Romance Special: The Matrimonial Mishaps of Lois Lane, Part One
Ah, romance! By the time you read this, Valetine's Day will be only one short week away, and while the whole world gets in the mood for a celebration of how much they care--or for bitter, solitary drinking for those of us who work in comics retail--it's tradition around here to highlight the most romantic moments in comic book history.
And what better way to kick things off for Valentine's Day '07 with the most inspiring relationship that comics have to offer: The enduring love between Superman and Bat-Shit Crazy Silver-Age Lois Lane.
Read enough of her adventures, and you'll come to the conclusion that around 90% of all Lois Lane stories--which works out to virtually everything that didn't explicitly deal with exposing crooked Swamis or something--revolved around Lois's many, many attempts to get Superman to marry her. I've always wondered why she didn't set her sights a little lower by trying to trap him into hanging out over dinner or going to a movie, but that's Lois for you. And the lengths she'll go to are just phenomenal.
Case in point: Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #78:
Hot off the presses for October of 1967, we have a sixteen-page epic by Leo Dorfman and Kurt Schaffenberger called "Courtship--Kryptonian Style!" that wastes no time getting right to the root of Lois's problem.
Namely, that Superman is a player.
See, Lois and Lana have finally gotten tired of competing with each other for Superman's affections, and have decided to make a pretty radical change: They're going to shrink themselves down, move to the Bottle City of Kandor, and compete with each other for the affections of another Kryptonian: Vitar!
Incidentally, Vitar's sporting a turban, earrings, and vest because when he first showed up in Lois Lane #76, he pretended to be a genie trapped in a bottle in order to decide which girl he wanted to make a play for, thus keeping the Kryptonian tradition of building relationships on a foundation of complex lies and deception alive and well in the Bottle City.
Anyway, with Superman's help, Vitar and the girls shrink down and take the next available tiny rocketship to the City of Miniature Love, where they're impressed by video footage of Vitar's amazingly heterosexual performance as a fire-hoop trampoline gymnast in the Kryptonian Olympics, as well as the medals he's been awarded for outstanding service to the Superman Emergency Squad. So just to make sure we're on the same page here, I'll point it out again: Lois and Lana have decided to get over Superman by focusing their romantic attentions on another Kryptonian whose job it is to sit around in a Superman costume waiting for Superman to screw up to the point where he needs a bunch of tiny versions of himself to save him.
The example they use to illustrate this, by the way, is a scene where Superman is caught in a Kryptonite bear trap. There are not enough capital letters in the world to describe how awesome that is.
Once they've settled in to life in the Bottle City, Laverne and Shirley--sorry, Lois and Lana are instructed by a talking car to get jobs, and so head down to The Psychodrome, where they'll be analyzed and assigned to careers that best fit them. Lois's investigative reporting skills land her a position as a detective, while Lana's potential leads her to follow in her father's footsteps as an archaeologist, but not before nearly having their brains melted by psychic feedback in a hasty murder attempt by Vitar's jilted ex-girlfriend, Serena Vol. This is the kind of thing that might seem like it'll be important later, but trust me: Don't worry about it.
Either way, the girls take to their new careers pretty enthusiastically, which apparently means that Lana failed to catch the intrinsic uselessness of an archaeologist in a city located entirely within a foot-wide glass bottle. Could be she's just enthused by the offer Vitar makes after realizing that no matter how many space-dances he takes them to, they're still going to be in love with Superman:
That's right: Using the highly dubious science of Outer Spaaaaace, Vitar has invented a serum that can make you completely invulnerable, and after testing it on one (1) animal, has decided that the next logical step is to make two women that he loves compete for the one existing dose of said serum. Needless to say, the girls are all for it.
Fortunately, there's a situation that plays to both of their newfound strengths: the theft of a relic from a Kandorian art museum. Lois immediately suits up in her new detective uniform and sets out to follow the fuel trail from the thief's "atom-powered jet belt," but runs into a bit of trouble when a mysterious female figure tries to bring down her plane with a laser gun. Lana, on the other hand, makes her own way to Lois's destination and the two end up diving into an underground stream, where yet another mysterious female figure cuts the air supply of Lana's scuba gear. It all works out eventually, though: They track down the thief--who is apparently one of the Beagle Boys--and Lois beats the living hell out of him with Space Karate:
Thus, Lois scores the victory. Unfortunately, it turns out that Vitar's invulnerability serum, as these things are wont to do, wear soff after an hour and has the side effect of causing you to sprout feathers, so the whole thing's marked down as a moot point anyway.
But wait! What about the mysterious female figures who tried to kill Lois and Lana as they went about solving the case? Could it be the work of Serena Vol, the only character in this entire story to express any kind of hostility towards or motive for attacking them?
Of course not. That would make sense.
No, it's actually Sylvia and Ti-Arra (yeah, Ti-Arra), Lois and Lana's respective identical doppelgangers from the Kandorian Look-Alike Squad, a dedicated group of highly coincidental citizens who double for Superman's entire supporting cast whenever they're in danger:
So, Lois and Lana head back to Metropolis, Vitar and Serena get back together, and Superman goes back to being the coolest guy on the block:
And that's the kind of trouble Lois will go to just for the chance to maybe con Superman into marrying her. When she actually gets to the altar, though... That's when things get crazy.
The Strange Saga of the Many Weddings of Lois Lane Continues!
ISB... For The Ladies: Last Year's Romance Specials
| Wonder Girl's Creepy Husband (Part One of I Hate Terry Long) |
| How To Get A Girl In Ten Days |
| My (Allegedly) Funny Valentines |
| Valentines From The Crypt |
| Could Be Worse! |