Lois Lane #38 Pt. 1: "The Invisible Lois Lane"

Lois Lane #38, January 1963

Cover: Kurt Schaffenberger, illustrating the issue's third story, "The Girl
Who Refused to Marry Superman!"—Superman sits in a wheelchair in his
hospital room, with a broken leg, broken arm and bandaged head, saying,
"Lois and Lana…a freak accident has taken away my super-powers and made me
an invalid! Now that I'll be an ordinary man for life, I'm sure neither of
you will want to marry me!" The two women have their faces covered by black
squares, and one is saying, "You'll never be ordinary to ME! You'll always
be YOU, the man I love! I'LL marry you!" while the other says, "I'll be
honest with you, SUPERMAN! Without your super-powers, I wouldn't dream of
marrying you!" The caption: "Featuring a modern "Lady or the Tiger" puzzle!
Can you guess who is…"The Girl Who Refused to Marry Superman!"

"The Invisible Lois Lane"
Script: ?, pencils: Curt Swan, inks: George Klein
In the splash panel, Clark Kent changes to Superman in the shadows alongside
a building, while an invisible Lois thinks, "WOW! At last I've got PROOF
that SUPERMAN and Clark Kent are one and the same person! After this
temporary invisibility wears off, I'm going to have some fun! For a long,
long time SUPERMAN's been laughing at me secretly, but…ha, ha, ha…now I'M
going to have the LAST LAUGH!"

As the story begins, eccentric Professor Potter is showing Lois his latest
batch of discoveries. When he points out a short-term invisibility serum,
Lois has an Olsenesque flash of inspiration and guzzles it down. "Oh, no!"
cries the professor, "You swallowed the serum! You're…fading from
view!!—Foolish girl! I started to tell you that any human drinking it will
suffer unpleasant side effects...such as strange hallucinations!" "It'll be
WORTH it!!" thinks Lois.

After nearly being hit by a van, Lois spots Clark Kent leaving the Daily
Planet building for lunch and follows him, hoping to catch him turning into
Superman. In a stroke of luck, a machine-gun-wielding man is running out of
a jewelry store with a satchel. "Moments later, in the alley…" the scene
foreshadowed by the splash panel takes place, with Clark peeling back his
shirt as see-through Lois thinks, "Great Scott! Clark took off his glasses
and now he's removing his outer garments, revealing a SUPERMAN costume
underneath! My hunch was right. Meek, mild, shy Clark is secretly dynamic

Lois watches Superman make short work of the robber ("Gaaa! M-my
machine-gun bullets bounce right off your jaw!" yells the hood, obviously
new in town) and change back into Clark clothes. "Shall I tell him I'm wise
to his jealously-guarded secret?—No! Wait!" she muses, as she becomes
visible again. "SUPERMAN must have had loads of laughs pulling the wool
over my eyes all these years [well, yes…]…But here's where the worm turns!
Now I'M going to have some secret laughs at HIS expense!" She walks around
a corner to run into Clark, and they go to lunch together, a safe almost
landing on Clark as they walk down the sidewalk. When they get back to
work, Perry White asks Clark to count the bags of coins sent in by readers
as contributions to the Metropolis Orphans' Fund. Lois sabotages the
coin-counting machine and hangs around to help Clark count the coins by
hand, thereby preventing him from counting at super-speed. "Getting
impatient, SUPERMAN? Ha, ha! You must be sizzling!" she thinks, as Clark
says, "$487.56…$487.57…$487.67…" [It might be easier, Clark, if you
separated the coins by denomination first…]

The next evening Lois is waiting for Clark at an amusement park. She
watches the operator of the ol' hammer & bell strength-tester game and
thinks, "I get it! The owner is pressing a button, so a hidden, powerful
spring makes the ball shoot up so that his accomplice wins a prize…thus
attracting more business!—hm-mm…" When Clark arrives, she wheedles him into
trying it, and presses the button so that he rings the bell despite trying
to swing the hammer lightly—winning him the rating of "superman" and a
transistor radio, and flustering him further.

