First Published: February 2009
Contents: Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #35 (March 1959) to #44 (April 1960); and Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #8 (April 1959) to #16 (April 1960)
Key Creator Credits: Curt Swan, Otto Binder, Wayne Boring, Kurt Schaffenberger, and others
Key First Appearances: Lucy Lane, Sam Lane, Ella Lane, Van-Zee, Sylvia Van-Zee, Alice White
Story Continues From: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 2
Story Continues In: Showcase Presents Superman Family Vol. 4
Overview: Welcome back to the world of Superman, more specifically the friends and family of Superman, as the adventures of his pal, Jimmy Olsen, and his girlfriend, Lois Lane, continues in this third Showcase Presents.
As always, these issues contain three 8- to 10-page stories that followed predictable formulas from one story to the next. The sole exception would be Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #15, which featured a book-length story featuring the wedding of Superman and Lois.
Several new characters make their first appearance in this volume. Lois Lane’s younger sister is introduced. Lucy Lane is a stewardess that captures the eye of Jimmy Olsen. Lucy will stay with Lois when she has layovers in Metropolis. Lois and Lucy’s parents, Sam and Ella Lane, make their appearance when Lois returns home to Pittsdale. And Perry White’s wife, Alice, shows up for the first time at a birthday party for the newspaper editor, chiding him about eating cake given the weight he has put on lately.
Why should these stories be Showcased?: OK, the quality of these stories is slightly better than the previous volumes. Just slightly! These are one and done stories with no concern about continuity to the franchise. The best stories are the ones that include other characters beyond Lois, Jimmy, Superman, and Perry. Supergirl makes two appearances, and Aquaman swims in for a story. Jimmy faces off against Mr. Mxyzptlk in another story. With any of these Superman Family volumes, you do not necessarily need to read the issues in order. You may be better off skipping around and picking the stories that most interest you.
Footnotes: “The Mermaid From Metropolis” story from Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #12 is also reprinted in Showcase Presents Aquaman Vol. 1.
“Lois Lane’s Secret Romance” story from Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #14 and “Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl’s Pal” from Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #40 are also reprinted in Showcase Presents Supergirl Vol. 1.
In Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #9 (May 1959), the popular singer Pat Boone makes an appearance and co-writes a song about Superman with Lois. Later that same year, Pat Boone would get his own DC Comics title, but it would only run five issues.
If you like this volume, try: taking a visit to the Super Museum in Metropolis, IL. Located on the southern tip of Illinois (across the river from Paducah, KY), the Super Museum is a private collection of Superman mementos, as well as a gift shop. On the town square is a large statue of Superman, which makes for a popular picture spot for visitors. Each June, the town hosts a Superman celebration, with a costume contest, parade, and celebrity guests related to the Superman comics, movies, or television shows. For more information, visit supermuseum.com.