Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #20 (August 1960) presents the second of an “Imaginary Series” in which Lois and Clark are married. This time around, Clark convinces Lois they should adopt Supergirl. Supergirl is thrilled, but Lois is told that in order to adopt, she must quit her job and be a mother full-time. Clark doesn’t quit his job instead – hell no – he lets this happen!
Lois reluctantly agrees, and does her best to adapt to all the house-cleaning chores. One day Supergirl tells her to take a rest, gives her a box of chocolates, and does all the chores with her super-speed. Wouldn’t you know it, the social worker just happens to come by to spy on Lois at that precise moment:
The social worker decides to give the new family another chance. Super-Dad and Super-Daughter use their speed to help out Lois more. But it makes her feel useless. Here, we see her shed a tear while her husband sleeps blissfully in his separate bed…
Super-Dad and Super-Daughter continue delight in accomplishing super-tasks together. Here we see them re-igniting an old sun with their combined heat vision. Oh you kooky comic book physics…
Pretty soon, Lois understandably starts to feel left out of the family unit and even more unnecessary. Notice the rain on the window pane, that’s called a “metaphor”. Ok, while it is corny and maudlin, at least it’s an attempt to make readers feel some new emotions.
But our tear-choked tale ends with some slapstick humor. Supergirl is called away on a task and her Linda Lee robot has to fill in. Lois notices a loose bolt in the robot and tries to wack it in with the back of a brush, just at the time that the nosy social worker happens on by again:
In an outrage, the orphanage takes Linda Lee back, declaring Lois an unfit mother. Everyone is miserable at the end, and Clark is a rather unsupportive husband who lays on the guilt pretty thick.
I do find it fascinating to see how the writers and editors are discovering the benefits of playing in these “What If” and “Elseworlds” scenarios once a continuity is established and the situation has been fixed for some time. You can kind of just imagine light bulbs going off over their heads as they realize that readers want to see what change would be like.