Mild Mannered Reviews - Classic Pre-Crisis Superman Comics
Many thanks to reviewer Wallace Harrington (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Superman #45Cover date: March-April 1947
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Penciller: Joe Shuster and Studio
Inker: Joe Shuster and Studio
Cover: Shuster Studio
"Lois Lane, Superwoman"
One day at the Daily Planet, Perry White called his star reporters, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, into his office and waved the day's edition at them. "Look at that front page," he yelled in his gruff, editorial voice. "Murder! Robbery! Can't we ever have a nice human-interest story? After all, life has its tender magic, too." Slowly, a wry smile came across Lois' face and she leaned toward Perry. "Speaking of magic, how about a story on those two Magicians who recently performed such unusual feats?" she asked.
Clark Kent shuffled his feet. "You mean Hocus and Pocus? Why, they're just a couple of peddlers," he argued. "And," thought Kent to himself, "Superman really did all of their magic." But, even with Kent's protests, Perry White's face lit up. "Lois, I think you've got a story," he said pounding his fist on the desk. "I want that story. Go get it!"
Within minutes, Lois and Clark arrived at the offices of "Hocus & Pocus, Magical Engineers" but they were not prepared for the somber mood of the two occupants when they opened the door and entered the office. Pocus, an overweight man sitting with his head in his hands, appeared most dejected and told the two reporters that, "Our business is on the skids 'cause Hocus' magic is on the blink." "Yes," said Hocus, a thin man wearing wire rimmed glasses and a bowler hat. "I yell Abracadabra till I'm blue in the face and nothing happens." Leading the group out onto the balcony he said, "We'll have to abandon this fine office with its magnificent view," with a groan.
Seeing that this story was going no where, Kent tugged at Lois' shoulder and told her that it was time too leave. But as Lois turned, Merton, Hocus' pet rabbit, ran across the balcony causing Lois to stumble and fall over the balcony railing toward the street below. "Superman! Help!" screamed Lois, plummeting to her death. Kent wanted to react, but was afraid to change to Superman in front of Hocus and Pocus, however as things would have it, events took a curious turn. Still thinking that he possessed magical powers, Hocus turned to Kent and yelled, "Abracadabra. Turn into Superman and save Lois Lane!" Seizing the moment, Kent ripped open his shirt revealing his Superman costume. With his jaw hanging open, Pocus pointed at Kent and said, "Hokey Pocuses, it's woikin'!"
In an instant, Superman leaped from the balcony and sped downward, catching Lois only moments before she hit the street, then, gracefully, he lifted off and flew her back to the balcony. "Abracadabra. Be yourself Kent!" commanded Hocus, and following the lead, Superman changed back into his Clark Kent clothes. Lois looked around in disbelief and told everyone that what had happened was impossible. Hocus insisted it was not. "I can even change you into Superman," he promised. "I'll be satisfied with just Superman's powers, if you can do that," challenged Lois.
Realizing the opportunity of the challenge, Hocus turned to Lois and said, ""Abracadabra. Lois now has the powers of Superman!" Immediately, Clark Kent realized that Hocus' words might present some difficult situations so turning quickly, he told the group, "My nerves have had enough magic," and quickly left the balcony. Away from prying eyes, Kent changed to Superman and prepared himself for what might occur. To test her powers, Lois climbed out on the balcony railing. "Where are you going," asked Pocus. Looking over her shoulder, Lois smiled and said, To the Daily Planet - the Superman way!" With that, she leaped out into space, but rather than flying off, began falling toward the street, again.
Watching from a distance, Superman saw Lois leap into the air, and realized he had to act quickly. "Something tells me this is going to be a very busy day," he said. Then, moving faster than the human eye can follow, Superman streaked beneath Lois, supporting her by the soles of her feet and catapulting her high into the air. "Now I'm getting the hang of it," Lois said gleefully.
