by Robert Gillis
What was so special about the silver age of comic books? Read about it HERE
OVERVIEW: After receiving a mysterious vase of flowers, and spotting Krypto (Superman’s dog) writing an “L” in the sky with a flaming torch, Lois Lane decides to do a story on kissing super-heroes. After getting all dressed up, Lois seeks out Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Batman, and passionately kisses each of them. Later, Green Arrow, Aquaman and Batman meet and Batman takes their lipstick smeared handkerchiefs to save Superman, who is in danger from green Kryptonite near his fortress of solitude in the North Pole. It is then revealed that plan “L” was a code that Superman was in green Kryptonite danger at the fortress of solitude and needed the antidote Lois carried. But Lois had realized she was being watched when she spotted a “bug” on the vase of flowers, so she needed to use subterfuge to get the antidote to Superman. So Lois had put the antidote on her lipstick, and told each hero what was happening as she kissed them.
REVIEW: This is one of my favorite silver age yarns — it’s sexist, preposterous, and contains a ridiculous chain of events, plenty of exposition, and a plan that’s lust — excuse me — just — silly! It is the epitome of a silver age Superman story — and that’s what makes it so much fun to review some 40 odd years later!
Plan L: Execute if Superman is in green Kryptonite danger near the Fortress of Solitude. That’s a pretty specific situation right there — what if he’s in white Kryptonite danger in Cuba? Or green Kryptonite danger near the bat cave? Oh, wait, that’s plans C and B and white Kryptonite only affects plants.
Anyway, in plan L, Superman uses super-ventriloquism (tell me again how Earth’s yellow sun gives him this power?) to alert Krypto (y’know, the super powered DOG with the cape who‘s usually romping thru airless space) to burn the letter “L” in the sky (with a flaming torch no less), alerting Lois Lane (who just happens to be looking out the window at that time, thank Rao) to take out the red Kryptonite she stores in her purse that will (one time, one time only) immediately counteract the effects of the green Kryptonite.
But — and this is the important part — since Lois received flowers with a bug/camera in them and realized Superman’s enemies must be watching her, (and she is apparently too stupid to just throw the flowers and camera in the trash) she decides she must use subterfuge. Since Superman is in green kryptonite danger and is by definition dying a slow, agonizing death by RADIATION POISONING, it’s time to rush! To bolt to the scene! There’s only moments to spare! So Lois …
… decides to get the red Kryptonite to Superman by attending various events, crime scenes and rescue efforts where the Justice League was appearing in order to kiss each of them with red-K antidote, transferring the antidote to them for delivery to Superman at some later time.
God forbid at this point Lois would just give the antidote to the first hero and say, “Quick, get this to Superman!” No, we get, “My vase of flowers is watching me!”
So Lois went home, and got all dressed up (which women always do quickly). I think she had her hair and nails done, too. You know, stuff women do in a jiffy.
Meanwhile, Superman lay dying of radiation poisoning. That’s gotta hurt.
Lois opened the Red Kryptonite and put her lipstick in it so the dust would form on her lips. Then she headed to see Batman, Aquaman and Green Arrow, seduced each of them, and got them to kiss her as passionately as the 1960s comics censor would allow, transferring the antidote to their lips.
Meanwhile, Lana Lang wondered why Lois was suddenly so irresistible.
At the North Pole.
Where the wind chill is, oh, I don’t know, one hundred below zero on the balmy days.
Anyway, after all that, Green Arrow and Aquaman got together with Batman and gave him the handkerchiefs coated with lipstick and antidote Kryptonite.
Batman sped north in his bat-plane and saw that SPACE ALIENS were standing over Superman, who lay dying on the frozen ground from Radiation poisoning ALL THIS TIME. So Batman attached the handkerchief to his batarang and swooped it down to Superman.
Superman quickly grabs the handkerchief and said, “Gasp! That lipstick-stained handkerchief, I must smear my face with it!”
(Here’s where a REALLY funny scene could be added. Batman: “How’d you know the lipstick had the antidote?” Superman: “There’s an antidote?” Anyway … )
Fortunately, the antidote worked and Superman recovered immediately and kicked the SPACE ALIENS off Earth, and then he proceeded to hug and kiss Krypto (not Lois) for the rescue, noting that fortunately, the aliens didn’t notice his fortress, despite the gigantic key and door carved into the mountain.
Waitaminute — Space aliens are behind the attack on Superman. Did one of them arrange to have the flowers delivered to Lois to keep an eye on her? And how did the space aliens pay for the flowers? Did the florist even accept intergalactic credit cards? And why just Lois? Superman has other friends. And why in the world would the aliens, who have Superman in a deathtrap at the North Pole, even bother making sure they kept surveillance on Lois Lane, who was probably a thousand miles away? And why didn’t Superman use the super-ventriloquism to contact Batman and tell HIM to go to Metropolis and get the antidote from Lois? After all, when the bat-plane swooped in to save Superman, it’s not like the space aliens put up much of a fight.
On another note, why didn’t Jimmy get flowers or a nice fruit basket with a bug in it? Now THAT would have made the story more interesting if JIMMY OLSEN had the antidote. The story would have sure been interesting if JIMMY went around kissing Batman!
(Batman: “Kiss me hard so the antidote will be transferred to my lips.” Jimmy Olsen: “What antidote?” Anyway … )
Wouldn’t it be simpler for Superman to say, carry the antidote in his belt buckle, and how did he use super ventriloquism while dying from green K? Imagine if Superman had died this way instead of being killed by the monster Doomsday — imagine his lipstick-smeared face as he was laid to rest, and imagine Lois explaining to the police, “No, no, I had to go out whoring around because the space aliens were watching me through my flowers so I had to kiss super-heroes to transfer the kryptonite antidote to them! The flying dog with the cape told me to do it! He carried a torch through the sky!” And the cops saying, “Sure, Miss Lane … Why don’t you come downtown with us …