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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – There’s Always an Amnesiac Around When You Need One

All day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange but ultimately endearing comic stories, one a day (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books).

Today we look at 1963′s Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #38′s “The Invisible Lois Lane.”

In this story, Lois discovers Superman’s secret identity, but things don’t go the way she planned (through the helpful assistance of amnesiac).

The issue was drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein. I actually don’t know who wrote it.

Ah, Lois, the perfect example of her typical “drink first, ask if it is toxic later” attitude.

During the rest of the story, Invisible Lois Lane examines various social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century.

Oh, all right, she tries to see if Clark Kent is Superman.

With this knowledge in hand, Lois does what anyone would do, she decides to screw with Superman’s head.

What?!?! How can Lois cut Clark’s hair? And where’s Clark’s costume?

We soon learn…

I love the idea of Superman entrusting just some amnesiac with his secret. I also love the confidence that Superman has that he can cure his amnesia. And then when he actually DOES do it, he clearly was just winging it. “Well, I’ll be damned, flipping a dude upside down a lot DOES cure amnesia. I’ll have to remember that in the future.”

It would have been even better if it went down like “Thanks for helping me out, Ron, but really, I have no idea how to cure your amnesia. I just told you that to get you to help me. And while yes, you now know my secret identity, don’t forget that I have super-hearing. If I ever hear you talk about me, I WILL kill you. Thanks again for helping me out!”

It is also great how after spinning the guy upside down a couple of times cures his amnesia, Superman helpfully drops some “knowledge” on us about how amensia victims don’t remember anything that happened to them during their amnesia. Don’t doubt the science!! Superman comics would never lie to us!

If you have suggestions for a future comic book story that you’d like to see featured here, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

21 Comments

So Potter invented an elastic serum & an invisibility serum, did he ever invent serums to turn someone into a rocklike thing or a human torch? ;-)

When did Superman get his amnesium rock?

Perhaps I’ve been reading Scott’s Polite Dissent blog for too long (impossible!) but I actually felt physical pain at Superman’s line about former amnesiacs never remembering what happened during their period of amnesia. That’s some Silver Age anti-science right there… ouch!

Even though there would be enough material, I trust you won’t do a whole month of Superman? Or even Silver Age?

Nice Ralph Ellison ref, Brian.

Man, Golden Age Lois was an insufferable shrew. I remember that when I was a kid and read these stories in reprints, I LOATHED Lois. The Astro City story where the Superman analogue dumps the nosy Lois analogue was exactly what I always thought Superman should do to Lois.

randypan the goatboy

August 3, 2011 at 7:39 am

Oh my God. You really can see how far comics have come since the sixties. Even marvel was writting crap[a higher quality of crap, but crap none the less]. Try telling that kind of story outside of an ambush bug comic today and fans would riot[or at least send nasty messages to fan sites]

interesting for those old stories not only prove how stubborn Lois is when she is so focused on how she will prove clark is superman that she does not listen about the side effects of the potion but superman is willing to trust a stranger with his i.d

Awesome

AverageJoeEveryman

August 3, 2011 at 9:10 am

Just a little error but the first sentence is “All day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange…” Im guessing you mean either All month this August or Every day this August. Just noticed it and wanted to make sure you could fix it. Thanks.

Just a little error but the first sentence is “All day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange…” Im guessing you mean either All month this August or Every day this August. Just noticed it and wanted to make sure you could fix it. Thanks.

Talk about a nitpicker… you better fix it Brian! You better!

Man, Golden Age Lois was an insufferable shrew.

Okay, I guess I’m a nitpicker myself… 1963 was the Silver Age, not the Golden Age. So either you are talking about Lois Lane from a different era than the one represented here, or you are confusing the Golden Age for the Silver Age.

My favorite Superman story is that one issue of Kamandi where the gorillas in the future are fighting over who will wear the ancient (and empty) Superman costume. Feats of strength galore!

sequential fart

August 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I’m loving this series … please keep posting silver-age Lois Lane stories forever.

Only August 3rd and I’ve enjoyed it all! Looking forward to the rest of the month. :)

That is the worst carnival worker in the history of carnival workers.

AverageJoeEveryman

August 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

“Talk about a nitpicker… you better fix it Brian! You better!”
Awesome jackass. Just pointing out a typo and not being rude about it. My bad I guess.

“Oh my God. You really can see how far comics have come since the sixties. Even marvel was writting crap[a higher quality of crap, but crap none the less]. Try telling that kind of story outside of an ambush bug comic today and fans would riot[or at least send nasty messages to fan sites]”

They would riot (me being one of them) but that’s why I love the Silver Age. It exists right alongside with what’s being written today. It’s like having your comic books and reading them, too! (sorry about that).

Not to start a whole new topic, but I think that’s why I’m okay with the new DCU. All of the past stories still exist so if the new ones suck eggs I still have, what, 70 years of Superman and Batman stories I can read? I could only read Batman for the rest of my life and still not read every story that’s been written.

On another note, what’s with Silver Age comics explaining/spoiling the story you’re about to read in a text box on the first page?

Sorry AverageJoeEveryman, I was only teasing you about being a nitpicker… I didn’t mean to insult you (especially since I then nitpicked myself in the same comment and called myself out on it). All in good fun.

Ricardo Marques

August 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

That amnesia victim looks like Ronald Reagan.

FuryOfFirestorm

August 20, 2011 at 7:34 am

Since Supes can see different spectrums, wouldn’t he have “seen” Lois?

Plus, his Super- Hearing would have picked up the sound of Lois’ footsteps and heartbeat, at least.

I was always confused in those early stories, Why Lois would try to find out Supermans secret identity. I mean, why would she even think that he had one? Why wouldn’t you think he was just Superman? Batman, etc. wears a mask, so it makes sense to assume that there is a real person under the mask. That’s like trying to find out The Visions secret identity. Sure he’s an android, but I’ll just assume he puts a disguise on and pretends to be a normal guy with a normal job.

The dissociative fugue is a genuine psychological disorder whereby the sufferer has temporary amnesia. The recovery is usually rapid and results, as Superman says, in the subject forgetting everything that happened during the fugue.
The most famous case was that of Agatha Christie.

So the science is not so bad after all. (Not so sure about the gyrations though!)

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