Ballpoint Bukkake and Silver Showers

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Lois Lane is an award winning journalist, who is highly competent. I say that upfront because by the time you're about 5% of the way through the final story I'm reviewing from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #60, there's no way you're going to believe it. Of course, the writer of this particular tale seemed more interested in exploring some of his own fetishist tendencies than the virtues of strong journalism.

Look, I know it's the hip thing for all the bloggers to do, putting up out of context frames and joking about how "these two Silver Age characters are gay." Sometimes a perfectly innocent story can be ruined by the sexualization of its content. Then there are the stories like this one...

In "The Amazing Hydro-Girl," Lois is covering a NASA experiment to help astronauts adapt to atmospheres on other planets.For our benefit, Kurt Schaffenberget has provided us with descriptions of the environments on other planets. Who knew Mars had thin air? Sadly, we aren't told what it's like in Uranus--I mean ON Uranus. My bad.

Scientists have created various solutions that make it possible for humans to breath underwater. Unfortunately, they haven't found a better method of testing them than to inject various astronauts with each serum, toss them into the ocean, and scream for Superman to save whichever ones start to drown.

After watching a man nearly die as part of the test, Lois decides it would be a great scoop if she tried the stuff herself and uses Superman's rescue to cover her thievery of experimental government property."Hee hee hee, highly trained astronauts testing this stuff are pushing their bodies, which are in peak physical condition, to the verge of death as a result of this experiment. The worst possible outcome I can think of if I drink it is that it will taste like black licorice!"

Christ on a crutch, there are fourteen different solutions and it's very clear the scientists aren't sure what the effects of any of them might be, yet Lois thinks just grabbing one and sipping it will make for a good story. This is the worst plan she's had since she profiled a dairy farmer and decided to clamp the milking machine to her chest and write, "My Day as a Moo Cow by Lois Lane."

Having sipped the serum--without complaining so it must taste okay--Lois Lane completely abandons the story she's been assigned to cover without so much as a "See ya, guys, I'm takin' off!" and drives down to the beach to see if the serum worked.

As she leaves, though, two mobsters follow her and thus a secondary plot is woven into our already wickedly stupid tapestry.Sure enough, a fully clothed Lois finds the breath underwater potion works and starts taunting fish. No, really. She finally surfaces after an hour so she can go back to the Daily Planet, get Jimmy Olsen to grab his scuba gear and waterproof camera, and snap some photos for her exposé on her theft of a valuable, potentially deadly, and almost certainly classified government biological serum.

When she emerges--with her hair still perfectly styled and her clothes bone dry... but we'll be seeing more of that and on even more ridiculous levels--the mobsters are a bit taken aback and wonder if Superman somehow made her invulnerable. Just in case, they decide to follow her for a while instead of trying to kill her and possibly screwing up the hit.

An hour later, while driving back to Metropolis, the twist to the plot hits Lois as she starts choking on air. She pulls over and makes a exposition filled phone call, learning that "Hyrdonaut Serum A... turned out bad... [and] the subject of the experiment had to immerse himself in some liquid every hour... or die." (Emphasis theirs.)

Please note the key words are "some liquid" and not "water," as those two little words are like an exponent attached to the stupidity rating of this story.

The mobsters overhear the call and realize they can still earn the $50,000 contract for killing the reporter without actually having to kill her if they can only keep her from getting wet. Lois's only hope is to track down the experiment's chief chemist, who is the only person who knows the antidote.

Stumbling from the phonebooth, Lois tries to buy a soda from a snack booth, but one of the mobsters just bought every bottle and is smashing them against a wall. Instead, Lois has to look elsewhere.How does the water get into the trough? Shouldn't there be a faucet--or barring that a pump--right there? I refuse to believe the person at the stables has to carry buckets of water from half a mile away every time the horses get thirsty. Of couse, Lois isn't the most rational thinker when she's not choking to death, so instead of looking for a hose, she opts for the next closest source of liquid... the oil refinery storage tanks located behind the stable.What?!? Why is an oil refinery storing their oil behind a horse rental place? Is there really oxygen in the oil? If a water main breaks while I'm changing my fish tank, can I just fill it with 10W30 instead? Why is Lois diving in with her clothes on? Won't her outfit be ruined?

