"It's Superlass -- the terrific teen!"
The following review of SGLL No. 91, Apr 1969: "Love is Blind!" originally appeared in the old defunct DC Message boards and was written by Aldous:
The story is told partly in flashback. It opens in the present day, in the melancholy environs of a Metropolis graveyard, as a mysterious veiled woman in black approaches Superman's grave. There is a bunch of reporters awaiting her arrival. "Every month she visits Superman's grave! Rain or shine! Winter and summer!" The reporters would love to be able to identify the woman in black.
The veiled woman thinks about Superman, about how she will never forget him, that he will always have her undying love. Suddenly a nutter bursts forward and tosses a smoking bomb at the grave of Superman in revenge for Superman jailing him years before. The woman in black gets between the bomb and Superman's monument. She will sacrifice her life to protect his gravesite.
A red-and-blue streak flies at the bomb. The reporters start pressing camera shutters with great excitement. "It's Superlass -- the terrific teen!"
With some hip dialogue, the super-suited teen girl tosses the bomb high into the air where it detonates harmlessly. The bomb-thrower now pulls an automatic and starts blasting away at Superlass. The reporters get amazing pictures of Superlass deflecting the madman's bullets as she protects both the gravesite and the woman in black.
The reporters dash off, glad to have a story as a substitute for failing to identify the veiled woman. Now Superlass and the veiled woman are alone in the cemetery.
Superlass: "We're alone, mother! No one's here!"
The woman in black: "Then -- it's safe to lift my veil..."
The woman lifts the veil and runs her fingers clumsily over the chiseled letters of Superman's name on the gravestone. It is quickly revealed that this is Lois Lane, who is now blind, and who had married Superman in secret. Lois had promised Superman she would never reveal publicly that they were married. Now she is his widow and Superlass is their daughter.
Lois is overcome with emotion but Superlass tells her not to cry. "We have to carry on... for Daddy..."
"Mother," says Superlass, "tell me again... about you and Daddy..."
Lois begins to tell her daughter of a time more familiar to us, when Lois was still a reporter for the Daily Planet, and she and Superman were attending the Metropolis Charity Carnival where he was due to perform. Unfortunately, it is raining, and attendance by the public will be a lot less than anticipated, so Superman leaves Lois to fly up to the clouds to deal with the rain.
While he's doing this, gunmen steal the carnival's charity proceeds. The Man of Steel arrives back from the cloud layer in time to kayo four of the gunmen, but the fifth has a pistol he lifted from somewhere called Argus Lab. Evidently he believes this ray gun can stop Superman. In the instant the hood fires the special gun, Lois has leaped into the path of the ray blast, yelling a warning to Superman.
In the next moment Superman deals with the gunman, but the flash of the ray blast has left Lois completely blind. She calls for Superman in her darkness, and he is there to embrace her. "Superman! Superman... Where are you?"
Superman's heart melts before Lois's blind, staring eyes vainly searching for his face. Superman tells Lois they'll get the best doctors in the world to cure her blindness, but in the meantime they should both do what they should've done long ago: marry.
Lois pulls away from him, convinced, understandably, that Superman has suggested they marry out of pity for her. And she won't accept his pity. Superman can't stand to see Lois this way. He thinks, "I must convince her I really love her!"
The hood's ray gun is still in his hand, and he begins to crush it in his mighty grip. He manipulates the mangled metal, shaping it, till he holds in his fingers an amazing facsimile of an engagement ring. He slips the ring onto Lois's finger, pretending he had the ring all along, and had been planning to propose at the carnival. Lois believes him and cries with happiness.
But the best doctors in the world cannot cure the incurable. Lois is told repeatedly she will never see again, that medical science has no cure for her total blindness. The couple still intend to go ahead with their plans, with Superman asking Lois to keep their marriage a secret for the time being. (He doesn't want his enemies to target her.)
In a very odd scene, Superman, dressed as Kent, marries Lois in an out of the way hamlet in another state, with Lois believing all the while it is Superman standing with her getting married.
In a remote setting, Superman builds a super-house for his blind bride, a custom-built home complete with automated kitchen.
A year later Superman is passing out cigars on behalf of a "nervous Kent" in the maternity hospital as Lois is giving birth to their baby. The nurse calls Superman in to see the newborn, who is jumping up and down in her crib! Superman, fully expecting a son, stammers, "He's a girl?"
They name their daughter Lisa and make her a super-suit like her father's. The young girl performs super-feats while her adoring parents picnic. Years pass happily. But tragedy is just around the corner.
