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Friday, February 09, 2007

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.

"Hey, Lana, look, I gotta get out of town for a while until the heat dies down. If the cops ask, you never saw me."

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 |


Blogger Ragnell said...

I think, given the characteristics of the other men Lois is attracted to, we can draw some frightening conclusions about Superman.

2/10/2007 3:32 AM

Blogger Brandon Bragg said...

Hasn't Lois, at one time or another, dated just about every male character ever to appear at least semi-regularly in a Superman book, including Jimmy?

2/10/2007 3:47 AM

Blogger Bill S. said...

More to the point, has she ever dated Marcel?

2/10/2007 4:06 AM

Blogger Richelle Mead said...

No Lois, this is the happiest day of my life.

The question, of course, is who goes through the most men: Lois or Anita Blake?

2/10/2007 4:12 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I appreciate that Superman uses correct grammar on that cover.

2/10/2007 5:47 AM

Blogger Jeff said...


Note that tigers scream in just the same manner as a man.

2/10/2007 7:09 AM

Blogger Martin Wisse said...

Say what you will, but Lois is looking pretty hot on that cover.

Pretty hot. Geddit? Geddit?

2/10/2007 9:26 AM

Blogger CalvinPitt said...

So one moment, Superman's bawling his eyes out and marrying corpses, vowing that he'll never forget this day.

Then the very next thing out of his mouth is 'Life goes on'? So obviously Superman had been exposed to Red Kryptonite off-panel and was suffering from multiple personality disorder.

And I'm going to guess Lana found that unbelievably attractive.

2/10/2007 9:43 AM

Blogger SallyP said...

I personally think that Lois is SO desperate to get married, that if some poor smelly old hobo walked up and mumbled something to her, they'd end up in a church.

2/10/2007 10:07 AM

Blogger Evan Waters said...

The code didn't really explicitly forbid the supernatural (except for specifics like vampires, werewolves and the walking dead)- I think it was more the companies playing it safe so as to avoid further restriction. Even Satan was never officially on the verboten list (which is actually kind of surprising).

2/10/2007 10:50 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That ain't Swan on the interior art. I think it's Bob Brown.

It is a Swan cover, though I detect someone else's hand there too.


2/10/2007 2:29 PM

Blogger John Bligh said...

I think Kanigher thought up this story on the bowl...

2/10/2007 6:36 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


But you do know that by skipping the previous issue, you're missing such gems as Satdev taking Lois to a restaurant and ordering DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE A LA HADES because it's the only thing that "naturally appeals to [him]", right? Along with "Ha--ha--ha! You can't beat the DEVIL!", of course, which is a bit rich coming from a guy who soon proceeds to complain about the way the superstitious Earthlings have always persecuted his poor well-meaning compatriots.

(Are you going to do Lois Lane #18 for this, incidentally? It's awesome.)

2/10/2007 10:27 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

You know, I didn't think it looked like Swan, but according to the GCD, it's Swan with Mike Esposito inks.

2/10/2007 11:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure this is exactly what you folks are looking for here, but I have an original Kurt Schaffenberger Lois Lane #18 pen and ink board that he gave when I was a kid (we were neighbors in River Edge, NJ). I'd like to find a copy of the actual comic, thought that would be pretty easy to do via sites like this one, but have struck out. Can someone post a site or address for me where I might find a decent copy of Lois Lane #18? In red ink at the top of the board it has "July"; #18 is under that; to the right there's a 13 with a circle around it. The page number is 2, inked in the lower right hand corner.


John in Flint

4/15/2007 10:21 PM


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