Tuesday, November 07, 2023

It took me like three tries to blog this whole comic? Well, yeah!

"Jimmy Olsen's Secret Love!" took a lot out of me; and "Bride of the Stars" wasn't exactly a cakewalk either, but I didn't exactly save the best for last here. It's once again time to test your tolerance for Silver Age tomfoolery, with 1964's "When Lois and Lana were Brides!" from Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #53, reprinted in 1976's Superman Family #177. Written by Leo Dorfman, art by Kurt Schaffenberger.
Hoo, boy, here we go: on a demonstration flight for an "ultra-modern" new English plane, Lois pushes a button that ejects her row of seats, including Lana Lang and Clark Kent! They land in a cloud-filled valley in the moors of England, which is full of medieval types speaking Welsh, which luckily everyone knows. The "Ancients" aren't really bothered by the sudden arrival of strangers, but do seem deeply offended that the dames aren't married. To keep the clan going, by ancient degree "all maids must marry," or get thrown into the "Cave of Doom." While Clark can see with his x-ray vision the Cave was full of women turned into statues, both Lois and Lana are nuts to the patriarchy-slash-you're not the boss of me, and storm headlong into the Cave. Lois in particular is pretty blasé, since Superman would save her if anything happened, of course. Dripping water from the cave turns Lois's hair and Lana's hand to stone, so they come running back out, and Clark uses his x-ray vision invisibly to reverse the effect.
Still, since now they have to get married, and since this was largely the airline's Lois's fault, she decides to take one for the team and marry a local troglodyte, until Clark steps in to defend her. While still pretending to be a weakling, Lois is impressed, and decides to marry him instead. Not that she's given up on Superman, though: I feel like there's some mixed messages there.
While building their wedding altar, Clark creates a steam cloud as cover, to change into Superman, so he could save Lana, who sees this as a golden opportunity: Supes tries to lay down some ground rules, and Lana agrees...for now. She also rubs Lois's nose in it, like a lot. They have to pause sniping at each other for a moment, when they notice hey, haven't seen Clark for a minute. They're kind of jerks about it, honestly; to the point that Superman pretending to get pissed at them and leaving is the most believable thing we've seen so far this story. The 'injured' Clark returns, after Superman tells the search party where to rescue them; and everyone gets out of there without having to get married...for now.

The plot-points of this one are aggressively stupid, but there's a bit of fun once the who'll-marry-who starts up. Schaffenberger also seems to run through every facial expression in the book: the 'acting' is a bit broad sometimes, but I think it's stronger than most of the books on the racks then. And if you haven't, go read Astro City: Local Heroes #2, where Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson do an amazing spin on the old Lois Lane trying to prove Clark Kent is Superman stories.  

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