In Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #15 (Dec 1959), readers are treated to a full-issue story in what appears to be Superman and Lois finally committing to each other, getting married, moving in together, having children, and Lois gaining super-powers. The cover makes a bunch of bold promises:
“This Super-Wedding is Real! The marriage is not a hoax! The bride and groom are not robots! This romance is not a dream of Lois Lane or Superman!”The cover of Lois Lane #15
And this all happens in the story, until the final chapter when we learn that the character in Superman’s suit is not Superman but a Kryptonian from the Bottled City of Kandor named Van-Zee.
That’s right, Superman has a “double” that lives in Kandor and has fallen in love with Lois Lane. But Lois loves Superman, so Van-Zee seeks out Lois’ double, which turns out to be a rich woman named Sylvia Dewitt. Van-Zee and Sylvia fall in love, and their courtship, marriage, having kids, etc is the story we read at the beginning of the tale, the writers being careful that the characters never call themselves by their actual names.
Of course the couple and their kids decide to return to the Bottled City of Kandor at the end of the story – though Van-Zee does make some future appearances, if memory serves.
I wonder whether readers of the time felt cheated or came away feeling that the writers were clever. I guess the “Letters to Lois” letters column will eventually tell me 🙂