Clark, Lois, and Jimmy Are The Same Age
In most interpretations of the Superman story, Jimmy Olsen acts as a teen sidekick to both Superman and Lois Lane. Even in the spin-offs where Jimmy is an adult, he is usually portrayed as something of an arrested adolescent or an idiot man-child. My Adventures With Superman presents Jimmy as the same age as Lois and Clark, with Jimmy being both best friend and roommate to Clark Kent.
They’re All Interns at The Daily Planet
Another notable change is that Clark, Lois, and Jimmy are all interns at The Daily Planet rather than full reporters. This is a far more realistic touch than in previous Superman stories, where Clark Kent was able to get hired to a staff writing position with relatively little (if any) experience. This also gives Lois Lane more motivation to risk her life chasing big stories, fueling her determination to prove that she is a real reporter and can do more than fetch coffee for Perry White.
Clark Doesn’t Know About Krypton Yet
Perhaps the biggest departure for Clark Kent in terms of his background is that he starts My Adventures With Superman in total ignorance as to his Kryptonian heritage. Clark is aware that he’s an alien, but the Kents buried the ship that brought him to Earth rather than hiding it in their barn. A bad experience when they unearthed the ship when Clark was young and encountered a hologram of Jor-El speaking in an unknown language scares both Clark and Martha Kent out of further exploration, as Jor-El apparently didn’t think to develop a translator in this reality.
Lois is a Total Tsundere
Tsundere is a Japanese term for a character who alternates between extremes of emotion, particularly in regards to a potential love interest. The word tsundere combines two Japanese words; tsuntsun, meaning aloof or irritable, and deredere, meaning sweet or lovestruck. While the phenomenon is not unique to anime and manga, the term tsundere was first coined regarding the hot-and-cold running heroines found in many Shonen manga.
While most versions of Lois Lane in various DC Comics adaptations can be said to be tsundere in regard to how they first treat the nerdy Clark Kent while browbeating him to be more like Superman, My Adventures With Superman cranks Lois’ tsundere tendencies up to 11. Rather than bullying Clark while lusting after Superman, however, Lois pushes Clark to man up and help her in pursuing dangerous stories. At the same time, Lois pretends Clark’s soft-spoken politeness isn’t attractive to her.
Jimmy Olsen is a Conspiracy Buff and Shockingly Correct
One of the bigger sources of humor in My Adventures with Superman is the fact that Jimmy Olsen is a conspiracy buff, who runs his own streaming show regarding how aliens are living among humanity on Earth. The irony is that for all the effort Jimmy puts into proving that aliens are among us, he is totally ignorant that his best friend and roommate is an alien.
Another source of ironic humor is that many of Jimmy’s more outlandish beliefs might be true in the DC Universe. The two-part premiere of My Adventures with Superman features Jimmy discussing his belief in merpeople, super-intelligent French gorillas (aka Paranormal Meta-Sapiens), and “psychic starfish from Germany.” These are all clear shout-outs to Aquaman, the Doom Patrol villain Monsieur Mallah, and Starro the Conqueror.
The Anime Style and Tributes
While My Adventures With Superman makes substantial changes to the Superman mythology, its most obvious visual distinction is its Anime-aspired art style. The two-part premiere makes a number of subtle references to various classic Anime, including a Sailor Moon-inspired transformation sequence for Superman when he first puts on his costume.
The first episode pits Clark Kent against an army of stolen military robots. The fight seems to have been inspired by the work of the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, who included similar robots in his film Castle in the Sky, and one episode of Lupin III, which he wrote and directed. Fittingly, Miyazaki crafted these scenes as a tribute to the 1940s Superman cartoons of Max Fleischer, particularly “The Mechanical Monsters.”
The show’s take on the villain Livewire is also a noteworthy tribute. Thief Leslie Willis goes on a rampage in a stolen military super-suit that gives her electric powers. The static causes her blonde hair to stand on end, in clear imitation of the Super-Sayians of Dragon Ball Z. Her stolen super-suit also resembles the Sayian battle armor.