November 4, 2016
Superman to Lois "Quit Bugging Me"!
Look, sometimes rampant drug use is the only way to meet a deadline...
Welcome to those of you who've accidentally tapped on some rogue link that brought you here - because honestly no one comes to comicbooktidbits.com on purpose. How could anyone get here on purpose? Have you seen the archive list? What person would search for "Superman stolen organs" or "Batman and the Three Stooges"? Scratch that, I don't want to know.
For today I've decided to post something that I've been holding off on for one very legitimate reason - it freaks the hell out of me. How does a pulpy mess of a kids magazine cause a grown man to weep uncontrollably and question the very nature of this most unjust reality? Simply read on and find out.
Now if someone else, somewhere, sometime, already broached this subject, I commend their unequalled bravery. Kudos, I look forward to meeting you at the support group. We meet every second Thursday in Leo's basement. Bring some dip.
As for me? Well, ladies and gentlemen, my therapist said that sometimes it's important to confront your fears head on so... ah... I can't do it.
Just forget it okay?
Ah, screw it.
Without further ado, I resent (not a typo) a story from Superman Family #173 (originally presented in "I don't want to know lest I release the beast from the abyss")...
LOOK AT IT! JUST LOOK AT IT, TAKE IT ALL IN! What can you say about it? Words cannot do justice for the abject horror set down before you. The denizens of Hell itself would avert their eyes at this, this stygian insanity! And this is a story for kids! Children are expected to read this story, look at the insect vomiting Lois Lane from its... what is that... neck?... and say "Wow, cool, I wonder if Superman will finally get married to Lois?" Seriously?
Look at Superman up there, look at his face. He's not thinking marriage. He's thinking one of two things 1) I wish I was anywhere else than here right now and 2) if I kill her now, would it still be murder?
When I first read this story as a kid it gave me nightmares. Honest to God, literal nightmares. I mean, who in their right mind thought this was a good idea. They couldn't be in their right mind, and as such I have to presume that someone, somewhere had smoked some bad peyote when they decided to create this monstrosity. Copious drug use, my friends, there can be no other explanation.
So, after somehow managing to keep my dinner down, we read on and learn that Lois Lane and Lana Lang, the two rivals to Superman's affection, somehow end up staying together in Lana's "digs" after an unforeseen soaking. Don't ask, it really doesn't matter...
So I ask you, what's scarier? Is it knowing what's in store for us ahead, or is it now knowing there was another story published that featured this "Bio-Ring" turning Lana into an insanely creepy bug/human hybrid? See the puffy, cloudy like edging around the flashback panels? Puffy, cloudy, hazy... I think it's the author's way of telling you to smoke 'em if you got 'em, you're going to need it...
In case you were wondering why the Insect Queen doesn't wear pants, it's pretty clear by the final panel, showing Lois sporting a very large dragonfly... tail, I suppose? I presume it's a tail, because I don't see any legs. And last I checked, dragonflies have many legs. Then again, I really wonder why am I trying to rationalize this? When is horror rational? Here's a case in point. What is the point of drawing Lois and Lana with giant insect bodies? In the panel above was the extra long tail really necessary? She just needs to fly, and the costume already has wings! Plus, the way the stupid costume is drawn makes it look like Lois has 3 sets of boobs, so, yeah, there's that too.
What... the... fuck? I... look, what do you say? She basically just tongued the kid to her. In the second last panel the little girl looks happy at first, but look closer. That's the face of someone going from joy at being saved to abject fear after now realizing what it is that saved her. Look at that poor girl wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fire wasn't so bad after all.
And in the last panel, for some inexplicable reason, is a shirtless fireman. Can you spot him? Do you recall ever seeing a shirtless fireman fighting a fire? No, me neither. Kind of explains why this fire crew couldn't save the kid, doesn't it?
Okay, so Lois, who just stole her friend's super suit, decides that it makes perfect sense for her to continue being nightmare fuel to the entire city - I mean - continue being a superhero. Yeah, that's it.
