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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Superman and Supergirl’s Creepy “Play-Acting”

Every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today we look at Action Comics #260, featuring a rather disturbing “charade” by Superman and Supergirl.

The story was written by Otto Binder and drawn by Al Plastino. This showed up during the time when Supergirl was still Superman’s “secret weapon.” That left her free for stunts like this.

The issue opens with Superman’s typically dismissive attitude towards Lois (“Knowing Lois as I do, I’ll bet she’s in the thick of trouble right now.”)

Of course, she IS in trouble, so I guess it is hard to fault Superman too much. Anyhow, when Superman shows up to save her, there is a surprise in store for Lois…

Things progress to the point where Superman proposes to Mighty Maid.

Now here’s the major question. What’s weirder – Lois not being willing to accept the obvious or the fact that Superman does so many of these bizarre ruses that she’s actually reasonable to do what she does next?

Of course, as it turns out, Lois IS correct! Mighty Maid is Supergirl!!!

So Superman fools the aliens and then he returns to the public life…

How wonderfully disturbing.


Making out with a 15-year old and keeping her in hiding so that only he knows she even exists? Christ on a crutch.

Riles, make that, “Making out with HIS 15-YEAR-OLD FIRST COUSIN.” Yikes.

Also disturbing – the last panel of the second page posted – Supergirl is so dedicated to properly portraying her part that she protects them in case a telepath is checking on the reality of their ruse. That’s the only reasonably non-creepy explanation I can come up with for her THOUGHT BUBBLE about her older cousin, “His eyes are beautiful!”

Wow, Superman and Supergirl had an…interesting…familial bond.

Hey, Superman’s eyes ARE beautiful! What’s wrong with pointing out the obvious? :D

No, Eric, look carefully. The bubble trail off the “His eyes are beautiful” line, although they’re uncomfortably close to Supergirl’s head, actually POINT towards the Indian guy.

But yeah, this is pretty weird.

And of course, it’s amusing how Superman tracked sound waves through space.

IIRC, Kryptonians have no incestual taboo.

I don’t know why I know this.

Actually, Kryptonian law is the only reason why Superman and Supergirl don’t hook up, as cousins are not allowed to marry on Krypton.

The more of these that are spotlighted, the more convinced I am Silver Age Superman was simply terrible, even if taking into account the post-Wertham atmosphere, the age of the audience, the less sophisticated audience at the time of publication, any deliberate tongue in cheek intent…still terrible.

But I’m spotlighting the bad ones. There were plenty of good ones. Superman #129 (first Lori Lemaris) is great. Superman #141 (Superman goes back in time to Krypton and befriends his parents) is great. Superman #149 (death of Superman) is great. There are a lot of great stories from this era.

In fact, that might be a good idea for a September bit – “Silver Age Greatness.”

Yes Brian, that would be a great idea. Please do that. Because after this month I’m really getting a skewed view of Silver Age Superman. The other stuff has been strange and bad in an endearing way, but this stuff not so much, at least IMO.

I love how lois accidentally falling off roofs is treated like some everyday occurance. She’s more shocked to see Superman than scared that she’s plumeting to the ground!

I just love that Lois is so used to being saved from danger that she just takes it in stride now. It’s not, “Oh! I’m saved!” It’s “Who’s that hussy that grabbed me?”

I love how Lois just casually drops of a bulding in the second-to-last panel

Superman #141 (Superman goes back in time to Krypton and befriends his parents) is great.

Yeah, it was. As opposed to the one where Lois goes back in time and hits on Superman’s dad, which is, um, uncomfortable.

Not only does he do all the wacky stuff, he does it because of “the day I started hearing angry voices.”

I wonder how many other crazy things Superman does because of the angry voices only he can hear….

My favorite part is the panel where Supergirl tearfully asks to leave the orphanage. “No, Supergirl, you have to stay with the rest of the unwanted children.”

If there’s a Kryptonian law against first-cousin incest, DC can retcon that out of existence. Then it can adjust Superman’s and Supergirl’s ages the way it did for Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson. E.g., he’s 27 and she’s 22. Voila…the controversial Superman/Supergirl pairing that everyone’s been thinking of for decades becomes a reality!

randypan the goatboy

August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Oh my…I am having a hard time with deciding whats funnier.Lois just falling off a building she was inspecting[does she do contracting on the side?] or the fact that all she can focus on is Superman marrying her. You always get the gist that Lois was obsessed with finding out Supermans Identity, but in these stories it just looks like the identity is secondary to gettin some super sex. The way Superman always tries the old kryptonian mind fuck on Lois I dont know why she bothers

“In fact, that might be a good idea for a September bit – “Silver Age Greatness.””

