From its bishonen-inspired interpretation of Deathstroke to its race-swapped Livewire, fans are unhappy with the creative choices taken by DC’s new anime-inspired animated romcom, My Adventures With Superman.
Created by Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 artist Jake Wyatt and co-produced by Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power writer Josie Campbell and storyboard artist Brendan Clogher, the Studio Mir-animated series follows the early days of Clark Kent’s life in Metropolis as he attempts to balance his secret identity with his developing career as an investigative reporter alongside Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.
Distinguishing itself from other such DC TV projects by sporting a very obvious ‘anime’-inspired art style, it appears these ambitions to marry the West and the East have backfired thanks to the series leaning a little hard into the more ‘soft’ elements of its source medium.
One such element to draw the ire of fans was how the titular hero, rather than changing into a separate, physical costume, now switches into his role as the Man of Steel via a new transformation sequence reminiscent of such legendary Japanese series as Sailor Moon or Saint Seiya.
My Adventures with Superman give Kal-El his own Sailor Moon-style transformation sequence! pic.twitter.com/Qvz7VIYjNO
— IGN (@IGN) July 8, 2023
“Every time, EVERYTIME, there is some kind of transformation sequence in American animation now a days it has to be some kind of sailor moon reference,” @austyngraham criticized, sharing a reaction image depicting the King’s death from Shrek the Third emblazoned with the words “*dies from cringe*”. “It just has to be? Why can’t we be original? Like Ben 10.”
“The same people who worked on Netflix She-Ra [and the Princesses of Power] are giving us yet another sh—y Sailor Moon rip-off with possibly more ships and ‘representation’ up the a-s?,” rhetorically asked @lightning_kf. “What a shocker.”
“Bloody really DC why can’t you just do Superman the proper bloody way?” @JedRevanWolf questioned. “Truth justice and the American Way. He’s not bloody Sailor Moon you bunch of wankers.”
Another point of contention was the series’ decision to depict one of the DCU’s strongest and deadliest assassins, Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke, as a near-unrecognizable ‘bishonen’ – a Japanese slang term meaning ‘pretty boy’ normally used in reference to characters whose looks are meant to appeal to more female interests.
“I HATE THIS I HATE THIS I HATE THIS I HATE THIS SO F*CKING MUCH I CANNOT EVEN PUT MY LOATHING INTO MORE WORDS,” @Dragonslay3r94 proclaimed. “Deathstroke is a f–king menace, not some yaoi bait looking dude for Tumblr women to drool over.”
“Why do all the men look like twinks and all the women look like young boys?” asked @C15Podcast. “If you didn’t tell me beforehand who these characters were I would have no idea. That’s bad when you’re adapting something”.
Sharing a clip of the villain’s battle against Robin from the eleventh episode of the original Teen Titans cartoon, Apprentice – Part 1, @IBlue_HeartI explained, “Deathstroke is supposed to be a terrifying and intimidating assassin not some twink that you’d find at a Starbucks.”
Further, some fans were livid over the changes My Adventures with Superman had made to the villainess Leslie Willis, better known by her alter ego of Livewire.
First introduced to the DC canon in the eponymous Season 2 episode of Superman: The Animated Series, the electrifying femme fatale was originally portrayed as a petite white woman who worked as a local Metropolis shock jock.
But in DC’s latest animated endeavor, the chaotic music aficionado has received both a race-swap and a new, more ‘masculine’ bent to both her appearance and personality.
“Livewire should be a former goth looking disc jockey/shock jock who later looks like this,” @DouglasLockwo18 stated. “That abomination in that picture above is 100% NOT Livewire.”
“Livewire is White who later is ghost white with blue hair after the accident,” they noted. “Stop race swapping classic characters.”
“LIVEWIRE WAS NOT BLACK FOR FK SAKE.” @beltran_edd bellowed. “SHE WAS A WHITE GOTH GIRL THAT GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND NEON CHEMICALS THAT MUTATED HER INTO HER ICONIC BLUE SKIN, BLUE EYES AND WHITE THUNDER LIKE HAIRCUT. THIS IS JUST MAKING MY BLOOD BOILED AT LEVELS THAT I NEVER EXPECT TO REACH.”
“That looks like a bloke and Livewire is a woman,” @bedlamcitylimit observed before speculating “I bet they made her Non-Binary.”
“Her costume is also iconic,” they further explained, “with some minor changes between artists and this ‘new’ one just looks too generic.”
New episodes of My Adventures with Superman premiere Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim and Fridays on Max.