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Superman 150
"The Duel Over Superman!"


Story: Unknown Art: Kurt Schaffenberger

(Originally Reviewed On 05/22/02)

Lois Lane and Lana Lang have a rivalry when it comes to the attentions of The Man of Steel, with each seeking out an edge over the other, but no one could have anticipated that their feud would lead to acts of violence. The time has come when only one of them will be left alive to become Mrs. Superman, and the whole world can only watch... "The Duel Over Superman!" On the splash page, a disbelieving Superman watches as Lois Lane and Lana Lang are getting ready to fire their dueling pistols, while Jimmy Olsen waits to give the order for them fire! Lois is covering a power outtage and meets Lana, whose mobile TV unit is also covering the story, and both reporters watch as Superman fixes the high tension wires which fell during a storm, and caused the blackout.

Lana remembers how she first met him back in Smallville when he was Superboy, while Lois wonders if she'll ever see the day that she'll marry him. The lights are on again, and the two girl compare notes, when Lana suggests that they settle their differences over Superman during dinner. Lois has a plan to make The Man of Steel choose one of them to be his bride, and she proposes that they pretend to engage into a final duel to the death! Lana is confident that this will make Superman believe that the only way to keep them from killing each other is by marrying one of them!

Lana wonders where they'll duel, and Lois mentions John Brett, who owns a castle, and who is away in Europe, as well as letting her cover a story about his weapons collection, and leaving her with the keys. The two reporters shake on it, with each believing that Superman will choose her over the other. The following day finds The Man of Steel at the opening of an amusement park, where he is to go for the first ride in the tunnel of love, and choose any girl he wants! He sees both Lana and Lois covering the story, and the girls enact their plan by each gripping each one of his arms, while Superman is embarrassed that the cameras and newsreel are recording this display for posterity! Lana tells Lois to keep her hands off Superman, while Lois tells Lana that he obviously isn't interested in her, and she's still chasing him!

Lana shoves Lois into the water, and the furious brunette vows revenge, while Superman tries in vain to tell Lois to control herself! Lois shoves him aside, and when Lana tells her that she'd like to see her dead, Lois accepts the challenge and slaps her with her glove! Lana peels off her glove and slaps Lois with it, while a cameraman is amazed by their display of violence. Superman points out that the duel is against the law and doesn't want it to take place, while each reporter winks at the other and goes their separate way.

On the phone, Lois congratulates Lana for their performance, and make ready for tonight, as Lois plans to publish the duel in the Planet, while Lana is to mention it on TV. The next day at The Daily Planet, Jimmy stares at the headline in disbelief, which doesn't abate when Lois asks him to be their referee. Jimmy is reluctant to get involved, and Lois points out that his participation has been publicized, so he can't get out of it! The duel is to take place at 9pm at John Brett's castle, and the cub reporter doesn't know that he was picked to be the referee because he's the only one who can contact The Man of Steel to stop the duel! Jimmy uses his signal watch to call Superman and he vows to teach the two girls a thing or two!

At his apartment, Clark Kent puts the finishing touches on a pair of Lois and Lana robots he's built. At Brett Castle, Lana plans to explore the dungeon prior to meeting Lois, when the door slams shut, thanks to the super-breath of Superman, who substitutes the Lana robot for the duel with Lois! In the armory, Jimmy begs Lois not to go through with the duel, while she reaches for a pair of fencing foils. Robot Lana arrives and selects the sword, while Superman marvels at his handiwork. The duel begins, with Lois wondering why Jimmy doesn't call on The Man of Steel to stop the duel...

The Lana Robot slips and falls on Lois' sword! Lois weeps, while Jimmy hears Superman speaking by super-ventriloquism to bring Lois to the castle armory. While Jimmy comforts Lois, Superman uses his heat-vision to melt the metal bolt on the dungeon door, and Lana races outside to meet Lois, who is in reality Superman's robot of the girl reporter, who tells Lana that she wants to use pistols! Jimmy overhears Superman via super-ventriloquism that Lois is a robot, and the cub reporter begins to get the picture...

Jimmy tells the two duelists to take ten paces, turn, and fire! Lana wonders why Jimmy isn't calling Superman, and at the end of ten paces, they turn, and Lana plans to shoot, but not at Lois! BANG! "Lois" keels over, while Lana is startled that she shot at the ground, and the bullet must have ricocheted! Jimmy takes the sobbing Lana, while giving The Man of Steel the high sign. Superman congratulates the Lois robot and tells her to meet the Lana robot in the room adjacent to the armory, while Jimmy compliments his pal on the scheme to make Lois and Lana believe that they killed each other! In the armory room, they see Lois and Lana none too pleased at seeing the other alive, and figured that the other pretended to be dead!

Lana is wielding a battle axe, while Lois opts for the sword and shield, and Superman tells them to stop fighting! Lana figures that Lois planned this to embarrass her and make Superman angry, while The Man of Steel insists that he's not angry, and had planned to trick them to teach them a lesson by using two robots! Both girls go over the edge, and Superman catches them before they fall far, only to look up and see the real Lois and Lana laugh at him saving the "lives" of his robots, who were made to follow their orders, instead. They spotted the robots in the other room and sent them to fool him. Both Lois and Lana leave arm in arm, each insisting that they'd never get into a fight over Superman, while only some robots would! The Man of Steel slaps his forehead, and knows that the duel isn't between Lois and Lana... it's between them and him, and with their luck, they'll may win!

A superb issue with art by Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, Al Plastino, and Kurt Schaffenberger under one roof! And only 12 cents! Wotta bargain!

The average reader would think that Kryptonite and Magic are the only things that bother Superman, but bring in the intials "L.L." and the real fun begins!

Shrewder than Lucy and Ethel, it's Lois and Lana, who are no doubt more fun that a pocketful of Kryptonite!

Interesting to see what Clark Kent does in his apartment during his spare time. Gives new meaning to the phrase, "She's really built!"

Even Jimmy has his bowtie in a knot over the anxious developments in this story, and only his pal's plan to teach the two reporters a lesson has him more mellow than Perry Como.

Lois and Lana's duel would seem to follow the tenet of The Highlander... In the end, there can be only one, while Robot Lana and Robot Lois put out moves which would put Russell Crowe to shame in Gladiator.

Steve Chung
"The Review Over Superman!"