Posted on 07/29/2008

Photo taken on November  1, 1970

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DC Comics
Lois Lane
I Am Curious (Black)!
Superman's Girlfriend
Nov. No. 106 Issue
15 cents

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Lois Lane Gets Curious About Life on the Black Side

Lois Lane Gets Curious About Life on the Black Side
The cover depicts Lois Lane placed into a machine. Superman flips a switch and Lois magically transforms into a black woman for 24 hours.

Penned by Robert Kanigher, the story appeared in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #106 and was oddly titled, "I Am Curious (Black)!" The issue appeared in comic bookstores in November 1970, with a cover featuring a reticent Superman peeking into the Transformoflux machine and asking, "Are you SURE you want to go through with this, Lois?"

Apparently, Lois is assigned a story in Metropolis' "Little Africa" (presumably a subsect like Little Havana, Little Italy, or Chinatown), only the community refuses to grant her any information or interviews because they're distrusting of Whites. So Lois begs Superman to grant her use of his transformative device so she can go undercover as a Black woman to gain the community's trust. It works like a charm, but when a neighborhood activist who was particularly hostile when Lois was White is shot before her very eyes, she has to intervene by giving him a blood transfusion. Because she wants to find out the outcome of his condition, she has to stick around until after her "day of Blackness" wears off. The activist discovers she's actually White and is forced to confront his own prejudice.

Since she was sidelined by this subplot, she didn't really get to make too many observations about life as a Black woman, except that her regular cabbie wouldn't stop when she hailed him and gets the feeling that people are staring at her skin on the subway. Readers also never find out whether she was able to secure that ambiguous "story" for the Planet. But Lois did manage to ask Superman if he'd marry her as a Black woman... but he never answers.