Creating a solid film interpretation of Superman has been like spinning a roulette wheel. We landed on “charming, stoic friend to mankind” once in 1978, but since then, all we’ve hit are “slapstick boy scout,” “gloomy alien stalker,” and “grim bodybuilder.” This is probably due to the fact that, rather than actually construct a proper Superman character, everyone’s first instinct is to “fix” Superman. They just blindly throw attributes at him and get pissed off when people criticize them, which is kind of like building a house roof-first and then throwing a fit because there’s nowhere to fucking stand.
It’s because of this that the Superman from the DC Animated Universe stands head and shoulders and broad, heroic torso above any other Superman you can watch on your television. The DC Animated Universe is a sprawling epic that spans multiple TV series and encapsulates everything good about DC Comics characters, including Superman. And how did they pull the sword from the stone and make a likable, engaging Superman? Well, first off, they didn’t try to make him the anti-Batman.