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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – That Time Lois Lane Tried to Nail Superman’s Dad

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!

Today, we take a look at the time that Lois Lane tried to nail Superman’s dad.

As promised the other day, I will now share with you more details from 1965′s Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #59, by Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger.

The basic gist is that Lois Lane discovers a new process that could have saved Krypton if it was used before it exploded. Lois then travels back in time to give the process to Jor-El. However, when she heads back to her own time, her time machine stalls on her. So she figures, oh well, Krypton is now not going to explode because of the plans she gave Jor-El, so she might as well stick around and steal Jor-El from Lara.

And thus Lois’ latest ill-thought out plan began…

Crazy stuff, but now Lois kicks it up another notch in the crazy department…

As my wife noted when the same trick was pulled in Revenge of the Nerds, that’s really messed up, right?

But it gets MORE messed up…

Holy crap, Jor-El, what the what?!?! “Actually, Lara, on second though I think Lois IS a bit hotter than you, so I guess I am with her now. Sorry!”

However, things go bad when it turns out that the tower that Jor-El built with the plans Lois gave him was built in the city of Kandor…right before Brainiac stole it! Whoops! So now Krypton is once again doomed. Lois naturally is all, “Holy crap, I need to fix this stupid time machine now,” which she does.

Before she heads off, though, she decides to first swing by Jor-El and Lara to let Lara know that she can have Lois’ castoff…

But before she heads back to her own time, Lois uses the time machine to stop by Jor-El and Lara’s home when Superman is a baby, to get some twisted kissing on…

Through a weird twist of luck, Lois actually ends up in the Phantom Zone for 20 years until Superman rescues her. It is only here that something occurs to Lois that should have occurred to her much, much sooner…

How does that JUST NOW occur to you?!?!?!

Well, thanks Silver Age Lois Lane, for another disturbing adventure!

If you folks can think of any other fun/disturbing comics you’d like to see me feature in this series, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

50 Comments

All the pictures from this article seem to be missing…

Odd. How about now?

Man, what IS it with this comic??? Lois is one seriously evil, f@cked up b!itch! Who the heck read this crap? Boys? Really? ‘Cause no self-respecting girl would be stupid enough to identify with such an asinine character.

Not only does Lois make Jor-El turn out to be a dick, but she doesn’t give a hoot about screwing up the marriage of Supes’ parents, knowing full well that they’re going to die a grisly demise once their planet blows up.

And that bit about kissing Super-Tot? She’s seriously WAY into it. The head case is also into child abuse.

You can add Otto Binder to the list of Silver Age male writers who seemed to enjoy writing women as crazy, neurotic troublemakers with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. DC really ought to have hired Dorothy Woolfolk to handle this series.

From the way that people seem to only go to Krypton to meet/fight/sleep with Jor-El, I’m forced to conclude he is the only remaining young-ish eligible bachelor on a planet that is either barely populated or mostly full of humanoid robots. Therefore even if the planet hadn’t exploded, it’s civilisation would have died out from inbreeding within a few generations anyway.

It’s amazing how the 1950s comic equivalent of a sitcom can be horrifically creepy today.

Weird that they had tract housing on Krypton.

Why do like half of these involve Lois Lane?

Were they all on drugs or what?

A minor quibble is that spending 20 years in the Phantom Zone gets brushed off as inconsequential. And never mentioned again, of course.

Oh yeah, definitely, fraser, but since I addressed that issue when I featured this story in Drawing Crazy Patterns I figured it was weird to hit on it again. That’s clearly a majorly bizarre story beat.

What I find really messed up about this story is that Lois decides to romance Jor-El, knowing full well that if they end up together, Kal-El will never exist. She is fine with the idea of a man she was in love with until now and was possibly one of her closest friends (despite the fact that half of the Superman Silver Age stories involve him tricking her or otherwise behaving like a huge jerk) never existing because she decided to steal his father away from the woman who should be his mother.

What I find really messed up about this story is that Lois decides to romance Jor-El, knowing full well that if they end up together, Kal-El will never exist. She is fine with the idea of a man she was in love with until now and was possibly one of her closest friends (despite the fact that half of the Superman Silver Age stories involve him tricking her or otherwise behaving like a huge jerk) never existing because she decided to steal his father away from the woman who should be his mother.

I think it is clear from the story that she DOESN’T know that full well. She obviously SHOULD, but for whatever reason it has not occurred to her until years later (not even during her 20 years in the Phantom Zone).

