Two Lanes Diverged

My Adventures of Superman returns for episode four. As the title indicates it’s a very Lois centric episode, but that’s not all. We get some great Lex and another villain reimagining.

Lex Luthor with a purple and green letterman jacket standing in front of a screen that says The Superman Problem. Jimmy Olsen looking despondent in the background.

Jimmy’s Wealth Watch

Jimmy is invited to speak at the S.T.A.R. Labs Symposium on aliens. He finished episode two with $3,754,082, but when he rolls up in the limo here he’s already down to $3,574,082. I wonder if that’s a typo by the show? He spends another $370,080 on symposium prep bringing him to $3,204,002. It’s been fun to watch him dwindle his millions. The comic added a days till Jimmy is solvent” countdown which was also super clever.

While in the limo Clark reads the names of the other speakers: CEO Hamilton who has a history of being both a friend and foe to Superman. General Wade Eiling who is another generic villainous DC Comics general. Senator Sackett who in the comics was just a mayor and Luthor puppet.

Missed Connections

Both Lois and Clark are going through issues this week and they don’t get a chance to support each other. It can sometimes be frustrating in a television show that needs to stretch out the story when two characters have drama simply because they don’t talk to each other. We don’t get that here thankfully. They want to share what’s going on, but there are things that have been keeping them apart. It also felt very natural at the end of the episode when Clark doesn’t hear Lois say she loves him because he’s weird. He just hears that he’s weird.

This Clark has always been self conscious about being different. He’s got the support of Lois and Jimmy and when he feels like he doesn’t have that it’s extra difficult for him. Lex and General Lane take that away from him this episode so he resorts to calling Kara. We’ll see if that turns out to be a good idea.

Lois is hurt that her dad is always moving around, always leaving. Never being there with her and for her. I’m glad this Lois didn’t have to deal with season two Dean Cain Superman. The General sees that Lois has been hurt running from Task Force X and he can’t put her in danger so he runs again.

Little Lois Flashbacks

I loved the flashbacks this week. Seeing a young Lois and her relationship evolve with her father gave depth to both characters. I’ll note that it looks like no Lucy in this universe. I also loved the Korean name for Lois’ mother: Umma, silver star, Eun Byeol, 은별. Again, it was additive to the character in a way I loved.

Chekhov’s gun

While Jimmy and Clark check out S.T.A.R. Labs we see a bunch of weapons that have been developed. These come back in classic 3rd act fashion when Lois and her father are chased by Task Force X.

The uselessness of the best tech against Superman allows Lex to twist everyone in the most perfect Luthor way. Despite having a full head of hair this show nails Luthor. He was giving Luthor speeches last season when we only knew him as Alex. Connecting him with Star Labs, the military, and the US Senate against Superman is going to cause some major issues for Clark.

Toyman

This week’s villain reimagining is Winslow Schott. Once I saw the bear I had a feeling and it was confirmed very quickly. Winslow is not someone to be trusted, and I’m surprised General Lane got duped by him. I don’t forsee him being a threat to Superman, but he was building a model of The Brain from last season. Maybe he’ll help supply Task Force X with more weapons.

Brainiac

Is that him floating over Earth? It was teased he was going to be a big part of this season, but we are almost halfway through. I hope we don’t end on a cliffhanger, since season three hasn’t been confirmed yet!

June 12, 2024 MAWS

Superman Day 2024

I am back home from the 2024 Superman Celebration; just in time for the 4th Superman related holiday of the year. We’ve had Superman’s Birthday, Superman’s Earth Day, Miracle Monday, and now Superman Day. I think this one is the least special of the days—I certainly don’t need an excuse to celebrate the Man of Steel.

Speaking of Man of Steel, the 2013 release was how we got this Superman Day in the first place. Also speaking of Man of Steel, All Star Superfan podcast has an excellent episode about the John Byrne miniseries. I had so much to say about this mini that I didn’t get it all down in time to send it in to them before they released their episode. Going to try and get an email out to them commending them on another excellent podcast. These guys are my favorite Superman podcast currently

Travel slowed me down, but don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about My Adventures with Superman! I’ll be back later today with my thoughts on episode four. For now enjoy this Celebration photo dump!

A mural of Action Comics #1 on the side of the Super Museum. It depicts Superman smashing a green sedan with the occupants running away scared

A polaroid photo of the Superman status leaping off the side of the Super Museum

Kristen Kreuk standing in front of the giant Superman status in Metropolis

Bitsie Tulloch being interviewed on the main stage

Brandon Routh being interviewed on the main stage

The Rinaldi family; hosts of Superman Jeopardy on stage behind the Jeopardy table

June 12, 2024

Adventures of Superman in Good Quality?

a close up of the color years Superman shield from Adventures of Superman

Earlier this week YouTuber James In Search of Physical Media” dropped the news that Adventures of Superman is coming to blu-ray next year. Huge if true, but no other news sites have corroborated. In the video he explains that the show is getting a brand new 4K scan for this edition. Other than that he was light on any additional details. So I’m left with some questions.