On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of pants shitting terror, having just her head on an insect body is... better, I guess? Around a 5, maybe a 4? Though I have a feeling that may change.
So, kudos to the crook for managing to get his gang to the boat and not, you know, just freezing in terror at the sight of this monstrosity. Each drawing of Lois as an insect here looks like some giant bug just tried to eat her and stopped at just the head. Maybe that's why the crook wasn't scared, he thought the bug's stomach was full and thus, it wouldn't eat him.
Didn't help though, but still, kudos.
Lois then ties them up using thread she pulls out of her ass.
I'm not kidding.
Is it normal for home invaders to just strip off clothes before leaving? I don't think that's normal.
As for Lois, look, I can't sugar coat this. Back in the 1960s Lois was written as a complete idiot. In order to add drama to the stories, Superman needed someone he was emotionally vested in to save all the time. So, Lois (and essentially her male counterpart, Jimmy Olsen) were written as complete morons to explain why they constantly, and mean MULTIPLE times in a single story, they found themselves in life and death situations. Here, Lois advertises to the world that she has a magic ring that gives her superpowers (which isn't even hers), and then she lets in this blonde Broom Hilda on one of the flimsiest excuses ever, and promptly loses said magic ring.
How Lois made it to adulthood, I have no idea.
So, what does the blonde thief decide is the best use of her new ring? It's a Lois Lane story, take a wild guess...
So, Kryptonian bugs have human like, long, spindly hands? Sure, why not? Nothing strange about that.
Speaking of strange, I'd imagine Superman has been fighting crime for a while now. I'd have hoped that at some point, with all that experience, he'd have learned the basic lesson of law enforcement to randomize the times of his patrols. By randomizing his patrols he'd throw a monkey wrench into a lot of plans, like this one. Think about it, if every crook in town knew Superman would be at the East Side at 2:30 pm, then why wouldn't they decide to do their crimes on the West Side at the same time? Or, better yet, do them when he's patrolling Europe, or on Justice League monitor duty, or traveling in deep space, or...
Man, how is it Lois is still alive again?
So, as Superman is baited to his death trap, Lana and Lois create a spare costume and use some fake kryptonite to spook the blonde thief into letting go of the magic ring. How Lois and Lana knew everyone would be at the park, I have no idea.
Look, it's almost over, don't you want it to be over?
What follows is probably my favorite (by which I mean most terror inducing) image of Bug-Lois, which is promptly followed by some hot girl-on-girl action...
I'm sorry... I'm so, so sorry... but...
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!
It just boggles the mind, doesn't it? Oh lord, it just... heh... it just makes up for everything else doesn't it? Why is her nose flesh colored? Why... just why?
And to add an extra layer of stupidity to this, apparently you're stuck in whatever form you take if you remove the magic ring. I'd like to imagine that at this moment, in some alternate reality, Lana just crushes the ring and yells out "Let's see you marry Superman now, bitch!" Now that, that would've been sweet.
Instead we get Lois nearly impaling Superman and Lana tricking the blonde thief somehow...
And so, Lois and Lana prepare for... uhm... a bug-girl slumber party I guess? I must say, Lana is rather forgiving with Lois. Lois, who stole her magic ring, allowed a stranger to rob her apartment and nearly got the love of her life, Superman, killed. Then again, maybe the next panel has Lana using that pillow to suffocate Lois, who knows?
It seems fitting that our nightmare ends with a true bait-and-switch - an almost "it was all a dream" ending common to many horror stories. The splash page of this story promised Superman would be wooed by a living nightmare, which never happens. Instead it was a typical Lois Lane clusterfuck that almost gets Superman killed, sprinkled with bits of Lovecraftian horror.
If you enjoyed this tale, be sure to check out other tales with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen from the 1950s through 1970s. Honestly, they were insane and never fail to bring a smile to my face.
Thanks for reading, and remember, sessions are every second Thursday, Leo's basement. Bring dip...
... and roach kill.