‘My Adventures With Superman’ Season 2 Review: The Best Family Superhero Series Still Soars in Its Sophomore Season

The animated series returns this Saturday to Adult Swim.
My Adventures with Superman
My Adventures with Superman /

As a parent, it’s sometimes tough to justify showing my kids superhero fare. Granted there are definitely darker, grittier things out there, but every live-action movie aims for a PG-13 rating. There’s always a little cursing to seem edgy, someone dies in a non-bloody way, and things explode. As a lover of superheroes, I want to share these stories with my kids – but it’s often a little too much, and doesn’t dig into the core ethos of being a superhero.

Thank goodness, then, for My Adventures With Superman. It’s the best family superhero series on TV – and based on two episodes provided to critics for review, soars as high as ever in Season 2.

You probably are familiar with this Superman guy, but the Adult Swim series (yes, this inexplicably airs Saturdays at Midnight on Adult Swim, a network known for its raunchy fare, not earnest superhero romance stories) reimagines Clark and his world from the ground up. Featuring the voices of Jack Quaid as the Man of Steel, Alice Lee as Lois Lane, and Ishmel Sahid as Jimmy Olsen, Season 1 reframed the trio as interns at the Daily Planet. While Clark Kent figures out his new powers and identity as Superman, Lois flexes her burgeoning skills as an investigative reporter, and Jimmy builds a viral following, they also have to contend with classic villains like Parasite and Deathstroke in a new light.

My Adventures with Superman /

But the biggest difference between this show and the comic source material is that it takes at least part of its inspiration from the style of Shōnen anime. That specifically refers to material that’s targeted towards younger boys, but there’s nothing exclusionary about the series. In fact, it leans into Shōjo (material aimed at young women) as well thanks to the strong, equal focus on Lois and her personal trials. And in the midst of all this, there’s plenty of romance, some hilarious comedy, and big mysteries about Clark’s past on Krypton that find the dead planet an ongoing threat to his new home on Earth.

What works about the show, and what continues to work in Season 2 is that despite the turns from established continuity, it stays true to Superman’s earnest core throughout. Yes, there’s danger, big robots, and lots of lasers. There’s heartbreak and heartache. And sure, the romance might turn some younger “yech, kissing!” viewers off (though perhaps of note, my very much “yech, kissing!” nine-year-old loves every minute of this series). But at its core, it’s a cartoon that works for viewers of all ages.

Given that we’re talking about Superman, a character who was created and continues to serve as a beacon of hope to millions of people around the world, but is often treated as anything but, that’s an incredible win. We’re not getting the neck-snapper of the big screen, or a twisted Superman stand-in delighting in murder like over on The Boys. This is Superman, the ideal version of the character, brought to life with charm and grace.

And My Adventures With Superman doesn’t make things easy on Clark. In the first two episodes of Season 2 alone he faces deadlier enemies, the rise of a new classic antagonist in Lex Luthor, and a huge change in his own status quo in terms of the impending introduction of Supergirl, another Kryptonian. Things are tough for Superman, but he perseveres by relying on his friends and thinking his way out of situations. It’s exactly the sorts of lessons you hope superheroes will impart – but “fans” of the characters often ask for edgier, darker versions instead.

So whether you’re a die-hard Superman fan, or have never checked out the character before… My Adventures With Superman is for everyone. Kids and adults alike will fall in love with this series. And here’s hoping like Superman himself, it inspires the rest of superhero media to remember: this is supposed to be for everyone.

My Adventures With Superman Season 2 premieres Saturday, May 25, at midnight ET/PT on Adult Swim, and streams the next day on Max.

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