There is a history of character changes, be it race or gender, in comic book adaptations, especially as fans continue to push for more diversity in the media. For example, Black actors like Michael B. Jordan and Navia Robinson have played originally-white characters like the Human Torch and Carrie Kelley, respectively.
Now, this increasing diversity continues in My Adventures with Superman on Max.
Lois Lane Race-Swap Confirmed
In new social media posts, My Adventures with Superman producer/head writer Josie Campbell and art director Jane Bak discussed Lois Lane's Korean identity in the show.
Whereas in the comics, Lois is Caucasian, My Adventures with Superman's Lois is Korean. This makes sense given Lois' voice actor, Alice Lee, is of Korean descent.
This isn't the first time that Lois Lane has been depicted as an ethnicity other than Caucasian, with the character being portrayed as half-Japanese in the graphic novel, Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story.
Campbell shouted out Bak and lead character designer Dou Hong on X (formerly known as Twitter) for the "hanbok inspired gala outfit" from the show's fourth episode, saying they "wanted to reflect our Lois' Korean heritage:"
"Shoutout to Dou Hong and Jane Bak for Lois’ hanbok inspired gala outfit! We wanted to reflect our Lois’ Korean heritage, and the design department made a showstopper of a fit."
Bak explained that it was important "to inject some aspect of [Lois'] Korean heritage" while still keeping with her being "a spunky and resourceful intern/reporter:"
To achieve this, Bak "push[ed] the idea she would wear a Hanbok to a gala/date night." Bak then praised several crew members who made it happen and the art team "for helping spin [Bak's] hay into gold:"
"So why not push the idea she would wear a Hanbok to a Gala/date night? I have to thank Li Cree and Dou Hong for helping spin my hay into gold with Lois's Gala design and Jake Wyatt, Brendan, and Josie Campbell for letting me go for it!!!"
James Gunn's version of Lois Lane will be following the more traditional interpretation of the character background-wise, with Rachel Brosnahan filling in for the peppy reporter as one of Superman: Legacy's main protagonists.
How Diversity Is Continuing in Comic Book Adaptations
As many fan-favorite comic characters originated in the medium's Golden and Silver Ages, a majority of them are typically portrayed as white since that's how they were originally drawn.
Lois Lane has tended to fall into that category, with this being one of the first times the character has been portrayed as non-white.
Jimmy Olsen also fell into that for a long time prior to Supergirl casting Mehcad Brooks, making him the first Black actor to play the character. Now, My Adventures with Superman is continuing that tradition, with Black actor Ishmel Sahid playing Jimmy.
With Golden and Silver Age superheroes, like those from Superman stories, often being prime targets for adaptations, it's important to be flexible in their portrayals; the array of characters from that era did not accurately reflect the diversity of the real world.
Restricting the characters to only being played by comic-accurate white actors would limit them to those who have already been heavily favored in the industry and prevent those who are already vastly underrepresented from opportunities for more representation.
Everyone should have the opportunity to see themselves in their favorite heroes. It is promising that My Adventures with Superman is allowing that to happen for more of its audience.
The first nine episodes of My Adventures with Superman are available to stream on Max.