In Space, No One Can Hear You Bitch about Superman

Bloggified by Jake on Tuesday, August 1, 2006

One of the best parts about San Diego this year was being afforded the chance to solve some long wondered mysteries... and at a discounted rate. Howard had all his Silver Age comics at 50% at the Con, so I scouted some out a week before and waited until I got there to pick up some of the prime, bizarre-ass Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane covers, none of which have failed to live up to the standards of insanity I've come to expect.

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #81 is a rarity among the litany of "Superman kills his friend/Superman's friends kill him" covers in that the scene depicted on the cover actually takes place within the comic! That's right, Superman snaps Lois's oxygen hose to her spacesuit while she accuses him of committing the perfect murder.

What could lead to such an event? Well, since you asked...

When this story begins, Lois has moved away from Metropolis, changed her name to Lois Lorne, and become a nurse. Normally, being a newspaper reporter wouldn't be one of the requirements a job interviewer for a nursing position would seek, but when you consider Lois, Jimmy, and Clark are on the scenes of most accidents and shootings long before police or paramedics, due in large part to the fact Metropolis has its 911 service forwarded to the Daily Planet, I'm actually willing to bet she's qualified for the job. She has to be as experienced as the average Army corpsman, right?

Lois's leaving is affecting Clark's work.The previous day, Clark turned in a story about the Orioles star pitcher injuring his upper leg and the manager's plans to rework the team's rotation, but substituted Lois's name for both men. "Lois Lane Pulls Groin in Baltimore Locker Room; Fortunately Lane Can Really Handle a Staff" wasn't nearly as romantic a headline. Worse, a week before that, when President Johnson signed important civil rights legislation, Clark's headline accidentally read, "I Want to Tittyfuck Lois Lane So Bad Right Now."

Clark has a flashback to when he visited Lois--as Superman--only to be chased away for "hounding [her]" now that she'd "almost gotten [him] out of [her] system. She makes it perfectly clear she wants to be left alone, blaming Superman for screwing up her existence and screaming, "Get out of my life, Superman!"

Of course, Superman interprets this as her playing hard-to-get and figures the solution to the problem is to write her a love letter, mold a typewriter ribbon into a flying saucer, and use another of his stupid, made-up-on-the-fly superpowers.What is the male version of a cocktease? What a jackass. For years, he's been telling Lois he could never have a relationship because it would put his loved ones at risk of threats from his enemies. She finally decides to move on and all he can do is harrass her about how much he misses her and how much she means to him.

Showing a modicum of sense, Lois tears up the letter, shattering Clark's superheart and opening the door for a flashback explanation of why she left town. What was Lois's breaking point? Was it the 900th time Superman told her he couldn't ever marry her? Was it another incident of making out with Lana Lang right in front of her? Was it Clark stealing another of her scoops when he clearly was nowhere near the scene of the big Superman story yet still managed to deliver an up close account and get back to the office and type up the entire story before she even could hail a cab?

No, Superman just got a little too involved in smashing old cars as part of a city clean up program and missed her birthday party.Who thinks this will turn out well?

Knowing he can do anything with his powers, but never asking whether he should, Superman flies backward in time. Having missed Lois's birthday because he was too engrossed in smashing cars with his fists, Superman bends the laws of space and time to his will with the vague hope of preventing Lois from leaving. Upon his arrival, the first thing he decides to do? Smash cars with his fists.Actually, with a month's worth of sexual tension built up, Superman not only drives the scrap cars into the Earth, but straight through it. The he hits the cars so hard they bore their way through the Earth's core and pop out on the other side, bursting forth through the surface of the Indian Ocean. Superman follows them, catching the cubes of steel before they can land on any fishing boats. Unfortunately, the holes in the bottom of the water serve like a big bathtub drain, emptying the Indian Ocean into... well, I would say the center of the Earth, but by the logic of this story I'm guessing it would become a geyser in the middle of the Metropolis auto wrecking yard.Fortunately, Superman is able to find enough boulders to fill the holes and save the fishermen. He then hurries back to Metropolis to... um... what did he travel back in time, risking the lives and livelihoods of countless Southeast Asian fishermen, for again? Uh, I don't know, it couldn't have been too important.The next time Superman brags about his superintellect, I hope someone has this clipping available.

