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The Amazon. Always choose the Amazon. – Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #136

February 10, 2011

I wanted to do a romance comic in honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, but I’m fresh out. I’ve already covered every romance book currently housed in the Blog into Mystery World Headquarters. This’ll have to do, even if it does have some tights and capes and lassos.

For a long time I’ve thought that Superman and Wonder Woman belong together. It wasn’t always that way. I remember my youthful mind being scandalized by that passionate but awkward kiss between the two in Action Comics #600, and had a hard time shaking that drilled-in notion that Clark and Lois belong together. But Kingdom Come went a long way to codifying the inevitability of the Amazonian/Kryptonian union. As Superman said to Batman in their final The Dark Knight Returns confrontation, “You’re just meat and bone — like all the rest.” The same goes for Lois. She’s fragile. She’ll die. Perhaps violently, perhaps at a ripe old age. But Kal and Diana may live forever. They may be the last ones standing. As I said, inevitable.

Lois, being the crack investigative reporter that she is, can’t help but notice this, nor can she escape the paranoia that comes with having a perfect woman, if not competing for her love’s attention, at least spending time with him on a regular basis. A long time ago on this blog I looked at a comic where Steve Trevor and Lois commiserated over their ordinariness, and this one is along those same lines. This time, though, Lois is on her own and driven nuts by an apparent union between Superman and Wonder Woman.

The heartache hits pretty early on in “Wonder Woman: Mrs. Superman,” written by Cary Bates with art from John Rosenberger and Vince Colletta. When things go haywire at a race car test drive that Lois is covering (she must’ve drawn the short straw at the Planet), Wonder Woman makes a quick save and shows her assets in the process:

Then Superman delivers the big news:

Dagger.

This (understandably) sends Lois on a bit of a bender. She has an immediate rebound relationship with the daredevil driver that she met at the track — perhaps the fastest rebound in history — but that ends when she realizes how lackluster his adventures are in comparison to Superman’s normal routine. She sunset flips him out of his speedboat when he tries to get fresh, and that’s the nd of that.

Things are not going well for her, but Lois, ever the optimist, thinks of an angle that may mean that things aren’t as bad as they seem:

Gal-pal Melba Manton mercifully leaves the “Whatever helps you sleep at night, honey” unsaid.

Lois goes full stalker — wait, I mean, reporter — mode to get to the bottom of all this:

Yes, she has equipment that would make Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window green with envy. But all that her tech does is confirm her worst fear:

When she later sees Wonder Woman in action, fending off attackers with her arsenal of powers, it’s even clearer how meager her offerings are in comparison. This sets off the typically teary “spurned lover” panels:

But that doesn’t stop her stalking — I mean, reporting — and she sees the varied activities that a super-couple enjoys:

Mid-air super-tennis — I could go for that. Going after mishit balls would be a pain, but still…

Soon we learn that things aren’t (surprise) what they seem. Lois is abducted by a hooded villain, one that wants to inflict grievous harm on Superman and his lady love, that lady love currently being Wonder Woman. Lois makes an escape from this mysterious figure’s lair with the timely help of Melba, but not in time to save Wonder Woman from being trapped by a sinister ruse — that hooded figure, masquerading as Lois, gives the Amazon a deadly bit of jewelry:

The Belly-Ache-Inducing Necklace of Doom, I guess.

Then we have the Scooby-Doo villain reveal, as the hooded individual is shown to be a deranged woman once rebuffed by Supes, and one in desperate need of hair-care products:

Hood-hair.

Thankfully, Wonder Woman has a couple of Y chromosome-less mortal allies to bail her tush out:

Then we learn that the whole Superman/Wonder Woman thing (they never even had the chance to get an obnoxious “Brangelina”-ish moniker) really was fake:

I think we can forgive Lois if she breathes a big, and I mean BIG, sigh of relief.

If you take the costumes and the powers and the scheming villain out of this (I realize that’s a lot, but you get the picture) this is really something along the more traditional romance lines, and would stand right alongside the mortal fare that’s covered so ably by Jacque Nodell over at Sequential Crush.  I realize that the romance angle is found in a lot of the Lois Lane books, but it applies moreso with this particular issue than many others, at least it seems that way to me. Perhaps it’s the art and Lois’ tormented lamentations (with the *choke*) that seal the deal.

In a final personal note, I have to mention how strange it is for me to read these old Lois Lane comics from the 70s — that strangeness mainly comes from her looks and the fashions on display. Why? Because Lois (especially as drawn in this one) looks a hell of a lot like pictures of my mother from that decade. She was in her twenties then, around the age Lois is perpetually shown to be, and the hairstyles and attire combine to make me think of old photographs, Kodak memories from that hazy time before I walked the Earth. Considering the fact that Lois has always had — and I’m not alone in this among comics reading maledom — a status as a sex symbol for me, the resulting associations are, as Sgt. Esterhaus of Hill Street Blues might say, disturbing “in the extremis.” Get Freud on the phone.

Maybe that’s why I’d definitely go with the Amazon.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Samantha Steele permalink
    August 12, 2012 7:09 am

    Beautiful art. Wonder Woman never looked sexier!

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