Superman (TV Series 1988– ) Poster

(1988– )

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A Forgotten Gem of a Series
Buzz-821 September 2000
Nobody really remembers this animated Superman series because it only lasted for about 2 months. It was a twenty minute episode followed by a five minute "Smallville Journal" that told something about Superman's youth. This was the only time any series has even remotely attempted to remain close to the comic book.
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One of the best
SteveM-12 March 2002
This series came out shortly after Superman was reconceptualized in the Comic Books. Very different from the Superman we have seen on the various Superfriends series or the animated Superman from the sixties. They made Luthor into a Multi-Billionaire, got rid of the Multi-hued versions of Kryptonite, let the Kents live to see their foster-son's greatness, erased the "Superboy" part of the history and made Kal-El truly the last survivor of Krypton.

I really enjoyed it and am sad to see that nobody remembers it and no networks air it. It had everything that an Action-Superhero series should have. I also enjoyed the "Superman Family Album" they showed at the end of every episode. It was a 10 minute segment focusing on the childhood and development of young Clark Kent. It focused on Key Points in his life or just normal aspects that every child faces while growing up (every child with super powers that is). We saw how the Kents adopted him, how the babysitter dealt with him, Birthday parties, High School, that awkward First Date, finally cumulating with Clark's move to Metropolis and his first "Coming Out" as Superman.

A great series and truly "Super" in its own right.
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Up, up, and away...
spock06524 August 2004
I was lucky to find the whole season of this wonderful series. This is one of if not the best Superman cartoon ever. Before Bruce Timm's work there was Ruby Spears and this Superman series. The series uses the song from the Salkind and Donner directed movie which is great because it's one of those memorable themes in pop culture. Don't know why they didn't use it for Superman: The Animated Series. Wonder Woman makes an appearance in the series too and it's great how they bring about Lois Lane's jealousy towards the Amazon. When watching this it's almost as if a comic has come to life and started moving on screen, this may have to do with some comic book people being on the staff of the series, one to mention is Marv Wolfman. Each episode ended with a look into a young Clark's life, but it's more of Superboy's life than Superman's cause in these segments baby Clark is already flying. Too bad not too many people remember this series, if you ever get a chance to watch it, do, cause it's worth it.
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One of the Very Best
travybaby26 October 2008
In my mind, this remains one of the very best depictions of Superman on TV, as well as one of the most faithful to a particular comics period.

This series paid homage to both the Superman films of the '70s/'80s and the Superman comics series "reboot" of 1986-onward ("Man of Steel," "Superman Vol 2," "Action Comics," "Adventures of Superman," etc). The opening score and titles were stirring, based on the John Williams score from the films, updated for a Saturday morning action series. Marv Wolfman, one of the main contributors to the comics reboot (writer of "Adventures of Superman") was a perfect choice to be involved in this animated series. Overall, the series had a more mature feel while continuing to be very kid-friendly.

Superman was presented as believable, strong, and iconic. His recurring nemesis was Lex Luthor in his megalomaniac/CEO incarnation. The Daily Planet characters Lois, Jimmy, and Perry were portrayed well. One of my favorite appearances was by Wonder Woman, and the story revolved around her home island of Themyscira ("Paradise Island"). Both her design and that of her mother Hippolyte were in keeping with the similarly rebooted Wonder Woman comic book series of the era, and it seemed like an equally well-done animated series could have been developed for her if handled the same.

The one thing that is hard to believe is that this has not been released on DVD/Blu-ray! It deserves to be.
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A Rare Super Masterpiece
voicemaster7119 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
After the SuperFriends and Scooby Doo left the Saturday morning airwaves in the fall of 1986, I pretty much stopped watching Saturday morning cartoons at that point since those were the only two that kept me tuning in. And since neither the Real Ghostbusters nor the Flintstone Kids seemed very promising to me, I "retired" and started sleeping in on Saturday mornings. I only returned to Saturday morning TV in 1988 for that one year only for one and only one animated show.

A new animated show of Superman was something I was not going to pass up. I was 17 and in high school at the time, but so what! I loved this show. From what I can recall, this series was a gift to fans I suppose in celebration of Superman's 50th birthday that particular year. It had the theme music and the music style reminiscent of John Williams movie score from the Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve Superman movies. I honestly felt that the animation style Ruby Spears did was reminiscent of the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians series by Hanna Barbera a few years before. Sadly, Danny Dark was not back as Superman, but I felt Beau Weaver did a very impressive job as the voice of Superman and his Clark Kent was nerdy like the Chris Reeve version. After hearing him as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic on the 90's Fantastic Four, I could still see this version of Superman in my mind. Ginny McSwain as Lois Lane. LOL! What a rhyme. She was a voice director for Hanna Barbera and Ruby Spears and I guess she took it upon herself to do Lois. Memories of the SuperFriends lingered in this series when it came to the voice over cast. Jimmy Olsen is Mark Taylor, who on the SuperFriends was formerly Firestorm. Perry White is none other than former Batman TV writer Stanley Ralph Ross, who on SuperFriends was Gorilla Grodd and Brainiac in the Super Powers shows. And Lex Luthor, now a wise cracking billionaire tycoon is none other than SuperFriends voice alum, Michael Bell, whom I know best as Zan and the Riddler as well as many other characters on many other series.

