The following contains spoilers for My Adventures with Superman Episode 7, "Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal," now streaming on HBO Max.

Another week, another new supervillain for My Adventures with Superman. The new animated series takes great glee in unveiling its reimagined versions of Kal-El's greatest foes, often wildly different from the original incarnations. It's Mister Mxyzptlk's turn in Season 1, Episode 7, "Kiss Kiss Fall in Portal," which not only takes him in a radical new direction, but introduces the concept of The Multiverse to the show in the bargain.

In the process, he relies on one of Clark Kent's greatest weaknesses, especially early in his career. "Mxy" usually gives The Man of Steel all he can handle simply by his ability to manipulate reality at will. In "Kiss Kiss," however, he depends on something far simpler: Clark's willingness to take people at face value. It gives him an edge here that rarely appears in other incarnations of the character.

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Mister Mxyzptlk Is a Surprisingly Tough Superman Foe

An image of Mister Mxyzptlk pulling Superman's cape

Magic is one of Superman's traditional weaknesses, and with Mxy often more irritating than actively dangerous, it makes him a perennially tricky foe. He goes all the way back to 1944's Superman #30 (Jerry Siegel and Ira Yarbrough), and traditionally can only be banished by tricking him into saying his name backwards. That, and his near omnipotence, often forces Clark to think on his feet, as well as providing a regular foe who will always push him to his limits in ways that have nothing to do with beating him up.

He's also a regular traveler of the Multiverse, which "Kiss Kiss" takes big advantage of. He arrives in My Adventures with Superman looking to rob a multidimensional museum containing all manner of artifacts from various DC universes. As per the series' usual approach, he differs radically in appearance and methodology: a blue-skinned elf with long hair and quasi-religious robes, billing himself as the "god of chaos" and battling the "League of Lois Lanes" interdimensional task force consisting of Lois variants. Only his derby hat remains the same, kept in the League's fortress and severely limiting his powers until he can reach it.

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The New Mister Mxyzptlk Plays on Superman's Naivete

Mxyzptlk taunts Clark in My Adventures With Superman

Superman plays a big part in his plans, or at least the version of the hero from My Adventures with Superman does. Having singled him out as particularly naïve, Mxy spins Clark a story about Lois being kidnapped, then leads him to the vault door he conveniently helps open for the imp. Clark gets wise soon enough, but by then the damage is largely done and Mxy has the upper hand.

The story works in part because it forces Mxy to get clever instead of just brute-forcing what he wants through magic. But he also hones in on Clark's willingness to see the best in people, which in this case translates into extreme naivete. Mxy spins him a yarn about Lois being in danger, and he shoots off: by the time he figures out the swindle, the vault is open and the little floating twerp more or less has what he needs. As he makes clear in the episode, he wanted this version of Clark Kent because he knew he could manipulate the young superhero all too easily.

It plays into My Adventures With Superman's central take on the character, while also expanding the show's scope exponentially. Mxy doesn't look like he's going anywhere, and his superficial differences still carry the classic DC trickster underneath. Hustling Clark with a bunch of balderdash demonstrates how dangerous he can be without using his powers -- as "Kiss Kiss" reminds viewers with images of variant Superman gone bad -- and he's already spotted one of his greatest foe's biggest weak spots. The Man of Steel may just have a very big problem.

New episodes of My Adventures with Superman stream every Thursday on Adult Swim and every Friday on Max.