Friday, July 11, 2008

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #86

Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #86 (On Sale: July 11, 1968), AKA 80-Page Giant G-51, has an unusual cover attributed to Neal Adams pencils and Al Plastino inks featuring Lois' Schemes and Dreams to Marry Superman!

We begin with "Lois Lane's Wedding Day" reprinted from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #37 and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. Lois goes undercover to expose a crooked Sweethearts’ Club. She learns that the club owner is planning a fake marriage to encourage more people to join the club. Lois and Clark pretend to be hired actors, playing the parts of the marriage couple.

The club owner learns that Lois has been spying and hires a real preacher to perform the ceremony. Lois finds that she is now really married to Clark. When they embark on the planned honeymoon, Clark tries to tell Lois that he is Superman, but she doesn’t believe him.

Next is "The Wife of Superman" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #23 and also drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. In this imaginary story, Lois and Clark enjoy a day in the park with their super powered children, Larry and Carole. The children each wear a control belt which their parents can use to remove their powers temporarily if they cause trouble. Clark must still keep his identity secret because Lois has no powers.

Lana Lang takes over Lois’s vacant job at the Planet. She begins to chase after Superman which makes Lois angry. Superman can not tell Lana that he is already married to Lois. Lois tries to get her job back, but no one will hire a married woman. Wow, it was the 60's folks!

Our next tale is "Lana Lang's Romance with Superman VI" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #36 and drawn by Curt Swan and George Klein. In yet another imaginary story, Superman marries Lois Lane after inventing a formula to give her super powers. Lana is miserable that Superman did not choose her. She signs herself up for an experiment designed to send her to the fourth dimension. Instead she arrives in the future where she meets Superman III, a descendant of Superman. She falls in love with him and agrees to stay in the future as his wife.

This is followed by "Lois Lane's Secret Identity" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #29 and drawn by John Forte. Lois goes undercover as Lorelei Larue to expose a bandit who robs society women of their jewels. Lois is successful in exposing the crook, but Superman has to rescue her. The Man of Steel does not recognize Lois in her disguise, and he immediately falls in love with Lorelei.

Lois begins dating Superman as Lorelei which makes her jealous of herself (They don't write them like this anymore!). She tries to sabotage their relationship but fails, finally giving in to Superman’s marriage proposal. At the ceremony, the justice of the peace reads the signature of the wedding license, Kltpzyxm, forcing the disguised Mxyzptlk to return to the 5th dimension.

Superman, who was under the spell of the imp, returns to normal, and Lois explains that she suspected Mxyzptlk’s involvement in the Man of Steel’s strange behavior.

The next story is "The Silver Coin of Fate" reprinted from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #32 and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. Superman decides to end the rivalry between Lois and Land forever by flipping a coin and then marrying whichever girl is the winner. Lois wins, but Lana still tries to prevent Lois from getting married after she sees the coin. Superman takes Lana into the future, so that she can not interfere.

At the wedding Clark Kent takes Superman aside and tells him that he knows Superman is a fake. Superman is revealed to be a Bizarro. Before he can go through with the wedding, his naturally Bizarro appearance takes over due to a cure created by the real Superman. Lois is horrified, forcing the Bizarro to flee. Superman then brings Lana back.

Next Lois becomes "The Bride of Luthor" in a reprint from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #34 and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. In our third imaginary story of the issue,l Luthor has escaped from jail and kidnaps Lois Lane. He takes her to the planet Omark and meets some telepaths. The telepaths change Luthor and turn him into a force for good. Lois is returned to Earth, and Luthor turns himself in.

Using his science for good, Luthor saves the life of the governor and is pardoned. He invents many devices which benefit mankind and saves the life of Lois. Lois then marries him and together they have a son, Larry.

Although Luthor has tried to hide his criminal past from his son, Larry soon discovers that his father was once Superman’s greatest foe. Larry also turns to crime and as a result accidentally kills his father. Lois regrets ever setting events in motion by marrying Lex.

Finally, we end with "The Devil and Lois Lane" from Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #41 and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. After overhearing Lois say that she would sell her soul to marry Superman, the Man of Steel disguises himself as the Devil and makes Lois believe that she has signed a contract with Satan. Lois discovers the trick eventually and becomes enraged at the staged wedding ceremony. Superman admits to his trick, claiming it was for Lois’s own good.

Edited by Mort Weisinger.


vinnie said...

I probably would've been too embarrassed to admit it at the age of ten, but I really enjoyed this issue full of nothing but romance tales. The Luthor story stands out in my mind; after Luthor turns good and does all kinds of wonderful things including saving Lois' life, the subject of marriage between them comes up. Luthor complains that he's not good enough for her because he's bald and fat. Lois points out that Yul Brynner is bald, and Frank Sinatra is "skinny as a beanpole, but women still swoon over him." This sways Luthor, thus giving nerdy pre-adolescent boys everywhere hope that they, too, can someday win over a hot babe like Lois (though they might first have to find a cure for cancer or something like that. ;-o ))

-Keller said...

I think I got this one used but yeah, I remember the "good" Luthor story.

Sharon said...

Those Lois 80 page Giants were always the highlight of my summer- - I used to love them!!

In the late 60s it seemed like every DC cover was by Neal Adams. Every cover looked alike. I missed the originality of the Carmine Infantino Batman covers, the great Gil Kane and Curt Swan covers, and yes--even the corny Kurt Schaffenberger Lois covers--KS was the definitive Lois artist.

B Allen Krauz said...

It seems Weisinger, & other editors later, were sometimes not happy with ADAMS', (& later KIRBYs') Inked rendition of Supermans' Face...I study many covers, & on a good deal, the face of Superman, or another character like Lois, will have a paste-over by another artist. If you study the ink styles & linework, you will notice...
The 80 page Giant Lois Lane #86, is all ADAMS inking, except for Supes' Head, which is PLASTINO (paste-over), as you mention. But just the head...

& to follow up "SHARON", 67, INFANTINO was made "Cover Editor", meaning he was designing every cover DC produced. The Editors & Brass Heads at DC checked the sales figures, & discovered that the books with covers by Carmine were selling the best, ergo his advancement to Cover Designer Head Honcho...& eventually Editorial Director, & so on...