Comics 101 In Focus: Going to the Chapel (Again and Again)

If you thought the last trip to the altar by Lois Lane was a weird one, well, buckle in, kiddies, because things get super-freaky here in “Lois Lane’s Future Husband!”

Appearing in SUPERMAN’S GIRLFRIEND LOIS LANE #90 (February 1969), this story once again bears no credits (although the art looks like Irv Novick to me), and begins with Lois having mysterious blackout spells, leading to odd occurrences like Lois suddenly showing up to work at the Planet in lingerie:

Lois asks for a few days off to clear her head and goes out to the countryside, where she immediately begins hallucinating that she’s falling into quicksand:

Luckily, she’s rescued by a pipe-smoking, motorcycle-riding handsome young doctor, who takes her back to his mansion retreat and runs some tests on Lois in his high-tech lab. A “pipe-smoking, motorcycle-riding handsome young doctor”? Maybe Lois is still hallucinating…

Declaring Lois to be in perfect health, the doc in question, Dr. Rick Darnell (a perfect romance-novel name, by the way), shows her around the rest of his lab, where he’s doing experiments on cell regeneration, on a remarkably calm horse and gorilla. You’d think the starry-eyed Lois would consider calling PETA, but no…

As Lois tries to choose between Dr. Rick and Superman, it’s a telling detail that when Lois fantasizes about Superman, it looks like he’s always angry. What’s that about?

Eventually, the truth comes out, that Dr. Rick is actually from another planet. Since Lois is used to that sort of thing, it’s not much of a relationship barrier for her, it turns out. Dr. Rick shows off one of his alien medical devices, which can completely alter a person’s physical appearance. Throwing caution to the winds, Lois leaps into the machine, and is in short order transformed into a gorgeous blonde…

Then a roided-out body builder…

Then an Asian woman. Oookay.

After playing “musical bodies” with Lois, Dr. Rick reveals his latest secret: not only is he from space, he’s from Krypton! Follow along , now, because here’s where it gets complicated. Dr. Rick’s father was another scientist mocked by the Kryptonian Science Council (which really needed to pay more attention during meetings) for his invention of a “time-scanner” that confirmed Jor-El’s prediction of the destruction of Krypton.

Dr. Rick (or Dahr-Nel, as he’s known on Krypton), meanwhile, continued to use the device to peer into the future and watch the exploits of Superman, and fall in love with Lois from afar. Dr. Rick uses another time device of his father’s to travel forward in time to Earth, to be with Lois. Focusing in on her through the timestream had caused her blackouts, it turns out, and Dahr-Nel confesses his love to Lois and proposes.

Lois feels she has to give Superman one more chance and returns to Metropolis for a date with the Man of Steel, who surprises her with an unexpected proposal:

When Lois meets Superman at City Hall, she discovers it was all a ruse, to use her as bait to catch a vicious killer. Superman, you romantic bastard, you. After the killer is caught, Lois lets Superman have it.

Running off to be with Darh-Nel. Lois learns that the time vessel he came in doesn’t quite work any longer, so instead of simply time-travelling to the future (although why they have to go to the future, when he’s from the past, is never made clear), they have to go into suspended animation and wait for the future to come to them. This plan gets better and better.

Even worse, Dahr-Nel forgot that now that he’s on Earth, he’s also a superman, so the sleeping gas won’t work on him. Thinking fast, he busts into Superman’s Fortress and steals some Kryptonite, thinking that would weaken him enough for the gas to work. Boy, this guy is just a fountain of good ideas. (And by the way, what about that horse and gorilla back in the lab? Did someone leave out a bowl of Gorilla Chow for him?)

Alerted by the Fortress break-in, Superman tracks Dahr-Nel to the time bubble and frees Lois, who’s a sucker for a blubbering Superman.

However, it looks like bad news for Dahr-Nel, who’s apparently not up on his Kryptonian chemistry.

His competition conveniently snuffed out in a stunning blast of stupidity, Superman flies a weeping Lois home, content that he can go back to treating her as horribly as always.

Ah, romance.


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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.