Rich with humor though delayed in getting the plot moving, My Adventures with Superman Episode 4 proves that this version of the characters — Lois and Clark in particular — are gems. Despite the slow start as the stage is set for the plot of the episode after Perry has assigned the misbehaving trio to attend a gala in an effort for them to become real reporters, it picks up once the central antagonist, Dr. Ivo, shows up.
Dr. Ivo is hilariously depicted in My Adventures with Superman Episode 4 as an egomaniac tech bro, someone who would name his company “Amazo-tech. He’s being voted out of his own company, which has pushed him to extremist-level defenses.
Poor Clark, who only hopes to stick to the assignment at hand without distraction or interference. Lois, as always, allows her ambition to rule her decision-making, striking out as she tries to investigate heavier topics that the gala attendees have no interest in engaging with. It all would’ve gone well, however, other than Lois’s wounded pride, had Ivo not pissed Clark off by insulting Lois. Clark weaponizes his anger through his reporting, asking Ivo the hard-hitting questions he’d begged off at first to try and play it safe. He’s kicked out for his trouble, but it sets up one of the sweetest exchanges between the two and the most insightful into who Lois is as a person.
Cute and quaint, the moment sells their romance, the direction emphasizing their flirtatious give and takes as she hides behind the door he’d just been booted from. They’re mutually flustered, evident by the liberal amount of blushing. The scene grows more intimate when she offers to sew the rip in his jacket that resulted from being tossed out, creating a stillness not always utilized in this animation style.
The scene doesn’t just allow us to know a fun bit of information about Clark, that he was a chess kid growing up and never played sports (though we understand why as we’re privy to his secret), but it also expands on why Lois is so determined to chase the Superman story. She misses a call from her dad, telling Clark that the two don’t talk. He keeps things close to his chest, so she does the same, worried about what he’d think of her when she is resentful and angry that she’s been working at the Daily Planet for a year and is still an intern. She’s been feeling off, though she couldn’t exactly describe it. Clark tries to cheer her up, telling her that through her eagerness and passion, he’s been able to chase his dream too.
And while the moment is wrapped up neatly, that feeling of “off” that Lois experiences, the one that’s so tied to a person’s individual sense of accomplishment, is relatable. The moment is the calm before the storm, and it’s one of the finest of the series thus far as it rests to allow the humanity of both characters to shine through in their mutual hope to understand the other better.
That calm is broken by Ivo, who believes that his new product, the Parasyte, will redefine humanity and ensure his spot in the company. The monstrous suit encompasses his entire body, with a design that again resembles that of an Eva out of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
The suit ends up being made by the same tech as the Intergang and Livewire, there being a clear source of material even if Clark has yet to determine its whereabouts. Ivo capitalizes on the city’s recent trouble and the increased illegal activities, selling his product as a way for a civilian to be their own Superman. After some baiting, Clark races to arrive as Superman, where we learn greater truths about the tech. Because as Ivo fights Superman, he explains that the tech’s strength is equal to his, and it only gets stronger while fighting because the suit can absorb and redirect that energy — Superman’s fists and heat vision are now self-inflicted obstacles.
The action is fluid and brutal. With the weight of each hit, Superman withstands landing with a bruising impact. Part of the strength of the series thus far has been its determination to showcase how this version of Superman is continually gaining his bearings, learning just as much about his abilities as we are with every new fight. It’s why Lois and Jimmy play such a large part in his success in these battles, with him proving more of a distraction as they help save the day. Giving them a chance to participate in the action allows them even greater agency while highlighting how both are self-reliant in the face of danger.
As they seek to shut down the tech, Superman realizes that the trick is to evade the fight as Ivo burns himself out. The tech warps his body, leaving him scarred, and drained of life, needing to be carried out. He’s accusatory when he asks Superman, “What’s in this for you,” an eerie echo of Episode 3’s ending. In “My Interview with Superman,” Lois seeks to understand him and his place in their world, his answers enraging her since she believes he’s lying. Meanwhile, Ivo seeks to understand as he can’t comprehend why someone would readily put their life on the line for no personal gain. The answers are identical, though not verbalized in this week’s episode. Clark does what he can as Superman because he has the power to help people, and that should be enough.
The episode pivots in the last moments. While it’s a frustrating narrative tactic, it makes sense how Jimmy would feel around Lois and Clark as their romance heats up, though he was the one with them in earlier episodes. His feelings aren’t expanded on, but the shot of him watching them walk away from the building without him is enough to sell the emotion.
But the real twist comes in the final moments when Lois seemingly figures out Superman’s true identity after finding a scrap of torn newspaper in Clark’s blazer of an article about a “flying Kansas boy.” It’s a revelation that makes sense with Lois’s tenacity and, unless anything derails her learning the truth, gets rid of one of the more pesky superhero cliches. How long would Lois and Jimmy buy that Clark just always so happened to disappear the moment action started to rumble in?
My Adventures with Superman Episode 4 takes a moment to gain its footing, dragging in momentum in the opening scenes. That said, once they reach the gala, the pacing picks up and accelerates until the breathtaking action sequence. As we near the midway part of the series, it continues to expand on the characters and their relationships. The kinetic fight scenes, robot designs, emotional heart, and core of Lois and Clark’s relationship anchor the episode as we hit the transitional part of the series now that the main cast has been established.
My Adventures With Superman Episode 4 is available to stream on Max, with new episodes airing every Thursday at midnight on Adult Swim.
My Adventures with Superman Episode 4
My Adventures with Superman Episode 4 takes a moment to gain its footing, dragging in momentum in the opening scenes. That said, once they reach the gala, the pacing picks up and accelerates until the breathtaking action sequence. As we near the midway part of the series, it continues to expand on the characters and their relationships.