Allowing Lois' momentum to carry her, Superman slowed down and flew beside her for a short distance. Lois was ecstatic that she had Superman's powers. Reaching the Planet Building, Lois hurtled toward an open window unsure of exactly how to land. Again moving at super-speed, Superman spun around Lois forming a cushion of air to slow her. Even still, she landed heavily on Perry White and he looked up at her in total confusion. Standing up, Lois dusted herself off and said, "Oh, excuse me Chief! I haven't learned how to land, yet." Then, she rushed to her desk and began typing. "And wait 'til you see my story," she added. "Maybe I ought to send for a psychiatrist," whispered White to himself. Perry was even less believing once Lois finished her story and handed it to him to read. To prove him wrong, Lois grabbed Perry's arm and with Superman's help, lifted him high into the air.
Perry's stare of disbelief was broken by the sound of the teletype machine. An informant had discovered that the vicious BBB Gang, made up of Brute, Buzzard and Bear, planned to hijack a truck that very afternoon. Their crimes were a blot on the police ledgers in 16 states, and Lois was determined to show her worth, and face the gang single-handed. Lois leaped out the window, and with Superman propelling her, sped off to a highway outside the city. Swooping down, Lois saw the truck and then the BBB Gang's car. With Superman's assistance, Lois flew ahead of the truck and knocked the gang's car on its side spilling the gang out onto the road as the truck sped by safely.
"Drop your guns. You're under arrest," commanded Lois with her hands defiantly on her hips. In answer to her demand, all three gunmen pulled their weapons and opened fire but Superman, again moving faster than the eye can follow, caught each and every bullet before they could strike Lois, then "assisted" her in knocking out the gang. "Well, had enough," she asked, very pleased with herself.
Back at the office of Hocus and Pocus, the two read the Daily Planet's headlines of Lois' new powers with amazement. "I should have asked her for 10 guineas instead of three," mused Hocus. "Maybe it isn't too late to tell her we made an error. It says here a ball's being given for Miss Lane tonight by the Press Association. We'll go and ask for the other seven guineas."
That evening a limousine drove up to the Ball and Clark Kent opened the door. Emerging from the car was Lois Lane, wearing a new Superwoman costume. Soon, after they entered the ball, Lois and Clark sat together watching the festivities. Beneath the soft lights and sweet music, Lois turned to Clark Kent and romantically asked him why he hasn't asked her to dance. "Well, frankly, I wouldn't want to risk it. With your new strength, you might crush me to death," he whimpered.
Obviously disturbed. Lois pushed herself back from the table defiantly and stood up, looking around intently. "Very well! There's plenty who will dance with me," she said and immediately a dozen reporters ran to her asking for a dance. After Lois moved onto the dance floor, Kent retreated to a dark corner and changed to Superman. Again, moving faster than the eye could follow, Superman sped behind Lois pounding on the feet of all her male companions. As quickly as the men had come, the suitors sulked off the floor to rest their sore feet, leaving Lois standing quite alone. Embarrassed, Lois slipped into a dark corner behind a large potted plant and began crying. "A ball in my honor and here I am a wallflower. I wonder if it's worth being a Superwoman?"
The rustle of leaves startled Lois and she turned quickly around to find Hocus and Pocus standing there with Merton. "Will you dance with me?" she asked. "Oh, no, no. Not that, Miss Lane," said Hocus, trying to figure a way to politely ask her for more money. "That settles it. You've got to change me back," she demanded. "All right, but it'll cost you seven guineas," Hocus said gleefully. After handing him the money Hocus waved his hand and said, "Abracadabra. Be yourself, Miss Lane!" "I feel better already," Lois said. "And, so do I," said Superman watching the whole thing from across the room.
Superman quickly changed back to Clark Kent and rushed over to Lois. "Now that you're not a Superwoman, how about a dance, Lois?" Steam flew from Lois' ears and she yelled, " Oh, so now you want a dance." Winding up, Lois slapped Kent full on the face and stomped off. "You men who try to keep women weak and defenseless I hate you!" she screamed over her shoulder.
Clark Kent could only stare at her as she stormed out of the ball, and rub his face. "Whew. Whoever understands a woman is a better man than Superman!"