Duff McWhalen

June 25, 2013 at 7:42 am

Clutch, it’s not that serious. Not serious at all, really. Hell, the story ended with Lois in the phantom zone for 20 years only to be met with a finger wag from Superman. It’s okay for comics to be ridiculous.

Brian, if I may, I’d recommend Jimmy Olsen #75. Kara and Jimmy made for a great Silver Age team but weren’t able to show it very often.

In that case, Mister Cronin, this whole situation is pretty weird. I mean, she knows that she’s dating Superman’s dad, but she doesn’t realize that if they end up together Kal-El will never be born? Anyway, it’s a Silver Age comic, so I suppose weird stuff like that is par for the course.

Yep, that basically sums it up. Weird stuff was just par for the course (although as far as weird stuff goes, this was definitely at least an eagle. ;))

So Lara became Jor-El’s ‘consolation prize’? SO twisted! And this is yet another example of why the greatest Superman villain of all time was Lois Lane!

Love Jor-El working on SPACE TECHNOLOGY with that highly sophisticated giant wrench.

Also Lois whizzing by, yelling out the window, “I’m really an alien from another planet. My bad. I’m done with the beefcake so you can have my leftovers. Seeya in 20 years or – Whoops! You’ll all be dead by then. Peace out!”

Future Lois Lane dialogue: “Oh Superman! You’re an even better kisser than your dad! And much better than when I made out with you when you were a toddler…. Wait! Where are you going?”

And if she went there to save Krypton from destruction, then Kal-El would never need to be sent to Earth, therefore no Superman.. She obviously didn’t think (as written) any of this through.. Wacky!

“Don’t be too sure, Lara. Now that I see you both together under the light of the triple moons I’m not mad at Lo-Ane any more for taking your place!”

Ah, so *that’s* where all that superdickery came from! Like father, like son…

Keep in mind that this was not only written by men, but likely men who’d never had much experience with women. This is what nerds and geeks thought women were like, so they wrote them that way.

Captain Haddock

June 25, 2013 at 8:28 am

Isn’t Lois aware of the consequences of consumating her relationship with Jor-El? Wouldn’t Mort Weisinger have had a word to say about that?

just when i think all the twisted stuff that the writers had lois lane do way back then in the comics might have been close to the end now find that she not only tried to save seduce and steal super mans own dad jor el. but she could have wound up as superman’s mother instead would that have then ment she dies on krypton when it blows up too.

Carlos Alberto Bárbaro

June 25, 2013 at 8:47 am

Brian, the writer of the story is really Binder. I think it is Ed Hamilton. Could you please check it?

I’ve seen it credited both ways. When in doubt, I go with the Grand Comics Database (who say Binder), but sure, they could be wrong.

Also, if Lois HAD been Superman’s mother, (however unlikely that wold have been) wouldn’t Superman have been half as ‘super’ when he got here, as his DNA would then be half-Terran?

Apropos of nothing, how about a series of covers that are mangled by characters in the books? I saw an X-Men cover (during the Dark Phoenix Saga) where Jean (in DP costume) was crushing the logo! :)

Carlos Alberto Bárbaro

June 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

Thanks.

Chad,
To be fair to what little internal logic this story has, Lois was pursuing Jor-El during that time she thought the technology she had brought to Krypton would avert its destruction.

Still, gotta wonder, did Lois’ friends think she was a monster or a nut?
Ring, ring! Hello.
- Hey, Lois, it’s Amanda. What’s up, girlfriend? We haven’t talked in AGES!
- Oh, hey, Amanda. Well, not much. Last week, I went back in time and flew off to Krypton. Thought I could avoid the whole “planet blows up” drama. While I was there, I met Superman’s father. Totally hot! I tried to hook up but his mother is this total clingy skank! I did the whole “trick the guy into macking with you” bit and next thing I know, that whore is pulling out my weave! Anyway, I figure “Lates!” and I GTFO. The whole planet was going to blow up, so I’m all like “Whatever. You can have him.” Aaaaanywho, I have to spend 20 years in the Phantom Zone and that’s about it. Oh, and I got a new laptop.
- …. o-kaaaaaaaaaay. Anyway, I gotta run. We should do lunch … sometime.

Lois was more of a villain than most of Superman’s rogues. Can’t have Superman…steal the father. Save Krypton only out of greed and when that doesn’t go right….c-ya suckers…enjoy your doom.

I did like how Jor-el’s home looked like it could have fit in so well next to the Beavers more than the alien world of Krypton. Just missing the picket fence.

