I was originally going to write about this story (from Lois Lane No 20) for one of our recent theme weeks, but since the funniest in the story - as well as the reason that it was appropriate for the week in question - came at the very end and would have been telegraphed too much by the giant banner at the top of the post, I rejected it.
But I just couldn't stay away, so here comes "Superman's Flight From Lois Lane" - see if you can figure out if it was rejected from Hat, Fat or Cat Week before the shocking final panel!
We open with a typical Lois and Clark reporting assignment:
Yes, back in the day being an intrepid reporter sometimes meant that you were like the guys in those reality shows where they try out extreme jobs and get stung by giant Japanese hornets and the like. I think I have a comic somewhere that has Perry force his staff to recreate a Donner Party-esque doomed trek through the desert - the man would go to any lengths to sell a paper.
And of course Clark's parachute malfunctions, but it looks like it happened about five seconds after he left the plane. The ol' super-speed should give him plenty of time to fix the problem before Lois notices that anything's wro-
You know, if legitimate skydiving mishaps resulted in perfect person-shaped holes in the ground I think that we'd all feel a little worse about enjoying old Looney Tunes.
Clark manages to cover for himself with a speedy application of super-breath, of course (and boy, did he get a lot of use out of that power in the 60s. I demand more super-breath, DC!), and you'd think that this would be one situation in which he wouldn't have to fall over himself trying to allay Lois' suspicions. After all, her eyes were closed throughout the incident, right?
Nope! That lady would take literally anything as a potential sign that Clark was Superman. I guess that you have to give her credit: she had the right man. Trouble was, the right man didn't want to be found out, and this was the last straw. It's super-power time!
Yes, Superman decides to fly into the past, endangering, I'm sure, the very fabric of space and time and abandoning more than a decade's worth of friendships and hard work, in order to make sure that a cute girl will no longer want to be his girlfriend. That guy. Not shown: Superman murdering his past self in order to take his place.
So Clark Kent: reporter is no more. What's a youngish, unattached, nigh-omnipotent man from the near future to do? Become a stock speculator? Spend a lot of time preventing wars? Go to work for a different newspaper?
Use his super-powers to ace a job interview and become a disc jockey! Hooray! This is one of those times that I am wholeheartedly behind Clark, instead of slightly off to the side, scratching my head. Just check him out here:
Imagine with me now: a world in which this was a permanent change. We might have a goateed Beatnik Superman in our past, right next to Mullet Superman. At this point, who knows? Clark might have a fart-sound-riddled morning show with Jimmy Olsen and Ron Troupe as his foul-mouthed sidekicks and a rich legacy of radio station problems - Dabney Donovan makes a DNAlien that eats vinyl! Brainiac attacks just as Clark convinces a caller to put her phone somewhere inadvisable! Morgan Edge buys the station and gives the boys an ill-advised morning show! Oh where are Elseworlds when I really need them?
But it's not all great tunes and lovely melodies for the Sultan of Song. This being the Silver Age, Superman can only go for so long without at least one of his recurring themes surfacing.
In this case, it's the fact that he can't walk four steps without tripping over a cute girl with the initials "L.L." Of course, there's always more to the LL package than the initials and the hourglass figure:
Yes, in common with many of the Double-L girls, Liza is observant enough to suspect Clark of being Superman while simultaneously deluded enough not to consider that Superman might not be overjoyed to have his carefully-kept secret revealed on a whim.
Also note that DJ SUperman has traded in his old "cowardly Clark" cover for a new "sleepy Clark" version.
"Clark, where were you when Luthor was attacking the station?" "Well, at first I was looking for help but one thing led to another and I ended up catching forty winks in a supply closet."
Liza tries out a few of the standard tricks, like the invulnerable hair-snip test, but the cheap perfume gag shown above is her master plan - I'm not sure if she's not quite as smart as Lois and Lana or if she just doesn't have the attention span to keep thinking up new little schemes, but after Superman solves the problem in a typically over-the-top manner:
... the resulting failure is potent enough to destroy her life.
Yes, Liza's dreams are crushed, she quits her job and presumably moves back to whatever small town she was originally from, there to marry the manager of the hardware store she works at part time to pay her parents rent. She never, ever listens to the radio, because it reminds her of what might have been.
Clark, meanwhile, couldn't be happier.
But all good things must come to an end, and for this story "the end" is synonymous with Lois Lane, who comes to WMET to interview the hot new disc jockey that everyone's talking about. And here's where I start scratching my head again, because rather than sit through one interview with Lois, he returns to the future - presumably going a few weeks into the past to murder his recent-past self before he could murder original Clark and begin this whole mess - to hang out with her every day.
Now here's the theme week stuff. Do you have a guess? Write it down before going any further.
Yes, it's Fat Week for the win! Liza Landis, in the original continuum, married the station manager and plumped up! Or maybe this is one of those weird Silver Age stories where time travel has effects on the present even when it's been undone, and this is what she did after resigning in shame. Either way, despite her evident contentedness and "Wife of the Year" status, Clark reacts exactly as one might expect:
Yes, Superman once again rigidly sticks to his "No Fat Chicks" policy. Intrepid careerwomen need only apply if their waistline has a smaller diameter than their head and they intend to keep it that way.
Happy Free Comic Book Day! I'm off to... get free comic books!