My Adventures with Superman season 1, episode 1 recap: Adventures of a Normal Man Part 1

My Adventures with Superman. Image courtesy HBO Max, Warner Bros. Animation
My Adventures with Superman. Image courtesy HBO Max, Warner Bros. Animation /

The new Superman animated series, My Adventures with Superman, premiered this month opening up with a quiet scene featuring a young Clark Kent. While playing outside, a car on the road starts to lose control.

Clark, trying to save the car, seems to unlock powers that he didn’t realize he had. By the end of the scene, Clark has saved the car and learned that he can fly for the first time.

My Adventures with Superman season 1, episode 1 recap – First day on the job…just being a normal guy…

After the cold open, we jump forward in time to the present day, where Clark is about to start his first day of his new internship at The Daily Planet alongside his roommate Jimmy Olsen. This is Clark before Superman.

He’s not worried about saving the world, as he’s just trying to fit in, and be a normal person like everyone else. However, he still doesn’t have full control of his powers and accidentally breaks a few things while getting ready in the morning trying to adjust how much strength he uses for each activity.

At the doughnut shop, Clark runs into Lois, and its attraction at first sight. But the attempt at a smooth introduction goes off the rails thanks to the shop owner commenting on how many doughnuts Clark eats and giving him a bib to wear while eating.

Fortunately, Clark gets a second chance to make an impression, because it turns out Lois is also an intern at The Daily Planet, and it’s her job to train the new interns. Unfortunately, Lois is eager to prove herself as a journalist, to the point where she actively pursues stories that the editor, Perry White, is telling her to leave alone.

Lois believes that there are stolen military robots being smuggled through Metropolis. In order to pursue the story, she lies to Clark and Jimmy, telling them that their intern assignments are to gather information on the story.

At first their research is a success, talking to the paper delivery kids, and putting together the clues to find where the robots are likely being stored. However, after Lois dodges Perry’s phone calls all day, Perry finally calls Clark and tells him that Lois is disobeying his instructions.

Clark confronts Lois about lying to him and leaves, heading back to The Daily Planet.

My Adventures with Superman season 1, episode 1 recap – Robot thieves discovered!

Just as Clark leaves, Jimmy and Lois discover the thieves who have stolen the secret military robots and are attacked by the thieves activating one of the robots. Clark returns just in time to fight back against the giant robot and subdue it.

Lois and Jimmy are temporarily saved, but with Clark’s hood up, they can’t tell who their savior is. Meanwhile in response to a flying super man taking down one of their robots, the thieves activate the rest of them who all attack Clark.

As Clark fights the robots, Lois sees an opportunity to help by deactivating the robots. Together the two of them are able to subdue all of the robots just in time.

Clark flies off before looping around and pretending that he was trapped the whole time. Jimmy gets some photos of the mysterious flying man fighting the robots, and the trio of interns present them to Perry as proof that their story instincts were right.

But the pictures are blurry and Clark isn’t visible in any of them. They ask Perry if he’ll run the story and he says that he’ll do that, as soon as they get a photo shoot with their very real flying man who definitely exists.

Lois interprets the brushoff as an actual promise to get her name on a byline, and she excitedly starts making plans for the three of them to track down this Superman, as she’s calling him, and get him in the paper as the first episode comes to a close.

My Adventures with Superman season 1, episode 1 recap – This show feels like Superman

This show appears to be a deliberate throwback to a more nostalgic version of Superman, with everything in the show seemingly designed to reinforce that. The series opens with a young version of Clark, reinforcing the Smallville origins of the character.

One of the first acts of heroism that Clark performs in the show is literally saving a cat that’s stuck in a tree. Even the giant military robots that are the main obstacle in the show appear to be a reference to The Mechanical Monsters, a Superman cartoon from 1941 and one of the most well-known versions of Superman from that era.

Everything about this first episode seems to be set up to make the audience know that this is the classic version of Superman. And it really, really works.

People love saying that Superman wouldn’t work as a character today. He’s too good, or too powerful, or too boring, or whatever the reason you want to pick.

That’s why if you’re going to do a Superman story, you need a take on the character, either making him dark and broody, or taking away all his powers, or any of the other new interpretations of Superman that we’ve gotten over the last two decades or so. And this show is intentionally setting itself in direct opposition to that line of thinking.

It’s going to show how a classic Superman narrative can still work as a modern TV show. And for one episode at least, it’s backing up that claim excellently.

The characters are immediately endearing. Their relationships are fun, including an immediate attraction between Lois and Clark that does nothing to diminish their characters individually.

The animation is excellent and the action scenes in the third act still feel like a good Superman-style set piece. While DC has struggled in the realm of movies for almost a decade at this point, their animation output has continued to be stellar that whole time and this looks like it’s going to continue that trend.

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What did you think of My Adventures with Superman season 1 episode 1? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Stay tuned for a new episode July 7 on Max.