Superman #63 (January 1992)
Superman reunites with his most valued underwater ally: Lori Lemaris, his mermaid ex-girlfriend! And I just spoiled this issue’s twist ending just to make Aquaman feel bad about himself, because I’m very edgy. Anyway, wasn’t Lori supposed to be dead? Yup: as seen way back in Superman #12, Clark Kent dated Lori in college and they met again as adults, but then a (presumably extremely hungry) fisherman stabbed her. Several convoluted plot twists later, Clark found out from Lori’s new boyfriend, a merdude called Ronal, that she was dead.
In this issue, Superman is reminded of this sad tale again when he’s rescuing the crew of a capsized ship and notices that the captain is the same mermaidphobic asshole who stabbed Lori. Superman is so wrapped up in his flashback sequence that he nearly lets the guy drown.
After resisting the temptation to feed the guy to some sharks, Superman saves him and runs into Aquaman, who is in the middle of a war between his city, Atlantis, and a country called Oumland (Clark Kent and Cat Grant were covering the war from the stabber’s ship, somehow). The Oumlanders fire a torpedo at Atlantis and Superman manages to redirect it, but it still blows up on his face. Superman ends up unconscious and buried in rocks… until a mysterious figure rescues him. One with luscious curves and a fish tail.
As I already ruined for you, the mystery woman is Lori, who faked her death years ago because she knew Superman and her were too different to be together. She makes Aquaman promise never to tell Superman that she’s still alive, and then leaves his body on the surface for the people on the boat to find (after, uh, changing him into his Clark Kent clothes).
Clark is like “Whelp, I must have changed clothes while sleeping” and never suspects that it was all Lori. Coincidentally, he thinks he’s been lucky to find someone else he loves “just as much” as Lori (and has the same initials, to boot). Lori overhears this with her fishwoman telepathy and sheds a single tear for their love that cannot be.
- I left out perhaps the craziest part: Why did the ship capsize? Because it ran into one of the dinosaurs from the “Blackout” storyline – specifically, one that the Guardian had to hurt while approaching the dinosaur island in Superman #62. Aquaman helps Superman subdue it and then everyone sorta forgets about it, what with the war and all.
- Speaking of Aquaman, he’s currently in that awkward period between his clean cut look and his hairy, hook-hand-having one. The Oumland war was a storyline in the Aquaman series of this era, whose most lasting contribution was proving that classic DC superheroes look cool with long hair (or at least that’s what Superman seemed to think).
- Back in Metropolis, Lois Lane goes Christimas shopping for Clark and thinks about how their relationship has never been stronger, unaware that he’s getting mouth-to-mouth from his ex. Also, she’s still being stalked by Jolt and Blockhouse from Man of Steel #7, and Blockhouse still looks like a nine year old in the Hulk’s body.
- The return of Jimmy Olsen’s piece of shit car (a long-running character), which now serves as his house as well, since he got kicked out of his apartment. Then he almost gets run over by a snow plower. This is just the bad karma from the “Jimmy hates Superman” storyline coming back to you, Jimbo.
- Oh, right: after months of the “Berkowitz vs. Thornton” storyline building up steam, we unceremoniously find out in the above panel that Frank Berkowitz won, and that’s it. Personally, I think it would have been way more interesting if Colin Thornton had become mayor of Metropolis, considering upcoming revelations about the character. Metropolis would turn into a hell of a place with that guy on charge.
That’s not it for this post, though, because there’s more from the great Don Sparrow (including an essay on Aquaman’s eating habits) after the cut: