‘My Adventures With Superman’ Producer Josie Campbell Blames Warner Bros. For Series’ Avoidance Of Classic Villains
It wasn’t the first DC cartoon to institute such an embargo, but My Adventures With Superman made a point to avoid the elite establishment of Metropolis rogues. That meant no Lex Luthor for now and we finally know why. The show’s co-producer reveals the abrogation was a mandate that came from her corporate bosses at Warner Bros. — primarily.
“Some of it was…Warner Bros…and I think it was a good note. Like our big execs on Warner Brothers were like, ‘Well, these are the big hitters that everybody’s seen and everybody’s expecting. And we’ve seen this a million times, so we want your twists on things,’” Josie Campbell explained on the Comics Cube YouTube show, as transcribed by The Direct.
“And I think it was Sam Register…and Audrey Diehl, who were doing notes with us, were like, ‘These characters take up the whole screen. They kind of suck the air out because they’re so famous, and there’s so many expectations, so hold off on them,” she continued. “Hold off on these characters, and build the story how you see fit.’”
The idea was to start small. “And so that’s sort of what we did, was… we were like, ‘Okay, we’re not gonna have Lex Luthor. We are not going to have the Brainiac stuff coming in. We’re going to start small, we’re going to start with…Clark is still learning his powers and figuring out who he is,” Campbell said.
They wanted to feature “weirder, lesser-known villains,” albeit redesigned and “build up.” Campbell illustrated, “And then we got to build up to General Lane, who is a big Superman supporting character…it was very important for us to grow to love Clark, Jimmy, and Lois and get invested in their relationship…before we throw giant, world-spanning characters…into the mix.”
That thinking didn’t apply to Deathstroke, who was there to shake things up, because Campbell and fellow showmakers Jake Wyatt and Brendan Clogher are fans of the character. “And then it was really fun finding their voices in that scene with Livewire and Deathstroke facing up against each other. It was really fun,” she said.
MAWS also featured Amanda Waller and a new version of Task Force X, which Campbell hopes will eventually resemble the Suicide Squad we all know. “And here’s our different version of Task Force X, and you can see how it’s slowly morphing into maybe closer to the version that we all know because now Amanda Waller’s in charge,” she said.
My Adventures With Superman will come back for a second season that will bring in old favorites Zod and Brainiac, who seem to be working together.