Clutch, stories like this are part of why I loathe Lois. She always seemed to be one of the worst possible romantic interests for a character. She was toned down in later saner years, but she remained manipulative and obsessive.

I’m not saying Clark was an amazing catch, either. But heck, with Lois like she was, I could see him wanting to do a few acts of super-dickery. Not that anyone ever learned a lesson.

Matty Macomber

June 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

Silver Age DC is fascinating. I do love the quirkiness of 1950/1960 patronizing social norms casually mixed in with time travel and visits to alien civilizations… but it’s really hard to read in more than small doses.
I bought the most recent volume of Showcase Presents Superman Family (which reprints the Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen stories) a few weeks ago and still haven’t finished it. The misogyny is so rampant… I think Lori Lemaris and Ma Kent are the only women that aren’t written with patronizing contempt (and Ma Kent is pretty much a cipher, characterwise)… without a man’s guiding hand, overly emotional women would be up to selfishly vain hijinks. I often wonder what things are we casually writing about as objective social normality that future generations will consider unenlightened/backward/oppressive/privileged?

I’d love to know if there’s a definitive list of “Creepy Silver Age Behavior by Lois” versus a “Creepy Things That Were Done to Silver Age Lois” list. If the “done to” list is longer, Lois is justified in being a jerk. If the “done by” list is longer, then Super-dickery prevails.

Silver Age Lois Lane may be the most underrated villians in DC history.

They never made one where Lois goes back in time and try’s to hook up with Pa Kent did they?

seems to me that Alan Moore really got the crazy vibe of Silver Age Superman .. his SUPREME stories still are a great read .. it was all about having fun. Grant Morrison as well evokes some of that Silver Age fun stuff.

The newer takes on Superman are all missing the fun .. it’s all sci-fi darkness. The big bad of the month .. the universe is at stake .. eh whatever.

Anyhow, Superman never married Lois Lane back then .. now we know why .. :-)

And we want to know why Silver Age Supes is a d**k? Lois that is why! But in a werid way, she’s more entertaining as a witch. Nowadays the attempts to make her into some marystu on a pedestal that Sups can’t breath or drink his milk without her makes her and him pretty boring.

I’ll have one of whatever Otto Binder was having when he wrote this zany stuff!
I hope one day they make an accurate adaptation of these in animated form.

Thanks for reminding me why this is still my Superman after all these years!

People it was the silver age, a lot of crazy stuff happened and not only to Superman. Also Superman is not a “Dick” (am not sure why some of you are saying that) that role belongs to Iron Man, Green Arrow or Hawkeye.

Ken, I really loved Morrison’s idea that Jimmy has apparently built a columnist career around all the wacky Silver Age things that happen to him. One of the few times Jimmy’s been interesting post-Crisis.

Read the Patterns one, Brian and yes, you covered the Phantom Zone angle quite thoroughly there. Good article too.

I’m guessing it never occured to Lois while she was stuck in the Phantom Zone to peek on Superman and see if he really was Clark Kent or not. What exactly did she do during that time?

Yeah, Al, it’s definitely a really weird plot point. Especially since there was really no need for it. She was already heading home! So I dunno why the writer threw it in there if he wasn’t going to really DO anything with the idea.

Matty- Under Weisinger Ma & Pa Kent were both creepy pushy stage parent types…”Okay, Six Year Old Clark, enjoy your first day of school, but remember to act shy and clumsy so when you grow up to be Superman no one will guess your secret Identity.” They even called him Superboy when nobody else was around (so when people say he grew up thinking of himself as Clark Kent, not in the Silver Age he didn’t).

Me26- Why are some of us saying Superman is a dick?

Because he is:

http://superdickery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=28&Itemid=45

If having green hair is considered so freaky, then why is one of the few buttons specifically dedicated to it?

Because there are a lot of freaky people on Krypton, of course. ;)

As someone observed on another Lois-centric article, Schaffenburger really does great facial expressions. When Lois (or anyone) is being mean, they look it.

Yep, he was amazing with facial expressions. So was Al Plastino. Curt Swan was no slouch, either, of course, but not as good as those other two guys. But in general, wow, that was quite a great collection of facial expression talent that the Super-titles had for decades – Plastino, Schaffenberger and Swan.

Good point Brian. Does anyone know if Lois being stuck in the Phantom Zone was ever brought up again? Even if it was just a one panel mention in the Gerber mini or something like that?

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