The first question is an easy one. When is it coming? Probably a safe bet that it will be timed around the new movie. It could be slated for when the new movie hits theaters July 11, 2025. It could be a couple months later when the movie comes to home media. I’d guess second half of next year.

My second question: if they are doing 4K scans why is it only coming to blu-ray? Why not 4K UHD? I assume blu-rays are cheaper to produce and definitely have a wider install base. Most VOD platforms don’t offer television shows in 4K either. It would be nice to get these in the best possible quality.

Are all the seasons coming in one box set or will it be spread over several volumes like last time? The show evolved significantly over it’s first three years so the separation made sense in the earlier releases. Separating them also made each purchase a little bit more manageable. Plus, it required them to have special features for each collection.

Speaking of special features, are we getting anything new? Any new retrospectives? I’m betting they’ll drop the old featurettes in standard definition on the discs just like the Smallville blu-rays. I’d like to get something new though. Maybe with the cast or creative crew from the new movie?

What versions are we getting? The first season episode Crime Wave has two distinct versions. One available on the DVD and a different cut on VOD services like iTunes. I’m not an Adventures of Superman expert (I’m trying though, reading some books along with my rewatch) but I gather that other episodes were recut or edited and that’s what ended up on the DVDs.

Which leads me to my final question. Will they give this release the attention to detail the show deserves? Judging by the Fleischer blu-ray release I’m not confident they will. That release expounded upon the errors in the 2006 release despite Warners marketing hyping the restoration effort. On the current edition it’s clear that in some of the second season episodes they use the introduction from season one. So like the Fleischer releases there is a precedence of mistakes. I’m going to hope against hope that they don’t try to make these releases look modern. Yeah it would be great if they had a cleaner print of The Stolen Costume, but if they scrub out all the grain and ruin the picture it would be heartbreaking.

Now that this is off my chest it’s time to fly to Metropolis. Unlike Clark, I’ll need to take a plane. Superman Celebration time!

June 6, 2024 WB

My Adventures with Superman Comics

After writing almost 700 words to try and help someone out on Reddit—and only getting 3 likes—I wanted to continue my coverage of My Adventures with Superman. But we’ve already talked about this week’s episode you say? But there is a new comic book I say!

My Adventures with Superman cover showing their anime version of Mxyzptlk floating above Superman who is love down and surprised

Back in 2016 Disney released the animated Christmas special Duck the Halls” as part of a then ongoing series of Mickey Mouse shorts. These shorts are delightful and I highly recommend them. In the Christmas special Donald and Daisy are preparing to go south for the winter while Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy prepare for Christmas. Donald who, as a duck, has never celebrated Christmas, decides he wants to stay. Hijinks ensue. Ducks can’t handle cold winters! The main chunk of the special is the gang going through Mickey’s list of must-do Christmas activities to make it the best Christmas ever. How is that related to Superman? Well in this issue Lois and Jimmy are planning to do the same thing fo Clark!

It’s Clark’s first Christmas in Metropolis, but before that he’s got to deal with a new threat that almost knocked down the Daily Planet. Clark can be forgiven for thinking this is Ivo/Parasite again considering the character’s design. Even if Parasite is still frozen in the middle of the city as seen on page three. I didn’t even think of frozen Parasite when Ivo was back in Task Force X custody at the start of season two. I wonder if that will get addressed in this series.

I loved the misunderstanding Superman has with this new unnamed character. So far this Superman has solved his problems with punching bad guys in robot suits (or bad robots). This robot suit looks like a villain, but actually needs his help. I like the idea of Clark learning to talk before punching. Great opportunity for character growth.

I also like the MAWS-universe version of Bloodsport. He’s got a very DCEU inspired design and you can’t go wrong with Idris Elba. It looks like he’s working for a rival faction of Checkmate. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out with the Checkmate that was mentioned on the show. I also wonder if things that happen in the book will reflect in the show since they do have Josie Campbell writing. I know it would be tough to reference a character seen only in the comic. They don’t have editors notes on cartoons and they can’t expect every viewer to have read the book.

I liked the art on the book by Pablo M. Collar (colors by Nick Filardi). I’ve seen their art previously in some DC anthology books, but this is the first time I’ve seen them on a full issue. The art evokes the characters designs from the cartoon while also being in their style. A tough needle to thread I’d imagine.

