Thursday, July 15, 2004

Who needed the glasses here...?

"Superman Takes A Wife!", from Action Comics #484 (June 1978), is one of my favorite Superman stories, odd quasi-Biblical title and all. I got the Superman in the Seventies paperback mostly because it reprinted that story. I love its retro, mature, cusp-of-the-'50s feel. I love that Curt Swan really tried to ape the period style of Wayne Boring, even though Swan's style is iconic.

However...

Lois marries Clark never having learned that he was Superman. (Clark is still super, he's just magically forgotten his other identity, and Superman's been missing for a year.) Lois' old suspicions come back when Clark survives a machine-gun attack while swimming.

Now, Lois has spent the better part of 15 years or so analyzing the differences between Clark and Superman. In fact, after Supes disappeared, Lois grew more attracted to Clark because Clark became less of a pushover. When Clark is attacked, Lois sees him swimming without his glasses. That night they sleep together, and she finally catches on -- by trying to cut his invulnerable hair. Never mind that when he's sleeping, he doesn't have his glasses, and darn if he doesn't look like Superman!

Because the story takes place in the '50s, I can accept that this particular day was the first time she'd seen him au naturale, as it were. I'm just a little amazed that she doesn't notice a resemblance when he first comes out of the water. He's completely unscathed, and her reaction is not a shouted "HOLY ****!" but a thought of "Could it be...?"

Anyway, still a good story.

2 comments:

Matthew_Rossi said...

I never had a problem with that one because I assumed any time Lois would notice the similarities, she'd remember all the times she tried to prove he was Superman only to be embarrased. I mean, shit, how many different ways did he make her think she was an idiot that way?

"But... but how can Superman and Clark be in the same room..."

Eventually, it's like conditioning: you'll just refuse to consider it until you absolutely can't avoid it anymore.

Matthew_Rossi said...

Oh, and if anyone wants to read the story in question:

http://superman.ws/tales2/wife/?page=0

I don't know how that site can possibly stay online. But I'm glad it does.