Ever wonder what it would have been like to change the color of your skin in the 70s? That question was answered in Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane, issue 106.
Our typically selfish reporter from the daily planet realizes that she would never be able to gather interviews for a story in a black neighborhood, because apparently black people never talk to white people. So with the help of Superman, who happens to have everything in existence (or not in existence) in his Footrace of Solitude, he was able to transform a white Lois Lane into a Black Lois Lane. Which is ironic, because if this story were written today, no one would touch it with a ten foot pole.
As expected in this iconic comic book, the black Lois Lane encounters a lot of racism, but also is suddenly accepted into the black community. She even befriends a black supremacist who suddenly accepts her with open arms, where the same person the day before said:
Look at her, brothers and sisters! She’s young and sweet and pretty! But never forget… she’s whitey!
After Superman uses a transforming mold called the Plastimold to change Lois into Black Lois for 24 hours, stereotypes kick in immediately. A cab driver ignores her, and white people stare at her (gasp!) . Her new-found black supremacist friend gets shot by thugs and needs a blood transfusion. Apparently Lois Lane has O-negative blood like he did, and provides blood. Suddenly, Lois transforms back into white. So the question of whether or not he will accept her white blood into his body appears to be an issue. Luckily, he does not care, and is happy that she helped. A heart-felt ending that brought a tear to my eye. It is a fantastic ideal ending, although I doubt he would have been so accepting in real life.
Before black Lois transformed back into whitey, she asks Superman if he would still love her if she were white and if they would ever get married. Superman responds by pointing out that he is an alien and not even human, and would never marry her regardless of color (oh the irony) .
I can admire the balls it took to confront racism with a story like this. With the way internet and mass media things these days, a story like this where black Lois Lane infiltrates a negro community would just line up DC Comics for heavy backlash. This comic was discussed in the AMC show Comic Book Men, season 3 episode 9.
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