Friday, January 25, 2008

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #29 (Part 5 - Finale): THE IRRESISTABLE LOIS LANE

When last we read, Batman, Green Arrow and Aquaman brought their soiled hankies together so that Bats could fly the linens to the North Pole. This story is so wacky even the summary sounds like I'm on drugs! Be that as it may, that's what happened and you know darn well you can't resist reading the thrilling conclusion of THE IRRESISTABLE LOIS LANE!

Near the fortress of solitude, Batman finds a stricken Superman, who is surrounded by green kryptonite and dancing aliens. He ties the three handkerchiefs to a bat-a-rang and tosses it to Supes. (Obviously, Superman has the sniffles from being in the arctic, but couldn't Batman find a fresh hankie or some Kleenex?)

"Gasp! Those lipstick stains! I-I must smear my face with them!" thinks Superman (I believe this is approximately when security was called on my roomies and I.), probably wishing they'd been Glamorous Garnet instead of Crimson Sunset because the latter clashed with his 'S'. Smear he does and instantly he shakes off the effects of the green K. He gets rid of the aliens and offers to fly Batman's plane back to Metropolis (I guess Batman was probably low on fuel after that long flight). And finally, we get the first hint of what was going on when Batman says, "Swell! As you see, Plan 'L' worked perfectly, thanks to Lois Lane! She was really ingenious!"

Plan L. Ah, but of course! Why didn't I see it? As Silver Age Superman aficionados know, the 'Plan' series were some of the craziest, silliest, most entertaining stories ever. The letters column of Lois Lane #31 (February 1962) said there would be similar stories about Plan J, with Jimmy Olsen, Plan P, with Perry White, Plan V, with Superman's Kandorian cousin Van-Zee, and Plan PR, with Pete Ross. Both Plan J (written by Jerry Siegel) and Plan P (written by Robert Bernstein) eventually appeared (plan P is in Action 295, and I can't remember which issue had Plan J), but Plan V and Plan PR were never written. Personally, I think it's nearly impossible to top Plan L.

And now, the convoluted explanation of everything that just happened. Ready? Here we go:

As all the players gather, Superman begins. "When I found myself in the Green Kryptonite death trap near my Fortress of Solitude, which... luckily, the aliens didn't spot... I used super-ventriloquism to Krypto to put plan 'L' into execution! That's why Krypto wrote the 'L' in the sky -- to alert Lois that I needed her help!"

Superman then mentioned Plan J and Plan P, but Lois points that "...Plan 'L' is to be carried out by me only when you're in dire peril from green kryptonite near the Fortress of Solitude." (Wow, that's really specific! Superman was really thinking when he came up with these Plan things).

Lois continues, "The idea was to rush to you some grains of red kryptonite I always carry in a lead capsule in my purse! Red kryptonite always has a different, unpredictable effect on you! But this particular type acts as an instant cure for green kryptonite! We know because it once saved Krypto from kryptonite poisoning! Therefore, these crystals could also be used to save you once... and once only... as an antidote for green kryptonite! However, I sensed trouble this morning when I received a mysterious vase of flowers!"

Apparently, there was a crystal eye on the bottom of the vase ("I see London, I see France. I see Lois with my plants."), and Lois instantly concluded that Superman's enemies were observing her. (That's what I always think when I see crystal eyes on household items. Good thing Lois didn't dismiss it as just another seeing-eye vase).

"I put two and two together!" continued Lois. "Whoever was monitoring me must also have Superman at his mercy! So I couldn't let the watchers see me give the red kryptonite to some Justice League of America heroes, who also knew what Plan 'L' was!" (Is there a reason Wonder Woman wasn't included in this Plan? A panel or two of Lois and Wondy making out would have probably sold twice as many copies.)

Lois is still talking. "Therefore I hit on a scheme to avoid their suspicions! I broke open the lead capsule inside my purse and used my lipstick to pick up the grains of red kryptonite... like dipping a celery stick in salt! ("Thank God I practiced dipping all those celery sticks or I'd never be able to manage this tricky maneuver.")

Having told Perry White I'd do a 'Heroes I've Kissed' article, I went about kissing as many heroes as I could, whispering my plan to each one as I hugged them..." (You know, that's a whole lot of talking she was doing while she was busy making out with all the superheroes. Quite the chatterbox. Aquaman seems upset about the whole thing, too. Maybe he wanted to be the only one who got kissed. He probably has a chip on his shoulder because swimming just isn't the superpower draw that, say, flying is.)

Because Batman knew the location of the Fortress of Solitude, he was assigned to fly the hankies to Superman.

Nothing convoluted about this plan. Nope. Granted, it explains everything that was a mystery in this story but it's not like one guess what it was about as it unfolded. Red kryptonite lipstick just in case Superman is ever trapped by aliens with green kryptonite near his Fortress of Solitude? Krypto skywriting a giant L? Plants with eyes? Kissing superheroes to pass the kryptonite (and it isn't like she carried the eye plant around with her so how did she know they were observing her when she was with the heroes?)?

Do you see why I adore this story? It's magnificently insane! It's weird, wacky and IRRESISTABLE! Just like Lois in her man-bait dress. Yeah, this is why I love comics.

But wait, there's one more panel – you won't need to guess what it is because you're staring at it, but tell me this wasn't predictable! Lois gets her reward from Superman -- a big, fat, kiss! Like she hadn't had enough of that already! ("Oops, forgot to take notes for the article. Okay, boys, line up and let's do it all again!")

And there it is. The infamous Plan L, put into action with flawless accuracy. Superman's Cheating Girlfriend Lois Lane, aka The Irresistible Lois Lane and her man-bait dress will have to come up with a new plan the next time Superman is in dire peril from green kryptonite near the Fortress of Solitude, I guess. Let's just hope it doesn't happen soon.

So, what did you think? Do you feel compelled to own your own copy? Did you read it or just look at the pictures? Let me know!


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, you can poke holes in the story all day long: Isn't Green K usually fatal within, like, minutes? It must've taken at least a couple of hours for Lois to make the rounds smoochin' everyone, and no telling how much longer for Batman to fly up to the Arctic. And besides, these guys are superheroes... if Superman is in trouble, why not just go up there and kick some alien butt, instead of playing "FedEx" with Lois' dirty linens?

Ah well, doesn't really matter. It's still wildly entertaining, even despite (or perhaps even because of) the loopy logic.

Jim Perreault said...

Wow! I certainly did not predict that ending! I was starting to think it was some bizarre dream sequence or something.

And that "Kiss of death" pun just tops it all off.

What goofy fun.

As for Green-K, I don't think it is instant death. In the radio show Superman survived for days, in a near comatose state, being exposed to it.


Joanna Sandsmark said...

I think the lethality of green k changes according to what is needed in the story. As for the loopy logic -- to me, that's one of the things I love about this story. It's so bizarely convoluted! It's also full of mysteries that keep ya reading. And it includes such fantastically goofy dialouge like "Gasp! Those lipstick stains! I-I must smear my face with them!" and Batman's story-ending pun. This is a true classic.

I can't decide which story to do next. I need to figure it out because come Monday, I'm supposed to have something to post. My collection isn't what it used to be, but I still have plenty of books. Need to do more reading.