View Poll Results: How would you rate DCAU Superman on a scale of 1-5?

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  • 1/5

    2 4.55%
  • 2/5

    3 6.82%
  • 3/5

    27 61.36%
  • 4/5

    10 22.73%
  • 5/5

    2 4.55%
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  1. #1
    Amazing Member TaliaJoy's Avatar
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    Default How would you rate DCAU Superman on a scale of 1-5?

    On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the DC Animated Universe version of Superman?

    For me, the overall score would be 3/5. But I should say my opinion on this specific version of Superman varies a lot based on the show in question. To break it down:

    Superman: The Animated Series: 3/5. An alright, serviceable take on the character. Has too limited an emotional range, gets beat up too much, and his relationships with other characters aren't developed enough. Has some good moments and is okay overall, but feels like he could be a lot better. Also, I like Tim Daly's voice a lot (though George Newbern is fine).

    Justice League Season 1: 2/5. Comes across as even more of a jobber than in S:TAS. They also made the dumb decision to make him look older than the rest of the Justice League, even though Batman should probably be older than him, which they thankfully reversed in the next season.

    Justice League Season 2: 4/5. Great, solid take on the character with believable emotions and a genuine-feeling personality.

    Justice League Unlimited: 1/5. The actions this version of the character takes makes it pretty much impossible for me to like or respect him. His fight with Captain Marvel was an absolute disgrace, and in the last story arc of the first season, he comes across as having a nasty authoritarian streak. Obviously they wanted to make him more similar to Justice Lord Superman for story reasons, but that kinda makes him rather unsympathetic, ya know?

    He also has more of a temper than I consider acceptable for someone of his power level. In this clip, he harshly throws down a heavy object and crushes the top of a steel chair just because he's angry at the Question finding out and talking about some information he didn't want him to.



    If all that wasn't enough, there's his awful jobbing to Darkseid in the series finale so that Lex Luthor, the true main character of JLU, can save the day with a deus ex machina. (Yeah, normally I wouldn't consider losing to Darkseid "jobbing", but the DCAU is another story. Plus, even if it was "fair", the context just makes it sting.)

    Technically, the average of my scores would be 2/5, but I think 3/5 is more representative of my opinion because his appearances in JLU doesn't constitute that much screen time compared to the rest. Also, I didn't bother covering the shows where he just appears for an episode or two.
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  2. #2
    Mighty Member Gaius's Avatar
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    I liked the version well enough in S:TAS. There's some things that annoy me like Daly not really having Clark or Superman's voices sound that different but overall decent version.

    Not really a fan of how he was handled in the later versions, got a decent moment here and there but the only thing I really like about Supes consistently in JL/JLU is I prefer Newbern over Daly as the voice.

  3. #3

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    I’d give him a 4, he was much better in his solo series though. That was a genuinely good series though it unfortunately wasn’t nearly as character based as Batman TAS. But with so many Supermen either really sunny and cheerful or really dour and mopey, I liked that this one was more stoic. He sometimes had a sherif of Metroplolis vibe. Maybe not my ideal take but I dug it well enough.
    I didn’t mind his temper, that thing with captain marvel, and his mistrust with darkseid, he was being smart/practical. Granted with Captain Marvel and Luthor he was played but he given what he knew, he did the right thing with what he knew. He was better in his solo series though. In Justice League, yeah he wasn’t the easiest to like with that chip on his shoulder.
    Anyway I don’t really care one way or another about “jobbing.” Though I didnt like how he and everyone else for that matter seemed weirdly allergic to electricity though.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I gave it a 2 overall, mostly for STAS. And even there, he's more middle of the road with some good moments and I like Daly's voice. But he's never "great," and really the stand outs from that series were Lois, Lex, Mxy, Brainiac, Kara and the Kirby stuff. Very rarely was the man himself the source of interest/excitement. I think for this reason STAS is perhaps more consistently good than BTAS and doesn't have it's drops in quality, but never reaches its heights either.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    My issue with DCAU Superman can be summarized as follows: if Superman were a boxer, his mythic equivalent should be someone like Muhammad Ali, the GOAT, and one of the most socially-conscious and charismatic public figures of his time. Instead, the DCAU guys went with Rocky, a good-hearted but dimwitted grinder.

    Using the OP's categories...

    Superman: The Animated Series: 2/5. There's nothing particularly great about this portrayal, so right off the top you're starting at a 3/5. But, they took the Byrne Superman, already notorious for being nerfed, and downgraded him even more. I liked Tim Daly as an actor, but his Superman felt like he needed a double Kryptonian espresso.

