Welcome to the Couch Club, our recurring column devoted to all things #DCTV! This week, Kelly Knox admires My Adventures with Superman and how it portrays the Man of Steel in a new light.
In My Adventures with Superman, Clark Kent is Superman.
“Well, duh,” you’re probably thinking.
But in some versions of our beloved hero’s origin story, Clark Kent is the persona—a bumbling disguise intended to throw Lois Lane and others off his trail. Superman is Superman. (You might have heard this speech in a movie years ago.)
In My Adventures with Superman, which is on a fast track to become my favorite on-screen version of the Man of Steel, Clark Kent is just, well, Clark. And it’s a super engaging Superman story as a result.
The new animated series follows a twentysomething Clark Kent as he discovers who he is and what his place is in the world. In other words, he’s on the same journey just about all twentysomethings undertake. Clark isn’t Kal-El, lonely visitor from another planet floating above humanity. He’s just Clark, a Daily Planet intern who still lives with his college roommate. Oh, and he has some superpowers that he’s still figuring out.
Superman has a very familiar origin story, but the series explores it from a fresh angle: Superman isn’t from Krypton—he’s from Kansas. He’s been sent to Earth and found by the Kents, just like always, but the words “Krypton” and “Kal-El” aren’t uttered. Jor-El who?
Instead, Clark is like any of us, raised by loving parents and off to start a new life in the big city. He’s awkward and nervous for his first day at a new gig. But it’s not an act. It’s just who Clark Kent is.
By making him feel like an actual person, My Adventures with Superman invites viewers to join Clark in adventures that seem more personal than ever. Superman isn’t a perfect, unattainable hero. Just like me, this Superman gets flustered. He puts his foot in his mouth and he makes mistakes in his relationships. He learns from these experiences and keeps going. And I want to stick around to see where the story leads him.
It’s not a coincidence that Superman feels more vulnerable than ever as well. I can’t help rooting for his friendship with Jimmy and crossing my fingers for his romance with Lois. And of course, I’m hoping he stops the big bad robots and other guys up to no good, but those battles feel almost secondary to the overall story.
In a recent interview with DC.com, co-producer Josie Campbell told me, “Clark is human in every way that counts. He just happened to be born on a different planet.”
It’s clear that Josie and the entire creative team understand what makes Superman—and in turn, My Adventures with Superman—special. The result is a Superman series that feels both familiar and authentic, but also entirely unlike anything we’ve seen before. Let’s all hope that there are plenty more of these adventures ahead.
Catch Clark Kent and his friends in new episodes of My Adventures with Superman Thursdays at midnight on Adult Swim and streaming the next day on Max!
Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DC.com and her writing can also be seen on IGN, Nerdist and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and pop culture.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Kelly Knox and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.