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Posts Tagged ‘Superman’

  1. So, What Was Lois Lane Up To 50 Years Ago? (#4)

    November 15, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    From Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #30:

    “Lois Lane, Daily Planet reporter, has braved a thousand dangers without fear for her life! And why? Because she knows that, like a circus acrobat, she always has a ‘safety net’ under her that will prevent her from being killed! Lois’ ‘net’, of course, is Superman who usually keeps an eye on his reckless reporter girl friend! But one day, shockingly, Superman loses interest in saving the impetuous newshawk! It is then that the Planet’s star reporter faces certain doom on the fateful day…WHEN SUPERMAN ABANDONED LOIS LANE!”

    It’s a busy day  for Lois Lane. On her schedule:  She must get a manicure before attending dinner with boss Perry White and his wife. Then she needs to acquire a window cleaner’s uniform so she can spy on mobster Phil the Wrecker (who she just happens to be scheduled to give evidence against at trial.)  Clark Kent and Jimmy Olsen warn her of how dangerous her plans are (the spying, not the dinner party) but Lois insists that she can always count on Superman to save her if things get dicey. As usual, things don’t go according to plan. Her magnificently manicured fingernails alert Wrecker’s gang that the person outside their window can’t be a a real window cleaner, but is in fact a GIRL!

    Wrecker and his gang see their opportunity to rid themselves a witness in his upcoming trial and unclip Lois’ safety belt. Superman arrives in the nick of time before Lois and her fresh manicure make contact with the sidewalk below. Superman lets Lois know that he is fed up with her recklessness and that he might not always be able to come to her rescue. Knowing Lois has not been sufficiently chastised by his lecture, Superman knows it’s time to teach Lois another lesson.

    The next day, Clark and Lois visit a local dog show where Lois spots a drug smuggler making a drop. She ignores Clark’s suggestion that they alert the police and let them handle it, and pursues the criminal herself. Spotted by the smuggler, Lois nonchalantly buys a chocolate pop from an ice cream vendor. Before she can take a bite, a large black dog snatches the pop from Lois’ hand and gobbles it down. The dog suddenly convulses and collapses, whereupon Clark announces that the dog is dead and that the ice cream must have been poisoned. And Superman wasn’t there to help her if it had been her instead of the dog who swallowed the poisoned ice cream pop. We soon learn that the dog was Superman’s friend Krypto in disguise and that the whole thing was part of Clark/ Superman’s campaign to get Lois to stop thinking she can always count on Superman to come to the rescue.

    As Superman and all the readers know, one lesson is never sufficient for Lois (three lessons are the accepted minimum). Just before scuba diving for a murder weapon, Lois is warned that the local waters are infested with killer octopi.  Sure that Superman will save her if she gets in trouble Lois dives to the sea floor where she is almost immediately seized by the eight tentacles of a giant octopus. Once again, Superman does not come to her rescue. Only the timely distraction of another swimmer saves her from being eaten by the creature. It turns out that Superman called in a favor from Aquaman (the other swimmer) and his friend Topo the octopus.

    Lesson number three occurs at a recently burglarized fur warehouse where Lois gets herself locked in cold storage. Clark waits outside monitoring Lois’ condition with his x-ray vision. Not until Lois has almost frozen to death does Clark (not Superman) free her from the deep freeze.

    Finally convinced that Superman has abandoned her, Lois notifies Perry White that she won’t accept any more dangerous assignments. Clark can barely suppress his pleasure with the success of his campaign but Jimmy Olsen is worried for Lois’ safety since she is due to testify against Wrecker and his gang the next day.

    Jimmy’s fears are realized when Lois is met in her apartment that evening by Wrecker and his gang. Almost immediately, “Superman” appears and the crooks flee after their bullets bounce off of his chest. Lois is thrilled that Superman hasn’t abandoned her after all, and declares she will now return to taking whatever chances are necessary secure in the knowledge that Superman will always be there to protect her. No sooner does Lois rush downstairs to pursue her would be attackers, the real Superman arrives to confront his doppelgänger who turns out to be Jimmy Olsen wearing his Superman disguise and a bulletproof vest.  Alas, all of Superman’s efforts to teach Lois a lesson have been for naught.

  2. The Legion of Super-Heroes from the 21st Century

    November 11, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Okay, it’s probably a typo (Wikipedia assures me that DC’s Legion of Super-Heroes is from the 30th Century)  but everything else about this extra from Superman Annual #4 is very informative, especially for someone like me who grew up reading mostly Marvel books (where one might win a no-prize for correcting such a millennial flub).

  3. What was Lois Lane up to 50 Years Ago? (Pt. 3)

    October 18, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    Not that I ever need an excuse to revisit the goofy world of Lois Lane in 1961, but yesterday was Margot Kidder’s birthday and I feel kind of bad that I didn’t post this installment of “What was Lois Lane up to 50 Years Ago” a day earlier.  This story is one that was somehow overlooked when I posted about DC weddings a few weeks ago.

