Get Lost, Superman!

When it comes to marriage, Lois Lane and Lana Lang have been regularly frozen out by Superman for years, but in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #60 (Oct. 1965), things are taken to the extreme.

Writer Otto Binder and artist Kurt Schaffenberger start us off at the annual Celebrity Party, hosted by the Daily Planet as a charity fundraiser. The hostesses are star reporter Lois Lane and TV journalist Lana Lang. And lest you think "hostess" means they've been put in charge of the event, and preside over it in elegant evening gowns, let's remember that it's 1965. No, by "hostess" we mean the girls are serving drinks and sandwiches while dressed in super-short "French maid" outfits with fishnet stockings and high heels.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

With their best qualities thus on display, Lois and Lana rack up a growing list of marriage proposals from movie stars and wealthy sportsmen (that is, if "Be mine, Bootilicious" counts as a basis for holy matrimony) but neither is willing to settle for anything less than Superman. As it happens, he's manning a "Super-Kisses for Charity" stand at the party, and the girls are only too eager to contibute.

Superman finds their attentions embarrassing, and not for the first time. He decides to give them a piece of his mind and dresses them down in front of the other party-goers.

Wow, that seems a little harsh, don't you think? I mean, not that they're not annoying, but their money's as good as anyone else's, right? I admit they're being kind of wasteful with it, when half their kisses miss your lips, but it's all going to a good cause. Plus those outfits really are hot, let's face it.

Anyway, despite his anger, Superman keeps an earlier promise to take the girls to the Fortress of Solitude, there to collect information for stories about its many wonders. But as they're a captive audience on the long trek to the North Pole, he takes advantage of the opportunity to lecture them sternly.

Once inside, Superman shows off his latest project: a "frozen sleep" device to be used by medical science for freezing incurable patients until cures for their conditions can be found (a decade or so later, this would catch on as "cryogenics"). The outer limit on Superman's time dial is 5,000 years, he explains, and once turned on it can't be stopped without killing the subject.

Heading off on patrol, Superman leaves the girls alone for a while, and returns to find they've turned the technology on themselves. Incredibly, he seems surprised by this development.

You can't make it out here (and only barely in the original), but the plaque at the foot of the freeze chamber reads: "Goodbye, Superman! We're tired of waiting for you to propose. When we wake up in the future, you'll be dead, dead, DEAD! -- love and kisses, Lois and Lana).

Unable to turn off the device, Superman has no choice but to time-travel to the year 6965, there to await the unthawing of the girls, so he can return them to 1965. Unfortunately, the device proves to have been defective, and the girls do not survive the process.

Superman travels back to 1965, planning to emerge from the time stream one hour before the girls entered the chamber. Unfortunately his calculations are off; due to a change in the Earth's rotation after 5,000 years, the calendar will change by half a day. Thus, he's arrived several hours later than intended. "I guess you can't beat fate!" he decides. Yes, no point in trying another trip a couple hours into the past. Probably wouldn't work anyway. Wonder what's on tonight?

As it turns out, what's on is Lana Lang's TV show, "I Remember Superboy," which in turn makes Clark remember the pretty redhead is no more. Life at the office is similarly depressing without Lois.

Yes, that girl who sealed herself in a cryogenic chamber to spite me in a passing fit of could I ever have called her "impulsive"?

Superman decides to try one more time, this time going back to the night of the party to be nicer to the girls. Along the way, however, he's knocked off a course by a comet that slips in and out of the time stream (as comets so often will) and he ends up in prehistoric times. Throwing in the towel, he returns to the Fortress to mourn his lost girlfriends, remembering all the times they helped him out of jams and/or saved his life, and feeling like a total heel.

Missing them terribly, he turns his thoughts to the city of Kandor, where their doubles live.

Ah yes, the always inspiring motto of the Look-Alike Squad: "We're Better Than Nothing!" What do you expect, though, from people whose whole life's work is determined by their incidental resemblance to someone else?

Superman spots too many "look-alikes" in Kandor and realizes two of the girls he sees are the genuine Lois and Lana. Happily, he enlarges them to normal size and they explain what's happened: when Superman left the Fortress earlier, they shrank themselves and joined their lookalikes from Kandor (whose names are never given, because -- honestly -- who cares?) and together they came up with a plan to make Superman miserable. Yes, as Kandorians, the lookalikes are loyal to Superman, but as women they're also all about humiliating men, you know, and that takes priority.

Using Kandorian "super-science," they made unliving android duplicates of themselves and placed them in the freeze chamber.

His lesson learned, and even grateful to have been made aware that the freeze chamber is defective, Superman forgives the girls and everything is back to normal.

Yep, good to have them back. Because that earlier crack about how they "fake dangers to get my attention"? That was way out of line.

What a disturbed little triangle we've got here, with Lois and Lana turning down wedding proposals on the dim hope of getting one from Superman, Superman publicly humiliating the girls for helping him raise money (the sign says to kiss him for a dollar -- they kiss him and charity gets the proceeds. What's the problem, again?), the girls faking their deaths to "teach him a lesson" and Superman, having been jerked around and scared half to death, forgiving their deceit and if anything seeming more attached to them than ever because of it.

As always, the art is a joy; nobody drew a prettier Lois or Lana than Kurt Schaffenberger, and those skimpy waitress outfits probably turned more than one young boy on to the charms of the female form...even if they were soon reminded that girls are ultimately much more trouble than they're worth.