The series, whose first season is streaming in its entirety on Max, put Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen's roots into modern-day, keeping several classic elements of Superman's mythos while adapting others into something fresh and new.
Take Flamebird, for instance. What was a one-off identity for Jimmy in DC comics (as well as the name of a character in a Kryptonian myth) is now Jimmy's online social media handle, where he shares conspiracy theories and stories.
Lois Lane's Race Change Explained
One element of My Adventures With Superman that was altered for the show from the comics was Lois Lane's race. However, that did not change who the character was at her core — a point expanded on by producer Josephine Campbell in a recent interview with The Superman Homepage.
Campbell ticked off several of Lois' most well-known traits that the animated version shared with her comics counterpart, being "a go getting person ... ambitious, and driven", as well as some of the character's tendencies shared across both media:
"Lois is still that go-getting person, who is ambitious, and driven, and is calling [Clark] Smallville, and she’s jumping out of windows, or off of buildings. Like, boy, she loves to do that in every single media."
However, it was important to Campbell that the "show look[ed] like reality, look[ed] like the world around us:"
"At the end of the day, it’s also a very classic interpretation of Superman. Who Jimmy is, is the funny guy. who’s Superman’s pal, who gets kidnapped by gorillas, and is the photographer. That’s Jimmy Olsen. ... But yeah, who they are as people is exactly the same. It’s this classic version. The only thing we’ve done is try to make our show look like reality, look like the world around us, and look like the world around the audience who’s watching.”
As Campbell discussed, changes were made to show that "The City of Tomorrow is embracing everybody:"
"One of the big things we wanted to do was… for us, working on the show, for us as people, everybody around us isn’t just one thing. We’re a crew made up of different people of different ethnicities, different backgrounds, different genders, different orientations. Our families and friends, our people around us are all different. So, we didn’t want a Metropolis that didn’t showcase reality, didn’t show that this is a city… The City of Tomorrow is embracing everybody."
She continued, discussing how Lois' race change from Caucasian to Korean, along with Jimmy's and Perry's helps capture the show's message that people's "differences make you stronger:"
"So for us, there’s been an Asian Lois before, there’s been a Black Jimmy before, Perry’s been black before, there’s a lot of these characters who have had different versions of them that we kind of pulled in. And again, our idea was make it feel real, make it feel like a real city, make it feel like a real place, and the way to do that is to embrace the fact that everybody’s different, and to embrace the fact that the message of Superman, especially our Superman, is that those differences make you stronger. Those differences are what pull us together, what sort of binds us. So, for us, there’s a lot of discussion about, once we decided who these characters were, different ways to sort of show their backgrounds, different ways to show them."
A Superman Show Worthy of Superman
The fact that the animated Superman series that was beloved enough to get a second season was ultimately grounded — both in production and execution — in the so superbly Superman notion of "differences mak[ing] you stronger" is, pun intended, powerful.
The show was a reflection of the real world, in its portrayals of the fear of the unknown, what it's like to come into your own without a true grasp on your identity, and, as many Superman stories like to include, how it feels to fall in love.
It's particularly meaningful, however, that this was done with the care for a topic that Superman has always represented — being proud of, and utilizing one's differences.
As season two approaches, along with the live-action Superman: Legacy hitting theaters soon, audiences can look forward to this message extending even further, up up and away.
My Adventures With Superman's first season is streaming on Max.