Over the past few days, I’ve been doing my best to offer up tips on how you can find true ahhhhromance in today’s crazy world, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes, the Don’ts are just as important as the Dos. So tonight, I offer you the biggest Don’t of all:
DON’T BE LIKE LOIS LANE.
SHE IS A CRAZY PERSON.
Now, don’t get me wrong: There’s a lot to like about Lois, but in matters of the heart, she tends to cross the line from “charmingly persistent” to “stalker in a pillbox hat.” And there’s no better example of the lengths she’ll go to to try and fail to win Superman’s heart than in the pages of Ed Hamilton and Kurt Schaffenberger’s “Lois Lane’s Romance With Jor-El”:
I’ve mentioned this one briefly before in an article for Cracked, but now that it’s available in the recent Superman: Past and Future trade paperback–along with the story where Jimmy Olsen meets Hitler–I thought it might be a good idea to dust it off again. Why?
Because it is completely insane.
The whole thing starts off with Superman checking in on the Phantom Zone and noticing that Lois is hanging out out in there with a bunch of Kryptonian convicts. Even for Lois, that’s a little unusual, and when Superman asks how it happened, we find out that it all starts… with SCIENCE!
The Anti-Nuclear Ray is pure Macguffin–all you really need to know about it is that it gives Lois the shadow of an excuse that she needs to dick around with the Space-Time Continuum–but this panel’s worth noticing for the way Professor Gordon presents his findings. His device is going to stop the world from exploding, and we know that because he has drawn a picture of the Earth–labeled “Earth”–exploding, and then marked it out with an X.
Clearly, the research here is sound.
Anyway, Lois makes the connection that a device designed to stop planets from exploding might be useful in keeping the planet Krypton from exploding, so she gets a copy of the plans and grabs a time machine, a process that takes exactly one panel because, you know, the Silver Age. Thus, armed with a Kryptonian minidress borrowed from Jimmy Olsen–who collects Kryptonian minidresses, apparently, which is perfectly normal–she heads back in time to pre-explosion Krypton, finds Jor-El, and gives him the plans.
If this seems uncharacteristically altruistic of Lois, that’s because it is. Because as we soon find out, she’s not just attempting to save the lives of millions of Kryptonians, she’s really doing it because she wants to impress Superman:
That’s right: She’s going to go tell Superman that Krypton didn’t blow up. Superman, who was sent to Earth… when Krypton blew up. This is never addressed.
Before she can get back to tell the good news to a world that had been destroyed eighty thousand times because Superman wasn’t around to stop the meteor/giant laser-eyed gorilla/fifth-dimensional imp/giant fifth-dimensional meteorilla, Lois discovers that her time machine’s broken, which leaves her stranded on Krypton. Thus, she decides to make the best of a bad situation by totally trying to hook up with Superman’s dad.
What can I say? She has a type.
The obstacle in this little plan is, of course, Superman’s mom, who doesn’t take kindly some hussy in a borrowed minidress showing up to steal her man, and so takes the expected course of action of opening her home to Lois and giving her full access to her day planner, which has all of her dates with Jor-El carefully plotted out:
Krypton: Where they have the flying car, but have yet to move past the spiral notebook.
So, Lois is able to finally wrangle a date with her boyfriend’s dad, and once her clever ruse is found out, we learn two very important things about Superman’s parents:
1. Jor-El really needs to be on Tool Academy, and…
2. Forget the Jewel Mountains and the Fire Falls, Lara Lor-Van will take your ass to Fist City.
But alas, no amount of foxy boxing can save a relationship from the romantic a-bomb that is Lois Lane, and so Jor-El and Lois go on to complete building their Anti-Nuclear Ray. Unfortunately, they build it in Kandor, and it’s completed just in time for Brainiac to show up and steal the entire city with his shrink ray, leaving Lois stranded on a planet that she knows is going to explode some day.
So what does she do now? Does she tell her new boyfriend the truth, and work to save the lives of the millions of Kryptonians that she ostensibly came back to protect?
Of course not! Lois decides that it’s time to get the hell out of there, and returns to her broken time machine, which–in a scene that is quite possibly the Silver Agiest thing to happen in this entire story–is suddenly repaired by a magic snowflake:
Thus, she’s back off to the present, having completely failed in her mission. Or rather, she would be, if she didn’t stop on her way through time so that SHE CAN MAKE OUT WITH SUPERMAN WHEN HE WAS A BABY.
And that’s how she ended up in the Phantom Zone.
So seriously, folks: Don’t be like Lois. Girl is straight up nuts.