My shop knows me so they held all the variant covers for me. I especially like the Riley Rossmo variant with Mxyzptlk; I’m a Mxy mark. The main cover by Carli Squitieri is right out of the show (although not set during Christmas like the issue). Gavin Guidry’s variant has been one of my iPhone wallpapers since it was first announced. It’s an iconic Superman & Lois image. I believe the Character Design” variant is credited to Warner Brothers animation which is a little weird. A person drew the cover, you should credit them. Even if it was a team of people! Credit them!

Overall an excellent first issue and addition to the universe!

June 5, 2024 MAWS

DC Comics Style Guide

Tuesday post! Lots to cover before Superman Celebration this week. Today it’s José Luis García-López’s Style Guide. Praise be his name.

Yesterday press releases went out to comics media about the upcoming reprint of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. All across the media we got stories with the lede DC Comics has announced the long-awaited reissue of its 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. Even my beloved Superman Homepage got in on the action.

The problem? They ran stories with this exact same news last month. The preorder has been available for weeks. The last issue of Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong had an ad with a QR code to preorder on the back cover. A book that shipped two weeks ago.

advertisement for the reissue of the 1982 DC Comics Style Guide. Featuring art by José Luís Garcia-López depicting Batman standing with his hands on his hips; plus a close up of Batman’s face. Multiple Batman logos and an old Batman wordmark.

Strangely, it was the only comic I got with that ad on the back; usually all books in a week have the same back cover ads. Doc Shaner had a different version of the ad on the back of a Green Lantern issue; but my copies of Green Lantern and Green Lantern: War Journal from April and May had different ads.

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A post shared by Doc Shaner (@doc_shaner)

I understand that publications wanted to run the latest press release from DC, but it was weird to read it without publishers providing any context. There are new details in there, but no mention that this had already been announced. Or that they already linked to the preorder a month ago. Each website just copies the press release verbatim and passes it off as their own original writing or reporting. I almost felt like I was dropped into Earth-2 reading announcement news articles about a book that I had already pre-ordered.

13th Dimension gave some good context in their post last week.

The original Style Guide was looseleaf, so there are a ton of copies out there that are an amalgam of different years; the source for the company’s edition — officially licensed by DC — is one such version.

I have an original copy in my collection, but as mentioned it’s looseleaf. Not every page is included in every copy. A Facebook user José Luis García-López Fans” shared some great scans and their version includes many pages (like the awesome Supermobile) not in my copy.

Despite these breathless articles, this isn’t the first time DC has made some of this work available commercially. The DC Through The 80s: The End of Eras hardcover has some reprinted pages; although they are smaller than the originals. We also have the upcoming July variant covers. Surprisingly, none of this work is included in the two excellent Adventures of Superman José Luis García-López” hardcovers.

I remember as a kid in the 90s wondering why no Superman merchandise had the Superman I was reading in the comics. I saw the same few Superman images everywhere, the same ones I had seen since before I was reading on VHS tapes and Super Powers toys. I just called him the marketing” Superman. It wasn’t until years later when I learned about the Style Guide and gained a newfound appreciation for JLGL’s phenomenal work. I am eagerly anticipating having this hardcover in my collection.

animated gif with many pages from the DC Style Guide. Various DC heroes showcased including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman

June 4, 2024 Design

Fullmetal Scientist

We’re back for episode three of My Adventures with Superman”! We’ve got some new characters, plus the show continues to push our main three forward. Less of a recap this week than my assorted thoughts on what we saw this episode.

Picture of Superman glowing blue with his new power

Before I start I’d like to point readers to a great podcast with one of the show runners Jake Wyatt. There are lots of promotional interviews around hyping up this new season, but this is one of the most in depth interviews I’ve heard about the show. He talks about the conception, influence, and creation. Along with giving credit to all the great collaborators he’s had. I highly recommend a listen.

Superman Homepage has another interview with Josephine Campbell airing tonight. I’m looking forward to it, their interview last season was great. She’s also writing this week’s tie-in comic.

Who is the Fullmetal Scientist?

Last week I assumed the title was referring to Luthor. After all, he ended the episode as Task Force X’s new chief scientist. If I had given it 10 seconds more thought though I would have landed on John Henry Irons. He is the character that gets the suit of armor—although Al isn’t the Fullmetal Alchemist; his brother is. Steel has been a favorite character of mine since his debut in Reign of the Supermen, so I always enjoy when he shows up. He even mentions his niece Natasha is a Flame Bro.