    Justice League, season one 1: 1/5. Just terrible. Other than the "War World" episode, the whole point of the character in this season was just to be a guy for the villains to knock around just to prove they're tough. Well, that works once in a while, but when it happens all season, the effect is lost. No longer do we think the bad guys are tough for KOing Superman, but Superman is a Glass Joe for losing practically every fight. Also, another deduction for that episode when he stands there and lets Luthor guilt-trip him for getting cancer, and another deduction for that terrible scene when he tried to interrogate Copperhead. The cherry on the crap sundae is that he's also so, so boring. This isn't exactly the worst Superman ever (maybe it is, but my knee-jerk reaction is that it isn't), but I would never recommend any Superman fan to watch this except if he wanted to see other DC heroes portrayed a little better.

    Justice League, season 2: 4/5. Agreed with your score. The first few episodes feel like an apology for how bad the first season was. "Hereafter" is still my favorite episode, not just because it's Superman, but I feel it's also the smartest-written episode. Not perfect, but damn good.

    Justice League Unlimited: 3/5. The buildup to the idea that Superman may turn tyrannical was disappointing, but they do make up for it a bit. It was also during this show that I learned of ways to hype up Superman without even featuring him in the episode. They do that twice, one with General Eiling-turned-beast, the other when Barda and Scott tried to recruit Superman to help them but left with the Flash. And the last episode more or less acknowledged that they held back Superman physically throughout the DCAU (and held back, he was still the toughest guy around), and used an in-universe reason to explain it. So overall, I was happy with it. Maybe not 4/5 happy, but I enjoyed it.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Adekis's Avatar
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    Like OP here, I would have a hard time rating the "DCAU Superman" as a whole - because he changes so much as the different shows go on. I won't rank him overall in the poll, because I just don't think it's worth it to try and average these scores out.

    Here's my ranking for OP's categories:

    Superman: The Animated Series - 4.75/5

    Despite generally having the proportionate strength of a spider and keeling over with a cry of dismay every time he gets shot, tased, or otherwise hit with an attack that should tickle Superman at most, STAS Superman is still really well characterized. He's smart, compassionate, and a little bit of a roughneck. His characterization is choice, I almost never have anything to complain about on that front.

    Justice League s1 - 1/5

    This Superman is a huge step down. When Superman jobbed incessantly in S:TAS, at least you still knew that the person who would rally to beat the bad guy in the end was always gonna be Superman. In JL, Superman would lose to some shmuck, and then Batman, or maybe Hawkgirl, would come in and beat the thing that just wrecked Superman! What a mess! What a joke! And what's worse, his characterization went downhill too. He lost that roughneck edge, and became way more of a square.

    Justice League s2 - 2.5/5

    He's... better? He's still jobbing too much, but not as bad as before. Hereafter does Superman a lot of good in this season, and it's one of my favorite Superman stories, actually. Too bad about the Lobo bits. Hearts and Minds is also beautiful. Of course, this season also has A Better World and its concept of Superman turning evil after losing someone he loves, which is frankly, awful. STAS actually had a similar episode, but that Superman changed his mind at the end. Typical of JL, in this case, Batman is the one to come to the League's side. I will say though, I don't actually hate this episode though. A Better World at least frames Superman's turn to the dark side more in terms of Luthor's argument than the loss of Flash, and Lois's presence as his strongest critic puts it head and shoulders above the likes of "Injustice" and similar mischaracterized garbage. Justice Lord Superman is at least characterized relatively consistently with the Real Superman, and that holds true for every one of the Justice Lords, which is what makes it pretty solid overall.

    Justice League Unlimited - 3.5/5

    At this point we have what I liken to a "Super Game of Thrones" - a show where you still kind of root for Superman and Batman, but you know he's never going to be his best self. The perpetual threat of Superman potentially turning evil, his obnoxious self-righteousness, his idiotic fight with Captain Marvel - but you know what, the Cadmus arc is ultimately a really good story. Say, good enough to be worth outright loving, despite all the things I dislike about it! So... 3/5 overall.