Make it so, Brian.

Brian Cronin said:

Actually, Kryptonian law is the only reason why Superman and Supergirl don’t hook up, as cousins are not allowed to marry on Krypton.

I remember that point about Kryptonian law being firmly established in dialogue in Action Comics #289 (“Superman’s Super-Courtship!”), but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “the only reason.”

When I reread DC Showcase reprint volumes about the adventures of Silver Age Superman and Silver Age Supergirl, I really don’t get the impression that the writers of that era wanted us to suspect Superman was constantly thinking (subconsciously or otherwise):

“Gosh, my cousin is so adorable that I wish I could just wait another couple of years until she’s no longer a legal minor, and then beg her to marry me — but blast it, if I broke some silly old Kryptonian law against first-cousin marriages, even though we’re not living on Krypton now, I just know that none of my friends in Kandor would ever speak to me again!”

The Silver Age. More lies and subterfuge than Lucy and Three’s Company put together.Covers that made you say “Why is Jimmy a Giant Turtle Man” or “Why does that town hate Superman”?

Everything about that bit with the Sphinx is great.

I wish modern Superman stories were more like the Silver Age stories. If he has god-like powers, the typical hero vs. villain stories lack drama. Thus, turning the book into a a wacky soap opera comedy is kind of genius.

“It’s Sahib Superman.” LOL. This should probably be “It’s Superman Sahib.”

I also think they modern writers should explore the Supergirl-Superman relationship. It kind of makes sense that they’d be into each other if they were the last two (normal-sized) Kryptonians left in the universe. Although, I guess they don’t have enough genetic diversity to successfully repopulate the Kryptonian species (and there are not enough Kryptonians to form a breeding population).

Superman must have read “The Art of War.” He probably could have saved the Earth by fighting the aliens directly, but instead he came up with a convoluted scheme to subdue his enemy without fighting. I find this awesome.

I’m gonna be Sahib Superman this Halloween.

But, um – “false legs”? How does that work?

how many random aliens with no backstory to as why they have a grudge at all seem to always come to earth to destroy superman?

I say, all things considered Supes should get to bang Supergirl. I mean come on.

Tim: The Superman Revenge Squad has a really good PR department.

There is awesomeness on every page! I can’t go though them all, but a few that stick out:
Third page: Superman’s conclusion that MM has powers, so she must be from another planet, too. Tied with Lois in a tornado seeming upset that it took so long for SUperman to reach her. Entitled, much?
Fourth page: Is the Planet a tabloid? Perry, doesn’t your paper have Pulitzer Prize winners on staff, and you’re concerned about boosting sales with Superman’s love life?
Seventh page: Lois, when did Superman announce he was leaving? Or, are you just being catty?
Eighth page: MM is a robot…and you came to this conclusion…how? Superman may be a dick, but this story just proves that Lois is just not right in the head.
And, of course, the last page: Lois, falling to her death seems relatively calm enough to hold a conversation. That one panel alone proves that Lois needs to be under 24 hour care. (If she thought Superman left, wouldn’t she, you know, be freaking out more?)

Damn…I love the Silver Age.

If there were any justice in the world, Superman’s child-abusing ass would be in the Phantom Zone.

I found it kind of funny, considering in Blackest Night BL Superboy talks about how hot Kara is and how it’s not so bad becasue she’s from a parellel world to frak with Wonder Girl’s head…

In that “Superman Quits Earth Forever” article, it is written that he’s giving his Superman robots to the FBI to keep the planet safe. I’m guessing Lois was expecting a Superman robot to come save her from that fall, not the real deal himself.

There’s a great imaginary story from Lois Lane where her car breaks down and instead of waiting for roadside assistance she jumps off a cliff assuming Supes will save her. He doesn’t and she ends up in a coma then falls in love with a reformed Lex Luthor.

Also,if the Indian man is thinking that about Supes’ eyes is he the first out gay character in a DC comic? That said its totally Kara’s thought bubble…

I just thought they were from southern Krypton. :)

No, They are from Krypton, West Virginia. Oh, wait. That’s right, Superman doesn’t have a sister. Never mind.

Lois’s falling to her death is such a common occurence that during the fall, and before being saved, she has a casual conversation. “Ah, Superman, you’re back in town? How was your trip? What’s new?”

