Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Black Lois Lane

I came across this DC Comic Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #106 I am curious (BLACK)! from a link that was orginially posted in Boingboing.net. I did some research, in hopes of finding a copy, only to find out that was orignally published in 1958. Which means that any lingering copies of said comic were probably burned, destroyed, or are probably locked away in someone's adolecent (and forgotten) trunk. I was able to find an article in MillionairePlayboy.com, with some pictures and a plot. What follows is an excerpt:
"The cover depicts Lois Lane placed into a machine. Superman flips a switch and Lois magically transforms into a black woman for 24 hours.
The story begins with Lois assigned to do a story on Metropolis's urban area that Lois refers to Little Africa. It seems that all black people refuse to submit to an interview done by Miss Whitey. Young children, old blind ladies, and even people on the street hate white people. With Superman's help Lois is placed inside the Plastimold and the Transformoflux Pack invented by Dahr-Nel, Kryptonian Surgeon."

Part of me wants to laugh out loud, another cry with shame. But I can't. It was 1958. Whitey was scared. They had every right to be. We were planning the revolution at the time, and nothing seemed right. Everyone was suspicious. Especially white reporters? (...ha!) Regardless, it makes me want to pull out my Dashiki and head wrap. The story goes on to come to a peaceful resolution where the once outspoken revolitionary, takes a liking to the Nubian Lois is accidentally shot while trying to break up a street fight. (As there are many fights in "Little Africa" - lest we forget.) Superman swoops in to save the day, and scoops up both our young revolutionary and our Nubian Lois. While at the (black) hospital, we find that there isn't enough blood, but luckilyLois has his same blood type. Since we humans are all essentially red and fleshy...she offers up a pint. The conclusion of the story is harmony- we're all the same inside. I get that. You couldn't have hit me harder over the head with that idea if you tried.

My only problem is...well...I guess I really don't have a problem with this. I think I need to sit down. Take a minute and think this over...there must be something wrong here.......

I'll have to get back to you on this.

UPDATE> okay...so I've had some time to think on it. Still not happy with the conclusion. My reasons? The onus of racism is deflected. The whole point is oversimplified to "they hate us" NOT "they fear us...and for good reason" OR even something that might be "they hate us, because of what we did to them." That and the story is trite, and stereotypical. Although I do like the fact that the artist made Lois look better as a black woman...(an increase in bust size, more hips, and of course 'black' lips) maybe he had some jungle fever? Regardless, the resolution ISN'T a real resolution. In fact I'd say that it's Superman to save the day yet again - let's get whitey to help us out....
Then again I may just be expecting far too much from a comic book from 1958.

4 comments:

Matt Florence said...

Well, all I've got to say is that Black Lois is hot. She's a bad mamma jamma with a kick ass wardrobe. (Okay, that was a fairly bad imitation of black 70's lingo. I never could get the urban patois down. Nieces and nephews rib me mercilessly.)

D.T. said...

LOL Matt! I dont know, I guess I kinda feel the same way you do Kizzy. I mean, nowadays that story would be oh-so controversial and almost everyone (the whiteys and blacks) would be against it, you know? But looking at it from a 1950s state of mind, I think it's kinda a cool story and it seriously does teach you that deep down, we are all the same. Know what I mean? I dont know...it's 8-something and I havent had my coffee yet...

kizzy said...

It's just hard for me not to think that "lois" looks so much better as a black lady. Millionaireplayboy.com had some more screen shots where they actually took some excerpts from the comic... the whole premise is bunk - especially the all mysterious "transmogrifyer"

- why is there always a transmogrifyer? Who in the hell decided THAT was a good made-up word to relate - swticher-oo-thingie.

Pat said...

FYI, 1958 is when the first issue of Lois Lane came out; this issue is from about 1970.