30th century Futurama style briefly while a teen to help out the Legion of Superheroes, his death, his rebirth, the version in New 52 that dated Wonder Woman, the version in Injustice that tried to police all of Earth, the version in Red Son that turned the Earth into a communist paradise, his different forms in the 90's including long mullet and the Red/Blue saga, and far more than is healthy for any human being to know about a fictional alien. 

We both love My Adventures with Superman. 

Reboot with Nods

My Adventures with Superman is a retelling of the classic Superman story, starting when Clark and Jimmy start as interns at the Daily Planet and meet forever intern Lois. Superman is still trying to figure out his powers while starting his new journalism career and falling for Lois. All of this is hampered by the fact that his space ship, which is usually the repository for his Kryptonian backstory, doesn't speak English, so he has no idea what the bearded man in the hologram is talking about. We see Clark trying to balance his life, usually failing, all while trying to uncover the mystery of a pile of alien weapons that have ended up on the streets of Metropolis. 

Here's why I had two whole paragraphs describing my friend and I's different involvements with this franchise: There's nothing anyone needs to know about Superman to enjoy My Adventures with Superman. They don't hammer the lore over your head like some versions (*cough* Superman Returns *cough*) they just let the characters play out naturally and give tiny nods here and there for the super fans. 

After each episode, Thompson and I would frantically text each other geeking out about the new villain they revealed, or how this person learned this thing or whatever happened. I guessed a couple things beforehand but they're was still so much that was fresh and fun to watch that I had no problems knowing one or two things. Thompson loved the down-to-earth depiction of Superman and how absolutely adorkably relatable he is, and while I'm not a fan of Lois Lane (or superhero girlfriends in general, Mary Jane Watson, you human shaped pile of useless) I actually found myself loving Lois and Clark's relationship more than I ever had. 


The animation style can be classified as "Wanname", meaning it looks like anime but isn't made in Japan (See also Legend of Korra, Avatar the Last Airbender, Legend of Vox Machina...) and frankly


Yes I love many of the live action movies, and I think it's astonishing how they can make them look and feel like the comic books themselves, but you want to know an easy way to also accomplish that without CG and a massive warehouse full of green screens? Animate everything. 

I seriously could watch walking animations and movement gifs from the show all day, just admiring how stunning the animation is. This is a feast for the eyes for anyone who want to see their Superman the way they've always pictured him. If they did any other superhero show with the same animation you can bet you'd be finding me right there watching transfixed like I was hypnotized by a mind control ray. 

The Gates Are Open

My Adventures with Superman is frankly what DC needs if they truly want to keep their heroes relevant. A show that respects all sides of the fandom and doesn't just cater to the Uber geeks. I don't need to make Thompson read all my comics Clockwork Orange style, or put a drill to my frontal lobe so I forget all the lore so we can enjoy this show together. We're both on a level playing field learning about these characters and going on adventures with them, as it should be. 

I should probably say that on the opposite end of the scale, besides my snide comments, would be the show Young Justice. Now I love Young Justice but they are constantly dropping in new characters, places and scenarios without explaining who they are, just expecting the audience to know who this character is and why they're so important. A show like this I probably couldn't enjoy with Thompson because the show clearly knows who it wants to appeal to: The hardcore fans and frankly I hate that. I want to be able to share my love for these characters without having to host a masters degree level training on how the DC universe works, and it's not fair to expect him to have to have it all explained to him just so the show makes any sense. If we want our beautiful fandoms to stay alive we need to embrace all fans no matter how much they've read, seen, played or cosplayed and the studios need to as well, and it looks like they have with at least one. 


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