Like his debut in the comics Irons starts out working for Amertek, but he ends up working against them. Thomas Weston in this version is just a light weight version of Ivo from last season though. He has a pretty similar arc. Has a new technology, doesn’t listen to his advisors because he only cares about the glory, consequences. This show loves their shitty billionaires I guess.

Rather than give us a new villain directly like Parasite, this time we get Steel, possibly the Lexor suit, and the show’s take on Metallo.

Metallos

Not quite The Metal Man” or The Man with the Kryptonite Heart” this show’s interpretation of Metallo is an army of robots. They aren’t wildly different than the Brainiac drones or any of the Kryptonian inspired tech Livewire was dealing with last season. Definitely no T-800 influence on this one. The main difference between these robots and others we’ve seen is their unstable power core which is important for this episode and I’m betting the future of the show.

I liked the multiple Metallos and it worked for the show’s focus on technology based foes. Mechanical Monsters are perfect for Superman in a kids show because he can really let loose without hurting people. Plus there is a comic precedence for multiple Metallos.

Comic book panel from Superman #423. Several of the pre-crisis orange and green Metallos are climbing up the side of the Daily Planet building on a rope. There is a speech bubble that says “We’re being boarded by Metallos!”

The episode ends with Luthor in control of the Metallos and of John Henry’s Steel armor. I’m willing to bet Luthor will solve their power core problem by using Kryptonite, truly living up to being a Metallo. Not sure if we’ll get Corben though. I also bet Lex will use Steel’s armor to make a Lexo suit. Just needs a coat of paint.

Livewire is back!

I’m a big Livewire fan so it was good to see her again. I’m still enjoying this show’s interpretation of her as well. I wish she had a bit more agency here. Working for this small time character as an enforcer is below her. I hope there is more in store for her.

Superman adaptations have a history of being additive to the mythology. From Kryptonite to Perry White to flight to Kryptonian crystals and Jor-El with the S. Livewire is a great example of that. I wonder what this show will end up adding rather than adapting. Maybe the League of Lois Lanes will be the show’s lasting legacy.

Other Cyborgs

It’s clever with the show’s focus on tech-based villains to introduce interprations of three of the big cyborg characters in DC. Hank Henshaw in episode one being Cyborg Superman, the main villain of this episode Metallo (despite this version not being a cyborg—yet), and finally Silas Stone father of Cyborg from the Teen Titans and Justice League. It’s mentioned his son is young so maybe we aren’t getting that character directly, but still a mention.

Balancing character development

One of the things that showrunner Jake Wyatt mentions in the aforementioned interview is they wanted to make sure character development for Lois, Clark, and Jimmy did not suffer in season two as they expand the world. I’m glad to report so far they have been successful.

Jimmy who last episode was giving advice to Luthor; gets some advice from Irons. He’s learning what it means to be a leader in his new role running the Flamebird division of the Daily Planet. Side note: I need Jimmy’s wallpaper and Flamebird sound for my phone ASAP.

Lois and Clark both have new secrets from each other that they both want to share, but life keeps getting in the way. Lois with her job offer from rival Vicky Vale and Clark with his search for cousin Kara Zor-El. Both have the power to hurt our heroes as secrets often do. Plus we have the General who will undoubtedly cause some relationship strife.

One thing that didn’t click with me though is Clark was hard on himself for not being able to defeat the Metallos himself and destroy the power core. It really didn’t feel like a failure to me. He worked with his team. Lois, Jimmy, and Flip with their flying newsroom, Irons with his hammer, and Clark with his new power. I did like Clark’s article at the end. Clark understands he needs to work with his Superman Family to do the most good. He wouldn’t have gotten this far without Lois and Jimmy.

New Powers!?

One of the many great things about My Adventures With Superman is how the act of helping people unlocks his powers

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— Truth Justice and Hope (@aboutsuperman.bsky.social) Jun 2, 2024 at 8:49 AM

I couldn’t say it better myself. This episode has another example of that.

In the 90s the writers no longer wanted Superman’s costume to be his Kryptonian blankets. They wanted to be able to have his cape get torn up, but the costume stay in good shape as bullets bounce off his chest. They came up with an explanation that he had an aura around him that would cover his costume, but not his cape. They expanded on that with Conner/Superboy and his tactile telekinesis powers, but it wasn’t really explored as a new power for Clark. MAWS expands on this a bit. It seems he can extend that field to protect others or as he shows in the end of the episode hold in an explosion.

Two Lanes Diverged

Looks like next week we’ll get some Lois and the general drama which I’m looking forward to. Tune in again for the next thrilling episode with Superman!

June 3, 2024 MAWS