    In Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #28 (October, 1961) we find  a story called “Lois Lane, Gun-Moll”.

    “There’s an old theory that, as in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde — each person has two personalities — one good, one evil — and that they battle for control until one dominates the other! Theory…or fact? You’ll soon see for yourself, as you watch a familiar friend change from good to evil — from reporter to robber — to become known as the notorious… Lois Lane, Gun-Moll!

    Of course, Lois’ reaction to the ray is only delayed. When it kicks in, Perry and Jimmy are the first to observe Lois in her new “evil” persona. Lois’ sister and roomie, Lucy also notices a difference.

    While snooping around in Lois’ room Lucy discovers some stolen jewelry and realizes that Lois is moonlighting as Metropolis’ newest super-villainess, the Leopard Lady. Lois chloroforms her sister and (after punching Lucy’s boyfriend Jimmy Olsen in the nose) takes her back to the Leopard Lady’s secret lair where Lois and her gang are planning their next job.

    The robbery at the Daily Planet  is interrupted by Superman in his guise as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent. Kent pretends to be knocked unconscious when Leopard Lady Lois cracks him in the head with the butt of a tommy-gun, and then follows Lois and her gang back to their hideout. Superman quickly takes out Lois’ two goons but Lois lays him low with a boulder made of synthetic kryptonite. While Superman struggles against the effects of the kryptonite, Lois informs him that she’s sick of waiting around for him to return her love and has found a new man…Lex Luthor! Lois and Luthor announce their intention to be married and make a quick exit before the synthetic kryptonite wears off.

    True to their promise, the next day, the self-proclaimed King and Queen of Crime are married on the steps of city hall where a force field prevents the police or Superman from doing anything about it. As the justice of the peace asks if anyone objects to the union, Superman pounds on the force field screaming, “I object! I do! If only I could batter through!” After the justice proclaims Mr. and Mrs. Lex Luthor man and wife, Lois turns to Superman and sneers, “Hear that, Superman? That makes it official! You had your chance to marry me, but you muffed it!” The force dome explodes and the newlyweds make their escape. Superman is so dejected, even Lana Lang doesn’t want to exploit the mopey superhero’s new relationship status.

    Meanwhile back at the hideout Lex Luthor and his gang are yucking it up over the look on Superman’s face at the wedding.  The merriment is short-lived as Superman bursts through the door and turns to Lois still in her bridal gown and proclaims, “There is evil in you Lois, an evil that must be destroyed — burned out!”  Superman then uses his heat-ray vision to…reduce Lois Lane to a pile of ashes!

    Relax! It was a robot Lois Lane all along!


  4. The Adventures of Superboy: 1961 Pilot Episode

    September 23, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    The Superman TV show no one has ever heard of was shopped around to local TV stations in 1961, but there weren’t enough takers to produce anymore episodes. I’m not sure what doomed this venture starring Johnny Rockwell as Superboy and Bunny Henning as Lana Lang. As silly as it was, The Adventures of Superboy was no worse than any of the other children’s shows at the time. Rockwell was clearly cast because he resembled a slightly younger George Reeves. Here is that pilot episode in three parts.







  5. What was Lois Lane Doing 50 Years Ago? (Pt. 2)

    September 22, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    I can’t tell you how tempting it was to title this post “Who was Lois Lane Doing 50 years Ago?” This Curt Swan cover from Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #29 (Nov. 1961) depicting Lois being gang-kissed by the Justice League of America is perhaps one of the most disturbing images to come out of comicdom in 1961. The expressions of sexual  urgency on the faces of Aquaman and Batman are exquisitely rendered. Aquaman’s impatience is palpable. And Batman appears more than a little conflicted about being in the position of partaking in Aquaman’s sloppy seconds. However, as animalistic as their urges may be, the heroes still have the decency to form a proper line. I doubt any member of  Hell’s Angels would display such classy comportment.


  6. The Super-Luck of Badge 77

    September 17, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

    The Superman comic strip ran in as many as 300 papers daily from 1939 to 1966. Readership at the peak of the strip’s popularity was over 20 million. In the early Sixties, storylines ran to about forty 3-panel daily strips. Although some famous comic book characters like Lex Luthor and Mister Mxyzptlk debuted in the strip, by 1961 the strip’s  stories were being lifted from 3-year-old Superman comic books. The artwork was new and the scripts were tweaked to fit the storytelling conventions of a daily strip, but the plots were lifted wholesale from the comic book.

    The story arc that ran from August 14, 1961 – September 16, 1961, was adapted from a story (“The Super-Luck of Badge 77″) in Superman #133 (Nov. 1959). In that story, Clark Kent’s boss, Perry White sends Clark undercover as a police officer.  Otto Binder wrote the original story for the comic book but I don’t know if it was he who adapted it to the strip. I believe the artist is Wayne Boring. If not, I’m sure someone with a better eye will clue me in soon. Here are a few strips from that arc. If you want to know why badge 77 was so lucky, just turn the numbers upside-down to see whose initials are displayed.

