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Lois Lane 38
"The Invisible Lois Lane"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND January 1963

Cover: Kurt Schaffenberger, illustrating the issue’s third story, “The Girl Who Refused to Marry Superman!”—Superman sits in a wheelchair in his hospital room, with a broken leg, broken arm and bandaged head, saying, “Lois and Lana…a freak accident has taken away my super-powers and made me an invalid! Now that I’ll be an ordinary man for life, I’m sure neither of you will want to marry me!” The two women have their faces covered by black squares, and one is saying, “You’ll never be ordinary to ME! You’ll always be YOU, the man I love! I’LL marry you!” while the other says, “I’ll be honest with you, SUPERMAN! Without your super-powers, I wouldn’t dream of marrying you!” The caption: “Featuring a modern “Lady or the Tiger” puzzle! Can you guess who is…”The Girl Who Refused to Marry Superman!”

“The Invisible Lois Lane”
Script: ?, pencils: Curt Swan, inks: George Klein

In the splash panel, Clark Kent changes to Superman in the shadows alongside a building, while an invisible Lois thinks, “WOW! At last I’ve got PROOF that SUPERMAN and Clark Kent are one and the same person! After this temporary invisibility wears off, I’m going to have some fun! For a long, long time SUPERMAN’s been laughing at me secretly, but…ha, ha, ha…now I’M going to have the LAST LAUGH!”

As the story begins, eccentric Professor Potter is showing Lois his latest batch of discoveries. When he points out a short-term invisibility serum, Lois has an Olsenesque flash of inspiration and guzzles it down. “Oh, no!” cries the professor, “You swallowed the serum! You’re…fading from view!!—Foolish girl! I started to tell you that any human drinking it will suffer unpleasant side effects...such as strange hallucinations!” “It’ll be WORTH it!!” thinks Lois.

After nearly being hit by a van, Lois spots Clark Kent leaving the Daily Planet building for lunch and follows him, hoping to catch him turning into Superman. In a stroke of luck, a machine-gun-wielding man is running out of a jewelry store with a satchel. “Moments later, in the alley…” the scene foreshadowed by the splash panel takes place, with Clark peeling back his shirt as see-through Lois thinks, “Great Scott! Clark took off his glasses and now he’s removing his outer garments, revealing a SUPERMAN costume underneath! My hunch was right. Meek, mild, shy Clark is secretly dynamic SUPERMAN!!”

Lois watches Superman make short work of the robber (“Gaaa! M-my machine-gun bullets bounce right off your jaw!” yells the hood, obviously new in town) and change back into Clark clothes. “Shall I tell him I’m wise to his jealously-guarded secret?—No! Wait!” she muses, as she becomes visible again. “SUPERMAN must have had loads of laughs pulling the wool over my eyes all these years [well, yes…]…But here’s where the worm turns! Now I’M going to have some secret laughs at HIS expense!” She walks around a corner to run into Clark, and they go to lunch together, a safe almost landing on Clark as they walk down the sidewalk. When they get back to work, Perry White asks Clark to count the bags of coins sent in by readers as contributions to the Metropolis Orphans’ Fund. Lois sabotages the coin-counting machine and hangs around to help Clark count the coins by hand, thereby preventing him from counting at super-speed. “Getting impatient, SUPERMAN? Ha, ha! You must be sizzling!” she thinks, as Clark says, “$487.56…$487.57…$487.67…” [It might be easier, Clark, if you separated the coins by denomination first…]

The next evening Lois is waiting for Clark at an amusement park. She watches the operator of the ol’ hammer & bell strength-tester game and thinks, “I get it! The owner is pressing a button, so a hidden, powerful spring makes the ball shoot up so that his accomplice wins a prize…thus attracting more business!—hm-mm…” When Clark arrives, she wheedles him into trying it, and presses the button so that he rings the bell despite trying to swing the hammer lightly—winning him the rating of “superman” and a transistor radio, and flustering him further.

