Monday, July 28, 2008

Lois Lane in "The Case of the Cockblocking Ghost!"

When last we left Lois in Superman Family 166, she was once again rescued from certain death by Superman, but this time, a new wrinkle was added: Superman was led to the rescue by a message written in plants by the ghost of secret agent Simon Cross. In Superman Family 169, we pick up the story six months later, and Lois is now a full-fledged agent for the SIA, and she's come to rely on the assistance of Simon's ghost to get her out of tough situations. Superman, however, does not take kindly to being replaced as Lois's trusty rescuer, and a story ensues that can only be called, "The Case of the Cockblocking Ghost!" (Actually, it's called "Target of the Tarantula," but, whatever.)

Lois's current assignment involves staking out the docks and watching out for a drug shipment for "The Masher Mob." Despite the fact that she's undercover, she doesn't do much to make herself conspicuous, and she's immediately caught. However, this doesn't phase her. As the thugs pull out their guns, she calls on Simon the Friendly Ghost to save the day, which he does.

Lois also appears to be developing a romantic attachment to Simon, which makes sense due to her pathetic attraction to unavailable men. Lois even starts to behave distantly toward Superman, which makes him upset. He then decides to stalk her to see what is going on. Seriously, these two deserve each other.

However, when she leaves the building, Superman loses her:

I love these moments in Superman stories where he conveniently forgets that he has certain powers, like x-ray vision. Of course, we know, from the previous story, that Lois is inside the secret garbage truck.

Forgoing the fact that emergencies are probably occurring around the world that require his attention, Superman continues to investigate Lois's behavior, mainly by illegally tracing her phone calls. He ultimately finds his way inside said garbage truck and confronts the head of the SIA.

Meanwhile, Lois and Simon continue to track down the Masher Mob and a mysterious vigilante called "The Tarantula," who has been killing off the mobsters. Superman, having figured out that Simon is a ghost, pulls out one of the many machines he had in the Silver Age, which turned out to be perfect for moving the plot forward yet were also never seen again. This time, it's the "ectoplasmic exorciser":

This is not to be confused with the "ectoplasmic exerciser," which is a device I use to lose weight. Basically, it functions by having a ghost literally scare the shit out of me.

Superman uses the machine to cockblock the ghost, which is a phrase I'm going to take credit for inventing. I also predict that I will become the number 1 Google hit for it.

Simon doesn't hesitate to call him on his cockblockery, and the danger in which it puts Lois:

Superman convinces Simon that, despite the fact that he can adequately protect her (though, importantly, no one is protecting her while these two argue), Simon and Lois have no future together. They then team up to save Lois from the Tarantula:

I think what Simon really saw is what an effed-up relationship Lois and Superman really have, and he decided to cut bait rather than get involved.

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