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Is there a relationship more dysfunctional than the one between the Silver Age Superman and his "girlfriend" Lois Lane? Let's consider the evidence before us, Lois Lane #5's "The Fattest Girl in Metropolis" (writer, Otto Binder; artist, Kurt Schaffenberger). It offers a revealing insight into the dynamics of Eisenhower Era boy/girl relationships.

Wilson Barbers

Returning home after a hard day on the news beat, Lois witnesses a murder; she's unable to identify the culprit, however:

(Click on the thumbnails for a full-sized version)

The following day, while on assignment interviewing a scientist responsible for an amazing plant growth ray, the reporter is bathed in the waves of the ray.

Next morning reveals the awful truth: Lois has been transformed by her exposure to the growth ray!

Borrowing a fat neighbor's clothing, our heroine heads for work. "What if Superman, the man I love, saw me now?" she thinks. "I must avoid him at all costs." This is not so easily accomplished.

Once she arrives at The Daily Planet, Lois is unable to mask her condition from her co-workers, including Clark Kent. (It's worth noting that although Lois was constantly trying to prove that Clark was the Man of Steel, she seems to have momentarily forgotten those suspicions.) She begs Clark not to tell Superman about her new size.

Desperate to lose weight Lois embarks on a montage of rigorous diet and exercise . . .

. . . but an unexpected present from Superman undoes all her good intentions.

Despite these setbacks, Lois is still a working reporter; covering the opening of an amusement park, she passes the Hall of Mirrors where the evildoer from our story's opening sees her.

But, of course, Superman has been watching her all along; the "accident" that led to Lois' fatness was actually a sneaky plan to keep the killer from recognizing her. (So, presumably, if the killer hadn't happened upon Lois at the amusement park, the gal would still be fat today!) A small bit of tinkering, and the Man of Steel is able to reverse the growth ray. And our heroine never thinks to ask her boyfriend why - if he knew about her weight gain all along - he sent her that box of candy . . .

Panels from "The Fattest Girl in Metropolis," Lois Land #5; reprinted in Giant Superman Annual #1. Annual reprint copyright 1998 - DC Comics.