The day after that, "Lois and Clark visit a warehouse owned by a friend who
was robbed of furs." The friend says, "I'm closing, now. Take these keys
and lock up when you leave! I hope you find a clue to the identity of the
crooks who stole three mink coats from our fur vault!" Of course, when
Clark walks into the fur storage freezer Lois locks him in. "Awp!" he
thinks, nearly losing his composure. "An ordinary man would soon freeze to
death in here! I could force open the thick steel door easily…but doing so
would reveal the fact that I'm SUPERMAN! Wh-what'll I do??" Lois lets him
stew for a while, thinking, "If Clark bursts out, he'll expose himself as
SUPERMAN. And if he remains inside, with no ill effects from the zero
temperature, that'll unmask him, too! Ha, ha! He can't escape THIS little
trap!" When she finally opens the door, pretending that she's been looking
for him, he has wrapped himself in mink coats to justify not being dead.

The next day, Lois has come up with yet another sadistic little ruse [does
she ever actually write an article? For that matter, does Clark?
Presumably the Daily Planet comes out daily—is there any news in it?]—she
tells Clark that she's discovered that Perry White is Superman, and leads
him into Perry's office. While Perry dozes at his desk, Lois opens his
closet door and shows Clark a Superman costume, Superman masks, and padding
for making one appear fat. When Clark says he doesn't believe it, Lois
picks up a handgun from Perry's desk ("Ha! This toy weapon is filled with
BLANKS! It was used by the "Toy Gun Bandit" in a holdup! I painted the gun
with lead paint so Clark's x-ray vision won't be able to look inside and
discover the 'bullets' are harmless!") and points it at Perry. But before
Clark can confess to keep her from shooting, Perry wakes up. "Hey! Put
down that toy gun!" he says, grabbing it with one hand while the other holds
something up to one eye. As it turns out, Perry has a black eye from
bumping into a door; "I took some pills to ease the pain, and I guess they
made me fall asleep!" he explains. Lois is forced to admit that
black-eye-sporting, pain-pill-popping Perry can't be Superman, and she and
Clark leave the room in stony silence, Clark thinking, "I awakened Perry by
giving him a 'hot foot' with my HEAT VISION! I knew he had a black eye and
I figured that when Lois saw it, she would have to admit he couldn't
possibly be invulnerable!"

Later, Lois sees a story on the news wire and the following exchange takes
L: This news bulletin says a ship's sinking at sea! Hundreds of lives may
be lost! Go save it, at once!
C: Me save the ship? What can I possibly do, Lois?
L: You know very well how you can save it! YOU'RE SUPERMAN, THE MAN OF
STEEL! Now stop pretending and take off!
C: Lois—what's got into you? I'm no more SUPERMAN than you are—JACQUELINE

Lois then grabs a pair of scissors and is shocked to find that Clark's hair
cuts easily; then she rips open his shirt and finds there is no costume
underneath. "Whatever gave you the wild idea that I, of all people, am
SUPERMAN?" asks Clark, as if this has never come up before. Lois sputters
and Clark leaves, "to take care of some personal business." Lois calls
Professor Potter, who assures her that when she saw Clark change into
Superman it was just a hallucination caused by the serum. Superman,
observing from above the clouds, reflects on the real explanation—it seems
that when Lois started acting strangely (or more so than usual) he deduced
that she had discovered his identity and was toying with him. So, naturally
he went looking for amnesia victims of his own size and build, and found one
at Metropolis Hospital, a test-pilot named Roy Wilkins who lost his memory
in a crash. Superman coerced him to agree to put on a mask and play Clark
Kent by promising to restore his memory afterwards, and meanwhile Superman
saved the sinking ship. Flashback over, he meets amnesiac Roy behind the
Daily Planet building and kills him so he can't talk. No, not really—he
picks him up and flies loops with him, causing Roy to remember everything up
until his accident ("After their memories return, " Superman thinks as he
flies away, "former amnesia victims can't recall what happened DURING their
period of amnesia!"). The story ends at a celebrity style show where Lois
is modeling, as she says to Clark, "To think I almost froze you to death in
that fur vault…! I promise never again to try and prove you're SUPERMAN!"

The story is followed by a one-page "Varsity Vic" by the ubiquitous Henry