713 – Ma and Pa Lane

A panel from Lois Lane #13, September 1959

In Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #13 (Sept 1959), Lois’ parents, Sam and Ella Lane, are introduced as farmers from Pittsdale. Superman tags along on a visit and a misunderstanding leads to everyone in Pittsdale thinking that Lois and Superman are going to be married.

Interestingly, Lois seems more concerned about this than Superman. This is a fascinating shift to anyone paying attention, and it deepens the character in a surprising way. Older versions of Lois would have just gone along with this if it gets her what she wants (wedded to Superman). I suppose this comes from Lois being the protagonist of her own book now and not just an annoying superficial supporting character to Superman. Her readers need to care about her. Kudos to Robert Bernstein, the writer or Mort Weisinger, the editor.

Another panel from Lois Lane #13, September 1959
Another panel from Lois Lane #13, September 1959

Of course they do get out of the marriage predicament, but in the stupidest way possible: Superman makes a phone call to have Lucy “buzz” them with airforce jets that disrupt the whole wedding. Raspberry to Robert or Mort.

Anyway, years from now, Lois’ father is ret-conned into a U.S. Army general and Sam Lane becomes a much more prominent character.