The series was the first spin-off of Batman: The Animated Series, and was also the first in the DCAU to feature multiple superhero guest stars (Batman, Aquaman, Doctor Fate, Flash and Green Lantern).
Airing ten years after the 1986 reboot of the Superman comic book character, the animated series paid tribute to both the classic Superman of old and the newer "modern" Superman. Perhaps most significantly, Clark Kent displays the more aggressive personality used by John Byrne in his reboot of the comic book continuity. Elements of Superman from all eras of his history were included in the series, especially in a portrayal of the planet Krypton, the planet that Superman was born on, that fans praised as a "modernization" of Superman's origin that contrasted John Byrne's reboot, and some fans felt was superior to the "newer" comic book version. Notably, the evil computer Brainiac was not only now from Krypton, but was portrayed as responsible for preventing the knowledge of Krypton's imminent destruction from reaching its people. In a lesser innovation, the ship that carried the infant Kal-El to Earth was designed to land smoothly upon reaching its destination, rendering it in perfect working condition during Superman's adulthood and is used as his mode of long range transportation in space.
In January 2009, IGN dubbed Superman: The Animated Series the 36th best animated television series.
- In the episode New Kids in Town, which features a teenage Clark Kent in Smallville, Martha Kent recognizes that Clark and Lana Lang need some time to talk alone. She tells Jonathan to come into the next room to watch The Dukes of Hazzard. Years later, in the show Smallville, which also features a teenage Clark Kent in Smallville, the role of Jonathan is portrayed by John Schneider, one of the stars of the Dukes of Hazzard.