Also, what the hell, Jimmy?
Also, what the hell, Superman?
Before I get into the unintentional camp aspects of this, I want to address the elephant in the room. Being written in the late 50's, to call Lois Lane comics wildly sexist would be a gross understatement. To the author's credit, they seemed to think they were making Lois Lane an independent, career-minded woman, which she is, sort of. She's also incredibly vain, prone to wild mood swings, violently jealous of other women and absolutely obsessed with marrying Superman. I have my doubts that the writers or indeed anyone behind these comics had ever been within a hundred miles of a living, breathing human female. The portrayal of Lois Lane and the occasional guest appearances of Lana Lang are insulting and abhorrent.
An entire issue is dedicated to Lois trying to win a part in a Broadway play by spending a week working at a pretzel factory, while being sabotaged all the way by a jealous coworker trying to win a job at the factory for his girlfriend (not making a word of that up). Multiple issues are dedicated to various people convincingly pretending to be Superman to extort information out of Lois. Considering all these crooks seem to have access to impressive special effects rigs and photorealistic rubber masks, it's amazing that anyone in Metropolis actually trusts anyone. (And that Lois manages to keep her Daily Planet job after trying so many other jobs on for size.)
Superman is even worse at the relationship business, as he spends most of his time trying to teach Lois lessons, mostly by setting up cruel pranks where she thinks she might have gotten someone killed (probably Jimmy Olson) so she might learn the error of her reckless ways, destroying her newly won house to teach her about lying about being married, and convincing her she'd travelled into the future 50 years (and that many people she loved had since died) after she snuck aboard an experimental rocket. The lowest of the low for him (at least as far as I've read) comes in an issue where Superman saves Lois from a mob enforcer (without her consent) by blasting her with a fat ray (which is apparently a thing), then pretending for the rest of the story that he doesn't recognize her and constantly commenting to her face on how fat she is and how difficult she is for him to carry, even though we regularly see him juggling cars.
So, dear readers, does anyone else get a kick out of Lois Lane comics like I do? Anybody else have some guilty pleasure pop culture favorites? Sound off in the comments below!
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-- Matt Carter
(We know there's a lot of Matt Carter's online you could spend your time with, so thanks for hanging around this one!)