June 07, 2024

Article at Batman News

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My Adventures with Superman 2×03 Review – Heavy Metals

When you get into a new relationship, one of the most exciting things is imagining what it might be like to live with that person–to wake up next to them, make dinner with them, and just be around them. The inverse nightmare version of that, then, is probably what Clark is going through as this episode begins: General Lane–fugitive from Task Force X, overly-concerned father, outspoken disliker of Superman–is crashing on Clark and Jimmy’s couch. Spoilers follow for My Adventures with Superman Season 2, Episode 3.

“Fullmetal Scientist”

So far, almost every episode of My Adventures with Superman has felt hugely consequential to the series, introducing some new concept that changes the world around Supes and his friends. This one, in contrast, feels inconsequential.

General Lane is living with Clark and Jimmy. Across town, Amertek is unveiling its new Metallo defense robots. Superman rescues scientist Silas Stone from his burning apartment, and sees a commercial for Amertek hosted by John Henry Irons. Jimmy finally has to navigate being a boss for real, and Lois gets an exciting offer from her greatest competitor/idol.

Lois’ Adventures With Superman

This is a show about Lois and Clark and their relationship first and foremost. As I’ve said before, just look at the title. We’ve had Superman: The Animated Series, and this is My Adventures with Superman. This approach has its upsides and downsides. With the show always keeping tabs on that relationship, we’re less concerned with the idea of giving Superman something to do each week. He’s never absent, but it takes some narrative weight off his Kryptonian deltoids, and he feels somewhat more natural as a character as a result. Clark and Superman are both crucial parts of this character, the ego and superego of the same person. This framing gives us so much more room for both of those to exist without it feeling like one is in service of the other. They just feel like the same guy.

The actual events, though, feel like set-up for the storylines we’re going dive into later in the season. They’re not terribly exciting on their own.

At the front of that is the relationship drama between Lois and Clark. No one is fighting or arguing, but they’re also not just saying the things they need to say. That can and does happen in real life, but real life generally isn’t as tightly paced as My Adventures with Superman has been. Every time Clark says “I need to talk to you about–” and is then steamrolled by Lois’ busy schedule, it feels like time wasted.

Villainous Anticipation

Similarly, the villains are all just building up to something, but it doesn’t feel ominous. It just feels like waiting. Boredom, not anticipation. There are a bunch of threads here: Amanda Waller and Task Force X, (potential) future Cyborg Superman Hank Henshaw, and of course Lex Luthor buying out AmerTek and its new Metallo robots. They all have the potential to be awesome, but right now I’m finding myself waiting for something to happen.

Even Supes’ leveling up didn’t feel as good this time as it has in the past. Previously, these evolutionary moments for the character have taken place under great stress. In some versions of the Superman story, Superman can extend his bioaura. He develops that ability here, but it’s never really discussed. The first time it happens, he just kind of shrugs. The second time, when he does it intentionally, no one talks about it. I’m not the biggest fan of this power–Superman has always felt like a more physical, less magical character to me. His heat vision is the most magical thing about him. The bioaura thing feels like it leans a little harder into the anime-ness of this show a little more than I want it to, though I’m ultimately pretty okay with it.

What I really want to see is for My Adventures with Superman to get back to its tight pacing, where it felt like everything that happened was consequential for at least one character, rather than episodes that feel like they’re just there to lay groundwork.