Story - 5: I really thought that this was a fun little story full of all of the things that made the early Superman stories great. There were the characterizations of the wimpy Clark, the defiant working woman Lois and the comic relief of Hocus and Pocus. Throw in some super-powers, a touch of adventure, and you have a very good story.
Art - 4: As I have mentioned before, the art for these stories is rarely credited, but being so late in the run, I would guess that Shuster drew only the faces and hands of the characters while his studio did the remainder of the figure and background work. Overall, this is quality art for this time period. Even though Superman leaps around in poses that appear almost painful, Lois' face and figure were very well drawn throughout the story. When she disappears behind the bush to cry at her own ball, you feel the disappointment in her face. A very nice sequence of art.
Cover Art - 3: And, again, the cover to this issue has nothing to do with any of the stories inside. It shows Superman breaking through the ground in China, obviously after he had bored a hole completely through the earth. While it is a cute concept, and a fun image, I'm not sure that alone would have made me buy the issue.
Pre-Crisis Superman Comic Book Reviews
- Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
- Action Comics #2 (July 1938)
- Action Comics #3 (August 1938)
- Action Comics #4 (September 1938)
- Action Comics #5 (October 1938)
- Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
- Action Comics #7 (December 1938)
- Superman Archives: Volume 1 (1939)
- Superman #1 (Summer 1939)
- Action Comics #8 (January 1939)
- Action Comics #9 (February 1939)
- Action Comics #10 (March 1939)
- Superman #13 (November/December 1941) - The Archer
- Superman #19 (November/December 1942) - Case of the Funny Paper Crimes
- Action Comics #60 (May 1943) - Lois Lane - Superwoman
- Superman #30 (September/October 1944) - The Mysterious Mr. Mxyztplk
- Action Comics #80 (January 1945) - Mr. Mxyztplk Returns
- Superman #38 (January/February 1946) - The Battle of the Atoms
- Superman #42 (September/October 1946) - The Death of Clark Kent
- Superman #45 (March/April 1947) - Lois Lane, Superwoman
- Superman #53 (July 1948) - The Origin of Superman
- Action Comics #124 (September 1948) - A Superman of Doom
- Superman #60 (December 1949/January 1950) - The Two Identities of Superman & Superman Fights the Super-Brain
- Superman #76 (May/June 1952) - The Mightiest Team in the World
- Superman #80 (January/February 1953) - Superman's Lost Brother
- Superman 3D (1953) - The Man Who Stole the Sun, Origin of Superman and The Man Who Bossed Superman
- Superman #87 (February 1954) - The Prankster's Greatest Role
- Superman #88 (March 1954) - The Terrible Trio
- Superman #89 (May 1954) - Captain Kent the Terrible, Superman of Skid Row, and One Hour to Doom!
- Superman #91 (August 1954) - The Superman Stamp and Great Caesar's Ghost
- World's Finest #88 (May/June 1957) - Superman and Batman's Greatest Foes
- Superman #115 (August 1957) - The Midget Superman!
- Superboy #65 (May/June 1958) - The Amazing Adventures of Krypto Mouse
- Action Comics #242 (July 1958) - The Super-Duel in Space
- Superman #123 (August 1958) - The Girl of Steel
- Superman #127 (February 1959) - Titano the Super Ape
- Action Comics #252 (May 1959) - The Menace of Metallo and The Supergirl From Krypton
- Superman #129 (May 1959) - The Girl in Superman's Past
- Superman #130 (July 1959) - The Curse of Kryptonite!, The Super-Servant of Crime!, and The Town that Hated Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #40 (October 1959) - Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl's Pal
- Superman #134 (January 1960) - The Super-Menace of Metropolis
- Jimmy Olsen #42 (January 1960) - The Big Superman Movie!, Perry White, Cub Reporter!, and Jimmy the Genie!
- Jimmy Olsen #44 (April 1960) - The Wolf-Man of Metropolis
- Adventure Comics #271 (April 1960) - How Luthor Met Superboy
- Jimmy Olsen #46 (July 1960) - Jimmy Olsen, Orphan
- Superman #141 (November 1960) - Superman's Return To Krypton
- Superboy #85 (December 1960) - The Impossible Mission
- Jimmy Olsen #51 (March 1961) - The Girl with Green Hair
- Jimmy Olsen #52 (April 1961) - Jimmy Olsen, Wolf-Man
- Superboy #89 (June 1961) - Superboy's Big Brother!
