Love Hurts: The Greatest Romance In Comics History Is Lois Lane… And Satan
I love Lois Lane so much. She's arguably the single greatest love interest in the history of comics, and like so many readers, I can't really get enough of her long-running love story with... uh, that guy. Jeez, it's on the tip of my tongue. What's his name. You know, he has the red cape, his name starts with an S, he's got powers far beyond those of mortal men? Oh! That's right: Satan.
I mean, if memory serves, there may have been somebody else in the equation, but if you're judging by the whirlwind romance of fire and brimstone that took place in Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #103, I think you'll find that their relationship was nothing compared to the time she was betrothed to the author of all lies. I mean, Lois and the Devil almost got married! All Superman did was try to marry her corpse!
This... this is probably something I should explain.
The story in question is called "The Devil's Bride," and comes courtesy of Robert Kanigher, Curt Swan and Mike Esposito, and as you may have already guessed from the fact that there's a cloven-hooved Lois Lane marrying Satan on the cover, it is completely bananas --- in ways that go far beyond what you might think.
For starters, we open with Superman on a mountain, allowing himself to be struck by lightning in some bizarre form of super-self-flagellation while crying, which, while unusual for 1970, would form a pretty solid blueprint for how Superman would spend most of the 2000s.
As for why Superman is threatening to fill a sea with his super-tears, well, you'd be upset too if you'd accidentally killed Lois Lane with a magic lightning bolt. Yes, this issue opens with Lois Lane dead.
The actual death (or "death," since I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn that it turns out to not quite be all it's cracked up to be) happened at the end of the previous issue, but those of us who were just tuning in because of the satanic wedding don't need to worry, as there are plenty of flashbacks. What matters right now, though, is that Superman is going out of his mind with grief, and Lois is laying dead on some weird torch-lit altar out in the middle of a field with a couple of tigers.
Please note that this isn't even close to being the weirdest pat of this story, and also that this is exactly what I want my own funeral to look like.
After deciding that he's had enough of the lightning, Superman shows up and decides that, in what might actually be the weirdest part of this story, he should do for Lois in death what he never did in life, and get married to her corpse. And this is not a metaphor: He's going to just straight up put a ring on her dead body and say vows at it while his other girlfriend stands there with two tigers being awkward as all hell.
Superman, you are a weird, weird dude.
Now, if you're like me, you may be expecting this story to take what I would consider to be the obvious route, all things considered, and have Lucifer himself show up to take Lois on account of her many Silver Age Sins and drag her to Hell to be his bride --- or at least "Hades," because the gymnastics this book does to get around using the word "Hell" could've won gold medals for days. But that is not what happens. That's not even close.
Instead, we're treated to a flashback to how all this went down, which involved Lois being romanced by a mystic named Rajah Satdev, and then discovering that he had magic powers, hooves and bright red horns. Also his name is like "Satan Devil," but I assume she already knew that.
Okay, two things real quick, both of which are related to Lois being a complete asshole here: 1) If someone says that they are drinking something for their health and that no one else should drink it, do not grab it and take a swig, even if you live in a world where someone chilling on a patio with a wine glass full of water from the Fountain of Youth actually is a pretty good possibility. There is a much better possibility that it is, like, prescription medicine or something, and you will probably get very sick and/or die. 2) Do not just reach over and take off someone's turban because you think they might have devil horns! What the hell is wrong with you, Silver Age Lois Lane?!
Satdev is also the source of the magic lightning that strikes Superman, although when it ricochets off and strikes Lois, he blames himself. But all is not lost! After Superman leaves his weird corpse wedding, Satdev shows up and revives Lois with a strange incantation!
And this is where things really get weird. After walking unharmed through the flames, Lois passes out, only to wake up in a hospital --- a SPACE hospital, on PLANET INFERNO!
Yes, Satdev isn't actually a Satan, he's just an alien from a planet of people who look like Satans. So much so, in fact, that when they attempted to visit Earth in ancient times, they were mistaken for devils and pretty much got people to thinking there were horned, cloven-hooved demons running around trying to damn their souls for all eternity:
It probably did not help that their scientists opted for red capes and no shirts, but I'm not really familiar enough with interstellar travel to determine whether this is actually a bad idea. I mean, it seems like a bad idea just from a practical standpoint, but who am I to question Infernian science? I mean, they're so advanced that they've been able to manufacture a device called the Multiple Electronic Mass Manipulator that's the size of a ring and can basically do anything, so if they want to run around ancient Egypt with no shirts on, who am I to say that this is a bad idea?
While observing Earth from space, Satdev fell in love with Lois Lane, because of course he did. This happens so much that there's actually a comment on it in the letter column where someone wants to know why everyone is always falling in love with Lois Lane, where the response is literally just the editors telling children that it's a comic book and there are writers making these things up, which is especially weird considering that in the same letter column, they justify her ability to swim in high heels by saying that she trained with Aquaman. Anyway, Satdev decided it would be a good idea to pretend to be a Rajah and seduce her with satan powers, and since she ended up with devil horns and cloven hooves and would therefore be shunned on Earth, Lois has decided that she might as well settle down on Inferno and get hitched to this horned weirdo.
Until, that is, she looks at the wedding ring that Superman gave her while he thought she was dead.
And with that, Grant Morrison gets a pretty awesome line for All Star Superman, Lois's horns and hooves melt away back into their usual form, and she returns to Earth secure in the knowledge that she is beloved by her one true lover, Superman.
Oh and then two months later she gets married to a guy in prison who's about to be executed. The heart, it is a fickle thing!