    Batman Beyond - 0.5/5

    Superman's been under Starro's control for decades!? Like a lot of Batman Beyond, it works well for Terry McGinnis, but for Bruce, Tim, Barbara, Clark, Victor Freeze, and just about every one else left over from the "glory days," it's just really depressing. Also, as a side note, there's exactly one comic book tie-in story with "Superman Beyond" that I've read that I've actually liked: Superman Beyond # 0, which is flat-out excellent. Everything else, even the tie-ins are kind of bleak and mopey. Hopefully I've just missed something, I'm not a connoisseur of "Beyond" content.
    Last edited by Adekis; 06-04-2020 at 08:25 AM.
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  7. #7
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I would say a 2. He had trouble lifting a tank over his head! Which is a shame because the stories themselves were really good but he was just so nerfed all to hell to the point of being useless. And in JL he was just the flying brick that was easily manipulated. The most interesting episode about him was the one where he got sent into the future and lost his powers. And don't even get me started on Batman Beyond.
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  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Yeah we gotta break DCAU Superman into the Daly STAS and Newbern’s JL incarnations in order to properly judge them:
    tim-daly-superman-animated-series-broke-legs-skiing-228256-1280x0.jpg
    Daly Superman isn’t that bad. He’s acting within the confines of the Post Crisis Superman, so there’s some aspects I’m not fond of, but overall he’s not a bad Superman at all. He’s polite but not a pushover. He thinks of himself as Clark Kent first and foremost, but doesn’t reject his Kryptonian heritage wholesale. He’s clever, frequently wearing suits designed to protect himself against his foes who can counter his powers, showing that he’s not a naive idiot. He’s a serious journalist and is treated as such. He cares about civil liberties and takes his job seriously. He’s got a sense of humor such as when he “reveals” his identity to Lois sarcastically. His Rogues Gallery showings are solid, I love Metallo in particular losing his ability feel as a consequence of his powers. Clancy Brown Lex and Ironseid are as iconic as Hamill Joker for me.

    Alright ready for my hot take? This guy sucks.
    F7603FC6-883E-476F-A0AC-3D306029E587.jpg
    He’s not your protective dad or your supportive big brother, he’s your grumpy ***hole uncle who you have to watch out for when he’s had a few beers. His big arc, the Cadmus arc, is one of the best animated storytelling arcs ever, but it’s totally built upon him being an easily emotionally manipulated moron who knows Lex is baiting him, and still makes a complete fool of himself. Batman walks all over Newborn Supes in JL to an even greater extent than Daly got in his crossover, and JL Superman is honestly just an unpleasant person over all. He’s just a huge dick, to the extent they even used Captain Marvel to contrast how much of a douche he had become.

    JL Superman openly flirts with the idea of being a fascist, when Lois confronts him over all the **** the JL has done, his big defense is literally “I know we come on a little strong sometimes but it’s for the people’s own good.”

    https://twitter.com/TheDCUniverse/st...79080655847424

    Wtf Supes? This guy’s struggle is basically “I know fascism is wrong, but damn would it feel good to implement.” Glad I found that pic, because Injustice Superman pretty clearly has his roots in DCAU Superman.

    Ultimately contrast his “iconic” moment with DCAU Batman’s. Batman’s big moment is comforting Ace about her impending death by showing he understands her trauma, and sincerely wants to help her. Thanks to his actions, Ace passes away peacefully and Batman refuses to break his no kill rule, showing that he’s a man of principles to the end.

    DCAU Superman’s big moment? He talks **** to Darkseid, throws a punch, and still ******* loses the fight, having to get bailed out by Lex. He’s just a dumb thug who punches hard, that’s how Timm and co. characterized him, and that’s what he remains until the end. He’s not inspirational, or the heart of the team, or it’s conscience, he’s pure muscle. He sucks, plain and simple.
    Last edited by Vordan; 06-06-2020 at 07:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member DochaDocha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    He’s clever, frequently wearing suits designed to protect himself against his foes who can counter his powers, showing that he’s not a naive idiot.
    You know what always cheesed me off about those suits? Every time he wore one, the suit seemingly got destroyed in some contrived fashion. I was watching the show with my brother one day, and when I saw one of those protective suits I said to him I bet that thing gets destroyed. Yup. I wish I were at a Jack Binion casino when that episode aired for the first time.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Celgress's Avatar
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    I'll say 2.5 out of 5 stars overall, or average.
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  11. #11
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Yeah we gotta break DCAU Superman into the Daly STAS and Newbern’s JL incarnations in order to properly judge them:
    tim-daly-superman-animated-series-broke-legs-skiing-228256-1280x0.jpg
    Daly Superman isn’t that bad. He’s acting within the confines of the Post Crisis Superman, so there’s some aspects I’m not fond of, but overall he’s not a bad Superman at all. He’s polite but not a pushover. He thinks of himself as Clark Kent first and foremost, but doesn’t reject his Kryptonian heritage wholesale. He’s clever, frequently wearing suits designed to protect himself against his foes who can counter his powers, showing that he’s not a naive idiot. He’s a serious journalist and is treated as such. He cares about civil liberties and takes his job seriously. He’s got a sense of humor such as when he “reveals” his identity to Lois sarcastically. His Rogues Gallery showings are solid, I love Metallo in particular losing his ability feel as a consequence of his powers. Clancy Brown Lex and Ironseid are as iconic as Hamill Joker for me.

