In May of 2021 DC Kids posted the following tweet (if it’s still up when you read it) to their promotional Twitter account.

We heard nothing about Batman: Caped Crusader or My Adventures With Superman for the next two years. Then yesterday a new tweet about the Superman cartoon came out, but not on DC Kids.

The real news isn’t that it’s finally coming out, despite some of the odd decisions being made lately concerning Warner Brothers Discovery’s animation library and projects, which is an article on its own, but where the show is going. Not to Cartoon Network or HBO Max as originally promoted…but Adult Swim, the Williams Street-run programming block (along with Toonami) on Cartoon Network. This is a very odd choice, taking a kids show and putting it on the adult show period. First let’s look at the actual teaser, then talk about the relocation itself and why it’s so confusing.

Just in case the tweet goes down, or the video won’t run from it on your browser, here’s the same ad from Adult Swim’s YouTube channel.

It doesn’t really tell us much except Superman still has the red trunks, the animation is on par with maybe The Owl House or better, and speaking of that show…Lois still looks like Lutz while Jimmy still looks like he’s the younger version of the guy calling himself Jimmy Olsen on the CBS/CW version of Supergirl. It’s been two years, you saw the complaints by people who actually care about these characters from comics and previous, and you ignored all of them. Lois and Jimmy still aren’t the white people they’ve been for years, and it’s the first animated Jimmy who isn’t a redhead, something I’ve given up on the live-action versions getting right even before the latest one was bald and black while fueling beliefs that Hollywood has it in for redheads.

Artist and YouTuber Trey Mykel (who’s black) even made more accurate designs for Lois and Jimmy that matched the art style. You had the template and you blew it. Again.

All that aside, and granted it is a teaser with less to show us than the one I reviewed last night, I can’t say I hate it. I’m a bit disappointed that Superman is using the Jon Kent logo instead of his own S-shield but given my history trying to draw it I understand it…despite this not being a problem for literally every other animated appearance up to now. The animation has a lot more energy than some other shows out there and the few seconds of voice acting isn’t terrible.

There’s been a lot of buzz about Jack Quaid, who plays one of the assassins in The Boys, a show about evil superheroes we used to call supervillains, and one line of dialog we hear is okay. Alice Lee, who is neither white nor the near-Latina that this Lois is and yet nobody is complaining, also gets one line and it sounded okay, but was cut off quick and the music hides a bit of the dialog. So we don’t get to really hear what either of them can do. Lee’s previous voice acting credit is one episode of Mickey Mouse Funhouse so she may be new to voice acting while having done physical roles in other shows and movies. Quaid has a few more acting credits, including Batman in the adaptation of The Long Halloween and Star Trek: Lower Decks, and something involving Harvey Comics characters where he played Richie Rich in some Netflix cartoon called Harvey Street Girls, later retitled Harvey Girls Forever.

Curiously, IMDB has no listing for Jimmy as of this writing but we do know who is playing Lana Lang, Supergirl, Toyman, and some character named Flip…neither of whom we were even told were going to be in the show. It seems early to even have Supergirl in there if this is supposed to be early in Clark’s superhero and reporting careers. Everyone is listed as only having one episode, making me wonder if this is a full series or a special airing of the pilot. How many episodes did they make of My Adventures With Superman before WBD pulled the plug?

So it doesn’t look terrible, but it doesn’t look right. That question does become a bit more interesting when we get back to the main point: this is going on Adult Swim, so technically still Cartoon Network but not a kids show. It makes me worried the writing will end up closer to what I’ve seen of Harley Quinn because again, we don’t know how many episodes were already done prior to the move, but with the same controversial redesigns for Lois and Jimmy. I also don’t know when the voice cast was put together and sent to the booth. I know good animation takes time to produce but it’s been two years. That seems a bit long, but still enough time to make changes to the script and art. It’s not entirely unlikely that things were changed.

However, the main issue here is that this was intended as a kids show, as in show for kids, not adults. Look at the landscape of DC superhero shows for the younger set. You have Batwheels, a show focusing more on Batman’s cars than Batman, Robin, and Batgirl (no Nightwing, Red Hood would be hard to do for an elementary aged audience, and the rest would be too many), then you have…that’s it. Any other animated works currently available is one movie that left theaters, the occasional direct to video movie, and reruns that are slowly disappearing from HBO Max. Even a Superman with reimagined Jimmy and Lois still gives kids a Superman show of their own…and kids LOVE Superman. I can’t stress that enough. I’ve seen the evidence. The kid with a walker who tracked down a guy in a Superman costume to give him a hug. Superman with other window washers showing up to give the kids in the hospital a fun experience. A kid abused by his guardian grandparents who only found joy in wearing his Superman costume until the abuse led to his death. We all remember Batkid and there are kids who prefer Batman but the Superman fans, and I SCREAM this as someone who was one of those kids and still loves Superman as an adult when he’s done properly, deserve some love, too.

Meanwhile, Batman: Caped Crusader was picked up last month by Amazon, leading fans of other canceled projects to have hope but that’s for the inevitable “what is Zaslav’s people doing to their animation library” commentary. At least the show is coming out for the people who worked on it, adaptation errors sadly remaining, so now we can finally see if this is an otherwise good addition or a trainwreck many thought when they saw new Lois and Jimmy.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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