Saturday, March 17, 2012

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #30 - Jan. 1962

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Comics Weekend "When Superman Abandoned Lois Lane!" by Unknown and Kurt Schaffenberger.

With no new issue of Aquaman or Justice League to breathlessly cover this weekend, I thought the Shrine would take the Wayback Machine again to the 1960s, with yet another appearance by Aquaman in an issue of Lois Lane!

The first story, "When Superman Abandoned Lois Lane!", opens up with a real grabber of a splash page:
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Lois is planning on getting into a disguise and spying on a mobster known as Phil "The Wrecker." Clark is aghast, saying that if she gets within a mile of the man, he'll have her gunned down, since she is scheduled to a witness for the prosecution in an upcoming trial.

Lois dismisses Clark (Ibid), and dons a window-washer uniform. Clark, of course, decides he should look for Lois on the sly, to make sure she doesn't get into trouble. It only takes a few moments before Lois is discovered, with The Wrecker's gang cutting Lois' harness loose, sending her plummeting. Superman shows up to rescue her
(Ibid), but chastises Lois for so wantonly risking her life.

The next day, Lois and Clark are covering the dog show (two reporters on this story? Must be a slow news day), and Lois once again gets into trouble when she sees a notorious dope smuggler(!) and trails him. Clark warns her not to, but Lois is sure that if she gets into a real pickle, Superman will save her again.

This ticks Clark off, so he sets up a "sting" of sorts involving poisoned ice cream and a supposed dead dog (really Krypto in disguise). Lois is upset that she was involved in the death of the dog, even accidentally, and leaves. But the very next day, she's back at it, this time headed scuba diving "for a big scoop."
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All these near death experiences still don't deter Lois, so Superman has to try again, this time allowing Lois to get trapped in a freezer. Clark rescues her, and this time Lois says she has finally smartened up. When she goes back to the Daily Planet, she requests Perry White only give her "movie reviews and the garden show."

But the next morning is when Lois is scheduled to testify against "The Wrecker", so when she comes home, some goons are waiting for her! Lois, thinking Superman has abandoned her, is truly scared--but of course that's just when the Man of Steel does arrive to help out, deflecting the bullets from their guns. Or has he?
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...The End!

Well, I hope that one-panel appearance by Aquaman was enough for you Aqua-Fans! It made me chuckle, the idea that Superman would round of the King of the Seven Seas in his endless schemes to teach Lois a lesson. I knew Batman got involved in those all the time, but Clark and Bruce were best friends. I wonder what Arthur said to Mera about this stuff when he got back to Atlantis?


But wait, some of you maybe are thinking: doesn't Aquaman appear in this issue's cover story, "Superman's Secret Family", which clearly features Mer-people?
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Incredibly, even though this story does feature Superman and his "secret family" (consisting of a mermaid named Mooki and her son, Nipper--no, I'm not kidding, why do you ask?), Aquaman does not appear in it! I guess whoever wrote "Superman's Secret Family" (I could not find a credited writer) thought that since Aquaman made a major appearance in the previous issue of Lois Lane, having him play a large role two issues in a row was a little much. But a one panel cameo? That was juuuuust right.

Disappointing as that may be, I still found it delightful to read this comic, because Kurt Schaffenberger's work is so good. His work is a bit cartoony by modern standards, but that page of Lois and the octopus is sheer awesome. I would have loved to have seen more Aquaman by Schaffenberger when he was inking his own work, as he was doing here.

4 comments:

Anthony said...

Glancing over the story description of the mermaid story, besides no Superman, there's no Lori Lemaris in it, either, apparently...

I like Schaffenberger's artwork, as well. Liked his Superboy stories in the 80s (and his work on the Capt. Marvel revival in the 70s).

Anthony said...

Er, meant to say, "besides no Aquaman, there's no Lori Lemaris in it either"! Oops!

Martin OHearn said...

From the captions But as (adjective) seconds pass..., Unexpectedly..., and Just then..., I'd attribute the "When Superman Abandoned Lois Lane" script to Leo Dorfman. The other Superman writers at the time hardly used those particular ones.

Jerry Siegel listed his Sixties Superman stories once or twice, and "Superman's Secret Family" was one of them.

Joseph Brian Scott said...

Really enjoy reading your takes on these silver age stories, rob! Someone working there in the Superman family stable must've been mad about mer-things, considering how often Aquaman and company show up.

I read "Superman's Secret Family!" just recently, and it's got a dying mermaid astronaut, Superman robots, a super, flying mer-child robot...it is crammed to the gills with so much SA goofiness you'd think the pages were coated with LSD.