The day after that, “Lois and Clark visit a warehouse owned by a friend who was robbed of furs.” The friend says, “I’m closing, now. Take these keys and lock up when you leave! I hope you find a clue to the identity of the crooks who stole three mink coats from our fur vault!” Of course, when Clark walks into the fur storage freezer Lois locks him in. “Awp!” he thinks, nearly losing his composure. “An ordinary man would soon freeze to death in here! I could force open the thick steel door easily…but doing so would reveal the fact that I’m SUPERMAN! Wh-what’ll I do??” Lois lets him stew for a while, thinking, “If Clark bursts out, he’ll expose himself as SUPERMAN. And if he remains inside, with no ill effects from the zero temperature, that’ll unmask him, too! Ha, ha! He can’t escape THIS little trap!” When she finally opens the door, pretending that she’s been looking for him, he has wrapped himself in mink coats to justify not being dead.

The next day, Lois has come up with yet another sadistic little ruse [does she ever actually write an article? For that matter, does Clark? Presumably the Daily Planet comes out daily—is there any news in it?]—she tells Clark that she’s discovered that Perry White is Superman, and leads him into Perry’s office. While Perry dozes at his desk, Lois opens his closet door and shows Clark a Superman costume, Superman masks, and padding for making one appear fat. When Clark says he doesn’t believe it, Lois picks up a handgun from Perry’s desk (“Ha! This toy weapon is filled with BLANKS! It was used by the “Toy Gun Bandit” in a holdup! I painted the gun with lead paint so Clark’s x-ray vision won’t be able to look inside and discover the ‘bullets’ are harmless!”) and points it at Perry. But before Clark can confess to keep her from shooting, Perry wakes up. “Hey! Put down that toy gun!” he says, grabbing it with one hand while the other holds something up to one eye. As it turns out, Perry has a black eye from bumping into a door; “I took some pills to ease the pain, and I guess they made me fall asleep!” he explains. Lois is forced to admit that black-eye-sporting, pain-pill-popping Perry can’t be Superman, and she and Clark leave the room in stony silence, Clark thinking, “I awakened Perry by giving him a ‘hot foot’ with my HEAT VISION! I knew he had a black eye and I figured that when Lois saw it, she would have to admit he couldn’t possibly be invulnerable!”

Later, Lois sees a story on the news wire and the following exchange takes place:
L: This news bulletin says a ship’s sinking at sea! Hundreds of lives may be lost! Go save it, at once!
C: Me save the ship? What can I possibly do, Lois?
L: You know very well how you can save it! YOU’RE SUPERMAN, THE MAN OF STEEL! Now stop pretending and take off!
C: Lois—what’s got into you? I’m no more SUPERMAN than you are—JACQUELINE KENNEDY!

Lois then grabs a pair of scissors and is shocked to find that Clark’s hair cuts easily; then she rips open his shirt and finds there is no costume underneath. “Whatever gave you the wild idea that I, of all people, am SUPERMAN?” asks Clark, as if this has never come up before. Lois sputters and Clark leaves, “to take care of some personal business.” Lois calls Professor Potter, who assures her that when she saw Clark change into Superman it was just a hallucination caused by the serum. Superman, observing from above the clouds, reflects on the real explanation—it seems that when Lois started acting strangely (or more so than usual) he deduced that she had discovered his identity and was toying with him. So, naturally he went looking for amnesia victims of his own size and build, and found one at Metropolis Hospital, a test-pilot named Roy Wilkins who lost his memory in a crash. Superman coerced him to agree to put on a mask and play Clark Kent by promising to restore his memory afterwards, and meanwhile Superman saved the sinking ship. Flashback over, he meets amnesiac Roy behind the Daily Planet building and kills him so he can’t talk. No, not really—he picks him up and flies loops with him, causing Roy to remember everything up until his accident (“After their memories return, “ Superman thinks as he flies away, “former amnesia victims can’t recall what happened DURING their period of amnesia!”). The story ends at a celebrity style show where Lois is modeling, as she says to Clark, “To think I almost froze you to death in that fur vault…! I promise never again to try and prove you’re SUPERMAN!”

The story is followed by a one-page “Varsity Vic” by the ubiquitous Henry Boltinoff.