Lois Lane #59

Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #59, August 1965

“Lois Lane’s Romance with Jor-El!”

The story opens as Superman is using the Phantom Zone viewer to spy on the spectral Kryptonian villains incarcerated in said Phantom Zone. He gasps in amazement as none other than Lois Lane hoves into view! She’s very embarrassed. As well she might be…

Flashback. A few days earlier, Lois is attending a scientific lecture. Professor Gordon has invented an anti-nuclear ray designed to prevent the Earth from ever blowing itself up (hey — it could happen!). Impressed, Lois asks to borrow the plans: she thinks the device could be used to prevent the destruction of Krypton.

Professor Gordon

Lois races off to meet with Professor Potter, who has just completed his new time machine, and offers to test fly it for him. She grabs up some Superman memorabilia and jumps into the time bubble. On the way, she teaches herself Kryptonese. From a book.

The Time Bubble

Arriving on Krypton, Lois leaps out of the bubble to meet Superman’s dad, Jor-El, who just happens to be out doing, y’know, scientific stuff with his assistant, Lara. Lois explains that the plans she is carrying could save Krypton one day. Jor-El is more than a little impressed. Her task complete, Lois gets back into the time machine — but it’s broken! Making the best of a bad situation, Lois decides on the obvious course of action: “Hmm… young Jor-El resembles Superman! If I can’t marry the son, how about the father?” What a gal!

Lois decides to marry Jor-El

Lois offers to help Jor-El build the anti-nuclear device. She sets up home with Lara and sets about destroying the poor girl. The next day, at a hair salon, Lois flips a switch that will make Lara’s hair green. However, her plan backfires due to her limited knowledge of Kryptonese, and she is the one who ends up with the emerald thatch!

Lois's green hair

Jor-El takes Lara out on a date, but jealous Lois arrives wearing her anti-gravity boots. She stuns Jor-El with her light-footed dancing ability. But then he spins her round a little too fast and Lois flies off into the sky! Oops…

Lois flies off

Jor-El manages to catch Lois in his jet-car, and, on the way home, Lois sulks as Jor-El and Lara laugh at her.

“You’re very impetuous!” exclaims Jor-El.

Lara chimes in, “Isn’t scatterbrained a better word, Jor-El? Ha ha!”

Indeed.

Later, Lois changes Lara’s diary so that she, and not the hapless Lara, can go on a date with Jor-El. In the darkness, Jor-El and Lois steal a kiss — he doesn’t know who he’s kissing as it’s so dark. “Ohhhh… What bliss!” sighs the Daily Planet reporter. Suddenly, Krypton’s three moons rise, flooding the scene with light. Jor-El is aghast. “How dare you pretend to be Lara!”

At that moment, Lara arrives. She’s none too happy, and slaps Lois. “You brazen hussy! It’s only in the pitch-dark that Jor-El would think you are prettier than I am!”

Brazen hussy

Unfortunately for Lara, now that the moons are up and he’s able to compare, Jor-El has realised that perhaps Lois is the prettier of the two. He links arms with Lois as Lara goes off sobbing into the night. Jor-El is cleary quite the fickle chap!

The next day, Jor-El is ready to demonstrate the anti-nuclear device he’s built with Lois’s help (betcha didn’t know she was also a nuclear physicist and engineer in addition to being a reporter, huh?). Just as he switches it on it vanishes, along with the city surrounding it. “I can’t understand it!” says Jor-El, “What could have become of Kandor?”

Kandor has gone!

Yes folks, it’s at that very moment that space villain, Brainiac, chose to miniaturise and steal Kandor. It would later become a permanent fixture in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. And they say there was no continuity in the silver age!

With the anti-nuclear tower gone, Lois suddenly realises that Krypton is doomed and she’ll die along with everyone else unless she can get away. She returns to the time bubble and finds that it now works. Before she flies off, she visits Lara and tells her that Jor-El is really in love with her.

Bye, Lara

Lois visits a time period a few years ahead, and finds little Kal-El playing happily in the garden of his parents, Jor-El and Lara. She can’t resist giving the lad some hugs and kisses; after all, “I don’t get much chance to do this to the grown-up Superman on Earth! Mmm… mmmm!”

Lois

As she is leaving, Jor-El chooses just that moment to test his new Phantom Zone projector by firing it out of the window. As you do. Lois is caught in its beam and she becomes the first ever resident of the Zone.

And so we return to the scene the story opened with. An angry Superman releases Lois from the Phantom Zone. Luckily, Lois has learned her lesson (well, until the next story anyway!): “You can’t change fate! Neither Krypton‘s doom… nor Jor-El‘s marriage to Lara! But… ulp! …something’s just dawned on me! If I had married Jor-El, I might have been… Superman’s MOTHER!”

Lois, Superman's mom!

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Oh boy! A tale that is just plain wrong on oh so many levels! Lois decides that if she can’t have the one she loves, she’ll love the one she’s with — even if that’s Superman’s dad! But what a lot of fun it is. And the sight of the adult Lois slobbering over poor little Kal-El because, y’know, that’s the only chance she’s gonna get, is hilarious — if not a little disturbing…

Of course, the attitude shown to time travel by Lois is a little cavalier: if she really had prevented the destruction of Krypton, there’d be no Superman to lust after! But, we don’t let little details like that get in the way of a good story.

This mini-masterpiece was written by Otto Binder, with gorgeous art by the ever-sublime Kurt Schaffenberger. It’s a gem. A mad gem, to be sure, but a gem nonetheless.

Images ©2011 DC Comics