Romance Special: The Matrimonial Mishaps of Lois Lane, Part Two
Last night--or, y'know, three days ago, but whatever--the ISB took a stern, uncompromising look at the lengths Silver Age Lois Lane would go to in order to get Superman to agree to marry her, which include but are not limited to shrinking to microscopic size and learning Space Karate. As we later found out, however, Lois occasionally gets tired of throwing herself at Superman and sets her romantic sights on a different guy.
This never ends well.
But considering who she ends up with, I don't think anyone's really surprised.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a cloven-hooved Lois Lane getting married to THE SATAN. Why?
Because Bob Kanigher. That's why.
The story--courrtesey of Kanigher and Curt Swan--actually starts with the previous issue's "When You're Dead, You're Dead," but considering that this one devotes no fewer than four pages to a flashback sequence explaining what happened, I think I'll be okay with not having that one on hand. Suffice to say that this one opens up with Superman on top of a mountain re-enacting the climactic scene from King Lear, yelling at a thunderstorm about how he has broken his sacred oath and--choke--slain a human being.
Here's how it went down: On an assignment to cover the Rare Animal Show for the Planet--because that's exactly what you want your ace reporters devoting their time to--Lois runs across the cleverly-named Rajah Satdev, who easily charms her with his totally sweet Anton LaVey beard and ability to talk to tigers. She remarks that she would "sell her soul to the Devil to scoop Clark Kent on a headline story," and they end up hanging out and listening to Black Sabbath for a while until Lois gets the bright idea to take a few hits of the Rajah's "secret elixir," apparently because she's forgotten everything she learned in the previous 102 issues. The elixir, as you might expect by this point, ends up giving her cloven hooves and a rakish set of horns, which pop out just after she discovers that Satdev's packing a set of his own, and is probably not to be trusted.
Enter Superman, who seems to be the jealous type despite the fact that he shows up carrying Lana Lang. Satdev shoots a few lightning bolts and one ricochets off of Superman, hits Lois, and generally ruins everyone's day. Fortunately, Satdev has a torch-bearing stone altar set up for just such an occasion, and that just about brings us to here:
So Superman finally finishes yelling at the thunderstorm and returns to the dais where they've left Lois's body, deciding that the appropriate way to react to his girlfriend's death would be to marry her corpse...
...and then get the hell out of there.
Once he's gone, though, Satdev shows back up and demonstrates that his ring has powers beyond just throwing around lightning bolts and talking to tigers by bringing Lois out of her death-like coma, explaining that it was actually a side-effect of the elixir that caused her to pass out. And then, in the sort of abrupt plot twist we've come to expect around here, Lana fights some tigers and Satdev whisks Lois off to his home planet, Nfernio!
Yes, owing to the Comics Code's prohibitions against the Supernatural, Satdev is revealed to be not actually be the Man-Goat at all, but instead just a friendly scientist from a planet where everyone, y'know, has horns and a tail, dresses in red, carries around a pitchfork, and where everything is constantly on fire. And they also torture sinners for eternity, but that's really beside the point.
Which is, of course, that Satdev is in love with Lois, and journeyed to Earth to find her after spying on her with a Space Telescope and wallpapering his moderately-sized living room in candid photos of her. And Lois, being Lois, finds this charming and agrees to marry him on the spot.
But alas, the day finally comes, and when Lois takes off the ring that Superman gave her while she was temporarily deceased to accept Satdev's, she sees an inscription from Superman promising to love her 'til the end of time, and decides that she wants to go back to Earth after all. Fortunately, Satdev's ring is up to the task of not only transporting her back to her home planet, but also handily removing her horns and tail and returning her feet to normal, despite the fact that he claimed that he couldn't so that Lois would have no choice but to marry him, which, all things considered, slightly edges out Superman tricking her into thinking that they're going to get married and then using her as bait to lure a murderer out of hiding.
Well-played, Satan. Well-played.
In addition to her brief fling with the Author of All Lies, this issue also includes a reprint of a story from Lois Lane #10 entitled "The Fantastic Wigs of Mr. Dupre," which is notable as the first--and by my count, only--appearance of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane's Fabulous Hairdresser, Marcel!
I think I sense a comeback.
More ISB Fun With Lois Lane:
| What Exactly Is Going On Here? |
| Lois Lane: The Warning Signs |
| Lois Lane: Enemy of Science! |
| A Graphical Sorbet |
| Scenes You Won't Be Seeing In Superman Returns |