Mr. & Mrs. Clark (Superman) Kent was the first story DC Comics subtitled as An Imaginary Story. It was published in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #19, August 1960, published on June 28, 1960 (one day after my own birthday three months later). Curt Swan drew the cover for this Mort Weisinger edited issue, which was inked by Stan Kaye. It illustrated the story featured in this episode, which was the third and final story of the issue. The cover declared #1 Of An Imaginary Series!" The story was the first of a mainstay of DC's "imaginary stories", what if stories of Superman married to one of the loves of his life. It was written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by the definitive Lois Lane artist of the silver age, Kurt Schaffenberger. This story was reprinted in DC's Greatest Imaginary Stories.
The story began by showing how Lois finally came to be married to Superman. When she refused Clark's proposal because she only had room in her heart for Superman, Clark decided to reveal his secret identity to her. He decided the way to keep her safe was for her to maryr Clark and seem to give up her infatuation with Superman. The only danger would be if a villain discovered his secret identity. Just as he did in the Kent home in Smallville, Clark/Superman had a secret tunnel under the house so that no one would see him fly out of the Kent home. This simple but clever story showed some of the trials of being married to the secret identity of a super hero. Lois had to hold her tounge with the wives of her affluent neighbors, who looked down on her reporter husband, who was not important enough for their high society. She even had to keep her secret from her own sister Lucy, for her safety, shown in a sad scene of Lois having to throw an item from another world into the fireplace as if it was worn out. And even a super hero husband was not safe from the wrath of his wife when female celebrities threw themselves at him.
The story was a good look at super hero celebrity. When the high society neighbors looked down on Clark, it reminded me of Stan and Joanie Lee telling about people's reactions when they found out he wrote and edited comic book stories ("We never let our children read those.) And the sex appeal of super hero celebrity has been a temptation for celbrities forever. While Siegel's 1960's stories have been uneven, especially some of his Legion Of Super-Heroes stories, this was one of his better stories of this era, along with another imaginary story, The Death Of Superman, from Superman #149. This Lois Lane story holds up even today, which puts it on my list of the better silver age superman stories.
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Thanks for listening to this episode of the Superman Fan Podcast and, as always, thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
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