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Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Everybody Hates Lois
One of the things I find fascinating about Lois Lane stories is the utter contempt with which she is usually treated. For the supposed star of the tale, the vast majority of Lois solo stories revolve around her getting her come-uppance for some minor transgression. "I Betrayed Superman" is no exception.
The story begins with Perry White coming to the startling realization that several actors have all gone to the same acting class. Clearly this is a matter for his star investigative reporter to look into.
"But, Perry, I was about to go cover the mayor's speech and then go talk to my informant about the organized crime story!" "Nah, this is far more important Lois."
When Lois makes her way to the school, she finds it populated with arty, pretentious types. Or, in other words, actors.
Lois befriends a thoroughly heterosexual aspiring actor named Johnny, who's trying to learn to play romantic male leads. For some reason, he just doesn't seem able to make love to a woman convincingly. Hmmmm... Lois, meanwhile, is being assigned temptress roles, because it just isn't plausible for her to be cast in the role of "female reporter" in one of the plays the class is working on. Guess the teacher is familiar with her work at the Daily Planet after all.
Then all men in the class establish their heterosexuality.
Or, you know, not. Gee, for method actors, they're really not very good at pretending to be in love with Lois.
Eventually, Superman crashes the party and kisses Lois, and since he's the only one who made her swoon, it's decided that Superman can play the role of Samson opposite Lois's Delilah.
See, Clark knows the secret of method acting: when you have to kiss Lois, think of Jimmy.
The night of the play, Lois acts out her scene with Superman. When it comes to the part of the play where Delilah cuts Sampson's hair, Lois gets a rude surprise.
Now that the conveniently "magical" scissors have stripped Superman of his powers, he proposes to Lois, on the grounds that no one would ever want to hurt the wife of an ordinary man with no super powers. Lois has second thoughts, which is good, because it turns out that everything was an elaborate hoax designed to prove how good an actor Johnny is. Oh, and publicly humiliate Lois by revealing her to be interested in Superman only for his power and fame.
So, in the end, Lois, for having a moment's hesitation when pressed for an answer to a marriage proposal, is publicly humiliated and shamed. And for once, not because Superman was gaslighting her, but because a bunch of actors decided to play a trick on her.