Superman 76 – the 1st Superman/Batman team-up, and Lois gets a new roommate

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Superman and Batman had shared the covers of World’s Finest Comics for years, and even shared an adventure with the Justice Society of America.  Their characters had met and become friends on the Adventures of Superman radio show, but it was not until Superman 76 (May/June 1952) that their characters teamed up in the comics.

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Edmond Hamilton, Curt Swan and John Fischetti were the creative team on this tale, which opens as Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne discover that they have to share a stateroom on a sea voyage.  Before they even depart, a fire breaks out on shore, and the two men reveal their secrets to each other in a darkened bedroom.  This all happens within the first few pages.

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They stop the fire, and find out that the criminal activity is linked to the ship, so they wind up travelling on the ship in both identities.

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Lois decides to come along, so the boys have to cover their identities with her as well.

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But Lois overhears them plot to keep her decoyed with a phony romance with Batman.  Now we’re into full comic mode, although the crime plot continues, to give an excuse for some action.

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The story even ends on a good laugh.  Superman and Batman are so obsessed with covering themselves that Robin winds up getting the date with Lois.

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Lois Lane has a new roommate in this story, by Woolfolk and Plastino, Lorraine Jennings.

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Lois decides to matchmake Lorraine and Clark Kent, and Clark is polite enough to go along with it.

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This is also one of the earliest uses of a Superman robot to cover his identity, although the Clark Kent robot malfunctions, when the two couples go on a double date, and Superman has to use his powers to cover for it.

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After the double date, Lois becomes convinced that Superman is in love with Lorraine, and does the only rational thing.  She throws Lorraine off of a ship, and jumps as well, to see who Superman will rescue.  No wonder she can’t keep a roommate.

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It is hard to feel sorry for Lois, pulled up with the fishies, and crying for herself.  But Lorraine has fallen for her hairdresser, and gets married.  Probably faster than intended, just to get out of living with Lois.

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