- Action Comics #279 (August 1961) - The Super-Rivals
- Superman #147 (August 1961) - The Legion of Super Villains
- Superman #149 (November 1961) - The Death of Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #57 (December 1961) - Jimmy Olsen Marries Supergirl
- Superman #155 (August 1962) - Superman Under the Green Sun and The Downfall of Superman
- Justice League of America #13 (August 1962) - Riddle of the Robot Justice League
- World's Finest #129 (November 1962) - Joker-Luthor, Incorporated
- Superman #158 (January 1963) - Superman in Kandor
- Superman #160 (April 1963) - The Mortal Superman
- Superman #161 (May 1963) - The Last Days of Ma and Pa Kent
- Superman #162 (July 1963) - The Amazing Story of Superman-Red and Superman-Blue
- Superman #163 (August 1963) - Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis and The Goofy Superman
- Justice League of America #21 & #22 (August/September 1963) - Crisis on Earth-One! and Crisis on Earth-Two!
- Superman #164 (October 1963) - The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman
- Superman #165 (November 1963) - The Sweetheart Superman Forgot
- Superman #166 (January 1964) - The Fantastic Story of Superman's Sons
- Superman #167 (February 1964) - The Team of Luthor and Brainiac
- Superman #168 (April 1964) - Luthor - Super Hero and Lex Luthor, Daily Planet Editor
- Superman #169 (May 1964) - The Man Who Stole Superman's Secret Life
- Action Comics #314 (July 1964) - The Day Superman Became The Flash
- Justice League of America #29 & #30 (August/September 1964) - Crisis on Earth-Three! and The Most Dangerous Earth of All!
- Superman #173 (November 1964) - The Triumph of Luthor and Brainiac
- Action Comics #318 (November 1964) - The Death of Luthor
- Action Comics #319 (December 1964) - The Condemned Superman
- Superman #175 (February 1965) - Clark Kent's Brother
- Superman #181 (November 1965) - The Superman of 2965
- The Legion of Super-Heroes - Archives Volume 4 (1965)
- Superman #184 (February 1966) - The Demon Under the Red Sun
- Action Comics #338 (June 1966) - Muto - Monarch of Menace
- Action Comics #339 (July 1966) - Muto versus The Man of Tomorrow
- Superman #189 (August 1966) - Krypton Lives Again
- Action Comics #346 (February 1967) - The Man Who Sold Insurance to Superman and The Case of the Superman Imposter
- Superman #194 (February 1967) - The Death of Lois Lane
- Superman #196 (May 1967) - The Star of Steel
- Superman #199 (January 1967) - Superman's Race With The Flash
- Superman #200 (October 1967) - Super-Brother Against Super-Brother
- The Flash #175 (December 1967) - Race to the End of the Universe
- Justice League of America #63 (June 1968) - Time Signs a Death Warrant for the Justice League
- Superman #211 (November 1968) - The Name of the Game is Superman!
- Superman #215 (April 1969) - Lois LaneŠ DeadŠ Yet Alive
- Superman #224 (February 1970) - Beware the Super-Genius Baby
- Action Comics #393 (October 1970) - Superman Meets Super-Houdini! and The Day Superboy Became Superman!
- Jimmy Olsen #133 (October 1970) - The Newsboy Legion
- Action Comics #394 (November 1970) - Midas of Metropolis and Requiem for a Hot Rod!
- World's Finest #198 (November 1970) - Race to Save the Universe!
- Action Comics #395 (December 1970) - The Secrets of Superman's Fortress and The Credit Card of Catastrophe
- Jimmy Olsen #134 (December 1970) - The Mountain of Judgement!
- World's Finest #199 (December 1970) - A Race to Save Time!
- Superman #233 (January 1971) - Superman Breaks Loose!
- Jimmy Olsen #135 (January 1971) - The Evil Factory!
