Cover of Issue #42:
Justice of the Peace: "I can't marry you kids! You're minors!"
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
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 could be forgiven for wondering what Superman sees in her.
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..."
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:
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!"
Superman operates controls of machine while Lois and the body mold glow with energy.
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.
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.
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
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.