My Adventures with Superman got off to a strong start thanks to a unique visual style, strong voicework by The Boys‘ Jack Quaid, and by adding some fun modern complications to the relationship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent. It’s time, then, to put that bond to the test with a new villain. Beware spoilers for My Adventures with Superman Episode 4, “Let’s Go to Ivo Tower, You Say.”
“Let’s Go to Ivo Tower, You Say”
One of the most interesting complications thus far is a major script flip for most classic interpretations of Superman. Typically, Lois respects Clark as a journalist but is interested in Superman as both an interviewee and an attractive man. If you haven’t watched the 1978 Superman film, now is the time: Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane is thirsty. “How big are yo–I mean how tall are you?” she asks him as one of her first questions in the movie.
This Lois Lane, by contrast, is suspicious of Superman. Why is this flying himbo showing up every time there’s a dangerous event in Metropolis? People aren’t selfless–he has to have an agenda. Meanwhile, Clark has been there to support her and work with her, and she’s seen his penchant for selflessly helping those around him. She can hardly keep herself from blushing every time the sweater-vested dork enters the room.
This relationship is growing in the shadow of Superman’s arrival in Metropolis. Perry White sends Lois, Clark, and Jimmy to Ivo Tower. He’s meant to closely mirror tech giants both real and fictional, with this demeanor and actions calling to mind Tony Stark and Elon Musk alike–a genius who has more confidence than he does brilliance, and he’s sure that he knows enough, after just a handful of appearances by Superman, to defeat the Man of Steel and turn his business into an even bigger success overnight. He unveils the Parasite armor, meant to drain power from whoever attacks it and turn it back on them. Superman quickly figures out that Ivo will drain his own battery if he just avoids him.
This is, interestingly, another weird parallel between this show and Superman & Lois. That show brought Parasite into the story in Season 2 by giving Ally Alston Parasite powers while she attempted to merge Earth and Inverse-Earth. Ally is one of a number of Parasites in DC comics, but this aspect of her character was introduced without making it a huge part of her character. Ivo isn’t a Parasite, but he uses Parasite powers as a new way of attacking Superman. Neither one is the classic Parasite character, but both make use of what the character can do.
The way the show handles Ivo makes it seem like he’ll be back despite the fact that the show is only currently scheduled for two seasons. By the time the credits roll, Ivo has been severely deformed by his Parasite armor–something that fuels his future vendetta against Superman and causes him to create his Amazo robot among other things. He has enough going for him that he could fill another episode or two.
Importantly, though, after good-hearted Clark lends Lois his jacket, she finds the article he tried to hide about the Flying Boy in Smallville, and puts the pieces together. This is a nice twist on the standard formula as well. So often, Superman’s reveal is his decision. While we all suspend our disbelief about people not recognizing that Clark and Supes are the same person, Lois is privy to his behavior, notes his disappearances, and has been in contact with both of his forms. To have her see this and not figure it out would be pretty insulting. But letting her find this piece of information and put the pieces together herself reminds us of two things. First, Clark is inexperienced right now–he’s very new to having a secret identity, and he’s been almost naively honest to this point. Second, Lois is a smart, perceptive person. She’s one of the most famous journalists in the world in pretty much every variation of the Superman story. So let her figure some stuff out.
This moment makes both of these characters more interesting and more accessible, and it’s a great way to shift the tone of the show a bit. What will Lois say to Clark? Will Clark try to gaslight her, or will he tell the truth? I’m interested to see where the show goes from this reveal.