    The whole story arc can be read here


  7. Wedding Bells

    August 30, 2011 by The Belated Nerd

     If not for the “Imaginary Story” disclaimer or a last-minute intervention of circumstances, Superman and several of his friends might now be celebrating their 50th anniversary of marital bliss. I’m not simply referring to Superman and Lois Lane (although they were married to each other in a half-dozen or more stories in 1961) but also Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl and Lana Lang. Even Bizarro-Superman proposed to Lois Lane during one of her freakish physical transformations.



     In Action Comics #279, Superman decides that the only way Lois Lane and Lana Lang will ever stop pursuing him is if he brings back a couple of hunks from the past to marry them. Traveling through the time barrier, Superman travels to the past and brings Hercules and Samson back to modern-day Metropolis and introduces them to Lois and Lana. In short order Lois and Lana become Mrs. Hercules and Mrs. Samson repectively. Hercules spends his first day as a married man moving the home he and Lois have bought from one spot to another until Lois is finally satisfied. Meanwhile, Lana has Samson running errands like securing a mountain lion as the household pet.  Lois is so  envious of the Samsons’ exotic pet that she dispatches Hercules to the nearest zoo to steal an ostrich. Because the two women love shopping so much Hercules and Samson are each forced to hold down several jobs, none of which go very well. Samson and Hercules finally confront Superman and beg him to return them to the past. 


    Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #57 begins with a  splash page showing Jimmy slipping a ring on a beaming Linda (Supergirl) Danvers. As best man Superman tries to restrain his disapproval.  We soon learn that Jimmy has unwittingly beguiled Supergirl’s alter ego with a chunk of red Kryptonite. The red K causes Linda to lose her superpowers and forget she is Supergirl. When Superman returns from a mission in space he finds the two are engaged to be married.   Even though he soon figures out that red K is to blame, Superman can’t bear to break up the happy couple and the marriage goes on as planned. When the red K finally wears off Supergirl is afraid  Jimmy won’t still love her if he finds our she’s Supergirl, so she attempts to woo him as her super personae. After numerous adventures, Supergirl eventually confesses and is delighted that Jimmy has no problem being married to Linda Danvers and Supergirl.


    In Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane#25 Superman and Lois are married in secret so Lois won’t become a target of Superman’s enemies. Lois soon tires of this arrangement and insists that they go public. Against his better judgement, Superman agrees and the newlyweds are personally congratulated by President and Mrs. Kennedy. As soon as the couple moves from the Fortress of Solitude to the suburbs, Superman goes to work protecting his bride and new home from his enemies. When a serum to give Lois super powers doesn’t pan out, Superman creates the hilarious bullet-proof vehicle depicted on the cover. Lois soon learns that being Mrs. Superman in public is not all that it’s cracked up to be and admits that Superman was right to want to keep their marriage secret. But the cat was already out of the bag, so she would just have to live with the situation along with her super smug hubby.


  8. What was Lois Lane up to 50 Years Ago?

    August 4, 2011 by The Belated Nerd


    Since becoming a self-appointed anthropologist of 1961 pop culture, I’ve taken to asking myself a lot of “I-wonder-what-(fill in the blank)-was-like-50-years-ago” type questions. When somebody on the radio pondered, “What ever happened to Margot Kidder?” I somehow scrambled that into “What was Lois Lane up to 50 years ago?”

    Well, here we go…What’s that? You read the panel on the left and you already know that an evolution ray turned Lois into a big-headed, bald freak that only a Bizarro-Superman could love? Today’s blog post is going to be a breeze!

    The first story in Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #27 (Aug. 1961) is entitled “Lois Lane’s Super-Brain”.  Lois is assigned to interview a scientist who has invented something called a brain bank. The machine collects the wisdom and knowledge of great people and has already absorbed the intelligence of hundreds of famous people. After Lois  interviews some of the famous scientists and mathematicians contributing their vast knowledge to be stored in the machine, Lois puts the machine on her head to pose for a picture. Inadvertently, she hits the reverse switch and all the knowledge stored in the machine is stuffed into Lois’s brain.

    The next morning…you read the panel? Okay, so, Lois has this big bald head and no matter what kind of wig or hat she wears, she just can’t keep it a secret from the public. Just like any right-thinking minor celebrity, Lois flees to Las Vegas where she uses her super brain to win back a young couple’s losses at a roulette table and her giant noggin to win first prize at a science fiction convention costume contest. Bizarro-Superman then shows up and…yeah.

    As often happens in Lois Lane stories Superman comes to the rescue and…just read the panel (drawn by the under appreciated Kurt Schaffenberger).  Bizarro-Superman returns with flowers and a wedding ring but is repulsed by Lois’ normal good looks.

    By the way, Margot Kidder is doing just fine.