    Alright ready for my hot take? This guy sucks.
    F7603FC6-883E-476F-A0AC-3D306029E587.jpg
    He’s not your protective dad or your supportive big brother, he’s your grumpy ***hole uncle who you have to watch out for when he’s had a few beers. His big arc, the Cadmus arc, is one of the best animated storytelling arcs ever, but it’s totally built upon him being an easily emotionally manipulated moron who knows Lex is baiting him, and still makes a complete fool of himself. Batman walks all over Newborn Supes in JL to an even greater extent than Daly got in his crossover, and JL Superman is honestly just an unpleasant person over all. He’s just a huge dick, to the extent they even used Captain Marvel to contrast how much of a douche he had become.

    JL Superman openly flirts with the idea of being a fascist, when Lois confronts him over all the **** the JL has done, his big defense is literally “I know we come on a little strong sometimes but it’s for the people’s own good.”

    https://twitter.com/TheDCUniverse/st...79080655847424

    Wtf Supes? This guy’s struggle is basically “I know fascism is wrong, but damn would it feel good to implement.” Glad I found that pic, because Injustice Superman pretty clearly has his roots in DCAU Superman.

    Ultimately contrast his “iconic” moment with DCAU Batman’s. Batman’s big moment is comforting Ace about her impending death by showing he understands her trauma, and sincerely wants to help her. Thanks to his actions, Ace passes away peacefully and Batman refuses to break his no kill rule, showing that he’s a man of principles to the end.

    DCAU Superman’s big moment? He talks **** to Darkseid, throws a punch, and still ******* loses the fight, having to get bailed out by Lex. He’s just a dumb thug who punches hard, that’s how Timm and co. characterized him, and that’s what he remains until the end. He’s not inspirational, or the heart of the team, or it’s conscience, he’s pure muscle. He sucks, plain and simple.
    Do you think Newbern redeemed himself in that Curse of Black Adam short or in vs. The Elite?

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DochaDocha View Post
    You know what always cheesed me off about those suits? Every time he wore one, the suit seemingly got destroyed in some contrived fashion. I was watching the show with my brother one day, and when I saw one of those protective suits I said to him I bet that thing gets destroyed. Yup. I wish I were at a Jack Binion casino when that episode aired for the first time.
    Lol I remember thinking as a kid it was bull when he put on that protective suit to go face Joker and Joker still best him. But he at least had the brains to not just barge into situations he knew he could be at a disadvantage, so I still think fondly of the attempt to show he wasn’t a naive idiot. Of course it never really worked but they were cartoons for kids, and kid me was very entertained .
    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Do you think Newbern redeemed himself in that Curse of Black Adam short or in vs. The Elite?
    Just to be clear: Newbern nailed exactly the tone they were going for. I may not have liked what they were going for, but he was perfect for that. Ditto for Injustice. Newbern plays pissed off, on the edge, ready to snap at a moments notice Superman perfectly. His Supes constantly sounds either angry or irritated with rare exceptions. It’s why his performance as Injustice Superman is also so good. But when he’s asked to play a Superman who isn’t either perpetually angry or evil he just doesn’t do it for me. I love his performance in Superman vs. The Elite, but that’s a movie that ends with Superman ***** slapping Manchester Black as he taunts him for being such a loser. Before that he’s extremely PO’d at the Elite for killing, so he basically spends the whole movie angry. And the Curse of Black Adam? I dunno I remember Supes having a perpetual frown and being angry there too. I don’t think he’s ever actually played a Supes that wasn’t angry or evil

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    The original DCAU? About a 2.5 stars. The extra .5 because he got a little bit better as time went on, but I still consider it one of the poorer Superman incarnations out there. DCAU Superman lore was one where there were tons of great ideas surrounding Superman, but he himself was the dullest thing about it.
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  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Soubhagya's Avatar
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    3/5. The show in my opinion is great. Easily a 4 or 4.5 out of 5.

    In the show the character is good. It is a fine introduction to the character. Back then i would have said its great. But after reading some comics i can see why i liked Batman more for years. What's the hook? Why shall he be someone's favorite character? I like him well enough. And i am glad for a great show and a great series of comics.
    Last edited by Soubhagya; 06-06-2020 at 11:25 PM.

  15. #15
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    The Superman cartoon itself? 4,5/5. It's still a fantastic show today with great writing, characterization, and villains. I'd say it's better than The New Batman Adventures which were on at the same time.

    Season 1 JL Superman is a low point. He's clearly there to be Worfed. And overall I find that season to have the worst writing and stories of the entire DCAU. Not that everything was terrible, but I think they struggled with writing a team that season and most of the characterizations and stories suffered from that. Season 2 was a big improvement in pretty much every way, and in JLU they managed to enlarge the cast even further and still make it work.

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