Sure enough, history repeats itself and Superman reiterates that history cannot be changed.

Back in the present, Lois's rebound boyfriend, astronaut Rand Kirby, calls to tell her that his parents are in town and want to meet her. She agrees to have dinner with them the next day, after she participates in a medical experiment at the state prison.

In her duties as a nurse, Lois has to administer a "mind-gas" to the felons. The gas is supposed to instantly rehabilitate their minds and make them never want to commit murder again. Or kill them. You know, one or the other. Fifty-fifty chance. The cons, however, figure 50% is better odds than they'll get from the electric chair.Who is stupider here?
A) The guard who agrees to shake hands with "Strangler"
B) The guard who shackled the men with chains so long they do nothing to restrict their movement.
C) The warden who assigned only one guard to watch a group of four convicted murderers being led into an unsecured location
D) Lois Lane for getting all sappy about some guy wanting to shake another guy's hand

The answer, as always, is E) Jimmy Olsen... because he's Jimmy Olsen...

The four beat up the guard and the doctor and take Lois hostage just as Superman arrives. When he hesitates for fear of hurting her, Lois gets away from Strangler herself, but gets blasted with the mind-gas by accident. She passes out, but awakens with new psychic powers.Again, after spending a month wishing he'd never pushed Lois away, what are Superman's first words to her? "You little idiot!" And he wonders why she left. Of course, Lois, so deep in denial she could hang posters, convinces herself that while his lips say, "You little idiot," his eyes say, "Smoochie smoochie!"

Able to read Superman's mind, Lois sees his dream of marrying her, but also sees his fear that alien dinosaurmen will attack her to hurt him. Lois is shocked to see this as she'd assumed all this time that Superman was just using the "people might hurt you to get to me" thing as an excuse.

Surprisingly, not once during their entire exchange does Superman think about Clark Kent.

Anyway, knowing Superman loves her, Lois decides to move back to Metropolis and, I guess, wait for the day when all of Superman's foes have been killed off or she becomes invulnerable since those appear to be the only circumstances under which the relationship could be pursued per Superman's explanation.

Of course, there's also the awkward "breaking up with Rand Kirby, astronaut and rebound boyfriend" situation to take care of, but how tough can that be? I mean, she hasn't even told him her real name so it's not like the relationship is anything serious...Oh, shit...

Lois decides she can't break up with Rand there, immediately after he proposed. Better to string him along and really crush him later.

Meanwhile, a "strange automated space probe, of alien origin, is approaching Earth. It is gathering samples of various space minerals... but there is no danger" because Superman is going to check out the probe. What's the worst that can happen? I mean, it's not like there are any space minerals that can hurt Superman, right?

So, Superman winds up helpless and trapped on the giant space probe full of Kryptonite. Rand is assigned to take a rocket into space and save Superman, but Lois has a psychic vision of Rand's oxygen hose being broken and decides the best way to make sure her not-yet-ex-fiance stays safe is to remove his robotic copilot and put on its spacesuit... which a robot really wouldn't need in the first place.

Lois sits quietly as the rocket launches and intercepts the alien probe, pretending to be a robot. As Superman gets within range, Lois suddenly senses that moment of ultimate awkwardness and decides to let Rand know he's been dumped.For future reference, kiddies, never break up with your ride until after you get home. If you think it's bad to get stranded at the mall, imagine when your astronaut boyfriend leaves your ass on an alien probe and wishes you luck getting home.

Rand actually takes the news in stride. If you think about it though, how tough is it for an astronaut to get some trim? Then again, how tough can it be for Superman to get a little strange? Yet he's pining for Lois for a full month. Given the devotion she receives, an angelic choir must sing whenever she takes off her panties.

Finally, with Superman saved from the Kryptonite, we get to the scene from the cover.Actually, Lois and Rand's lines got tangled, cutting off their oxygen and heating systems. Unable to untangle them in time, Superman just ripped them and tossed the two back into the space capsule and returned them to Earth.

Lois lets Rand know she's leaving.I'm not sure if that's ballsy, kissing Superman's girl right in from of him, or cowardly for just letting your fiancee walk away with another dude. Either way, Rand takes the news like a trooper, knowing he can make one phone call and have his pick of any three models or actresses waiting in his bed for him when he gets home tonight.

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