09 February 2009

THE LOWDOWN ON LANA LANG!


THE LOWDOWN ON LANA

Text Page from SUPERBOY #127/MAR 1966

Since Lana Lang stars in this issue’s book-length novel, it’s only fitting that we devote a page to our heroine’s background.

Imagine being the daughter of a prominent explorer and archeologist - spending your vacations in strange, exotic spots all over the world! What could possibly make your life more exciting? What else but being the girl friend of Superboy? And all this certainly makes Lana Lang’s existence anything but dull!

Lana’s father is Professor Lewis Lang. Her mother‘s maiden name was Potter; her brother, and Lana’s uncle, is none other than Professor Phineas Potter, the famous eccentric inventor.


As a child, little Lana played with young Clark Kent, and sometimes witnessed his super-deeds when he was Superbaby; however, she was too young to realize he was doing seemingly impossible stunts.

Soon after she started school, Lana’s parents began traveling over the world, taking their daughter with them. Between trips, they returned for brief stays in Smallville, their home town; but it was not until Lana was in her teens that they came back for good.

It was soon after this that Lana first met Superboy. She immediately noticed his resemblance to her schoolmate, Clark Kent. (See Footnote No.1) Ever since, Lana has used every trick she could dream up to prove his identity. Being both inventive and impulsive, Lana has come up with some ingenious and, not infrequently, dangerous schemes. It has taken super-thinking on the Boy of Steel’s part to foil her.


Superboy did reveal his alter-ego to Lana’s great-grandmother, Laura Langdon, during a time-trip to 1876. (2) He little guessed that she would record this in a diary which her descendant, Lana, would one day find. The secret would have been out if Superboy’s Superdog, Krypto, hadn’t flown away with the page containing it before Lana could read it.

Lana became friends with young Lois Lane when the two met at Camp Hiawatha. (3) Neither guessed that, when they grew up, they would be rivals for the love of Superman. But a brief look at a time-scanner machine later showed Lana the future, when reporter Lois Lane would be known as Superman’s girl friend. The young red-head then concocted a scheme to arrange things so that Lois would not become a reporter. (4) However, her scheme backfired and Lois went on to study journalism at Raleigh College.


Lana’s efforts to attract Superboy have sometimes taken elaborate and bizarre forms. Once, with the connivance of Prof. Potter and a fake time machine, she impersonated Cleopatra. (6) However, the blue-clad boy spotted her imposture and took her into the past, where she met the genuine Cleopatra.

Lana once became a movie star when she was signed as the lead in a jungle picture. (5) Unfortunately, she soon developed a terribly swelled head. Superboy got himself cast opposite her and, to teach her a lesson, stole every scene from her. When the picture was released, it was the Boy of Steel who received top billing. But Lana got still better billing, where it really counted - on the cornerstone of the hospital wing which was built with her earnings from the movie.


Lana has met other super-heroes in her time. One of these was Star-Boy, of the Legion of Super-Heroes. (7) At this time, Star Boy had more powers than Superboy himself, due to contact with a strange comet. Later on, this wore off, leaving him with only his power of making things super-heavy. Discovering his secret identity of Thom Kallor, Lana threatened to reveal it unless he helped her in a scheme to make Superboy jealous. Star Boy gave in and took Lana to the 30th Century, where they faked a romance. Superboy was not fooled, though; and, with the help of a girl who was going with Star Boy at the time, he arranged for Lana to become the victim of the “Green-Eyed Monster.”


When Lana grew up, she moved to Metropolis, where she got a job as a TV newscaster with station WMET-TV. And, of course, she entered her friendly rivalry for Superman with Lois Lane.

As both teen-ager and adult, Lana has had super-powers. Once, on her birthday, Superboy got two packages mixed up and inadvertently gave Lana three capsules that could endow her with different super-powers. (8) Thanks to this goof, the Boy of Steel had his hands full for a while. Later on, he gave her flying power for a short time with a belt which transferred to her some of his ability to defy gravity. Another time, Prof. Lang brought back from Africa a remarkable belt which gave Lana super-powers when she wore it. (9) She became Gravity Girl; but she ended this career when she learned the belt made her invulnerable only to metals. As a grown-up, she once received super-powers via a blood transfusion from Superman, in order to guard her from an attempt on her life by Brainiac. (10) Before you tell us we made a boo-boo, let’s make one thing clear - Superman punctured his skin with one of his super-hard fingernails to give the transfusion.


But Lana’s greatest super-role is that which she enacts in this issue of SUPERBOY - the identity in which she’ll be back with more thrilling adventures in the future - the INSECT QUEEN!


1. “When Lana First Suspected Clark Kent.”
[SUPERBOY #87]
2. “The Three Ages of Superboy.”
[SUPERBOY #103]
3. “Lois Lane Meets Superboy.”
[ADVENTURE COMICS #261]
4. “The Girl Who Saw the Future Superboy.”
[SUPERBOY #90]
5. “Lana Lang, Hollywood Star.”
[ADVENTURE COMICS #312]
6. “Superboy’s Romance with Cleopatra.”
[ADVENTURE COMICS #291]
7. “Lana Lang and the Legion of Super-Heroes.”
[ADVENTURE COMICS #282]
8. Lana Lang’s Super-Birthday.”
[SUPERBOY #64]
9. “Gravity Girl of Smallville.”
[ADVENTURE COMICS #285]
10. “ Lana Lang, Superwoman.”
[LOIS LANE #17]


Here's a scan of the text piece as it originally appeared in SUPERBOY #127 :

This text article gives us a decent frame of reference regarding Miss Lang.
I kept all the spelling, punctuation and spacing of the original text (Spell Check was less than thrilled); the bracketed issue titles & numbers I placed into the footnotes myself.
Now that we're literally all on the same page, the Lana jokes will start coming fast and quick!
Tune in next time for "The Insect Queen of Smallville".
Long Live Lana!

4 comments:

  1. What a great storyline. Looking at it now it's funny see how innocent the various scenerios were compared to todays comics.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Checkin' the poll... Pest Lana is now only 1 vote ahead of Lois. Lois voters are pests.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to know who voted for Jimmy.

    ReplyDelete