Thursday, October 23, 2008

Episode #45: "Superman" #50: The Engagement of Clark and Lois!"

On October 23, 1990, Superman #50 (December 1990) was published. It was the concluding issue of the Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite four part story. It was written by Jerry Ordway, who also did the covers and art for Superman #49 and the main parts of issue #50. The other artists for issue #50 were Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Kerry Gammill, Dennis Janke, Curt Swan, and John Byrne.

The storyline begins with Perry White and his wife Alice at the grave of their son Perry, Jr., who died at the end of the previous storyline. After they leave Lex Luthor pays his respects, because Perry, Jr. was actually the son of Lex Luthor. Way back in an issue of World of Metropolis, which featured Perry White, he returns to find his finacee Alice had an affair with his former friend Lex Luthor. Perry and Alice mend their relationship and marry, and Perry, Jr. is born within a year. They think he is their son, but it's soon enough after the affair that, while their son is mortally wounded, that they find out that Luthor is the actual father. While Luthor mourns his only known offspring a red rock flies out of nowhere and bounces off the back of Luthor's head. When he picks it up, one side of the red rock is a face that is talking to him, Mr. Mxyzptlk. They make a deal that Luthor can keep the red rock, and, when he rubs it, will make himself as powerful as Superman. Of course, in Luthor's ego and vanity, he thinks he will receive super powers. What happens is that Superman loses his powers, thus, Luthor is as powerful as Superman.

Superman uses his friend Prof. Hamilton, and Starman, a hero who had his own title for w while, to fool Luthor and Metropolis criminals that Superman still has his powers. Starman uses his pwers to change his features to double as Superman, and provoke Luthor to throw the red kryptonite at him. Hamilton then analyzes it.

Lois also has a crisis, with her mother falling very ill. She had worked at a LexCorp chemical plant and was contaminated in an explosion. Luthor used his genius to create a serum to keep Lois' mother healthy, but devises monthly doses as a way of giving him leverage to control Lois. Now the serum is losing its effectiveness, and Lois' mother is falling ill as a result.

In the first pages of issue #50, Clark finds his mother's heirloom ring in his suitcase, after he and Lois had visited Smallville during the Fourth of July. Ma Kent, being as perceptive as mothers are, saw how Clark and Lois loved each other and hid the ring that had been in the Clark family for generations in his suitcase. When he treats Lois to lunch at Dooley's, on the ground floor of the Daily Planet building, she asks for time to think about it. Clark, ever the gentleman, agrees. Their lunch is interupted by a phone call by Luthor, who shares his condolences with Lois. She returns the favor by telling Luthor what she thinks about him and his serum. Clark grabs the phone and uses the red kryptonite as leverage to get an interview. He brings it back to Luthor and asks a blunt question: Why does Luthor hate Superman. Luthor answers that he cannot believe that a person as powerful as Superman would not use his powers to rule the Earth. He then calls for sevurity to throw Kent out, but not before he breaks the agreement with Mxy and tells Clark that the rock came from Mr. M. Clark's powers return on the sidewalk in front of LexCorp, and he tests them by giving the security guards hot feet. The issue ends with Clark in the hospital waiting room after hours as Lois visits her mother with sister Lucy and dad Sam. Sam gives his endorsement of Clark, and then she meets Clark in the waiting room. In the hospital parking garage Lois accepts Clark's proposal and they kiss.

Their relationship began to change in Adventures of Superman #457, where Lois goes to Clark's apartment to escort her to a banquet both had been invited to, even bringing a bouquet to Clark. He had returned after the Exile In Space story. Clark had been feared dead when Intergang did a hit at his apartment. The actual victim was a down on his luck private detective who was hired by a computer expert named Amanda, who was fired by Luthor back in Superman #2 (1987), when he refused to acdcept her conclusion that Clark Kent was actually Sueperman. She had hired the P. I. to gather evidence to prove her conclusion was correct. While everyone thought Clark was dead Lois had begun to rethink her relationship with Clark. She began to go beyond their professional rivalry, which began when he earned his job at the Daily Planet by scooping the story of the century by interviewing Superman. She really began to think of him as a friend, at least.

On the last page of Adventures of Superman #466, Clark and Lois kiss at her apartment. The next Superman issue, Action Comics #653, opens with Clark waiting at the elevator with a rose for Lois as she leaves the elevator. Superman #46 ends with the two of them kissing on a hill outside Smallville as the Fourth of July fireworks exploded overhead. The next issue, Adventures of Superman #469, opens with Clark and Lois spending time with Lana and Pete. Clark eventually revealed his secret identity to Lois at the end of Action Comics #662. After Superman #118 came Superman: The Wedding Album. In these last two issues DC rushes Clark and Lois to the wedding chapel.

One of the special features to Superman: Doomsday was the Superman creative team discussing their original plans to marry Clark and Lois in Superman #75. When the ABC show Lois and Clark wanted to have them marry on their show first, the DC creators decided to do the Doomsday story for #75. After the wedding on Lois and Clark and the show's cancellation, then the DC executives wanted to have Clark and Lois marry in the comics.

Next week for Halloween: Red Glass in Superman #56, The Adventures of Superman #479 and Action Comics #666 (appropriate for Halloween, huh?)

Superman Fan Podcast can be found at: Send e-mail to

My Pull List is my spoiler-free comic book review blog of the comic books I read every week. It can be found at Send e-mail to this blog to

Thanks for listening to Superman Fan Podcast, and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

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