One of those questions actually gets answered.Oh, well, I suppose I overlooked the fact it was refined oil. What possible harm could refined oil do? You get that in your clothes and they can just drip dry. It also gives your hair a healthy sheen and makes it more managable, which explains why Lois's hair is perfectly styled a frame later.

In pursuit of the chief chemist, Dr. Mason, Lois goes to a quick drying cement factory. She learns he isn't there, that he just left for a surplus warehouse. Unfortunately, it's been an hour since bathing in oil, so Lois needs to find another source of liquid. A sign directs her to a drinking fountain, but the mobsters have filled it with quick drying cement.

Her next logical solution is to have two wrench jockeys pour radiator fluid on her head... instead of asking them if she can have a glass of water.The set up for that scene reads exactly like a Lois Lane golden showers fanfic.

She craved fluid and hoped these could give her what she needed. So intense was her desire to feel it trickling down her face and through her hair, without it she feared she might die. One of the burly workmen wiped the grease from his hands. The other's hand went instinctively toward his belt. Both had a look of disbelief on their faces.

"Don't ask any questions!" barked the girl reporter and she crawled into a small pit in the floor. "Just do as I told you." She handed them a stack of ten dollar bills.

Without counting it, the taller, thinner of the two parking lot attendants shrugged as he stepped to the edge of the pit, looking down on her anticipating face. "Okay, lady, you paid for it!"


An hour later, Lois reaches the surplus warehouse. I'm going to give Lois the benefit of the doubt and assume there's some kind of 1965 etiquette rule that says it's improper for a lady to ask a gentleman to point out the location of a restroom, because before she even think to see if there's a sink around or even a toilet to dunk her head, she immediately tries to jump in a vat of ammonia.Forbidden to jump into a barrel of one poison, Lois concocts a plan to be exposed to another.Alright, did this writer seriously not know mercury is poisonous. I remember my high school chemistry teacher warning us that if we broke one of the big thermometers, they'd have to shut down half the school and get a biohazard unit in to clean it up.

Yes, Lois is going to live for another hour, but I wouldn't bank on much more than a week or two after that.

From Wikipedia:
Mercury is a... toxin that is easily absorbed through the skin... Mercury attacks the central nervous system and endocrine system... High exposure will result in brain damage and ultimately death.

Also, re: those streams of mercury pouring onto Lois as she obediently stands there with her arms spread wide. If this were in a manga comic, would I even have to convince you of the sexualized nature of that image?

Having soaked herself in oil, radiator fluid, and quicksilver, Lois takes off for the airport, hot on Dr. Mason's tail. She manages to catch a plane chartered by the Flowmaster pen company to take their salesmen to a convention. This is the second such flight and Dr. Mason was on the first. Once on board, Lois will be able to have a glass of water and remain safe all the way to the convention. Right?Now I know security at airports is a lot tighter since 9-11, but was there really a time when mobsters could drive right onto the tarmac, walk up to a plane, and shoot holes in it without anyone even showing the least bit of concern?

Once the plane is off the ground, the stewardess realizes there's no water to be served, but suggests, "Nobody will die with it during this short flight." Lois, who had been planning to fill her plastic lined hat with water and dunk her head in it finally faces the final curtain. Where could she possibly find any fluids on a plane full of horny salesmen?

Unable to think of a source, she turns to colleague Clark Kent, who suggests a stylograph circle jerk.Being a gentleman, Clark gives her a hanky to wipe herself off when they're done. Lois, her life no longer in danger, even finds it in herself to make a pun.Incidentally, Dr. Mason reveals the cure for Lois's condition to be drinking a glass of water. Lois drinks it and returns home where the mobsters finally give up and try to gun her down, again exposing the horribly lax airport security of 1965. Superman saves her and life goes on as normally as it ever gets.

As a result of her rashness, Lois had to wear a veil to work for the next week, which taught her a valuable lesson she would never forget. At least not until a week later when she was covering the execution of a death row prisoner and tragically came to the conclusion, "I bet it would be a real scoop to have them strap me into the electric chair and throw the switch. What a story that would be!"

Okay, I made up that last part (about the electic chair, not the part about the veil), but I wouldn't bet against that being the plot of a real Lois Lane comic.

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