Forgotten Masterpiece: The Buried Newspaper Marriage of Superman and Lois Lane, Part 2

December 20, 1949: Clark Kent marries Lois Lane, for real!

As we related last time

https://tombrevoort.com/2022/02/21/forgotten-masterpiece-the-buried-marriage-of-superman-and-lois-lane/

In the daily SUPERMAN newspaper strip, at the end of 1949, Clark Kent and Lois Lane got legitimately married. It was clear, looking at those strips, that the marriage was intended to be a dream on the part of Clark, but the strip got such a big publicity push out of it (and began picking up additional newspapers as clients) that they never got around to undoing it, at least not right away. For two solid years, while the fact wasn’t reflected in the comic books or on the radio show or in the serials, Clark Kent and Lois Lane were man and wife on the newspaper pages.

So what happened? I can’t prove this for certain, but all of the timing lines up. I think it was the advent of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN television program that convinced the powers-that-be at DC/National Comics to finally bring this extended episode to a close. ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN was being shopped around for broadcast by 1952, and in that production, not only weren’t Kent and Lane married but they were only barely civil to one another. television would have even greater reach than newspapers would–and there might be a greater degree of overlap in the proposed audience–so in order to keep everything coordinated, and change had to be made.

The need for that change brought about a change of writers on the strip, at least for a time. Alvin Schwartz had been writing it for most of this period, but in order to insure that everything would end up just exactly where DC/National wanted it, editor Jack Schiff, who had been involved in some capacity with teh strip since the early 1940s, came on to write an extended sequence bringing the wedding to an end. As in the later Spider-Man wedding, it wasn’t simply enough to have the characters separate. No, not only couldn’t Clark and Lois be married any longer but they needed to never have been married in the first place. (Additionally, Lois’ virtue had to be maintained, so this couldn’t have wound up having been just a clerical error or some such, since Lois and Clark had been clearly co-habitating for two years.)

As a first step, and to wring every last ounce of drama out of the situation before it was put to bed, after having kept his true identity a secret from his wife for two years, Clark Kent would end up confessing the truth of his double existence to Lois Lane. But this was just a step towards the eventual disillusion of he union. Because Lois was already beginning to take a turn towards the daffier, more Lucille Ball-style characterization that readers would get to know in the late 1950s and early 1960s. So once she is let in on the secret, she literally can not stand not being able to tell others about it.

As events build to the climax of this sequence, Lois eventually snaps and writes an expose on her own husband’s activities, outing him as the Man of Steel. Superman is both flabbergasted and mortified–until he himself reaches the offices of the Daily Planet. Ant then–but why not let you read it for yourselves.

And this seems like it’s a good spot to pause for Part Three, which we’ll get back to at some future point, revealing just how this whole situation was wrapped up by Schiff and artist Win Mortimer. That final strip above is dated February 27, 1952 for those keeping score of such things.

3 thoughts on “Forgotten Masterpiece: The Buried Newspaper Marriage of Superman and Lois Lane, Part 2

  1. Win Mortimer was on point. I really like those flying poses where Supes has his arms out like an airplane, almost gliding. I could see Michael Lark picking up where Win left off.

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