- Superman #234 (February 1971) - How to Tame a Wild Volcano
- Jimmy Olsen #136 (February 1971) - The Saga of the D.N.Aliens
- Superman #235 (March 1971) - The Sinister Scream of the Devil's Harp
- Superman #236 (April 1971) - Planet of the Angels and The Doomsayer
- Jimmy Olsen #137 (April 1971) - The Four-Armed Terror!
- Superman #237 (May 1971) - The Enemy of Earth
- Superman #238 (June 1971) - Menace at 1000 Degrees
- Jimmy Olsen #138 (June 1971) - The Big Boom!!
- Superman #240 (July 1971) - To Save a Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #139 (July 1971) - The Guardian Fights Again!!!
- Superman #241 (August 1971) - The Shape of Fear
- Superman #242 (September 1971) - The Ultimate Battle
- Jimmy Olsen #141 (September 1971) - Will the Real Don Rickles Panic?!?
- Jimmy Olsen #142 (October 1971) - The Man from Transilvane!
- Jimmy Olsen #143 (November 1971) - Genocide Spray
- Jimmy Olsen #144 (December 1971) - A Big Thing in a Deep Scottish Lake!
- Superman #247 (January 1972) - Must There Be A Superman
- Jimmy Olsen #145 (January 1972) - Brigadoom!
- Jimmy Olsen #146 (February 1972) - Homo-Disastrous!
- Jimmy Olsen #147 (March 1972) - A Superman in Super-Town!
- Jimmy Olsen #148 (April 1972) - Monarch of All He Subdues!
- Superman #292 (October 1975) - The Luthor Nobody Knows!
- Action Comics #458 (April 1976) - Make Me a Super-Hero! and Masquerade of the Nutty Kid!
- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali (Spring 1978)
- Action Comics #484 (June 1978) - Superman Takes a Wife!
- Superman #328 (October 1978) - Attack of the Kryptonoid
- Action Comics #489 (November 1978) - Krypton Dies Again and Where There's a Will... There's a Fray
- Superman #329 (November 1978) - I Have Met The Enemy... And He Is Me! and The Secret of the Talking Car
- Superman #330 (December 1978) - The Master Mesmerizer of Metropolis!
- Action Comics #490 (December 1978) - No Tomorrow For Superman
- Action Comics #491 (January 1979) - A Matter of Light and Death
- Superman #331 (January 1979) - Lockup at 20,000 Feet
- Action Comics #492 (February 1979) - Superman's Secret Afterlife
- Superman #332 (February 1979) - The Eternity Cage
- Action Comics #493 (March 1979) - The Metropolis UFO Connection
- Action Comics #494 (April 1979) - The Secret of the Super S
- Action Comics #495 (May 1979) - Attack of the Ultimate Warrior
- DC Comics Presents #14 (October 1979) - Judge, Jury... and No Justice!
- The Superman Story (1979) - The Life Story of Superman
- DC Comics Presents #57 (May 1983) - Days of Future Past
- DC Comics Presents #67 (March 1984) - 'Twas the Fright Before Christmas
- DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984) - With One Magic Word
- Superman: The Secret Years #1 (February 1985) - Dreams and Schemes and Feeling Proud!
- Superman: The Secret Years #2 (March 1985) - Reach Out and Touch
- Superman: The Secret Years #3 (April 1985) - Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #80 (April 1985) - A World Full of Supermen!
- Superman: The Secret Years #4 (May 1985) - Beyond Terminus
- DC Comics Presents #85 (September 1985) - The Jungle Line
- Superman Annual #11 (1985) - For The Man Who Has Everything
- World's Finest #323 (January 1986) - Afraid of the Dark
- DC Comics Presents #97 (September 1986) - Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter
- Superman #423 & Action Comics #583 (September 1986) - Whatever Happened To The Man of Tomorrow?
- Showcase Presents: Superman Family - Volume 1 (October 2005)
- Superman/Batman: Saga of the Super Sons (December 2007)
- Not Brand ECHH #7 (April 1967) - The Origin of Stuporman
Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.