1966's Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #69 gave us "Beware of The Bug-Belle," a kooky Silver Age Superman story about Lois and Lana Lang turning into disgusting, crime-fighting arthropods. Here are some of the best scenes from this lost gem.
The comic opens with this fascinating tableau (which has zero bearing on the rest of story). Lois Lane has transformed herself into a massive Kryptonian insect who can withstand Superman's Übermenschy libido. But wait! Lana Lang's slandering and/or dropping truth bombs about Kryptonian insect royalty. Superman is both A.) revolted by Lois' new form and B.) using his X-ray vision to determine where her cloaca is. Sure, his cravings bring him great shame, but he's mating outside of his species when he shacks up with normal Lois.
We now turn to the actual plot of "Beware the Bug-Belle." Lois and Lana are interim flatmates after Lana "accidentally" floods Lois' apartment. Both women possess extensive collections of Superman memorabilia. The women are driven by some unspoken belief that his lust for them is arithmetically correlated to the amount of Superman tchotchkes, ephemera, and bric-a-brac they accrue. Do the ladies ever stop to consider that this crapola arms race creeps Superman out? Of course not.
Lois quickly recovers from Lana's zingers by snooping through her closet. There she finds Lana's Insect Queen outfit and Bio-Genetic Ring. Lana earned these artifacts after saving a clumsy alien from a somewhat heavy log. Hey, it's just as logical as the Green Lantern's origin.
While Superman is off chasing space felons (or something), Lois steals the Bio-Genetic Ring and thwarts criminals by transforming into a giant scorpion (note the old-timey usage of the colloquial "gat")...
...and a water beetle. You may be wondering whether there's a fetishistic component to Lois' transformations. Note that Lois doesn't turn into any likeable arthropods. She explicitly turns into mosquitoes and other chitinous creepy-crawlies. Is this an attempt to empower Lois or debase her? I honestly cannot say.
At this point in the narrative, the antagonist Miss O'Mara steals Lana's Bio-Genetic Ring after 30 seconds of villainous brainstorming. O'Mara — who hopes to collect a $1 million bounty from the Anti-Superman Gang — transforms into a superpowered Kryptonian insect to murder the Man of Steel. Lois and Lana catch wind of her plot and bone up on Kryptonian entomology (in a book penned by Superman, no less).
There's about 90 different fetishes pinballing around this one panel, including the rare "cowardly gangsters running away" fetish.
Were Lana Lang's adventures in bondage hotter than Wonder Woman's? It's all in the eye of the beholder.
I love this comic because writer E. Nelson Bridwell and artist Kurt Schaffenberger apparently made up whatever facts about Kryptonian biology they needed to meet their deadline.
And the comic ends in a pillow fight. Stay classy, Silver Age. To experience Lois and Lana's arthropod adventure in full, head on over to Atomic Surgery.