By GW Thomas
Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane is a perfect example. Marketed towards the female reader, most of the plots hinge on Lois's emotional connection to Superman. Not quite a romance comic, it did explore her feelings of love (and jealousy) towards the Man of Steel. And finding a new way to do that issue after issue was quite a challenge with 137 issues from 1959 to 1974. Some sample ideas from just the first twenty-four issues include Lois becoming a witch, adopting a super-baby, getting really fat, going to prison, singing a hit song with Pat Boone, becoming a baby herself, wearing a lead box on her head to hide her face from Superman, falling for Batman, getting kryptonite vision by accident, marrying Astounding Man, getting X-Ray vision, and any number of plots involving Lana Lang's getting the upper hand on Lois for Superman's affections. And that's just the first 24 of 137.
Now Bill Finger could have done some research and learned that leopards don't live in packs. And he could have acquired more in-depth, African geographical and political knowledge. Except that would have ruined the whole thing. Because Finger didn't want to write a real jungle adventure. He wanted to write something that harkened back to the jungle queens of old, like Sheena, Rulah, Camilla, and Cave Girl. And this is exactly what he does. Lois wears leopard skins. She escapes stampeding elephants and raging grass fires. She swims in crocodile-infested waters. The only thing she doesn't do is use a knife. This might have been a Comics Code issue or simply because Superman is continuously acting as her security blanket.
Good bye, jungle girls. And thank you, Metropolis, for one last swing.
If you'd like to read the entire comic you can at Benny Drinnon's Ominous Octopus Omnibus blog. I'd also like to thank Benny Drinnon for directing my attention to this story.
GW Thomas has appeared in over 400 different books, magazines and ezines including The Writer, Writer's Digest, Black October Magazine and Contact. His website is gwthomas.org. He is editor of Dark Worlds magazine.