Superman is rescuing the crew of the ill-fated government ship, Atlantis, a vessel carrying nuclear materials for secret experiments, when a fire in the hold touches off a huge explosion. Two survivors, floating in the water some distance off, clinging to pieces of wreckage, are fearful for Superman's life. "He couldn't have survived... There was Red and Green Kryptonite in the nuclear warheads! It's deadly to him!"
That evening Lois and Lisa find out about the incident while listening to the news on television. "Superman was killed today while rescuing crewmen from a government ship! His body has not been recovered..."
Lois and Lisa are devastated. Lisa begins her career as Superlass and Lois becomes the mysterious woman in black who visits Superman's grave.
Lois's story ends, and we are once again in the present.
At the beach near her secluded super-home, Lois spends lonely hours. She is knitting when the ball of yarn rolls from her grasp down the beach to the surf.
A hand reaches for the yarn and picks up the ball. Lois is aware someone is there, and she calls out, making it obvious she is blind. A deformed beast of a man, misshapen and ugly, dressed in tattered clothing, stumbles hesitantly towards Lois with the ball of yarn. The beast thinks, "Thank heaven she is blind! At least she won't run away screaming like every woman who has seen me!"
Trembling, the deformed creature stands before the blind Lois. He puts the ball into her hand. "Your yarn..." Lois is grateful, and greatly reassured by the speaker's gentle voice. The creature explains how he has been at sea with no one to talk to for a long time. He asks if he may sit near the woman, and that he will leave if she does not want him around. Lois, far from being afraid, is glad of the company. She asks the owner of the gentle voice to sit near her.
The hideous brute longs to touch the woman. He tries to think of a way to touch her without frightening her. He tells the woman that a moth has become entangled in her hair, and asks if he may remove it. Lois thinks he is thoughtful. The brute strokes her hair gently, overcome at how soft she is.
The hours pass. The blind Lois feels very comfortable with the creature. The creature is enraptured by Lois, and just gazes at her, almost overcome. "My heart is so full," he thinks. "It's bursting."
The afternoon draws to a close and Lois explains to her bizarre companion that she is a widow and she must return home or her daughter will be worried. Lois asks the brute if he will meet her on the beach tomorrow at the same time. The creature says he will try to. Suddenly Lois stumbles and the creature catches her in his arms. For an agonising instant they are practically embracing, with the creature in heaven. (This bloke really is terribly ugly, deformed face, twisted hunchback and all...) Lois, who cannot see him, actually smiles at the contact.
As Lois walks away towards the house, the creature remonstrates with himself: he should not have held her so closely lest she realise how "inhuman" he is.
In the darkness, the pitifully lonely monster watches through the window of the house where the woman and her daughter are spending their evening. "How I wish I could be inside with them... But that's impossible for the likes of me!"
As the deformed man-creature watches the house, a jeep speeds along the beach carrying a bunch of hoods. They are on the run from the law and decide to hole up in the remote beach house (which just happens to belong to Lois and Lisa). Suddenly their jeep is carried aloft by the brute and he tosses the vehicle, men and all, out into the sea, where they are all promptly arrested by a law enforcement officer from the beach patrol. (Neither the hoods nor the patrolman see the brute.) The hoods are freaking out, and are actually glad to be arrested.
The monster watches the arrest and is glad no one was hurt. "But to think of them threatening... her... nearly drove me mad!"
Only in her dreams can the blind Lois try to visualise her companion from the beach. She decides the stranger must be like his voice: young, handsome... strong yet gentle... In her mind's eye she imagines all sorts of incredibly handsome, masculine faces.
They meet the next day on the beach, each glad to see the other. The creature tells Lois, "I -- I can't tell you how glad I am to hear your voice!" Yet he thinks: "But if she could see my face, she'd run away in horror! And I'll stay like this... unless the change comes!"
The quiet hours pass slowly with the creature and the woman sitting together, embracing on the beach. Lois thanks the stranger for making her days so peaceful, for helping her forget her worries. She sleeps in his arms. The creature thinks, "She feels so soft... and warm... against me! I wonder... can I kiss her without waking her -- ?" He puts his hideous face closer and gently steals a kiss.
One day it happens that Superlass encounters a space ship containing advanced beings from "Galaxy X-1". Superlass saves the space ship from destruction when it hurtles out of control, and the beings are very grateful. They want to repay Superlass, and the young super-teen tells them of her mother's blindness, and how Earth science cannot cure her. From the inner recesses of the strange space craft, the leader of the beings from Galaxy X-1 brings her a "Cosmic-Ray Oculizer," which is used to restore damaged eye tissue. The leader explains that the device has only one charge left, and unfortunately there is no guarantee it will help the young girl's mother.
Superlass bids farewell to the alien beings, and she races back to her home with a pounding heart to kneel before her mother.
