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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Is That Lois Lane or a Little Girl? I Can’t Tell The Difference!

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). 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!

This began as part of this year’s Golden Age Christmas spotlight, but it was just too weird to waste. So today we look at a strange little Christmas tale from 1944’s Action Comics #81 that involves Lois Lane’s bizarre ability to apparently make herself look just like a little girl…

The basic setup for the story (I dunno who wrote it. Ira Yarbrough drew it) is that a very rich man decides to make a free amusement park for kids. He was hoping it would be ready by Christmas but it did not seem like it was going to happen. But then Superman stepped in and got everything done in time for the holidays.

But then a weird thing happened…

Oh man, I wonder who this mysterious Santa is!?

So, the opening of the park arrives and Lois and Clark are there to cover it. An accident happens and Lois and Clark are suspicious of one of Nicholas’ nephews. Lois figures she has to investigate, but how can she?! Unless, of course, she makes herself look like a little girl!!

That is kind of awesome while also being bat shit insane.

I also like that my favorite Spider-Man villain of all-time (and perhaps the greatest Ditko/Lee creation ever), Fancy Dan, showed up to rig the accidents.

Watch this bit. See Lois’ shock that Superman can tell that it is she, a grown woman, and not a little girl…

How would his X-ray vision let him know that that is Lois? It’s not like she’s wearing a mask!

Anyhow, Superman saves the day…

And, of course, it turns out that this is one of those twisted mind games that the Legion of Super-Heroes used to play on each other all of the time.

But best of all, Lois reveals her disguise…

I was going to note that it is kind of weird that the one nephew looks exactly like Clark, but then I remembered that this is Superman’s world – every second person on the street looks exactly like Clark.

17 Comments

TheRealThunderMonkey

December 14, 2012 at 4:35 am

Kinky.

So, Superman, you just told a reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper that you go around using your X-ray vision on little girls.

That Understudy line was actually really clever.

I guess writers in the 1940s really thought glasses were an effective disguise.

A fellow Enforcers fan! I knew about Ox, Dan and Montana beforehand, but the best use of them, IMO, is in this great fight scene from Marvel Adventures: http://www.herosandwich.net/2010/10/08/friday-night-fights-fancy-fightin/

Even though they’re underutilized in general, I did think that turning Montana into the Shocker on Spectacular Spider-Man was kind of ingenious.

Oviously inspired by the 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor, where Ginger Rogers pulled a similar stunt to Lois to pay a child’s train fare with the usual hyjinks ensuing. But if you’re going to borrow, you might as well borrow from Wilder and Brackett.

interesting that even super man actully thought lois was a little girl though given all supes has to do is wear glasses and no one knows clark and he are the same one that does not surprise me lois could pull it off plus love the uncle decided to test his heirs by being santa .

The uncle’s grading on a curve–I don’t see much sign his nephews have learned any sort of lesson.

c, the uncle deciding to test his heirs by being Santa? The uncle decided to test his heirs by seeing if their greed was enough to get them to intentionally put children in danger, if not outright injure or kill them.

The safety of that plan revolved around disguising himself as a rent-a-Santa in order to ask Superman’s friend to ask Superman to hang around the area because he saw some people that looked like gangsters. (And what would have happened if the nephews and/or Fancy Dan had been patient enough to wait until the second or third day?)

At least they didn’t show us the scene between Jason and Lois after the Christmas party. “Put the glasses back on. “But why would–” “JUST DO IT!”

Wow, with Lois, who needs to have people going into internet chatrooms pretending to be little kids to trap pedophiles? Just take a look at how quickly Lois goes up to a “strange man” and asks him to show her “the sights.” And, even how much more quickly the guy agrees. Nowadays, in such a situation, at the end of the boat ride, there’d be a horde of cops and someone like Chris Hansen waiting for them.

“Oviously inspired by the 1942 comedy The Major and the Minor, where Ginger Rogers pulled a similar stunt to Lois to pay a child’s train fare with the usual hyjinks ensuing. But if you’re going to borrow, you might as well borrow from Wilder and Brackett.”

I was going to point this out if it hadn’t already been… but it was :) It’s interesting how often comics do their own versions of recent films, rumours, pop culture events etc. The “Paul is dead” Batman story about the DC version of the Beatles leaps to mind

I will mention one of the early Superman radio serial arcs was set in an amusement park, with a sabotage angle.

Uncle John can tell the difference between gangsters and carnies at a glance!

I think my favorite part has to be Lois’ quick-change at the end. I mean, did any time even elapse, there? Or did she have a break-away little girl suit?

@JosephW- too true.

Chris Hanson- “So, Superman, why don’t you have a seat right over here…..”

Also, whether they “learned their lesson” or not, Ted and Ned did still hire a bunch of gangsters to sabotage a children’s amusement park. Them requesting that no kids actually be hurt not withstanding, they still created a horribly dangerous situation for those children and were involved in a criminal conspiracy. Seems like Uncle Nicholas and Superman both forgave them pretty quick.

Hey waitaminute…LoLita has two L’s…just like Leering Lecher! I suppose this was inevitable.

I love how Superman has to comment on how the mini-train actually has “a lot of power”. In case any bystanders might think he’s not all that heroic for jumping in front of a Less-than-Lethal Locomotive.

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