Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Superman, You Sly Fox! Tuesday!

I know not everyone agrees, but it really annoys me when people take images I've gone through some trouble to find and post 'em on their own site without giving me credit for the find.  Know what I mean, fella?  

Speaking of giving credit where it's due, back to Robert Gillis and his play-by-play of one of the most awesomely bad Silver Age stories ever.  You may recall, Lois snapped a photo of Supes and he's too much of a gentleman to... oh, I don't know, take the camera from her and destroy it so he does the logical thing and agrees to marry her.  Now, to Robert:

So, Superman, the mightiest super-hero in the known galactic multiverse, accepts defeat. He’ll marry Lois tomorrow. But first, they have to find a place to live! And where does every girl dream of living? Why, at the Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole! (Or as the story calls it, Arctic wastes).

Look at the romantic way Superman carries Lois to his fortress. That’s CAN’T be comfortable for Lois, Superman looks like he’s carrying her like a sack of laundry. Or a body.

Hmmm, Superman muses, I could dump her body here — no one would ever find it…

Lois sees the fortress is big and barny, but some drapes might help. Sheesh. And then she finds the McGuffin — the spray bottle of rejuvenation formula.

“So this is why Superman always looks so young and handsome,” Lois muses. No, the reason he looks that way is that SUPERMAN IS A COMIC BOOK CHARACTER!

And like every other Lois Lane story of this era, Lois tries the unknown thingy on herself. Doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know what the thing is — there isn’t an alien artifact, untested scientific device, ancient cursed object or completely unknown chemical that Lois won’t impulsively use on herself.

 So, the magic spray not only made Lois a teenager but its “aura” shrunk her clothes? It might be supernatural, but even magic sprays obey the comics code authority.

Lois shouldn’t worry about this transformation — it’s actually pretty tame compared to other transformations. In 42 or so issues of “Lois Lane” she has transformed into an old hag and witch, a bald super-genius with a super-large head, a super-powered woman, a jungle woman, and also, a baby, and that’s just off the top of my head. Really — these were actual stories. So this is kind of an ordinary day for her.

How I love the silver age. ONE panel to explain Superman’s meeting with an EXTRATERRESTRIAL little green guy whose SPACESHIP was out of order. Superman’s reward? A MAGIC POTION created by the SPELL of a SORCERER. In 2011, that one panel would fill six months worth of modern comics. Who was the sorcerer? Who was the alien? How did he get stranded? How did Superman meet him and help him? How is it they both speak English? But in 1963, it’s just one panel, a throwaway line, “Oh, yeah, I got that magic fountain of youth spray from the spaceman I helped, he says a sorcerer created it. ” Y’know, a typical Tuesday for Superman.

Like all magic formulas and red Kryptonite and weird meteors, these effects last one day. Why does everything always last 24 hours?

“I order you to fly me back to Metropolis at once!” Gee, they aren’t even married yet and Lois is already bossing Superman around.

Superman, a grown man, takes jailbait, er, Lois, to the junior miss shop:

 “What a sweet child! I’ll bet Superman found her in an orphanage and intends to marry Lois Lane so they can adopt her.” 

Yep, lady, the ONLY possible answer.

Off to get a marriage license, where Superman is "tut-tutted":

The clerk chides Superman (who’s 29 years old in this continuity) that these “May-December” romances seldom work.  Lois is more like “March” than “May” at the moment and let’s face it, even if you’re Superman, if you show up at the marriage license bureau with a 14 year old, the cops are going to want to have a chat with you.

Lois Exposition reminds Superman he is vulnerable to magic and sprays him with the fountain of youth stuff, and presto, now we’re reading a Superboy story. Superman is vulnerable to the spell of a magician. So Superman should avoid Criss Angel and David Copperfield?

And even if Superman, um, Superboy, is now the same age as Lois (14-15) who in the world is going to marry them legally? I mean, besides Larry Flynt?

Thanks again, Robert!  We'll finish up this big heapin' helpin' of Silver Age weirdness tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for running this, Adam! I'll have many more goodies coming (not this detailed of course) and much more panels for you to mock!

Justin Garrett Blum said...

Why didn't anybody ever tell me Robert Gillis is so funny?

This is hilarious. I mean, the one-panel explanation of the magical rejuvenation spray from an alien seems like the most bizarre idea ever, until you realize that every Silver Age Superman comic probably had at least one similarly hair-brained notion.

Also, I love the bit about Superman knowing Lois would be stupid enough to use an unknown potion on herself. When you're that predictably idiotic, it's time to reevaluate your life, Lois.

Doppelgänger said...

Wait...Lois' clothes (and body) shrinks... but the same spray makes her hair GROW? And what's more, while it curled outwards at the ends as an adult, it now curls inward? Could this be a 60's variation on rogaine for women?