Lois is seated, and wants to know why Lisa is so excited. Lisa tells Lois to stay right where she is. "Don't move! Don't even breathe!"
In a beautifully-drawn, genuinely moving four-panel sequence, we see Lisa activate the alien device, shining its ray into the eyes of her mother. At first there is just the familiar darkness for Lois... And then, slowly, the black depths seem to part...
We see Lisa from Lois's point of view, shimmering, still partly obscured, as the mists of blindness seem to dissolve away. The last panel of the page has an overwhelmed Lois, tears in her eyes, holding her daughter's face in her hands. "I -- I can't believe it! I can see! I can see you for the first time! And -- and -- you're as beautiful as your poor, dear, wonderful father was handsome!"
The next day, Lois goes to the beach as usual to meet her friend.
The deformed monstrosity approaches from behind Lois, eager to see her. He calls out to her and she turns. Unfortunately, Lois recoils in horror. The monster is devastated: "Y-you can see! And now you know what a freak I am!"
Lois is quick to placate the brute, assuring him she was surprised, but that his looks are not important, that she cares for his other qualities. The creature doesn't believe her, such is his disgust at his own appearance, and he demands that she kiss him to prove she cares for him. Lois does so, but the monster is unconvinced: "Your lips were like cold marble! Your heart was pounding... and not with love! Your hands were wet with icy sweat!"
The creature dashes away, with Lois pleading with him to listen to her. (Her feelings are undoubtedly genuine, but man, that bloke is ugly.)
Like an "elemental fury gone beserk", the creature displays more incredible strength growing from his anger, uprooting a tree as Lois looks on, telling himself as much as her that he cannot fool himself any longer, that the "spell" will never wear off, that he will always look like a freak, that people will shun him till he dies!
Then the deformed brute turns his fury against the huge rocks of the breakwater, pounding the rock with his bare fists, shattering it as Lois watches in horror. The creature snarls: "Look at me! My hands are so strong... they can't even bleed!"
The creature is in total despair by this time. "How can I escape from the torment in my mind? What can I do? Where can I go?"
Suddenly, "like some monstrous bird," the brute hurls himself into the sky. He thinks: "I must leave Earth! There's no life here for me... Not any more!"
Below, on the beach, as Superlass arrives on the scene to land beside her mother, Lois watches the creature's flight with shock. "He's flying!" she cries. "Oh, heavens! He's flying!"
Superlass: "Who, mother? Who is that?"
It's apparent that Lois already has a strong suspicion of who her monstrous friend is. She asks Lisa to use her super-vision, to see where the brute goes. Superlass is shocked to watch the ugly brute fly to the Arctic, to Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Lisa remarks that since the death of her father, only she and Supergirl have visited it. Now we see the monster actually lifting the giant key, inserting the key into the gigantic lock...
What is the hulking half-human creature doing stalking through Superman's secret sanctuary, past the old statues of Superman's loved ones like Lois and Lisa, Batman and Lana Lang? Let's listen in on the creature's thoughts:
"My closest friends...and my family! These statues are the last I'll see of them! They belong to the past now!"
The misshapen brute lifts the base of a memorial statue of Superman, and beneath it is a compartment. From this compartment he pulls out a Superman costume. In fact, it is the genuine, original Superman costume. The brute starts to put on the costume while standing before a mirror.
"I'll need my indestructible suit for my flight into space! Ugh! I can hardly bear to look at my own face!"
Back on the beach, half a world away, Lisa is still watching all of this with her super-vision. She asks out loud why the creature is putting on a Superman costume.
Lois grasps her daughter's shoulders. "Don't you see, darling? He is Superman! ...He is your father!"
Lois has already guessed what happened. The Atlantis was carrying both Red and Green Kryptonite in a volatile state. It is revealed to us that Superman, caught in the terrible explosion aboard the ship, was affected by both the Red and Green Kryptonite. The Red K had the weird effect of turning Superman into a monster. But the Green K caused the change to be permanent, not temporary, as Red K usually is.
Lisa wants to race to Superman, to bring him back to them, but Lois restrains her. Superman is in no mood to listen to anyone now.
In the remote Arctic, a hideous shape streaks upwards from the Fortress of Solitude. Superman thinks: "I'll find an uninhabited planet, where no one will see my face... and live out the rest of my life there! If even Lois can't stand the sight of me, I want to get as far away from Earth as possible!"
Superlass flies up from the beach, tearfully deciding to secretly trail her father, to see where he goes. "Maybe some day we'll find an antidote for the K effect!"
Lois is left on the beach, crying. "Oh, Superman... darling... I'd gladly give my eyes to have you back! Will I ever see you again?"