In this entry, we take a look at another weird comic from the Silver Age. It’s from Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane vol. 1 #13, scripted by Robert Bernstein and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger, and it tells the story of THE SHOCKING SECRET OF LOIS LANE!
One day while patrolling the suburbs and wisely avoiding the inner city, Superman finds that Lois Lane has been in a car crash; her car has been totaled! Strangely, Superman’s first instinct is not to check her home or the hospital, but her workplace.
It’s a good choice, because she shows up there soon after – wearing a lead mask.
From there hangs the mystery. Superman assumes that she was horrifically scarred in the crash, but to figure out exactly what’s going on, he does the obvious things and snoops around her house. He finds a bill from a welder; the mask was $25. This doesn’t explain why a cube was the optimal shape, and to answer that question and more he disregards her privacy and reads her diary. He discovers a tawdry tale of magic and betrayal.
She was unharmed by the crash, but to relax a little afterwards, she goes to a magic show. But being the militant skeptic that she is, she insists on debunking it.
The magician – Circe (!) – invites her to her dressing room for a chat; she’s given some lemonade to drink; BUT IT’S A RUSE! The drink was drugged, and Circe claims that the next day, Lois will have the head of a cat!
Lois is skeptical, but the next day people are looking at her strangely. She looks in the mirror and finds that Circe is no joke!
My copy of this story is obviously in black and white, but I thought it was worth tracking down a color image of the scene. I found one at Silver Age Comics, which also discusses this story.
Fabulous! There’s a clue in this picture, by the way, to the mystery’s solution – can you spot it? In any case, one of my favorite parts of this issue is what happens next: Lois Lane goes to find Circe, but she’s gone missing. Lois Lane assumes that she went back to the past. . .
Superman’s wiser, though, and suspects she’s been deceived. He finds her and tells her that she needs to interview a female astronaut and brings her to the space center. It’s not at all clear why he needs to do this, because all he does next is throw drill saws through her lead cube!
It turns out that Circe was a charlatan, and simply hypnotized Lois. Superman snaps his fingers, and she snaps out of it. When people had reacted strangely the next day after she had met Circe, it was all a coincidence.
Poor Lois. She’s in good spirits the next day and ready to get back to her roots as a hard-nosed reporter.
But Superman is kind of a dick.