I felt this series was a combination of the movie Superman along with the post crisis John Byrne re envision of Superman, with Lex Luthor as a billionaire tycoon, Jonathan and Martha Kent being alive to see Clark as Superman. The Bruce Timm series and Lois and Clark would also do this. Unfortunately, we never saw Brainiac, Bizarro, Toyman, Metallo, or Darkseid. Other than Luthor, we saw only the Prankster and we did see General Zod. I especially enjoyed that one episode with Wonder Woman, who was voiced over by BJ Ward who played her on the Super Powers Team as well.

The episodes were smashing and I also enjoyed Clark's growing and development stories from infancy to childhood to adolescence to an adult moving to Metropolis in the short little segment, Superman's Family Album.

The only two things I didn't like. It only lasted one season. And after Wonder Woman's guest spot, I was hoping Batman would turn up voiced over by Adam West (Still thinking about the Super Powers Team episodes I guess). I also hoped for it because on the Prankster episode, the Metropolis baseball team was pitted against the Gotham Goliaths.

Every popular Super Hero has one cartoon series that is ultra rare. For SpiderMan, I feel it's the 1981 solo series that aired the same time as Amazing Friends. For the Incredible Hulk, it's the 1982 cartoon. For the Fantastic Four, it's the 1978 series with HERBIE the Robot. For Batman, it's the New Adventures of Batman 1977 by Filmation featuring BatMite. But for Superman, the rarest series is this one.

Superman books and documentaries never cover or mention it. This is another series that WB should consider for DVD release. All in all, this 1988 version of Superman is well....Super!!
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Very good!
afonsobritofalves17 May 2019
Although not as good as the movies, it is undoubtedly better than the old series, the stories are very good and have a great fidelity to the comics. Highly recommend.
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Too cartoony for me
WeAreLive17 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I have only watched like one episode and I honestly found it way too cartoony honestly.

I get that it is made in the 80's and all but if you like it then I respect your opinion.

I watched an episode where superman has to save the world from this robotic like humanoid who wants to control every human in metropolis and then it jumps straight into a random filler just to spare the last 4 minutes into Clarkes past.

This show was good for the time it was made and helped inspire it's comics and merchandise but it would not work now.

However this is much better then the DC cartoons (i.e Teen Titans Go and DC Superhero girls) that Cartoon Network have currently.
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Cheesy, but really enjoyable for what it is
Talia_the_StoryMaker27 July 2016
If you're looking for a deep, expertly crafted, cutting-edge cartoon that's destined to be appreciated by many adults as well as kids, you won't find it here - that's not what this show is, nor what it's trying to be. Honestly, it's cheesy and doesn't exactly try to have super-tight writing. But if you look at this show for what it is - a 1980s kids cartoon about Superman - well, it actually does its job well. If you don't set your expectations too high, you might, like me, end up enjoying yourself quite a bit.

This show's take on Superman and his mythology feels really reminiscent of the Christopher Reeve movies to me - the creators even admit in an interview that they directly took inspiration from them for Superman's character. There are even several direct allusions to the movies, such as Superman flying with Lois in a similar manner and calling himself a "friend" upon first meeting her as Superman. Despite not being as big a fan of that interpretation of Superman as most, it definitely has its charm and I think this cartoon captures it well, making Superman a somewhat unreal and cheesy yet immensely likable character, so if you actually ARE a fan of the movies, I have to recommend this cartoon all the more! Apart from the movies, this show also takes some cues from the post-Crisis Superman comics, such as making Lex Luthor an evil businessman - but he has a humorous personality like his movie counterpart, complete with a ditzy female sidekick. While the serious Luthor is cool too, I have to admit this version is really entertaining. Clark Kent is definitely NOT influenced much by the new take on him in the comics, as he's clearly based on the more traditional cowardly and clumsy Kent as opposed to the more assertive one the comics were "rolling out" at the time. He's certainly not as amazingly humorous, adorable, and generally well-done as Christopher Reeve's (not many are!), but he's still fun and endearing. His journalistic skills do come into play occasionally, which is always a treat.

I REALLY appreciate this show having a pretty heavy emphasis on Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen (especially in contrast to the later and obviously better-known Superman: The Animated Series). They figure prominently in almost every episode and even do some helpful stuff sometimes, in addition to their regularly-scheduled rescue-needing. Their portrayals are pretty rockin' overall, nothing ground-breaking or special, but solid and true to the characters. Lois even gets some romantic scenes with Superman, nothing serious or emotional, just some cute fun you can't help but smile at. Perry White doesn't really do much, which is too bad, but I guess you can't cram everything into such a short run time.

