Cover of Issue #42:

Justice of the Peace: "I can't marry you kids! You're minors!"

Lois Lane, in her teens, dressed as a bobbysoxer, stamping her feet with rage: "Grrr... But we aren't kids! I'm Lois Lane, a famous reporter, and this is my fiance, Superman! He promised to marry me, and I demand you perform the ceremony!"

Superman, in his teens, looking smug, thinking: "Poor Lois! She'll never convince anyone a youth serum turned us both into teenagers. Serves her right for trying to trick me into marrying her!"

Comic book series, published by DC Comics from 1958 to 1974. It focused on the weird romantic schemes and entanglements of Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane, making it part romance comic, part superhero comic, and pure 100% crazy.

I've always felt that Lois Lane was a bit of an odd character. She seems like an odd romantic interest for Superman -- she has no powers of her own to put her on an equal footing with a guy who is more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. She isn't a glamour pinup either -- she's a short-haired brunette, not a blonde, not a redhead, not particularly tall. She's certainly not unattractive, but you would be forgiven for wondering what Superman sees in her.

And it doesn't help that, even in her earliest appearances, she was coldly dismissive of Clark Kent but head-over-heels in love with Superman. How could she love him and hate him at the same time? On top of all that, she's arrogant (probably justifiably, because she's a hell of a reporter at one of the largest newspapers in the country), frequently angry (often at the bumbling wallflower Kent), and foolhardy (or perhaps "brave" is a better word) to the point of putting herself in mortal danger almost every issue. Nevertheless, those qualities are the same ones that make her an excellent character and a great foil for both Superman and Clark Kent.

Cover of Issue #9:

Lois Lane, at piano, and Pat Boone, strumming ukelele, singing: "Come sing a song of Superman..."

Superman, flying in for a landing: "Pat Boone and Lois Lane are singing a new song about me! It's a great tune, but I must use all my super-powers to prevent it from becoming a hit!"

In the early Silver Age, comics about Superman were a big success, and even the madcap "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen" sold well. DC wanted to extend that winning streak, so they turned to what seemed like a fairly obvious character -- Lois herself. The formula for the Jimmy Olsen comic could be extended -- wild, wacky hijinks with frequent guest appearances from the Man of Steel. So "Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane" made its debut, with Lois as a man-hungry loon, always trying to trick Superman into marrying her, often in direct competition with Lana Lang, his girlfriend from Smallville, as Lois' rival for Superman's heart.

I'm not sure whether Lois' adventures ever matched Jimmy's for sheer lunacy, but they certainly came close. Over the course of the series, Lois married Superman numerous times (always in non-continuity "Imaginary Stories"), refused to marry him other times, had super-powered babies, gained superpowers, killed Superman, was killed by Superman, married other superheroes, supervillains, aliens, and monsters, got turned into a freak or monster, got old, turned into a baby, fought with Lana, teamed up with Lana, and got humiliated more times than you can count.

By the time the '70s hit (and the Silver Age ended), the series was taking on a more mature tone, with Lois being taken a lot more seriously, going on adventures of her own, and addressing social issues, including feminism and racism.

Cover of Issue #106:

Panel 1:

Superman, closing the door on Lois in a high-tech sarcophagus: "Are you sure you want to go through with this, Lois?"

Lois: "Yes, Superman! Close the body mold and switch on the power!"

Panel 2:

Superman operates controls of machine while Lois and the body mold glow with energy.

Panel 3:

Lois, emerging from the body mold with a much darker complexion and curly hair: "It's important that I live the next 24 hours as a black woman!"

For all the ill treatment that Lois had to take during the series, it's still looked on fondly by comics fans. Aside from the absolute madness that dominated the comic for most of its run, artist Kurt Schaffenberger drew most of the Silver Age issues, and his version of Lois is still considered one of the best out there.

Other notable features of the series included the Silver Age debut of Catwoman in the mid-1960s (the character had been missing from comics since 1954) and a backup feature in the early 1970s starring Rose and the Thorn, a heroine with a split personality.

"Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane" was cancelled (along with "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen") in 1974 after a run of 137 issues and two 80-Page Giant annuals.

Cover of Issue #45:

Blond-haired male actor, wearing Superman costume, in audio recording booth: "I've told you 1,000 times, Lois, I can't marry you! My career comes first!"

Red-haired female actor, in audio recording booth: "Oh, Superman, my beloved! I'll never give up hope... I'll wait for you all my life!"

Lois Lane, on other side of glass, fuming with anger: "Those two voice mimics! They're recording another album making fun of me and Superman! He'll be furious when he hears this!"

Clark Kent, standing next to her, looks insufferably smug but says nothing.

You can see all of the crazy covers from this series here.

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