Friday, 4 April 2014

"The Man Who Married Lois Lane"

It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody in a Golden Age comic book is completely insane. Not a single decision is underpinned by reason as you or I might understand it, nor does anybody experience anything reconisable as human emotion. They lurch hysterically from one insane situation to the next, making increasingly baffling decisions and then suddenly shrugging and completely forgetting the whole thing when the allotted eight or ten pages are used up. By and large they resemble a lost work of Samuel Beckett, if he took a lot of really good mushrooms and had nothing but contempt for women.

Case in point: Superman #136 - "The Man Who Married Lois Lane"

Now, as I'm sure you're aware, comics of the period were pretty fond of wildly misleading covers. They would show Batman and Superman begging to be executed, Superman about to throw Batman off a building or grotesquely irresponsible medical practices,* which would turn out to be wild exaggerations of what actually took place within the pages.

This cover, though? The exact, unvarnished truth. Superman and Lois Lane are hanging out, talking about what a piece of dirt Clark Kent is and laughing to themselves when a UFO turns up and the green man with superpowers in it tells Lois that a) he's from the distant future and b) he has to marry her because he has tomorrow's newspaper and it shows them getting married.

On the front page, no less!
He then turns from a green monster into a normal man, a phenomenon which nobody looks at too closely because it is completely insane. Superman just says "welp I can't see any problem with this" and just FLIES THE EFF OFF AND LEAVES HER THERE. Lois's new suitor is named X-Plam, which seems fine, and Lois agrees to head off and become Mrs X-Plam in the distant future.

Let's break down the terrible decisions that have been made so far, shall we? Neither Superman nor Lois know the first thing about this guy, and literally EVERY alien race they've encountered has tried to destroy them in one way or the other. This guy waves a newspaper around, though, and they both just shrug and say things like "that's destiny" before surrendering Lois wholesale into his arms. On the other side of things, this X-Plam guy is acting on the same ridiculous information. His people have mastered time travel, but he sees one mouldy document from his distant past and that convinces him to just scoop up the woman whose name is on it and MARRY HER FOREVER.

Finally, Lois just shrugs off the question of his transformation, as well as what might happen to her when she's exposed to HIS atmosphere. YOU ARE A JOURNALIST LOIS. Think about these things for five seconds.

He still dresses like a lunatic, though
Anyway, they get to the future, and lo and behold, Lois becomes a gross green monster as well. Who could have predicted that? Also, I feel like I should point out - this comic is just SUPER space-racist. For all Lois knows, she's the hottest green girl in town, but all she does is freak out with her new superpowers and smash down his house. Nice going, Lois.

Please note that the fact that these green fuckers have superpowers NEVER ONCE plays a role in the story.

Turns out that X-Plam has a TV that shows the past in what's left of his house, and he plunks his hysterical new wife down in front of it to look in on the past. You know, like he could have done at ANY stage before launching into this ridiculous plan. Lois finds Superman in his Lois Mannequin Room, and instead of being horrified by the fact that literally every man in her life is dangerously deranged, she begins to pine for him.

They work at it, though. They go to couples counselling, they open up to one another, and bit by bit they learn to build a life together, based on mutual honesty and co-operation in the face of adversity. JUST KIDDING X-PLAM FLIES TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN AND KILLS HIMSELF TO RETURN LOIS TO THE PAST. This is a woman, I would remind you, that he met literally a few hours ago. Half a day, if we're being generous. He lives with his parents, by the way, so they get to see him die. That's nice. At least the racist bitch who tore down half their house gets to go home.

Anyhow, Lois gets back to the sixties, doesn't let Superman look at her until her face becomes normal again, and life goes on as usual. Not before Superman tells her that he was too busy to be worried about her, though. Real charmer, this guy.

*Robots, mind control and actually-a-dummy-that-Superman-had-on-hand-for-some-reason respectively

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