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Introduction to Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: I Am Curious (Black)!

Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: I am Curious (Black)! (1970)

Cover of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: I am Curious (Black)! (1970)

Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane: I Am Curious (Black)! was issue number 106 of the Lois Lane series of comics in 1970. In the comic, Lois Lane is a reporter for Metropolis newspaper “The Daily Planet” and is given the assignment to write a story on the experience of being black in Metropolis, specifically in the city’s black neighborhood, Little Africa. Lois is very excited, proclaiming that this is “the assignment of her life” and that she will win a Pulitzer Prize for her outstanding work. 

 Lois takes a taxicab to Little Africa and approaches a wide range of black citizens, but no one wants to talk to her. As she walks through the neighborhood she is ignored by everyone she meets, except for a blind woman, who leaves when she hears Lois’s identifiably white voice, and a black man who points her out as “the enemy,” Lois becomes frustrated and disappointed. Superman comes to check in on her, and Lois convinces him to take her to use one of his machines, which will transform her into a black woman for 24 hours. She thinks will allow her to get black people to talk to her. 

 After her transformation, Lois rushes to change clothes, then attempts to hail the same cab she took on her first trip. The cab driver does not recognize her as the white woman he knows by name, and seeing her as a black woman, drives past her to pick up a white man instead. Lois is horrified, proclaiming that she has just had her “first lesson in the meaning of black.” She then takes the subway, where she is stared at by other passengers. This experience prompts Lois to think about how awful it is that black people experience such stigma every day, being constantly made aware of their status compared to whites. 

 Once she arrives in Little Africa, Lois smells smoke in an alley and runs to try to put out the fire. A black woman opens the back door to her apartment and invites Lois inside, sharing coffee with her as she tells Lois about the terrible conditions that she and her children live in. Lois tears up at the woman’s generosity and goodwill even in her state of poverty. Lois ventures back into the street, where she runs into the black man who had earlier pointed her out as an enemy. He introduces himself as Dave Stevens, and then spots a group of unruly teenagers running into an alley. Dave tells Lois that they are up to no good and tells her to wait where she is, as “this is a man’s job”, but Lois comes along anyway. In the alley, Dave confronts the older drug dealers that are commanding the teenagers and the men to shoot him, just as Superman arrives on the scene. Superman and Lois take Dave to the hospital, where they are told that he needs a blood transfusion. Dave has a rare blood type, but fortunately Lois is a match. Lois volunteers to be the donor, and Dave is very grateful. While he is recovering, Lois presses Superman on whether or not he would marry her if she really were black. Superman skirts the marriage question, but assures Lois that he is not even a human man, so how could he think that way? Lois suddenly phases back into whiteness again, ahead of schedule, just as the nurse walks in to inform her that Dave would like to see her. Lois frets about what Dave would think, seeing her whiteness, but decides to go in. On the last page of the comic, Lois walks into the room, and Dave is startled at first, but then breaks into a big smile as the two shake hands. 

"Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: I Am Curious (Black)!" Sparta, Illinois: National Periodical Publications, 1970. Print. 


Black Representation in Comics
Introduction to Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane: I Am Curious (Black)!