The artwork and animation in this show is pretty good. I'm not going to say it's mind-blowing, but it certainly has a reasonable level of quality, especially for the time. There are a few too many errors and inconsistencies for my liking, such as multiple instances where they reverse the colors on Superman's S-shield for a few frames (seriously, that should be pretty easy to catch!), but overall it's not that big a deal. The main characters are all quite well-drawn, especially Lois and Jimmy. Unfortunately, non-recurring characters frequently have pretty bad character designs, and that's kinda too bad, but oh well.

The stories in this show aren't amazingly well-written, but they're usually inventive, entertaining and charming on some level. Overall, they're definitely geared towards kids, but there's still effort put into them. Some may be disappointed at the general lack of iconic supervillains, but I'm not sure I can share the sentiments - we do get a few of them at least (the Prankster and General Zod & co. get one episode each and Lex Luthor appears in a few), and honestly, I really feel like this keeps the show fresh and always doing something different, unique, and all its own. Superman: TAS felt a bit samey after a while, just having supervillain after supervillain. So, in all honesty, I prefer this style - unique plots with new characters most of the time with occasional appearances by iconic, comic-derived villains. The stories are usually very science-fictiony (with a few exceptions) and may be a bit goofy, but not depths-of-the-Silver-Age goofy. There's honestly a good deal to love, as long as you're the sort that can enjoy kiddy stuff like this that doesn't take itself very seriously.

Another interesting and fun trait of the show is the "Superman's Family Album" sections, each only a couple of minutes long, detailing an episode from Clark's past - over the course of the series, we're taken from his adoption by the Kents all the way to him assuming the Superman mantle. These can be extremely endearing sometimes, and I LOVE the way younger Clark is drawn (aside from when he's a baby) - he has such a powerfully "Supermanny" look with a really pronounced spit-curl, and is just adorable! They're a little dull sometimes, and there's not much you can do in such a limited time-frame, but every now and again they'll just make me feel so happy.

Needless to say, this show isn't going to appeal to everyone. Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this show to most - most people don't watch random 1980s kids cartoons for fun, after all. But if you happen to be a fan of Superman, I'd happily suggest you give it a go. I mean, at the end of the day, it does really succeed in, well, being a show about Superman. It's got Superman being Superman, it's got Clark being Clark, it's got Lois being Lois, it's got Jimmy being Jimmy, it's got Lex being Lex, it has Superman saving the day. If that sounds good to you like it does to me, chances are you might just find something to like here!
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Hit The Heights, But Fizzled Quickly
redryan6429 October 2015
FOLLOWING THE PREVIOUS animated television THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN by about 22 tears, this 1988 presentation was obviously influenced by the topical changes that are inevitable in any on-going character's feature with the passing of time. All things considered, the production team did a fine job in maintaining the spirit and true characterization of the SUPERMAN feature.

AS WE COUNT them, this is the 3rd cartoon series to be produced under license from the publisher/copyright owner; being known variously as Detective Comics, Inc., National Comics/National Periodical Publications and (finally) DC Comics. That would include the two television productions and the outstanding 1940's theatrically released SUPERMAN Series from Max Fleischer/Famous Studios & Paramount Pictures Corporation.

ALTHOUGH THIS SERIES was produced by the American company, Ruby-Spears Productions, the animation was farmed-out to one Toei Animation Services, LTD, a Japanese contracting full service studio. And a finer job they did with the series, indeed. Although the animation done was certainly not up to the level of a FANTASIA or to the outstanding work of the Fleisher Brothers (being Max & brother Dave), it was certainly in the very upper echelon of TV cartoon work and appears to have been a major force in raising the bar, pushing the envelope, improving the product, cookin' the soup, (enter your favourite cliché right here).

THE REALLY FINE and truly comic book look of the artwork was no mere accident. We see that the production design was in the capable hands of veteran comics illustrator, Gil Kane. Virtuoso Kane was a longtime regular at DC Comics and was the original artist on the Silver Age (Hal Jordan) GREEN LANTERN. Although we cannot recall his ever working on the SUPERMAN Feature, he was more than vaguely familiar with it and how it should be rendered for the animation screen. His was surely the influence in giving Lois Lane a very appealing look, even more so than usual.

IN ADDITION TO the physical appearance, this Ruby-Spears SUPERMAN had input from the Superman creative team of Jerry Siegel (writer) & Ioe Shuster (artist), who are credited with several of the episodes. Another writer we see credited is one Marvin Wolfman; who was a longtime comics fan and cut his teeth on the "joke-books" as a member of the "Boomer" generation in the 1950's & '60's. (We recall seeing his name on letters sent to the various publications during that period. Congrats on following a dream and getting in to the business, Marv!

AS SORT OF a change of pace back-up and measure of comic relief, a SUPERMAN FAMILY TREE feature took up the final third of this Ruby-Spears production. It involved the unusual and mainly light-hearted situations that the Kents encountered in raising the Super-baby.

FOR WHATEVER REASON, the series lasted only one season, which is such a pity, for it had so much of the SUPERMAN Saga to impart on the young kids; even to using the by then familiar theme from SUPERMAN THE MOVIE (1978)!
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