I would hope that if I ever fell off a building I could hold such calm conversation about Supermans love life, but I think I would really only be able to say “AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

[…] stranding Supergirl in outer space. This sort of thing happened a lot: Another time, Superman forced her to pretend to be his wife from another dimension, “Mighty Maid” […]

Something tells me Superman just invented that evil alien story so he could make out with his jailbait cousin. The frozen aliens were probably just disguised Superman robots. Next time, he probably got to second & third base with her….

SUPERMAN: Hey Kara, I need your help stopping–er–an alien invasion! Put on this mask and costume!

SUPERGIRL: Ok, Cousin Superman, but my costume’s nothing but a push up bra, red cape, high heeled boots, and a thong!

SUPERMAN: PERFECT! Now go get into bed…


“Mighty Maid’s” costume sucked.

[…] stranding Supergirl in outer space. This sort of thing happened a lot: Another time, Superman forced her to pretend to be his wife from another dimension, "Mighty Maid" […]

I remember a GL story where a reporter convinced that Hal’s brother is the ring-wielder (a running gag that cropped up irregularly throughout the series) throws herself off a building while he’s there in the conviction he’ll catch her (“It’s how Lois Lane does it!”).

OMG, that is the start of the greatest Superman story ever told: The Saga of the Super Schizophrenic! “It all started the day I began hearing angry voices…and it ended a month later as I pushed Earth straight into the heart of the Sun. Finally, peace.” Somebody get Mark Waid on this immediately!

Lois has got to stay away from windows.

interesting lol

[…] This, of course, turned out to be part of some retarded scheme that Superman could have easily carried out without necessarily stranding Supergirl in outer space. This sort of thing happened a lot: Another time, Superman forced her to pretend to be his wife from another dimension, “Mighty Maid” … […]

To be fair to Superman and Supergirl they are so strong that they are literally made for each other. She can withstand his “buckshot” and he can survive her crushing legs. Also, she could go to that bottled city and have her way with someone she likes there, then when impregnated, restore her size back to normal and have the child outside of the bottle. This could be done many times, though I’m sure D.C. comics didn’t want Supergirl to become a brood sow.

[…] days, when Superman kept her locked up and hidden from the world (and made her dress up for him): I Love Ya But You Ah, the good ol' days of […]

We also are looking at all this through the prism of how relationships are determined by Earth customs. And of course, Superman respects and honors Earth’s way but who is to say how wrong it would be for a Kryptonian to: A. kiss his first cousin and B. what exactly is the age of consent on Krypton – remember in the GA and SA Krypton was a world where a toddler was already on the road to being a genius?

How did she end up under the Sphinx? Sadly that’s my biggest logic problem here.

That second to last panel is the best “Later as Lois accidentally falls of a new building she has been inspecting…” As if she is falling off buildings so often she barely thinks twice about it.

Great bit in an old issue of PLOP. (You can find the images if you google super/lois/plop.) Lois has nonchalantly fallen out a window….and when saved says “I knew you were Superman”…..the next panel is Clark at his desk….someone is asking him “Where’s Lois?” And Clark says “She tripped and fell out the window”. Loved that as a kid.

God, what were they SMOKING at DC in the ’60’s?

“I swear, officer, the age of consent on Krypton is 12!”

Kal-El was later arraigned in Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, in and for the City and County of Metropolis.

I am trying to decide who is the bigger dick. Superman or Batman…?

speaking of great silver age stories; I remember the Superman red and super blue as a great one.

Peter Chewning

July 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

Supergirl was his 15 years old cousin? And the were going to get married? WOW. A Superman Story set in Arkansas. Who knew?

Forget everything else; the big shocker here is Kal just casually dropping the fact that Kandor is still around on sweet little Kara, as if she hasn’t spent the past few years thinking they are the only two survivors of Krypton. (And remember, she had a MUCH more horrific memory of Krypton, what with Argo City surviving the initial cataclysm, only to have the populace [mostly] die slowly from the Kryptonite poisoning.) Now he’s like “hey, did I ever mention there’s an entire city of Kryptionians in my fortress? Funny, huh?”

And I can see his thought that he really can’t take care of a 15-year-old girl (even if he doesn’t know she’s got a crush on her big cousin and his “beautiful” eyes) what with constantly being on patrol and the possibility of getting attacked wherever he is [aliens with a specific grudge against Superman…yeah, he’s been there before], not to mention trying to hide his personal life from Lois “Randomly Falls Off of Buildings” Lane. But the orphanage is just a poor solution. Thankfully it didn’t last too long before the Danverses adopted her.

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