A relentless foe guns for the Man of Steel on a new “Superman & Lois” (Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CW).
Everyone knows the Man of Steel has one rule:
The hero who stands for truth, justice, and the American way never kills.
Or does he?
A classic episode of “The Adventures of Superman” suggests he at the very least contributed to the deaths of two people.
In “The Secret Costume” (original air date Dec. 12, 1952), written by Ben Peter Freeman, a burglar, Johnny Sims (Norman Budd), stumbles into the apartment of Clark Kent (George Reeves) and discovers his secret closet containing but one item – his Superman outfit.
She wants to interview the residents of Little Africa – Metropolis’ answer to Harlem – but none of them will talk to her, and she thinks it’s because of the color of her skin.
Rather than do what most journalists would do, that is, build relationships with community leaders to win trust, Lois decides she must become black.
What some reporters won’t do to make a deadline.
Can a woman have a Bat-career?
That was the question DC Comics struggled with in the 1950s.
The Dark Knight’s first and best female companion debuted in “Detective Comics” No. 233, cover date July 1956, in the story “Batwoman.”
Trapeze artist, motorcycle rider and heiress Kathy Kane donned cape and cowl to fight crime like her idol. Her career seemingly ended after her first mission when Batman discovered her secret identity. He warned her that if he could do it, criminals could do it as well, jeopardizing her life.
Never mind that he is the World’s Greatest Detective and not the average Gotham crook or that he could have helped Batwoman shore up her security. No, she had to know her place.
And Batwoman agreed she would retire.
Thankfully, that’s not the whole story. Even in the 1950s, Batwoman proved to be too popular to sit at home. So DC had to settle this story hole it had dug.
Girl reporter Lois Lane and first love Lana Lang both wanted to expose his secret identity or trap him in marriage. Many times they figured the first would naturally lead to the second.
The Man of Steel was pretty good at putting them off, doing his super-thing while one of his robots or Batman covered for him by pretending to be helpless schlub Clark Kent.
But there came a moment when the two alleged loves of his life teamed to learn his greatest secret and forced him to turn to an unlikely source for help.