Reign of the Supermen #541: Achilles

Source: Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #40 (1963)
Type: Precursor
You've all heard of Achilles, right? Buff, invulnerable dude from Ancient Greece, got dipped in the River Styx, lovers with another buff dude Patroclus... Ok, maybe not the last one in DC's Silver Age continuity. But yeah, that guy. What we DIDN'T know what that he was a dead ringer for Superman. Looked just like him, and dressed in the same colors too. We find out when Professor Potter comes back from an archaeological expedition with quite the treasure trove. I mean, all of Greek Myth's artifacts were in the same cabinet? A wooden cabinet with a glass-plate door?
Apparently so. That's our girl Lois Lane dressed à la Grecque as part of the opening day event. Also on site is her rival for Superman's affections, Lana Lang, covering it for television. Convinced there was never any such person as Circe - despite Circe turning Superman twice into a lion man, once 5 years before and another this very year (1963) - Lois twirls her wand around wishing to be back in Ancient Greece to prove it. Of course, it works. So there she is in Athens, wearing Helen of Troi's jewels (O vanity!) and getting chased by brigands. A girl looking just like Lana, even down to the frock Lana was wearing at the exhibition, gets Achilles to help her.
He beats the tar out of the ruffians and tells Lois - sorry, LISO - that she has the girl in green Ilya (Lois keeps calling her "The Lana Lang of 500 B.C.") to thank. Fast friends in a way they never were in 1963, Lois tries to pay her kindness with flashy jewelry, but Ilya wants something a little more... intimate.
While she goes off to buy a mansion, she instructs Lois to see the Oracle for advice. The Oracle is full of wisdom:
Lois, your destiny is not to be with Superman, but with Achilles. Well, that's fine. Even if it means living the rest of your life without modern accommodations. Still, Lois immediately puts her mind to finding the key to Achilles' heart. And she'll get help!
Hilariously, Lois doesn't think it strange that she frequently falls in love with heroes in the past while a double of Lana competes with her. No. What's strange is that this time, the "Lana" is helpful. So not long after that, the girls spot Achilles going off to defeat a dragon - y'know, just like in all the Greek myths(???) - and Circe shows up demanding Achilles marry her or she'll cause trouble (and yet, Lana neither sees the irony of this, nor learns  a lesson from it). Achilles hates her, so it's a no, and he's off to fight the monster. But Circe's threat comes true and Achilles is bitten on his kryptonite-like heel by a poisonous snake. Ilya gives Lois Mercury's winged sandals (clue! it should be Hermes'!) and instructs her to fly to the great hero and save him.
Before Lois/Liso and Achilles can set the date, Circe shows up and sends the time-tossed reporter back to her own time where the real Lana finds her. Lois is quick to tell her story.
Wait. What's this? "That's what she thinks"? Oh, that's right. SILVER AGE. So what REALLY happened is that Lana saw Lois magic herself into the past, grabbed the sandals of super-speed and flew back through time to the right spot, making sure to tell Achilles her name, because having seen a statue of him and knowing he was Superman's double, she could, as "Ilya" be in a perfect position to throw Lois into his arms so she could keep Superman all to herself in the present, only requiring she fake being the Oracle and about a hundred coincidences. OF COURSE.

That damn Circe ruined everything for everyone.


SallyP said...

Yet another reason why the DC Universe (the REAL DC Universe) is so much better than ours. All those priceless and magical relics out on display! Real Time Travel! The utter magnificence and complete idiocy of Lois!

God, I love comics.


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